As a result of an extensive study of the challenges facing students of poverty, we are now emphasizing the importance of building relationships with students. Thus, each teacher begins the day with a community building session which stresses character development and good citizenship.
Most of our teachers are teamed in pairs; we have several self-contained teachers and one 3-person team. One teacher teaches English/Language Arts and Social Studies and the other teaches Math and Science. All of our teachers have received information and training in "Best Practices" and are extremely effective instructors.
Reader/Writer Workshop has been implemented to provide an effective, research-based structure for balanced literacy instruction. The majority of the time in workshop is spent with students actually reading and writing. They read "just right" books, participate in book clubs, do research, and receive instruction in small groups based on assessed needs.
Conceptual mathematics lessons are taught using a variety of approaches including cooperative learning, math manipulatives, and games. Mathematics knowledge is also developed through teacher-facilitated problem solving discussion called "Number Talks". Students further benefit from technology-assisted instruction: the school-wide use of Moby Max---differentiated, self-paced, computer-based mathematics practice aligned to individual student needs.
Science instruction is focused on inquiry. Students are involved in lots of research. We also provide hands-on activities; students participate in science experiments and projects in the classroom. For a more conducive environment, each grade level has a science lab for conducting these experiments.
Social Studies is taught using a vast array of print, graphic materials, and electronic resources. It is integrated with reading and writing.
Gifted and talented students have enrichment classes each week during which they are led through various high-interest thematic, cross-curricular performance tasks that focus on problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
As an Arts Integrated School, we also infuse the arts into all areas of our curriculum.