Our curricular programs, from Toddlers through Sixth Grade, are designed with students’ developmental ages and stages in mind, so that we meet children’s needs as we teach and nurture them. From Toddlers through Fifth Grade, we employ a team-teaching model of two to three teachers per classroom. Our Sixth Grade is a fully departmentalized middle school format. The curriculum digest outlines the cumulative skills and concepts in each grade level. Within this framework, we provide open-ended learning opportunities that foster creativity, collaboration, and communication and incorporate student interests. Throughout our program, we are respectful of children’s learning styles and differentiate instruction in the classroom and through support and enrichment services.
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Service Learning
- Technology Integration
- Library & Research
- Fine Art
- Music & Performing Art
- Physical Education
- Philosophy on Assessment
At The Center, all grade levels incorporate literacy, writing, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary in their language arts program. We teach students the processes of learning to read, then reading to learn, in developmentally appropriate ways. Beginning in the elementary years, students engage in writing workshop experiences where they learn to plan and compose a variety of texts, such as narrative, informational, and opinion writing. Our vision is to develop students who are self-motivated to read and write for both pleasure and understanding. Students’ love for reading and writing evolves with support from school as well as from home. Students experience a balanced and authentic approach to literacy not only in language arts, but in all curricular areas.
LITERACY Understand relationship between spoken and written word; listen to stories; show interest in books and reading; retell a story in sequence and elaborate on the story; work on fine motor skills including grip; begin to establish handedness; recognize letters and their corresponding sounds; increase vocabulary.
COMMUNICATION Use words to express thoughts and emotions; speak clearly in complete sentences; comprehend, ask, and answer questions appropriately.
READING Recognize letters; connect letters to corresponding sounds; build a core of sight words; make connections about text; gather and recall important information from fiction and nonfiction.
WRITING Generate ideas; use words and drawings to compose and revise; represent words by writing one letter for each sound heard.
COMMUNICATION Express relevant information in group discussion; convey information logically and clearly.
READING Apply phonetic rules; identify common sight words; demonstrate use of comprehension strategies.
WRITING Communicate through narrative, informational, and opinion writing; add words, phrases, or sentences to make writing interesting or exciting to read; consistently spell priority words correctly.
COMMUNICATION Participate meaningfully and listen attentively during discussions.
READING Apply reading strategies—visualizing, making connections, questioning, predicting, and inferring—to a variety of texts.
WRITING Foster love of writing by capturing small moments; convey thoughts and opinions with letter writing; express ideas through poetry.
COMMUNICATION Engage in discussions; deliver oral presentations.
READING Demonstrate effective and efficient use of decoding and comprehension strategies; apply multiple sources of information to problem-solve while reading a variety of genres; accurately reflect information from a text in verbal and written forms; make inferences verbally and in writing.
WRITING Write with initiative, creativity, and investment; begin to compose structured paragraphs with a clear main idea and detailed supporting examples; form manuscript and cursive letters neatly and accurately.
COMMUNICATION Collaborate with classmates on activities and projects.
READING Shift focus from “learning to read” to “reading to learn;” decode accurately and read with fluidity; demonstrate literal and inferential comprehension orally, through activities, and in writing; identify figurative language; use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words.
WRITING Express written ideas clearly; compose an organized paragraph with a topic sentence and appropriate details; use descriptive vocabulary, complete sentences, proper punctuation, and correct spelling; apply grammar skills.
COMMUNICATION Collaborate with classmates and teachers; relate researched material to peers using technology; speak publicly in class.
READING Read with fluidity, expression, and confidence; demonstrate literal grasp of written material; exhibit critical thinking and insightful interpretations verbally, in writing, and on assessments.
WRITING Communicate understanding through writing; compose well-structured pieces in multiple genres (expository, narrative, and creative); incorporate figurative language; show sentence complexity; make compelling points; apply grammar skills in isolation and in written work.
COMMUNICATION Compile and synthesize researched material; communicate effectively and creatively using a variety of formats; publish work that has undergone all stages of the writing process.
READING Demonstrate critical thinking and insightful interpretations of literature and historical nonfiction; match characters in literature to quotations; recognize and employ literary devices; develop historical context; analyze different perspectives.
WRITING Support ideas effectively; develop well-organized paragraphs; use expanded vocabulary; display critical thinking through integration of ideas, effective transitions, and well-drawn conclusions; incorporate literary devices with originality and sophistication; learn sophisticated grammar rules and apply in isolation and to written work; explore Greek and Latin roots to expand vocabulary.
COMMUNICATION Generate original material using a variety of innovative formats; design and present content-based work.
Students begin their math learning through concrete experiences. They manipulate physical objects when counting, sorting, and graphing before being exposed to pictorial representations and mathematical symbols. As their math skills mature, they focus on developing number sense and place value understanding, as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. By the end of their Center experience, students attain a foundational knowledge of numeracy, geometry, and operations, as well as algebraic skills.
NUMBER SENSE Recognize numerals; count using one-to-one correspondence.
OPERATIONS Understand concept of addition, subtraction, and part-whole relationships.
VISUAL THINKING Sort and classify by color, size, and other attributes; understand concept of time.
PROBLEM SOLVING Recognize and follow patterns; compare and contrast using vocabulary; identify and draw shapes; develop spatial understanding.
NUMBER SENSE Count forward by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s; count down from 20; demonstrate understanding of one-to-one correspondence; read single and double digit numbers; write numbers from 0-50; recognize tallies as groups of numbers.
OPERATIONS Demonstrate understanding of operational signs; create and complete equations.
VISUAL THINKING Sort and classify by attributes; recognize and draw basic geometric shapes; create, describe, and extend patterns; tell time to the hour; identify coins and coin values.
PROBLEM SOLVING Respond to and tell number stories.
NUMBER SENSE Count by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s past 100; count foward and backward by 1’s on number grid; write numbers from 0-100; understand place value for 1’s and 10’s; identify odd and even numbers.
OPERATIONS Add and subtract by counting up and back on a number line or grid; recall sums of 10 facts; compare numbers using <, >, and =.
VISUAL THINKING Identify polygons; use standard units for measuring length; tell time to nearest hour and half-hour; show amounts of money using fewer coins by exchanging; continue and extend patterns.
PROBLEM SOLVING Understand and use math vocabulary; apply critical thinking and use appropriate strategies to solve problems.
NUMBER SENSE Manipulate numbers to gain a deeper understanding of place value; recall addition and subtraction facts with speed and accuracy.
OPERATIONS Add and subtract with and without regrouping.
VISUAL THINKING Tell time accurately; calculate elapsed time; derive value of coins and dollars; recognize two and three dimensional shapes; measure using inches and centimeters; shade fractional part of a region; give fraction names for shaded part.
PROBLEM SOLVING Utilize mental math; apply reasonable strategies and computational skills in word problems; solve money transactions.
NUMBER SENSE Count forward and backward by multiples of 10, 100, and 1000; distinguish place value; complete number patterns and sequences; find equivalent names for numbers; identify fractions; understand beginning decimal concepts.
OPERATIONS Solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations; follow operational signs.
VISUAL THINKING Identify and measure lines, line segments, and rays; calculate perimeter and area; identify geometric shapes.
PROBLEM SOLVING Interpret directions independently; use critical thinking strategies to solve non-routine problems and collaborative challenges.
NUMBER SENSE Distinguish place value through billions; read and write decimals to thousandths; identify fractional parts.
OPERATIONS Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers; find equivalent fractions and compare fractions; add and subtract decimals through hundredths.
VISUAL THINKING Name and construct geometric figures; identify polygons; measure length and angles.
PROBLEM SOLVING Communicate mathematical thinking orally and in writing.
NUMBER SENSE Distinguish place value for whole numbers and decimals; work with factors, multiples, and exponents; find equivalent fractions, decimals, and percents.
OPERATIONS Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents; add and subtract positive and negative integers.
VISUAL THINKING Analyze graphs and charts to organize data; list attributes of geometric shapes; measure two dimensional figures.
PROBLEM SOLVING Apply strategies to solve simple, complex, and multi-step problems.
NUMBER SENSE Demonstrate solid foundation of numeracy with rational numbers.
OPERATIONS Use number properties and order of operations to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers and rational numbers; solve rate, ratio, proportion, and percent problems.
VISUAL THINKING Apply geometric formulas to two and three dimensional figures; convert customary and metric measurements; analyze and graph data.
PROBLEM SOLVING Recognize patterns and rules; demonstrate critical thinking through problem solving and projects.
ALGEBRAIC THINKING Use variables to write expressions and solve one and two step equations and inequalities.
We use an interdisciplinary approach to social studies, integrating language arts, science, math, and technology into thematic investigations. While each grade has its own themes, a common purpose and approach thread through all grade levels. Students participate in hands-on, experiential, and research-oriented activities. Beginning in kindergarten, social studies covers map skills and concepts in geography. In Fourth-Sixth Grades, writing plays an integral part in social studies in the form of research projects, web quests, digital presentations, essays, and creative pieces. Sixth Grade students embark on a week-long trip to Washington D.C. to further integrate their social studies learning. In all grades, topics are treated with a developmentally appropriate approach.
FOCUS AREAS Transition from home to school; feeling comfortable in school environment; establishing trusting relationships with adults and peers.
SKILLS Engage in experiences reinforcing resilience, autonomy and self mastery; build self-regulation skills; identify feelings and emotions; develop a sense of belonging and community; accept responsibility; follow daily routines and transitions.
FOCUS AREAS Establishing a community of learners; farms; neighborhoods and maps; Native American folktales; winter celebrations; African American history; countries around the world.
SKILLS Listen to and communicate with others as a member of a community; demonstrate respect and appreciation for people and cultures; recognize places in a neighborhood and purposes they serve; identify items on simple maps.
FOCUS AREAS Family structures; countries and cultures; characteristics of a hero through a “Hero of the Month” and weekly student heroes.
SKILLS Compare and contrast; demonstrate understanding of core values and heroes; make oral presentations.
FOCUS AREAS Geography; being a good citizen; current events; farm-to-table movement.
SKILLS Analyze and create maps; identify character traits and norms; incorporate core values to connect school, home, and community; conduct research and interviews, and summarize findings; make presentations and field follow-up questions.
FOCUS AREAS Map skills; California history, geography, and regional environments; water usage and issues in California; meaningful historical figures and their contributions to the world.
SKILLS Communicate locally and globally; conduct research using variety of Internet and print sources; collaborate on projects using technology; present biographical research in multiple formats.
FOCUS AREAS American History from prehistoric migration through the Revolutionary War; current events; geography.
SKILLS Analyze historical fiction and nonfiction; use technology tools and project-based learning to visualize and conceptualize geography and historical factors.
FOCUS AREAS American History from the formation of the United States to the early twentieth century; current events; geography.
SKILLS Create digital presentations; conduct inquiry-based research; think critically and connect historical themes to current events; express understanding through expository and creative endeavors.
FOCUS AREAS Ancient civilizations; comparative religion; current events; geography.
SKILLS Analyze sources and compare perspectives; understand cause and effect in historical contexts; link historical concepts to current events; research and present on original ideas in a variety of written and digital formats; develop note-taking strategies.
The Center encourages students’ natural curiosity about scientific phenomena through a hands-on and explorative approach, utilizing the latest technological tools. Our science program emphasizes observation, prediction, data collection, and analysis. Though focus areas may vary from year to year, students learn to communicate findings in developmentally appropriate ways. Fourth-Fifth Grade students participate in overnight environmental trips that integrate with the science curriculum.
FOCUS AREAS Physical characteristics and basic needs of living things; outdoor environment; investigating and describing the texture and consistency of various objects.
SKILLS Care for outdoor environment; collect data; make observations; follow multi-step directions.
FOCUS AREAS Animal studies; Sonoran Desert habitat, rainforest habitat.
SKILLS Observe; ask questions; gather information through read-alouds.
FOCUS AREAS Tree homes; properties of matter; life of bees; trash; sea life.
SKILLS Understand and implement scientific method; make observations; predict; draw logical conclusions; make connections between learned concepts and real world situations.
FOCUS AREAS Rocks, fossils, and soil; solids, liquids and gases; plant studies; farm-to-table movement.
SKILLS Reinforce and practice the scientific method; read and understand developmentally appropriate nonfiction texts.
FOCUS AREAS Space (earth, moon, and sun); forms of energy and solar ovens; mixtures.
SKILLS Apply scientific method; communicate understanding in written reflections; use evidence to support writing and make inferences.
FOCUS AREAS Rocks and minerals; electricity; life science (evolution of animals).
SKILLS Demonstrate literal comprehension of presented concepts; draw conclusions based on evidence; understand real-world application of concepts; apply lab skills.
FOCUS AREAS States of matter and transitions in between; periodic table and the elements; foundational level chemistry; astronomy (constellations and solar system); biology (plant cell DNA).
SKILLS Write formal lab reports; conduct experiments and record results; cite sources appropriately; build foundation in major scientific disciplines.
FOCUS AREAS Earth science (earth structure, plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes); archaeology (geological time and fossil record); electromagnetic and mechanical waves; foundational physics (rockets and rollercoasters).
SKILLS Apply concepts in real world settings; employ controls and variables in scientific method; independently conduct scientific research and experiments and write formal lab reports.
Service learning is embedded into curricular studies as a way to help students internalize our school’s core values. Students learn about a variety of social issues, including homelessness, hunger, and environmental conservation through literature, research, and interactions with local and national organizations. They are empowered to publicize their causes and to contribute by fundraising or organizing drives. Staff and faculty model service learning values by participating in projects during pupil-free days.
THEMES Use vegetables cultivated in school garden and ingredients collected from families to help make soup and baked goods for the hungry; collect books, plant trees, and spend the day with children at a family shelter.
THEMES Raise funds to care for acres in the Amazon Rainforest; collaborate with Third Grade to develop awareness about water conservation.
THEMES Run a collection of gently used or new stuffed animals for children in crises; raise money to put together birthday-in-a-box for displaced children; recycle items to fund purchase of beehives for families in need.
THEMES Learn about farm-to-table movement; study different types of farms; visit local farmer’s market to interview prioprietors about businesses and crops; collaborate with partner school to plant vegetable garden.
THEMES Develop action plan and educate school community about water issues.
THEMES Organize an all-school book drive and facilitate delivery to school libraries and classrooms to support literacy and share love of reading.
THEMES Assist Early Childhood classes in making soup for the hungry; educate school community about issues surrounding hunger and homelessness; conduct a variety of drives to collect items to support communities and organizations locally and world-wide.
THEMES Conduct a winter holiday toy drive and host a gathering for recipient children; transport and empty recycling cans from assigned offices and classrooms throughout the school; assist staff, teachers, and classrooms as part of Work Service program.
Our vision is to instill in students, faculty, and staff the skills and motivation to thrive in the technology-rich environment in which we live. As part of this vision, we are committed to the seamless integration of the best learning and productivity tools into our programs and our school culture. We utilize technology resources for analyzing, synthesizing, creating, and communicating information. Accessible to all students, our Innovation Center exemplifies the philosophy that digital devices belong in students’ hands and in educators’ toolkits for supporting a strong curriculum.
Learn about various technology tools and applications; problem-solve with peers while navigating and playing age-appropriate games; explore data programming, sequencing, and estimation with programmable robots; foster innovation and collaboration; use technology as directed by teachers.
Explore various tools, applications, and concepts as connected to academic subjects and as creative outlets; access online information safely; practice age-appropriate digital citizenship through deliberate activities and as-needed discussions; experience media creation as method of sharing ideas; practice proper keyboarding.
Apply foundational skills to academic learning; create media-savvy content within core curricular areas and as creative outlet; develop independence in safely navigating a wide range of digital tools and online resources; experiment with leading-edge technology; practice age-appropriate digital citizenship; master proper keyboarding.
Our school library provides resources to support the school curricula, children’s literary interests, and informational needs of The Center community. The library curriculum supports research in classrooms and helps students develop digital citizenship skills.
Visit the library on a regular basis; show interest in books and reading; listen to stories then participate in enriching activities such as puppetry, art, outdoor experiences, technology, music, and dance; discuss favorite characters and parts of the story.
Explore and discuss literature to foster a love of reading; explore methods of organizing information; develop basic information retrieval skills and understand how to choose the most appropriate sources; evaluate information; demonstrate responsibility for borrowing and returning materials from the school library; discuss online safety and digital footprint.
Examine advanced methods of organizing information; develop advanced information retrieval skills; evaluate reliability of sources; celebrate literature through collaborative discussions and peer book recommendations.
Art specialists attempt to awaken children’s creative thinking, visual awareness, and artistic expression by presenting students with a range of visual problems to solve through a variety of inspirational and motivational media.
Engage with art materials provided in an open-ended format; appreciate process over product; develop fine motor skills with the use of various art tools; older classes study an artist’s life and work each month.
Gain exposure to many types of art materials; create projects that practice art forms (printmaking, painting, sculpture, watercolor, drawing, and mixed media); explore art history and study artists; visit museums and art studios; develop art awareness and vocabulary; celebrate work in annual Art Fair.
Develop a confident and independent artistic voice; find inspiration from art, artists, galleries, and museums as well as curricular connections; continue exploring variety of art forms (printmaking, painting, collage, contour drawing, sculpture, ceramics and photography); nurture a life-long appreciation of art as an expressive, relevant, and visual language of history, culture, politics, thought, and emotion; celebrate work in annual Art Fair.
Music at The Center is based on the Orff Schulwerk method, which incorporates singing, movement, instruments, and rhythm to develop the musicianship within each child. The performing arts specialist collaborates with classroom teachers and other specialists to develop integrated, interdisciplinary, and creative dramatic experiences in which students hone public speaking and communication skills.
Explore pitch, beat, rhythm, and movement through simple songs, chants, unpitched instruments, body percussion, games, and recorded music; enjoy process of rehearsing songs for multicultural celebrations and culminating performances.
Develop singing skills through pitch exploration, call and response, and echoing tonal patterns; apply rhythm using body and instrumental percussion; build repertoire of multicultural songs with increasing complexity in structure; learn simple accompaniment and mallet technique; understand basic music notation; engage in storytelling and games involving imagination and teamwork; Third Grade students learn soprano recorder and basic music notation and theory; Second and Third Graders have option to join Junior Choir.
Explore instrumental and vocal improvisation and chord progressions within blues and jazz; comprehend increasingly complex music notation; perform multicultural instrumental pieces with poly-rhythms; increase instrumental and vocal competency; study musical genres through different historical periods; prepare and deliver dramatic living history presentations; Fifth and Sixth Grade students collaboratively create compositions; Sixth Grade students continue practicing soprano recorder and learn recorders of different registers; Fourth-Sixth graders have option to join choir and/or a cappella choir.
The physical education program fosters the physical development of all students. The curriculum includes a range of activities, games, dance, fitness, and sports that challenge children to push themselves physically, develop positive attitudes toward participation, and internalize the “fit for life” philosophy.
Show increased eye-hand coordination; gauge position of body in space; move with energy and enthusiasm; demonstrate balance and coordination; pedal and ride wheeled play vehicles; climb and slide on play structures, participate in weekly gross motor classes.
Strengthen gross and fine motor skills; develop spatial awareness; engage in activities that involve locomotive and rhythmic challenges, movement and cooperation; prepare for and participate in two-day Olympics dance and games festival; Second Grade students begin sports lead-up and competitive games.
Participate and build skills in units such as large group games, yoga, hockey, volleyball, badminton, flag football, and basketball; engage in fitness challenges; prepare for and participate in two-day Olympics dance and games festival; Sixth Grade students participate in an in-depth volleyball unit that focuses on skill refinement, strategies, teamwork, and inter-scholastic competition.
The Center believes that assessment drives instruction and informs curriculum development. We recognize that children are able to demonstrate knowledge and skills through different formats. We are mindful of our obligation to engage children in a variety of assessment strategies so that they are prepared for future educational experiences.