ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ACADEMICS
The curriculum at NSAE is designed to mirror our member districts’ material while individualizing instruction to meet student needs. Each curricular unit has elements of the North Shore Academy Elementary philosophy that include:
- Problem solving
- Alignment to the state standards
- Experiential or hands-on learning activities
- Multi-modal delivery of instruction
- Higher-level thought processes
- Elements of the “Circle Of Courage,” including belonging, mastery, independence and generosity
- Use of technology
- Objectives that address therapeutic opportunity
- Individualized instruction and lessons related to transition.
- A variety of evaluation tools will be used that include portfolio and authentic assessment.
North Shore Academy utilizes a Direct Instruction program for most students. This method of instruction is explicit, intensive, and teacher-directed. Our reading program (Reading Mastery) is a research-based DI program that incorporate best practices in reading instruction. The concepts are broken into sub skills, repeated and practiced until mastered.
Students at or above grade level receive math instruction utilizing the Saxon Math curriculum. Saxon Math provides students with a hands-on, multi-sensory approach to learning and emphasizes manipulatives and mental math. This approach helps students build strong mathematical foundations. Some students are offered a Direct Instruction program for Math. Our team uses Connecting Math Concepts for those students that require this approach.
North Shore Academy Elementary believes that physical education is an integral part of education. Concepts of human movements are the basis of the physical education curriculum. Our physical education classes teach physical and social skills that contribute to the success of the whole child. The elementary P.E. curriculum is based on the Illinois Learning Standards and is designed to meet the needs of each student. We seek to resolve the emotional, behavioral and cognitive issues that have traditionally limited the participation of our students in physical education. This may be accomplished through a safe environment, with detailed demonstration, unrestricted practice times, and review. This approach, presented with a gradual orientation to activity rules and regulations, will provide an atmosphere conducive to progress.
Art & Music
The Art and Music program reinforces the lessons and skills that students learn and integrate into their everyday lives. Art class focuses upon process first, product second. The creative process provides opportunities for students to plan and problem solve a project that results in the pride of accomplishment as reflected by the finished product. The Music program provides our students the opportunity to express themselves, relieve tension and emotional stress, and to learn the history and essential components of music theory.
Parents can and should assist their children with all homework assignments to be aware of daily curriculum and reinforce learning. Students should recognize the connection between the home and the school. In an effort to reinforce learning experiences, the following are useful suggestions:
Creating a Home Environment to Support Learning:
- Make sure your actions indicate that education is important
- Talk with your child about what’s happening in school and what he or she is learning
- Find out your child’s strengths and weaknesses and ask his or her teacher for suggestions
- Make sure your child has a quiet study space separate from where he or she plays or sleeps to complete his homework