Helping children find joy in the learning process is central to our mission.

The Center’s curricular programs, from toddler through sixth grade, are designed with students’ developmental ages and stages in mind so that we can meet children where they are, and nurture them as they grow.
At The Center, children study foundational subjects of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies and Social Justice, supplemented by and integrated with programs in Art, Music, Physical Education, Library, Innovation & Design, and extracurricular programs.

Early Childhood

Toddler, EC1, and EC2
The Early Childhood Program at CEE provides the stepping stones for early learning, cultivating curiosity, exploration and discovery. 

Framed in a developmentally appropriate, play-based curriculum, children are guided in the process of developing language, social skills, motor skills, and building the foundations of social-emotional intelligence.  

The importance of play in early childhood is an essential component of the EC program at CEE. Children learn through play as they experiment, practice, and learn to question and find answers. Young children expand their learning capacity through opportunities to cultivate these early curiosities into critical thinking as they mature.

Our emphasis is on emergent learning through hands-on, experiential, and guided explorations in both large and small groups. Children are also encouraged to discover their individual passions and interests, and explore elements of their identity and family, within the larger context of the classroom. 

The Early Childhood program is the springboard for our lifelong learners at CEE.

Elementary School

Kindergarten through Sixth Grade
Starting in kindergarten, the academic world opens up to reveal its many wonders: literature and journal writing, patterns in the daily calendar, the mysteries of the rainforest and phases of the moon, as well as expressing oneself through drawing, song, and physical movement. The core curriculum spirals throughout the Elementary Program, introducing, reinforcing, and reintroducing concepts with developmentally appropriate increasing levels of rigor in Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies/Social Justice, and Science. The use of technology is guided by curricular goals so that children’s studies are deepened and extended in a wide variety of ways. Complementing this core curriculum are the special subjects of Art, Music, Innovation & Design, Physical Education, and Library.

Throughout the elementary years at The Center, we strive to create an environment that balances a wide variety of experiences and approaches to learning. Our focus is on developing collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Team Teaching

Two lead teachers head each classroom. Both teachers take responsibility for managing, planning and sharing the instruction of all of their students. This team teaching model allows the children to have the opportunity to bond with two caring and highly skilled professionals throughout the school year. The sixth grade program is departmentalized among the four core subjects, marking the transition from a single elementary classroom to a middle school departmentalized program.

Educating the Whole Child

Cultivating the home/school partnership is a key component of a Center education. From its earliest days, CEE has worked hand in hand with families with the acknowledgment that support from home can augment learning and growth at school and vice versa. Parents are at the heart of our loving community, and teachers work closely with families to fully understand and support each child's learning style.

Character education, with a focus on living our Core Values of honesty, inclusion, responsibility, and caring, drives much of the academic and extracurricular program at The Center. From using the RULER social-emotional approach to help children recognize, identify, and regulate emotions in themselves and others, to implementing Responsive Classroom techniques to better support students in their classrooms, teachers at all levels strive to support each child's emotional growth and individual feelings throughout their years here. Community service is another central element of a Center education in which all students participate.

Core Subjects

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  • Language Arts

    From “learning to read” to “reading to learn", our students build upon a literacy foundation throughout their elementary school years. In grades K-3, students have multiple opportunities for authentic reading on a daily basis, coupled with explicit instruction in reading strategies. In grades 4-6, novels make up the backbone of the reading curriculum. Along the way, children make connections, draw comparisons, and gain meaning from what they read. Students actively explore and examine different points of view.

    Writing spans all areas of the curriculum. Children learn how to organize their thoughts in creative and expository writing, from poetry and persuasive essays to science lab journal entries and word problem explanations.
  • Mathematics

    CEE students develop both a conceptual understanding of mathematics and the ability to compute accurately. Teachers emphasize problem-solving skills and encourage our students to apply mathematics in their daily lives. Elementary grades employ the Singapore math-based program, Math in Focus, in grades K-6.
  • Social Studies and Social Justice

    The Center Social Studies and Social Justice curriculum, developed with and for our community of teachers and families, integrates history, geography, current events, anthropology, and economics. Students work individually and with small cooperative groups of classmates as they move through Social Studies/Social Justice units. Teachers guide students through authentic explorations of self, identity, citizenship, and equity.
  • Science

    Science at The Center focuses on the scientific processes in ways that are developmentally-appropriate for students from kindergarten through grade six. Students learn to make careful observations, develop predictions, collect data, and then draw conclusions based on their data.

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  • Continuums at The Center

    Grounded in our roots of respect for and careful support of child development, The Center uses the word “Continuum” rather than “Grade” to describe how its classes are organized. Continuum accurately describes the way in which our curriculum and program are constructed so that each grade level flows from one to the next, along one constant continuum, just as each step of a child’s cognitive, physical, and emotional growth sets the foundation for the next step! A child’s education at CEE is continuous and is designed to provide individual growth and challenges within a collaborative program.


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  • Music

    CEE’s music program is designed to develop children's musical skills and encourage their natural inclination to express themselves through sound. The program fosters self-expression, improvisational skills, and camaraderie. Center students also learn how to read music. Students are all able to participate in extracurricular choirs and instrument lessons in addition to regular music classes.
  • Physical Education

    The Physical Education program aims to encourage each child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. The curriculum focuses on building individual skills as well as cooperation and competition through activities and sports that stress safety, support for the emerging athlete, and a balance between competition and good sportsmanship.
  • Visual Arts

    Visual Arts are a hallmark of The Center experience; there is no better time to explore the world of art than during childhood. With two art teachers and two well-equipped studios, The Center eagerly encourages students to discover the artist within and gain confidence in their individual visual expression.

    CEE students acquire an expansive art vocabulary of technique, media, skills, and styles during their years at The Center. Students encounter art history through art prints, media presentations, stories, exhibitions, field trips, music and lessons. The Art program exposes children to a great variety of materials and processes, while also allowing plenty of time to experiment and explore various mediums.
  • Learning Specialists

    All children, regardless of their abilities or learning styles, deserve an appropriately challenging education that develops their skills, protects and nurtures their self-esteem, and inspires them to be lifelong learners. In fact, this approach is central to our mission. CEE's learning specialists take a team approach to helping students achieve success by working with classroom teachers, parents, any outside professionals working with the child, and the school to create a learning plan tailored to the student’s developmental readiness and needs.
  • Field Trips

    Day Trips
    Beginning in EC2, children take trips that extend their classroom studies, such as to a local fire station or park, or to participate in community service at a local organization. Each art class also visits a local exhibit or museum every year.

    Overnight Trips
    Overnight trips begin in fourth grade. Fourth and fifth graders embark on two- and three-day environmental experiences as an extension of our science curriculum. Sixth graders take an overnight trip that features rich cultural and learning experiences that are connected to their academic experience as students in sixth grade.
  • Library

    Starting in early childhood, classes visit the library to discover the exciting world of reading. In the early years, students explore books and participate in a variety of art, craft, music, theatrical and technology-based activities. The Library and Information Science Curriculum incorporates both traditional library experiences and those that help children develop skill in information management, including organization of information systems, information retrieval, and the instruction on the use of electronic and print reference sources. 
  • World Languages

    As we look ahead to the 2024-2025 school year, we are excited to announce that The Center will expand curricular offerings to include a World Language Exploratory Program for next year. CEE is piloting this program with Spanish language in 1st through 3rd grade. Advancing this program will help our students begin to learn a new language, develop an appreciation of the cultural role of language, and motivate students to continue to study world languages in the future. The program will expand to include additional grades in the Upper Elementary and Early Childhood divisions each year thereafter until the program serves all students.
The Center for Early Education, a socio-economically and culturally diverse independent school for children, toddlers through grade six, strives to graduate students who are joyful, resilient, lifelong learners. The Center embraces a philosophy of education that combines a nurturing, inclusive learning environment with an increasingly challenging academic program that addresses the developmental needs of each child.