Remediation of basic skills drives our successful Lower School program. Remediation builds skills, but it also builds confidence, self-esteem, and a joy of learning.
As 3rd–5th graders progress through a rich grade-level curriculum, they learn a variety of strategies and use technology to increase their abilities to decode, comprehend, and read fluently. Each student has a basic skills program in reading, writing, and math, developed around his/her individually assessed levels of achievement. This approach identifies and then begins remediation of areas below grade level while permitting instruction at or above grade level in those academic areas where there is recognized mastery.
For example, each student’s reading level is assessed using the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) to establish an instructional level which then determines which books are selected for literature and guided reading. Teachers certified in the Wilson Reading System (which is Orton-Gillingham based) assist students with a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia, or who have not internalized the sound-symbol system for reading and spelling.
Lower School students develop math automaticity and procedural understanding through practice and hands-on application of mathematical concepts to everyday life. Using puzzles, games, and computer programs, students build the strong foundation for logical and analytical thinking that they will need in Middle and High School mathematics. They learn to generate possibilities, eliminate them one-by-one, set-up problems correctly, work backward toward a solution, persevere, visualize, and find the “problems within problems.”