Statement on Curriculum
The standards were drafted by experts and teachers from across the country and are designed to ensure students are prepared for today's entry-level careers, freshman-level college courrses, and workforce training programs. The Commom Core focuses on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills students will need to be successful. Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the standards. In Arizona Common Core is also known as Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.
Academic Curriculum at Desert Star Academy focuses on reading and math concepts that are often included in traditional measures of school readiness. In preschool and younger classes, emergent reading and math concepts are introduced as part of the Theme-Based Units of Learning. Beginning with our three-year-olds at the preschool level, teachers use well-respected published programs to teach reading and math. We chose specific programs because of the way in which they address the scholar needs and support the state required Common Core Standards.
Our standard for the Language & Literacy Learning Domain is for children to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing competencies, as well as understand and appreciate the value of literacy for enjoyment and as a means of communication. Desert Star Academy uses McGraw Hill Reading program in our preschool, transition-kindergarten, and elementary classrooms. In the third – sixth grade classrooms reading informational, fiction novels and classic speeches will be read, compared, analyzed and summarized using tablets via the world-wide-web.
Our standard for Mathematics is for children to develop an understanding of numbers, operations, relationships, measurement, and patterns to solve numerical problems and reason mathematically. Children encounter mathematics every day without realizing it, and research has shown that children enjoy mathematics and will spontaneously engage in mathematical activity during their play. Children can learn a great deal when they are given opportunities to explore mathematical ideas with adult guidance.
Desert Star Academy choose Core Knowledge scope and sequence to present instruction in Science, Social Studies, Music and Art, This grade by grade guide to important knowledge provides academic excellence and higher literacy skills for preschool and elementary scholars. Desert Star Academy will align the Core Knowledge Sequence to the Common Core Standards and build a strong, solid, specific shared core curriculum that will educate scholars with a strong foundation of knowledge in the early grades Pre – K through 2nd ; in the middle grades 3rd and 4th the knowledge instruction is in far greater depth as the scholars explore global topics through research and presentation, demonstrate increased fluency, write clearly and accurately and solve equations and problems using growing and thinking skills throughout the core content areas. In the upper grades, 5th and 6th Core Knowledge will provide challenging and enriching learning curriculum that will inspire academic excellence among the sholars. They will develop high-level academic skills and strong character as they continue to follow the Core Knowledge sequence through discussion, interaction, collaboration, reflection and evaluation. Scholars will become advanced learners who will think critically and solve problems as they connect the classroom topic with real life community experiences. www.coreknowledge.org/parents
Ultimately, Desert Star Academy acknowledges the family as the first source of learning and instruction. That process should not stop when each scholar begins school. The family must remain an important asset throughout the learning process. Desert Star Academy’s commitment to the family will be demonstrated monthly during school hosted parent meetings that will inform parents of the methods and activities within the classroom. Events will be hosted monthly for school and families to network and share with school staff to promote collaboration and commitment to the education experience that is so richly embedded in the school culture. Parent are encourages to volunteer in events such as carnivals, book fairs and literacy nights. The family activities will continue to grow and contribute to the unique lifelong learning culture at Desert Star Academy.
STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines-science, technology, engineering and mathematics- in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects. STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world.