The program of studies in the elementary school is designed to equip every child with the basic learning skills s/he will need in order to be a responsible and contributing member of the school community. Mathematics, reading, language arts, social studies and science are the foundations of the school’s academic program. In addition, formal and informal opportunities are provided for children to express themselves creatively through art, music and physical education, with attention given to appropriate integration of the various subject areas. Students in grades K-5 also receive technology instruction through their regular classes. French and Spanish are offered in all Elementary grades. Every effort is made to identify and meet individual needs and interests of students. As all children differ in their learning styles, teachers utilize a variety of teaching strategies and methods.
Grades K-5 are essentially self-contained classes with one teacher responsible for each group of students. Special services offered in grades 1-5 include support for students with learning disabilities and counseling services, while formal instruction for students of English for English Language Learners (ELL) begins in first grade. A program of activities at all levels is provided to enrich the each student’s school experiences. In addition to the afterschool activities program, all classes go on field trips and other special activities: holiday celebrations, sports events, concerts and many other individual class and school-wide events. The elementary staff pursues close and frequent communication with parents through regular report cards, parent-teacher conferences, class newsletters and informal communication. Parents are encouraged to contact the school staff whenever any question arises.
Reading and Language Arts:
At the Elementary level, children learn to read by developing strategies to enable them to effectively use both sight and sound approaches. The Upper elementary classes use a literature-based approach to the teaching of reading. Various language activities encourage students to become effective language users through oral and written expression. Spelling, grammar and usage, and handwriting are integrated into the writing program.
The first to fifth mathematics program is designed to meet the special needs of students at JAIS. Through the use of manipulatives and other materials and technology, as well as through varied teaching strategies, students are taught to think mathematically. A wide variety of topics based on the AERO standards are covered with a special emphasis on problem solving and applications, mental math, and computation. Grades 1-5 learn the following topics: number sense and place value, operations with numbers, number theory, fractions and decimals, data handling, introductory algebra, geometry, measurement, and probability. All themes are taught at an age and grade appropriate level, providing material of different levels to meet the needs of individual students.
Science instruction in grades 1-5 offers a balanced program that consists of life, earth and physical science at all levels. The hands-on inquiry approach accompanied by current science events, research skills, project work, and field trips is enhanced by the integration of math in the program.
The K-5 social studies program emphasizes history and geography skills development. Beginning in first grade with a study of self, family, homes, and how food gets from the farm to the table around the world, the program moves to a comparison and contrast of several regions of the world in grade two, as well as American history. Grade three students open the year with a study of friendship. They then learn about at biomes, and ecology, with an emphasis on teaching students about looking after our planet. Fourth graders study ancient civilizations, while the fifth graders study the Americas, following major themes such as colonization, native populations, immigration and revolution.
Click HERE for a link to the JAIS curriculum.