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Reading, writing and arithmetic are just the beginning. At CEE, we understand that the core subjects are the centerpiece of a challenging academic program. But we also know that some children learn best by seeing, others by listening and most, by touching. That's why we consider the special subjects of art, music, physical education, and library research to be as important to each child's education as the core subjects.


CEE’s music program is designed to develop children's musical skills and encourage their natural inclination to express themselves through sound. Beginning in Toddlers, a music specialist joins children in their classroom for those first musical experiences. During the two Early Childhood years through first grade, children go to a special music classroom where expression blossoms.

Toddler through First Grade

The Early Childhood Music Program for Toddlers through grade one focuses on developing the child's musical intelligence through fun-filled activities. The program integrates multicultural and traditional songs, chants and stories. Children gain a basic understanding of melody, movement, tone color, beat competency, harmony, form and various musical styles. The program fosters self-expression, improvisational skills and positive values.

Second through Sixth Grade

CEE offers an Orff Schulwerk general music program for grades two through six. Students have music for 45 minutes twice a week in the music room. Each grade focuses on developmentally appropriate material to further their musical development.

Second graders work on skills through singing and rhythm games. Students develop musical book shares, which incorporate literature, music, drama and improvisation. Percussion and Orff instruments are slowly integrated as well.

In third grade students begin playing the recorder. While continuing to sing and play instruments, students also begin to read simple music notation.

The big addition in grades four through six is our Blues and Jazz unit. Students actively participate in musical history through songs and games, working up to I, IV, I progressions and improvisations on the instruments. Students continue on the recorders, adding more notes and complex accompaniments each year.

Students are all able to participate in a second and third grade junior choir and a fourth through sixth grade choir. Elective choirs meet before school once a week. Choral members develop their individual voices and learn how to sing two and three part harmony.

Physical Education

The Physical Education program offers a variety of activities to meet each child’s physical, emotional and cognitive development. The curriculum focuses on building individual skills, including physical fitness, as well as cooperation and competition through team sports. CEE’s P.E. teachers stress safety, support for the emerging athlete, and a balance between competition and good sportsmanship.

Kindergartners through second gradersstrengthen their motor skills by learning new games and activities aimed at discovering the joy of movement. Children participate in a variety of activities which offer locomotive and rhythmic challenges, including movement and cooperative games and sports lead-up games. Spatial awareness, and gross and fine motor skills are developed through the use of a variety of manipulatives and equipment.

Third graders through fifth graders build upon their skill foundation by participating in games, yoga, hockey, volleyball and basketball. Ongoing fitness training and fitness challenges held every fall and spring are also an important part of the middle elementary curriculum.

In fall, sixth grade students focus on volleyball and fitness development. The in-depth volleyball unit refines skills, strategies and team work. A competitive lunch time tournament helps to prepare them for their inter-scholastic match with a neighboring school. In winter, the sports units of hockey, basketball and competitive games are highlighted. Spring units include a fitness challenge and a cooperative games day with another school.

All grades are involved in the all-school Olympic dance and sports festival, a highlight of the school year for nearly thirty years. Students compete in various events and demonstrate physical skills in this two-day event held on CEE’s campus and at a local park. As an interdisciplinary project, students study the countries they represent.

An overall goal of the Physical Education program is the development of a positive attitude towards participation and a "fit for life" philosophy that makes sports and fitness accessible to every student.


Primary Science (K - 3)

Children are born natural scientists. They experience the world through questions and discoveries every day. CEE’s Primary Science program encourages safe and exciting hands-on exploration of phenomena and materials, which draws upon a child's natural curiosity.

Because even the youngest learners are powerful thinkers and theoreticians, our students use an inquiry-based approach to studying natural sciences. This approach develops a core set of skills necessary for successful experimentation and investigation. Primary Science emphasizes: observing, classifying, communicating, questioning, predicting, measuring, inferring, as well as recognizing and controlling variables. We’ve designed the curriculum to focus on a range of studies in earth, physical and life sciences. Often, our Primary Science specialist works with classroom teachers to integrate science into curricular units in math, language arts and social studies.

Upper Elementary Science (4 - 6)

Students in the upper grades continue to learn science skills and content through inquiry and hands-on labs. The curriculum balances Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences, striving to encourage students’ natural curiosity, improve their understanding of the world around them, and increase their enjoyment of science. Often lessons use a constructivist approach, including activities that stimulate problem solving and discovery of science concepts. During experiments students practice using science process skills, such as measuring, comparing, sequencing, and analyzing. Learning to use the scientific method is central to every unit in Upper Elementary Science.

Beginning in fourth grade, students earn grades in science for achievement and effort, just as in their other academic subjects. Students work in the science laboratory three times per six-day rotation. Best of all, students in grades four through six participate in overnight, environmental trips each year

Visual and Performing Arts

Visual Arts

Historically, the visual arts have been a hallmark of The Center experience. Throughout campus, our walls are covered with student work. Each spring, every CEE student exhibits a piece of art in our annual Art Fair. Visitors often comment on the sophistication of the student work. And staff members vie for prized paintings, drawings and sculptures to display in their offices.

Art is a little word for a big vision. With two art teachers and two well-equipped studios, The Center is prepared and eager to encourage our students to discover the artist within themselves by finding their own artistic voice and gaining confidence in visual expression. In the words of our upper elementary art teacher, "Through discussion and speculation I hope to have my students validate the importance of the creative process to themselves as learners."

At a practical level, The Center’s art program provides students with opportunities to express themselves visually. Within the curriculum students acquire an expansive art vocabulary of technique, media, skills and styles. We motivate our students with art prints, media presentations, stories, exhibitions, music and lessons in art history. Our goal is to expose students to as many art materials and processes as possible, while also giving plenty of time to experiment and explore various mediums.

The Center’s art curriculum extends to local museums and exhibitions, even artists’ studios, as classes take field trips that inspire and reinforce studio classes. Often our art teachers and classroom teachers collaborate on units of study. For example, sixth graders explore their transition to adolescence by studying tolerance of diversity in social studies and making plaster masks based on personal interests in the art studio.

There is no better time to explore the world of art than during childhood. At CEE we make sure every child explores and respects the artist within.

Performing Arts

The goal of the Performing Arts program is to provide elementary students with the opportunity to become involved in the collaborative, creative process of writing, scripting, and staging performances while practicing public speaking skills. The curriculum the students are studying in their Social Studies and Language Arts classes inspires theatrical presentations that deepen understanding of curricular content. Individual grade levels familiar with the curriculum are invited to join the audience; some presentations are live performances while others are filmed in the Innovation Center. The students involved are responsible for generating ideas, writing content, and executing the final presentation. The curricular content is integrated but they learn there are many ways to create a story from scratch. The Performing Arts program is designed to enhance the collaborative experience, to provide exposure to a creative process and to challenge students to contribute their unique point of view to ensure a strong ensemble experience.

In the 2012-13 school year, one class of fifth graders researched and portrayed interesting scenarios that occurred on the Lewis and Clark journey while the other class explored the post-Civil War Reconstructive era. Fourth graders focused on the writing of the Constitution as well as life in the American Colonies. Third graders wrote and presented poems about the California regions while the other class created a film on the California Gold Rush.

Learning Specialists

All students have unique learning styles. And all children, regardless of their abilities or learning styles, deserve an appropriately challenging education. By "appropriately challenging" we mean an education that develops their skills, protects and nurtures their self-esteem, and inspires them to be lifelong learners.CEE's learning specialists take a team approach to helping students achieve success. That means involving the classroom teachers, the child's parents, any outside professionals working with the child, and the instructional administrators of the school

On a daily basis, our learning specialists focus on the learning needs of individual students. Some students may require help to catch up with the class. A student who is ahead may need the challenge of an enriched curriculum. By working with a learning specialist, either one-on-one or in a small group of children with similar needs, the student can benefit from variations in instruction such as pacing, depth and complexity of content, or a combination of these factors.