The Elementary Levels
The elementary years mark a period of transition in the life of a child. In the primary years, the child acquires some fundamental tools, including the basics of reading. In third grade, the student begins to “read to learn”, and to embrace the world through a deeper study of Science, Social Studies and other content subjects. In third through fifth grade the student also forms study habits and takes on much more responsibility for learning. The elementary years are exciting, challenging, and critical in the life of the student.
Starting in September of 2014, Third and Fourth Grade will be combined into a multi-age class. The Fifth Grade will remain largely traditional in nature, though the social studies and religion courses will be looped over the course of the careers of students in grades 3, 4, and 5. At ASA, we believe multiage education has benefits for a wide range of children and has shown to be especially successful with students in grades 3 and 4. Multiage grouping is great for students at all levels, but is especially beneficial for gifted and special-needs students.
All students in the elementary grades will be expected to assimilate the concepts and skills associated with the mastery curriculums for their respective grades as outlined on the ASA school website. In addition, they enjoy a rich school life with classes in religion, foreign language, music, physical education, and the arts. Students are given the opportunity to participate in after school clubs, drama, cheerleading, and sports teams.
One of the most exciting features in our school life is our technology program. The elementary students have their own minicomputer lab which is integrated into all areas of curriculum. Students may research, watch online video to further explain or clarify a subject area, and work on individual reading and math programs at their own pace. Smart board technology is employed in the classroom. Science is studied through textbooks, but also trade books and video. We work on class challenges in the STEAM room that are integrated with areas of study in Science. Students receive weekly instruction from a coach from Fab Lab Newport, working in programs like SCRATCH and Algodoo.