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Reading and Language Arts

Elementary students in grades Kindergarten through five develop the foundational literacy skills needed to be independent readers and effective communicators. In the primary grades, phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral language are emphasized so that students can  learn about letter and sound relationships that build words and those words' meanings.   They begin to read texts aloud, and compose their own writing.   They also develop comprehension skills through a teacher-guided practice of thinking about meaning while reading.  In the intermediate grades, students continue to develop their knowledge and use of vocabulary, and they begin to apply a variety of meaning-making, comprehension strategies to fiction and nonfiction texts.  Elementary students learn to compose narrative and informational texts.  Along with appropriate grammar and mechanics, students learn how to support their thoughts, ideas, and claims with evidence from texts and other sources.   

Secondary students in grades six through 12 broaden their exposure to literary and nonfiction texts.   As the content and vocabulary of the texts become more complex, students develop additional comprehension strategies to unlock the meaning of the text.  Since other subject area learning is dependent on reading, students begin to use texts as a learning tool to expand knowledge.   In writing, students develop the skills to forumate compositions that include original thoughts, ideas and insights as well as compositions that synthesize information from research and other sources.   


Elementary students in grades Kindergarten through five develop foundational math skills in numbers and number sense, operations and algebraic thinking, geometry, and ratios and proportions.   Students learn that numbers represent quantities, and they begin to learn the steps to calculation and the various ways to express a quantity.  Students learn about the relationships between space and shape to numbers, and they learn about patterns in numbers and data.   

Secondary students in grades six through 12 begin to move through a logical progression of math learning that includes algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.  Since math learning depends upon mastery of prior content to advance to new content, middle school courses are designed to expose students to new content while reinforcing the foundational skills and concepts.  High school math courses hone in on an area of math so that students can learn additional concepts in preparation for advanced learning.   At the secondary level, math learning also occurs in the sciences, as well as in some elective courses that use data and statistics, probability, measurement, ratios, and discrete calculations.   


Elementary students in grades kindergarten through five are exposed to life sciences, physical science, and earth and space science. In life science, students learn about living organisms and their relationship to an environment.   In physical science, students learn about the basic principles of matter and how it reacts to other matter and an environment.   In earth and space science, students learn about the features of the plant and how these create environments in which living organisms thrive. Science learning involves the development of observational skills and inquiry skills where students learn to ask questions, formulate explanations, and use data to confirm or reject that explanation.   

Secondary students in grades six through 12 further apply the scientific method to their learning.  Life science, physical science, and earth and space science concepts are taught.

Social Studies

Elementary students in grades Kindergarten through five learn about regional and United States history and geography, along with the basic principles of economics and civics.  Students also learn social studies skills such as comparing and contrasting information, timelines, evaluating information sources, and interpreting visual data.   

Secondary students in grades six through twelve apply deeper analytical skills to history, civics, and economics.   Students are introduced to financial literacy.   High school social studies courses focus on United States history and government.