APA Elementary School

 

APA Elementary School Mission Statement

 

To provide an orderly, safe and nurturing learning environment wherein content-rich, efficient curriculum and research-based instructional methodologies are utilized to ensure that every student achieves academic success and develops good character based on concrete measurements.

 

Our Elementary School program centers on our 2 pillars: Academic Achievement and Character Development.

 

We believe children in grades K-6 need a balance of rigorous academics, creative and expressive learning, and positive social skill development – all in a motivating, cheerful environment that encourages enthusiasm for learning and love of school!

Caring and nurturing relationships with teachers and friends are the foundation of all we do.

 

Elementary Academics

 

APA utilizes achievement grouping for reading, spelling and math instruction. All students are assessed and placed into groups that will allow them to be taught at their precise instructional level for that subject.   These “fluid groups” are composed of approximately 5-15 students, allowing for small classes in the critical areas of skills acquisition (reading, math, spelling).   We know that student learning is not entirely predictable, so students are consistently assessed and if a student “zooms” ahead, they are able to move to a higher level.  Likewise, if a student needs extra repetition of a concept, they are able to join a new group and repeat the instruction that was challenging for them.  Because all students go to groups at the same time, and the groups are not labeled in any way (no numbers, colors, or letters), our students are not typically conscious of the  “position” of their group (higher, lower).  Achievement groups are the most efficient way to allow students to gain skills in the fastest, most positive environment possible!

 

We use The Core Knowledge Sequence in grades K-6, a robust sequence of content based on work by E.D. Hirsch.

 

Early Elementary Courses (K-3)

 

Reading Mastery
Connecting Math Concepts
Spalding Spelling
Cursive Writing
Language For Learning
Language for Thinking
Comprehension A
Physical Education

CORE KNOWLEDGE

Science
History
Poetry
Literature and Geography
Music
Art (Monart Drawing)

 

Upper Elementary Courses (4-6)

 

Saxon Math

Literature-Based Direct Instruction

Spalding Spelling

Latin Roots

Physical Education

 

CORE KNOWLEDGE

Science

History

Poetry

Literature and Geography

Music

Art (Monart Drawing)

 

The CHAMPS program is used for classroom and school-wide positive school culture development.

 

Curriculum & Programs

 

Student academic achievement is the primary goal of APA. We believe that only when students master fundamentals, and are fluent in the basic foundational knowledge of the major disciplines can they move on to effectively express their knowledge and master higher-level skills.

 

At APA we choose our curriculum very carefully. We use data taken from reliable studies that show which programs have the greatest success. Once we have selected a program, we track it using data of our own to be sure that we are implementing it correctly and efficiently. Some of our programs include Reading Mastery, Reading for Success, Saxon Math, Connecting Math Concepts, Shurley Grammar, Language for Learning, Language for Thinking, Core Knowledge, and Latin Roots.

 

Mastery of a fundamental core of knowledge is essential to a child’s achievement in later grades. Material should be coherent, sequential, content-rich, and challenging, and must be taught to mastery level by the teacher. Standardized testing is an essential tool for measuring student learning and teacher success.

 

Expressive Learning

 

Music By exposing our students to music at a young age, our young scholars are able to appreciate and embrace music and begin to express themselves artistically. Our students learn to sing in a choir and build a love for music, and later, they have the opportunity to select an instrument and achieve mastery levels of musicianship.

Art Our students learn about the great artists of history while developing artistic techniques themselves. Through the careful instruction of passionate artists, the students will learn basic skills and build on them year after year. This helps them develop their skills and increases their appreciation for art in many forms, and through many time periods.

Physical Education Physical education is where our students have the opportunity to move and express themselves through games, physical agility, and sports. It is an important part of keeping our minds sharp and healthy, as well as keeping our bodies fit and agile.

Performances At APA, we happily open doors to new worlds and experiences through the realm of the stage! Whether performing in a play, reciting an exciting poem with different roles, or taking a trip through history, our students have many opportunities to perform. At our weekly assemblies, they show off the things they have learned in music, history, science, language arts, performing arts, and many more!

 

Student academic achievement is the primary goal of APA.  We believe that only when students master fundamentals, and are fluent in the basic foundational knowledge of the major disciplines can they move on to effectively express their knowledge and master higher-level skills.

 

Therefore, the foundation of our instruction will focus on mastery of fundamentals.  We define mastery as the ability to demonstrate knowledge and skills repeatedly and accurately.  This requires repeated instruction in the subject matter, increasing degree of challenge and considerable practice.   As our students master the fundamentals, our instruction focuses on sequential building of conceptual knowledge and promoting independent expression of knowledge.  Finally, our instruction focuses on individual internalization of conceptual knowledge, expressed in extensive written work and verbal presentation, preparing our students for advanced study at the high school level.