Grades K-3 Academics & Curriculum
The Early Childhood academic program is designed to provide developmentally appropriate, rigorous instruction to stimulate our students’ intellectual curiosity and provide the strong foundation of skills and knowledge required for continued academic success at the Upper Elementary, Middle School, and High School/Collegiate Institute Campuses, college and beyond.
The curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and emphasizes critical thinking, collaborative learning, and the habits of mind of high-achieving learners. The Early Childhood curriculum provides a strong foundation in Literacy and Mathematics. In addition, each student has classes in Science, Computer Science, Art, Music, Library, and Physical Education each week. Students learn in whole class, small group, and individual settings. Our teachers differentiate their instruction by designing multi-faceted lessons and units to accommodate each student’s learning style, current skill level, and interests to meet their academic needs and ensure that they reach their highest potential.
The Early Childhood Campus utilizes EL literacy curriculum, which aligns to the Massachusetts Literacy Standards, to provide our students with a strong foundation of language, reading comprehension, vocabulary skills and habits of mind. To support foundational reading development, scholars engage in small group learning during a literacy skills block each day. During this block scholars engage in phonics learning grounded in the Orton Gillingham multisensory approach. Scholars participate in hands-on learning, work with lead teachers and interventionists and utilize the adaptive platform Lexia to practice ‘just right’ skills based on identified learning needs.
The Early Childhood Campus uses EngageNY, a rigorous program grounded in the Massachusetts Mathematics Standards. The curriculum provides a balance of both procedural fluency (automaticity with math facts and operations) and conceptual understanding. Scholars engage in fluency practice daily, an application problem and then a concept development to learn new skills. Many teachers support students in mathematics, including K-3 classroom and special education teachers, ELL teachers, and three math specialists. Scholars also have a Math WIN (or ‘What I Need’) block daily during which they work in small groups, independently, and use the adaptive platform DreamBox to practice targeted skills that will allow them to progress towards grade-level standards.
In science class, students’ interests will be sparked through authentic, real-world connections and hands-on exploration. Their journey will dive deep into many of the countless facets that exist within the subject area of science. Scholars in Grade 1 - 3 utilize the Amplify Curriculum which focuses on exploration and investigation.
In art, students explore different materials, techniques, and styles in order to express themselves in a creative way and deepen their knowledge across subjects and world cultures.
Students learn to use computer technology independently as they develop fundamental skills at the Early Childhood Campus. Most computer skills students practice will be transferred from one application to another as they go through the grades at PHA.
The goal of the K-3 library program is to support literacy and academic achievement while fostering a lifelong love of reading. Through a variety of activities, students distinguish, locate and read different genres of literature as they learn how our library is organized, how to choose a “just right” book, and how to check out a book.
In music, students are introduced to rhythm, melody, tone, songwriting, notation, and melody through singing, experimenting with instruments, and exploring different genres of music throughout history.
During physical education classes, students engage in movement, exercise, and activities that provide the opportunity to explore themselves and at the same time interact with others. Students also get a chance to recognize individual differences and establish group relationships through play.