Elite Scholars STEAM Academy’s curriculum is based on Science, Technology, Engineering Agriculture/Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) disciplines that integrate all academic content into a cohesive investigative approach to teaching and learning. STEAM education curriculum offers students one of the best opportunities to make sense of our technological world in its entirety. Our STEAM curriculum will be very rigorous and allows each of our students to become problem solvers, innovators, inventors, self-reliant, logical thinkers, and technologically literate. Our unique curriculum and teaching principles set our school apart from other private elementary schools in the area.
In addition to the STEAM curriculum, we will incorporate financial literacy, a quality music program, theatre production, dance, and agricultural knowledge into our daily instruction in order to develop well-rounded children.
Elite Scholars STEAM Academy will incorporate the common core standards into our curriculum and all content taught will be supported by scientific research. The foundation of the charter school’s curriculum will be based on:
- Creative use of science, mathematics, and technology concepts and principles and applying them to the engineering design process.
- Recognizing the needs of the world and creatively design, test, redesign, and then implement solutions (engineering process).
- The use of initiatives and self-motivation to set agendas, develop and gain self-confidence, and work within a specified time frame.
- The ability to apply rational and logical thought processes of science, mathematics, and engineering design to innovation and invention.
- Understanding and explaining the nature of technology, develop the skills needed and apply technology appropriately.
- Understanding and explaining financial literacy through management of funds, stock market, and investments
- Understanding and explaining the fine arts through music, theatre, dance and martial arts
Elite Scholars STEAM Academy will introduce students to agriculture by partnering with local farmer markets to start a garden on school grounds. Students will learn where their food comes from, and the importance of a healthy diet. The program will aid to develop environmental citizenship and individual appeals to reduce food miles as a conscious contribution to long-term environmental health. It also aims to provide hands-on activities to explore simple, earth-and-people-friendly gardening practices. Students will grow and sell food from the garden to local vendors to support their 4th-grade portfolio investments. Students will also ship food to countries that need assistance as a community service project.
Studies show that many adults struggle with financial management. Our students will be able to understand all concepts as it relates to financial literacy. We will start in pre-kindergarten teaching children about money. They will be well equipped with financial literacy by fourth grade when they are taught and expected to set up an investment fund that will support their college career or career path after high school. Each child at Elite Scholars STEAM Academy will set up an investment portfolio for their future with a financial advisor. They will raise money and use earned funds from the school’s agricultural project to add to their portfolio each year until graduation from Elite Scholars STEAM Academy. Each student will receive the full invested funds from their investment portfolio if they graduate from Elite Scholars STEAM Academy (8th grade) when they graduate from high school. If a child leaves Elite Scholars STEAM Academy anytime between 4th and 8th grades the funds will then be given back to the school to support educational efforts or equally distributed among the class that the student will no longer be considered. It is at the school’s discretion as to how to use the funds.
Our music program will consist of a state of the art music studio, which will expose our children to the trade of entertainment broadcasting. The music program will afford our students the opportunity to apply technical knowledge and skills in the production of sound recordings as finished products. Our curriculum will consist of instruction in sound equipment operation and maintenance; audio editing; audio recording; audio mixing; sound engineering; beat making, and record production. The entire music program will expose students to the following types of engineers: Recording Engineer, Audio Engineer, Sound Engineer, Mixer, Audio Operator, Sound Technician, Broadcast Engineer, Broadcast Technician, and Sound Editor. Another component of our music program will require that each child learn to play an instrument of choice. A band will be developed in 4th grade, based upon the interest of the students.
Every child in our STEAM school will be exposed to the fine arts. Our school will be a multimedia designed school that gives students the opportunity to explore any aspect of the arts his/her heart desires. Elite Scholars STEAM Academy will have a state of the art green room and theatre production room for students to explore. Students will be offered a variety of courses to take after school to teach them how to use the green room to create commercials, tape monologues, and perform and record scenes.
Elite Scholars Drama Program will offer afterschool classes for students in grades K-8. The classes are designed to offer participants of all levels a fun, encouraging and creative environment, allowing each child the opportunity to discover and celebrate his or her own unique skills, talents, and artistic expression. Students will make up the crew members for all the 6-8 grades performances. Students will gain hands-on experience as running crew, light and sound board operators, stage manager, prop master, etc. Students will be exposed to the process of mounting a full production from the page to the stage.
The STEAM school’s dance program will be valuable to all students in grades 1-8. Students in 1st and 2nd grades will meet once a week for pre-ballet and beginning ballet. The intermediate and advanced levels begin with 3rd through 8th grades, meeting two times a week. The advanced students are eligible for Pointe classes in 6th grade. All classes meet after school. Dancers perform in school programs and at special events during the course of the academic year.
The language arts curriculum will be carefully articulated and weaves together developmentally appropriate experiences in written language, vocabulary, punctuation, grammar, proofreading, spelling, handwriting, dictionary skills, speaking and listening skills, organizing skills and literary appreciation.
The goals of the language arts curricula emanate from the belief that a strong foundation in the skills and appreciation of language and literature provide children with an understanding of how to communicate, in oral and written format, who they are and what they think and feel.
In the writing component of the language arts curriculum, students develop a vast repertoire of writing skills and learn to customize the writing process to suit their own learning styles and needs so they can independently produce a variety of well-written narrative and expository texts. The Learning Headquarters writing curriculum is used in grades K-2. Writing instruction in third grade an up consist of a writing co-teacher that works with grade level teachers using Writer’s Workshop.
The ESSA Learning Lab promotes a love and support for literacy by providing opportunities for literature appreciation, research, and enrichment. Through books, students can enter complex and multidimensional worlds. The Learning Lab encourages students to become lifelong readers and lovers of books.
During preschool classes, students learn the rules and procedures of the Learning Lab, as well as the proper care of books. The focus is placed on literature appreciation and literature extensions using art, dramatic play, and puppetry. Students are introduced to picture books, poetry, and other non-fiction books relative to classroom themes, as well as “I Can Read” books. Students are also introduced to authors through in-depth studies of their works.
In the primary grades, students learn the arrangement of the resource center. They learn how to make appropriate book choices based on each student’s individual reading level. Students complete in-depth author studies by reading works, visiting internet sites, and reading biographies about select authors. First- through third-grade students have regular book check-out from the Learning Lab available to them throughout the year.
Intermediate students in Fourth through Eighth Grade focus on how to conduct research, select and identify primary and secondary sources, evaluate and determine significant information for taking notes, cite sources from books and online resources, and apply this knowledge through the completion of reports, projects, or presentations. Reference materials used include non-fiction books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, periodicals, and newspapers, as well as online versions of these sources and other online reference resources. Students gain skills necessary to orient themselves in other resource settings, and regular book check-out is available.
ESSA Mathematics series will provide a strong math foundation for our students. Emphasis is placed on the mastery of math topics while emphasizing problem-solving, computational skills, mental math, word problems, and pictorial solutions. Our methodologies for math instruction include model-drawing, teaching to mastery, using a spiraled progression through the grade levels and emphasizing metacognition.
It is important for students to have experience with numbers of various kinds and sizes. Common sense, intuitive understanding of basic ideas and what is reasonable for problem-solving are also basic within all the content strands.
Content strands for all grades are based on the strands created by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and include:
- Numbers, Numerations, and Order Relations
- Coordinate Systems and other Reference Games
- Geometry and Spatial Sense
- Algebra and Uses of Variables
- Exploring Data
- Functions, Patterns, and Sequences
- Problem Solving and Mathematical Modeling
- Operations, Number Facts, and Number Systems
Elite Scholars STEAM Academy values the connection between mind and body. Physical education develops wellness and seeks to promote a lifetime appreciation of physical fitness. We are concerned with helping students understand the relationship between human movement and cognitive learning. Physical education classes embody carefully sequenced and developmentally appropriate games, fitness, sports, and health curriculum reflecting both the school’s philosophy and the more specific goals of the department:
- conflict resolution
- increase confidence and improve self-image
- practice and evaluate interpersonal skills
Movement education in K-3 helps students understand, learn and develop basic dance skills, basic dance terminology in several forms and styles of dance. Students will be exposed to dance combinations and movement in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, Latin, folk/world dance and ballroom.
The After School Sports program becomes an important part of the lives of many students beginning in fourth grade and continuing through grade eighth. The athletics program promotes sportsmanship and teamwork while teaching the fundamentals of the sport. All students who would like to participate are given the opportunity to play. The amount of playing time is determined by ability level, attitude, and effort. Teams practice during the regularly scheduled P.E. class and games are scheduled after school.
The science curriculum reflects a spirit of exploration and discovery. The tools and skills students need to guide them in their investigations begin in kindergarten and continue to expand as they complete their journey to 8th grade and beyond. The academic groundwork for each concept begins in the classroom and the practical application of these concepts is investigated in the science laboratory. The students acquire information by means of observation, experience, and/or experimentation. This comprehensive and collaborative approach helps to promote critical thinking and problem solving, and to generate new ideas. The students are engaged in collaborative or self-directed activities that are kinetic and tactile. Information is presented in a variety of ways such as demonstration, discussion, and collaborative investigations. A variety of lab equipment and technologies are used. Online lessons, spreadsheets and interactive activities using Google Chromebooks and iPads enhance and enrich research and strengthen the understanding of the various concepts investigated.
The social studies curriculum centers on our relationships with each other and with the world: nature, family and friends, school, neighborhood, city, state, our nation, and other nations and communities. Holidays and celebrations are enthusiastically observed and represent our rich culture and diversity. Connections are made between past and present. Students study their own history: personal, genealogical, national, and the histories of others.
Students begin to understand both chronological and causal connections in their studies of American history and ancient civilizations with, an emphasis on Greek mythology and political thought. Tie-ins are made with music, art, drama, science, technology, and literature. Economics and geography are part of the discussion at every level.
The study of Spanish is a sequential program beginning with the introduction of the Spanish language in Pre-kindergarten and continuing through the 8th grade. As students’ progress through the program, an emphasis is placed on developing solid communication skills in both the written and auditory/oral form. Throughout the school’s program, short plays, fairy tales, cooking, songs, dance, utilization of computer programs and apps for Google Chromebooks, and various cultural projects provide additional opportunities to explore the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. The curriculum focuses on vocabulary development, verb conjugations, and grammar topics.
The technology program is supported by a robust curriculum that enhances classroom instruction while preparing students for the 21st-century learning environment. Each grade level thoughtfully integrates technology with projects, curriculum and a variety of activities to enrich the students’ experience and overall learning. Students explore various technology tools and devices throughout their day. All students have many opportunities to work with Google Chromebooks, desktops and/or laptops. Smart Boards are extensively utilized in the elementary grades.
Areas of focus include:
- Animation and movie making
- Computer skills
- Digital citizenship
- Input/ output devices
- Online safety
- Presentation skills
- Research skills
- Word processing