Academics

Lower Division

1st Grade

The first-grade program reinforces the foundation laid in Kindergarten, providing a deeper respect for the environment and our responsibility in it. The year-long theme, “On Wings and Fins,” presents children with opportunities to make real life connections between the world outside of school and the skills and concepts taught in school. It also integrates the impressive migrations of the monarch butterfly and the local whale population into the students’ classroom experiences. All subject skills are taught within this thematic framework. In language arts, first graders experience a variety of literary genres, read independently, in partnerships and begin to study parts of grammar. In math, first graders learn about place value, measurement and collecting and organizing data in various ways. Science focuses on the analysis of migratory animals and their importance in the balance of nature. In addition, knowledgeable educators provide an environment that promotes the joy of learning through collaboration and hands-on experiences. Blanketing the first-grade curricula is an emphasis on the social environment within individual classrooms and the school as a whole. Children and adults are expected to share in the practice of the Village Values as a means to nurture an environment in which children can explore, stretch, succeed, and learn from their mistakes.

2nd Grade

Second grade challenges and engages students, allowing them to strengthen and develop their skills, and emerge as fluent readers and writers. In language arts, second graders will be introduced to critical thinking skills by making inferences, predicting outcomes, and comparing and contrasting literature. They practice oral fluency and expression, continue studying grammar, and read and write in a variety of genres such as narrative, prose, and expository styles. In second grade, teachers become facilitators as the students are guided to become active participants in their learning and to become more independent in both their academic and social lives. Self-motivation, completion of work in a timely manner, resolving conflicts independently, and developing a sense of being a life-long learner remain goals for all second graders.

3rd Grade

The movement from concrete to abstract reasoners defines third grade. Students participate in cooperative and collaborative learning activities designed to develop their social and academic skills. The language arts curriculum encompasses both a traditional approach to grammar and writing as well as a more progressive approach with projects extending from the novel studies. Students solidify literacy skills, in addition to constructing genuine responses to literature. The writing program, one of the hallmarks of the third-grade program, is integrated extensively throughout the curriculum. Students practice writing in a variety of genres, where they learn the writing process. Writing is an essential skill that transcends all academic disciplines. Third also begins the opportunity to participate in small groups. This time provides for enrichment opportunities within mathematics, Readers’ Theater, and critical thinking. Students are fluidly grouped across the grade to ensure students are shoring up areas of need while also stretching their academics.

4th Grade

The fourth-grade program, housed on the top floor of campus along with our Upper Division, marks the transition from a more developmental environment into one that is more traditionally academic while engaging in challenging, experiential learning projects across the curriculum. This program focuses on discovery: discovering learning styles, becoming self-aware of how you learn best, what skills you need to improve, and how your actions impact a group. The study of California, its history, and the people who settled here provide the foundation of the curriculum, that is integrated whenever possible. Mathematics takes front and center stage as students master the four core operations across whole numbers, decimals and fractions while utilizing their computational knowledge for real-life problem solving.