K-5 Academic Program

Academics & Skills Benchmarks

The Schoolhouse K-5 school program offers students opportunities to acquire skills and apply knowledge through stimulating real-life, immersive projects. Equally important, social-emotional learning (SEL) permeates the students' projects and daily activities. Daily trips to Mountain Lake Park for recess and time in nature provide students with an opportunity to engage in free play and creative exploration.

Academic Content & Skills

Schoolhouse teachers consider the California state content and skills standards when designing their immersive and interdisciplinary projects. They enhance integrated learning through regular direct instruction as well.

Formal & Informal Assessments

Schoolhouse teachers use reading, writing and math continuum adapted from University Child Development Schools in Seattle. These continua recognize that not all skills mature at the same time, and allow teachers to chart the students' growth each year. In conjunction with the continua, teachers write progress reports that highlight the student's strengths and areas of growth, and offer suggestions for additional practice or enrichment for all disciplines (including social-emotional learning).

 
 

Pedagogy

Adventure Days/Service Learning
Adventure days are project-based experiences in the field that enhance academics and social-emotional learning, and expose students to the world beyond campus. Some of these days may include service learning or may extend into overnights. Students also design many of these experiences with guidance from their teachers.

Arts Integration
Teachers infuse projects and lessons with visual and performing arts, from math chants to dramatic portrayals of historical figures. Teachers ensure that all students gain a basic repertoire of the visual and performing arts.


Inquiry-Based & Emergent Instruction
This is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems, or scenarios. It engages students, empowering them to direct their own learning. An inquiry-based approach often leads to emergent instruction. This means teachers often adjust topics and projects to match student curiosity and interest, or to explore relevant timely real world issues.

Immersive, Project-Based, Real World Learning
Students participate in real world hands-on projects on a daily basis in the classrooms. They are immersed into rich experiences that last for days, weeks or even months. Along the way, they acquire, develop, and apply key developmentally appropriate skills.

Mastery Learning

Schoolhouse inspires students to remain curious about learning rather than doing academics for a grade. We believe that good grades do not achieve mastery learning.

 

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Curricular Highlights

Integrated Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
Social-emotional skills are closely connected to study skills, and are essential to students becoming both an independent and collaborative learner. Students learn emotional regulation, positive relationships, decision-making, communication, collaboration, time management, mindfulness, and much more.

Interdisciplinary Academics
Projects like the ones featured on our home page demonstrate how we weave every discipline including SEL into our projects to provide students a real-life application of content and skills. 

Homework

Our core value, honoring childhood, is lived out through our homework policy that allows students to be in charge of their own learning outside of school. Students are often self-motivated to continue working on or researching topics that were introduced in the classroom. The only formal forms of homework in K-3 are reading with parents/independently, additional skills practice as needed or completing unfinished work from school. Starting in fourth grade, teachers begin to assign modest amounts of student centered assignments like the STEAM Faire, which teach the students about executive functioning.

Leadership
Our multiage classrooms and community environment offer older students the opportunity to mentor and guide younger students. Students also develop spring performances that include plays or dances of their own design.

Media Literacy/Digital Citizenship
Strong skills in this area are a requirement for 21st-century learners. Beginning in fourth grade, we integrate this area of study into academics and social-emotional learning, where students gain an understanding of the principles of media literacy and digital citizenship through hands-on projects and activities.

Physical Literacy (PL)
Fitness for Life, yoga, dance, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and cross country are several of the units we offer in PL. Our physical literacy program helps students to understand the mental and physical benefits of leading an active lifestyle. Additionally, the PL curriculum includes connections across the disciplines such as math, SEL, and biology. 

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