The Lower Elementary campus serves 480 students in grades K-3. The academic focus of the school is on providing a strong foundation in math and language arts integrated with the teaching of other core content areas such as Science, Social Studies and World Languages. Our school’s curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, and our school’s schedule is specifically tailored to maximize the amount of instructional time provided in each content area. Students receive ninety minutes of Mathematics and ninety minutes of English Language Arts each school day. In addition to those ninety minute blocks, students have one hour of core extension time built into their schedules. Core extension allows classroom teachers to review a subject matter as a class or work individually with students that are struggling to master a specific skill.
A specialized Dual Language program (English/Spanish) is provided to a selected group of students in grades K-2. The program provides our students with a rigorous learning experience in both Spanish and English. Our dual language students will become bilingual, biliterate, culturally competent learners who demonstrate high academic achievement in all areas, and successful members of a global society.
To ensure that our students are immersed in STEM content areas, we offered the Tools of the Mind curriculum in the early grades to give children the tools needed to take charge of their own learning. Students create their own learning plan throughout the day. Learning plans allow children to plan the work they will accomplish in independent activity centers. Each activity in the center contains a work product the children must produce and place in a folder. Children work in pairs called study buddies. Their “study buddy” helps them remember what they are going to do, along with the rules, and checks to make sure their partner has completed the activity.
An experienced and trained teacher provides English Language Learners with specialized instruction in the English language. Our program implements and utilizes aspects of TESOL’s Co-Teaching Inclusion Program.
Character education and civics are important components of the instructional program. The Student Ambassador Program at Lower S.T.E.M. Elementary School provides engagement and experiential learning opportunities that encourages students to explore issues of local concern and understand their ability to envision and create a better world. Students make connections between their actions and decisions and the impact they have on others and the environment around them. This unique student leadership program fosters connections between academic learning, community, and place. Students develop as active citizens who are able to critically examine how their knowledge, skills, and abilities can contribute to fulfilling community needs. Students will value contributing to and serving something larger than themselves in order to contribute to society’s intellectual, cultural, social, and environmental progress.
We provide a variety of support services for our students to ensure that everyone is at the academic level needed to achieve proficiency and enjoy learning.
Reading Support delivered through two full time reading specialists that provide expert instruction in Comprehension, Fluency, Vocabulary, Phonics/Phonemic Awareness, and Dolch Sight Vocabulary Words.
Occupational Therapy to ensure that a student can participate in and perform particular tasks necessary for learning and success, including paying attention in class, concentrating on the task at hand and holding a pencil or book in the easiest way.
Speech-Language Therapy to improve articulation, fluency, vocabulary, and the ability to use language in a socially appropriate way.