Literacy is our first and foremost goal. When we use the term “literacy”, we mean literacy in all subject areas. Students are exposed to many different forms of literature and concepts that are usually connected to the themes and are encouraged to respond to literature and concepts in a variety of ways. Research and inquiry are used to connect real life, world issues and literacy acquisition.
Exploration, inquiry, problem solving, dialogue, collecting, analyzing and evaluating data are processes and tools used to learn Math/Science. Students construct meaning by investigating questions of scientific and mathematical nature. We read, write, think, talk, and create throughout the day.
A Thematics instruction integrates all traditional subject areas and exposes students to multiple points of view socially, historically and politically. Students, staff and families become active participants listeners, doers, readers, writers, artist, scientist and thinkers. Mini lessons and dialogue focus around broad rotating themes, Mysteries, Heritage, and Global Issues. Art, music and technology are used as vehicles to explore, research, and express one self, understand the world, and its diverse cultures, and discover who we are and what we can contribute. Service learning is incorporated into many concepts taught and applied in student performance tasks.
The community has opportunities to learn about and practice healthy, sustainable and fit lifestyles. Learning Extensions connect and go beyond, giving students opportunities to explore and apply skills and concepts in the real world. Students have opportunities to participate in outside field experiences, Exploratories, Adventure Learning and after school programs that will extend learning opportunities in all curriculum areas. Learning Extensions will go beyond, apply, review and connect to the basic curriculum. They may take place off campus or after regular school hours.
There are Key Focus Areas: the Core Curriculum (Reading, Writing, Math, Science, technology, Wellness, Fitness, Spanish, Service Learning, and the Arts), the integration of all which is Thematics, Adventure Learning, Learning Extensions, Exploratories, and Village Community which is building students success and relationships.
These key focuses use tools, processes, flexible grouping, authentic dialogue, mentoring, and teams that help direct the learning. Many are interrelated and integrated. I.e. the garden and café builds community while engaging students in practicing reading and writing and math and science skills. An Adventure learning trip builds community and creates stronger relationships while engaging in environmental science, service learning, journaling and wellness.
The focus on mini lessons, projects and activities during core curriculum time engage and activate students inquiry or put them in a sate of disequilibrium that moves them forward in understanding basic skills or higher level thinking. The opportunities available to them through Adventure, Exploratories, Learning Extensions reviews, applies, extends what they are learning during core time.
Staff is assigned a focus responsibility be it Project Facilitator (responsible for learning extensions, enhancement and support for follow through of the core curriculum, Adventure Learning, Exploratories, Thematic Projects, Fitness…) or Core Facilitator (responsible for the core curriculum implementation, criteria’s and performance tasks lead instruction, feedback, assessment and follow through.)
Questions about Core Curriculum e-mail Lisa Peterson or Wendy Winchel, questions about Adventure Learning and Learning Extensions e-mail Patrick Bluhm, and questions about thematic projects e-mail Greg Bueker.
Family and outside community involvement is encouraged and welcome during Core Learning, Adventures, Exploratories, or Learning Extension Opportunities. Please e-mail Felicia Anderson.