The elementary division, which encompasses Kindergarten through fifth grade, is organized in small class sizes where caring and encouraging teachers utilize the latest instructional technologies, including SMART Boards, to implement a progressive curriculum designed to provide students with a solid academic foundation.
THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
The elementary program, which is based on the Common Core State Standards, reflects a balance of academics, athletics, music and art, technology and Armenian language and culture. To further the development of the whole child, a wide array of after-school enrichment classes are offered. Our ultimate goal is to provide each student with a well-rounded learning experience.
Building on the pre-kindergarten program, reading in English and Armenian is the primary goal of the Kindergarten curriculum. Classroom teaching is intended to focus directly and intensively on the development of every student's capability to listen, speak, read and write in both languages, as well as to think and search for meaning in reading materials. The curriculum includes arithmetic, science, social studies, computer, art, music and physical education. Textbooks are introduced and homework is assigned as reinforcement of the skills taught. Children are trained to be responsible with their time and in their work.
All children are given guidance and encouragement to develop their curiosity, learn the curriculum, and to develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically in the caring, nurturing and lively environment of Kindergarten.
FIRST THROUGH FIFTH GRADES
The elementary language arts program involves the integration of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. In a stimulating and enjoyable environment, students work on developing reading and language skills including phonics, decoding, spelling, handwriting, writing, and grammar at their grade level. Young readers are provided with a variety of reading materials and activities to develop independent thinking, imagination, creativity and the ability to communicate with others and express themselves with precision and clarity. The reading materials include literature-based readers, novels, trade books, short stories, non-fiction articles, poems and plays. As students become independent readers, emphasis is placed on literary analysis, critical thinking, expanding vocabulary, grammar, spelling, reference and study skills. Students are encouraged to develop and express their own reactions to literature and to listen to the viewpoints of others.
Writing is taught as a process, which includes pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and post-writing activities. Writing projects are generated from class readings, discussion and activities, and individual interests. Students write reports, stories, essays and poetry.
Vocabulary enrichment is given special emphasis, through reading selections, phonics, and usage of the Worldly Wise series of vocabulary development.
The elementary language curriculum is designed to foster a life-long appreciation for literature, independent thought, and competency in the use of oral and written English.
Evaluation of students' strengths and progress in English is systematic and ongoing, reflecting the purpose of the curriculum. It includes a broad range of assessment methods.
Regular feedback is provided to students and parents, in order to ensure the optimal development of each student.
The mathematics program combines the development of concepts, computation and application skills. Math instruction is based on children's concrete experience, employing a variety of manipulative materials. The program moves from the concrete to the increasingly abstract in all strands in the upper elementary grades. Problem solving is a major objective of the math curriculum and students are given instruction and training how to work through the stages of problem solving. Special care is given to developing the thinking skills and logic of our young learners. The math curriculum teaches the students to understand the structure and language of mathematics in theoretical and real life situations. The elementary math program is accelerated and aims to prepare students for a rigorous curriculum in middle school and high school.
The science curriculum fosters children's natural curiosity about the natural world around them. Students acquire knowledge of the biological and physical sciences from a balanced curriculum, building on their understanding of concepts and developing basic skills of science, which include observing, comparing, organizing, inferring, relating and applying data. The scientific method, experiments and hands-on activities, the process of inquiry, development of critical thinking and clear writing, and applications of science in everyday life are important parts of the elementary science program.
The elementary social studies curriculum covers the history and culture of peoples in our community, state, country and the world. It aspires to help students learning and appreciating other lives and other times and, in the process, develop an understanding of diverse peoples and cultures, of the significance of the past to their own lives and to their society. Children gain knowledge of the wide array of similarities and differences that distinguish peoples and cultures of the world through active participation and simulation of cultures, through projects and field trips. They also gain a sense of responsibility about their role in their community and a knowledge that their actions can make a difference.
Armenian language, history and religion form an integral part of the school curriculum. Mastery of the Armenian alphabet, its phonetic characteristics, word formation, spelling, basic grammar, composition and fluent reading form the basis of instruction in elementary grades.
Performances of Armenian patriotic poems, songs and plays in the classroom, during assemblies and public celebrations of Armenian holidays enrich the program. Projects, posters, pictures, objects and maps help students learn and appreciate the culture, tradition and values of their ancestors. Armenian history and religion are essential components of the elementary Armenian program, giving students a sense of the Armenian identity as well as the importance of values and moral development.
The elementary computer curriculum familiarizes the students with the operation of computers both in a lab setting and within their own classrooms. Students learn basic operations of the hardware, including parts of the computer, keyboard operation and function, and use of standard and special keys. They also learn essential technological terms and keyboard skills. Instructional software is used to teach computer literacy, word processing, and reading and math enrichment. Special projects include the school newsletter…. The program's focus is to teach students solving problems and thinking critically, by the application of their skills in technology. The long-term objective is to emphasize the role and impact of computer technology in today's world, and educate students on the capabilities and applications of technology.
Music & Art
Music and art are a vital part of the elementary curriculum, creating opportunities to develop aesthetic literacy and providing for opportunities for artistic performances and exhibits throughout the year. The program develops sensitivities and imagination in young people, and fosters appreciation of an interest in the arts.
The physical education program promotes individual growth and skill development of each student, while developing a positive spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship. Students participate in a variety of units, including physical fitness, rhythm/movement, motor development, and team sports.