Los Encinos School provides a balanced, integrated curriculum with a differentiated instructional approach. Our teaching methods utilize varying modalities through which children learn and seek to tailor instruction to meet individual needs. Our curriculum for grades kindergarten through six extends beyond the core areas of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science to include instruction in the areas of visual and dramatic arts, music, library, computer science, and physical education. Dedicated and passionate teachers provide students with a variety of opportunities to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and strive to make learning fun and engaging. Students participate in year-long, grade-specific volunteer service programs that cultivate a deep appreciation for service and connections with the larger community.
The program balances core subjects and creative arts with traditional methods and innovative techniques through extensive integration. Small class sizes and a low student-teacher ratio enable the teachers to know each child and to assign work that challenges individual ability levels and learning styles. Coursework follows an established curriculum that is personalized by the incorporation of current events, student interests and curiosity, community opportunities, and individual student needs. Technology, manipulatives, and cooperative projects are used to involve the students in the learning process. Students work in a variety of settings including peer-to-peer, small groups, and flexible groupings.
A variety of optional student activities is offered. After-school classes such as art, sports, and science are offered throughout the year. Extended day is available at an additional cost.
Primary Grades (k-3)
The student-centered curriculum in the primary grades (K-3) values the strengths and interests of every child, while building a strong foundation of skills and knowledge. Our hands-on, project-based learning approach allows students to learn valuable skills while making connections to the world around them.
Beginning in kindergarten, students learn that social and emotional growth is just as important as cognitive development. As students’ progress through the primary grades, they build on their knowledge in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
Language arts in the primary grades includes phonemic awareness, read alouds, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, Word Study, and oral communication. Reading Workshop in the primary grades builds a community of readers who can think, discuss, and make connections about literature. Writing Workshop teaches students how to look closely at and to write about small moments in their lives. Students build on these skills and learn to write informational, persuasive, realistic fiction, and personal narrative pieces. In mathematics, students learn from a comprehensive program that focuses on building solid number sense, spatial relations, and other skills necessary for problem solving and critical thinking. Social studies is integrated into both the classroom and the school-wide themes through literature and project-based learning. Science gives students an experiential understanding of plants, animals, and their environment.
Students leave the primary grades ready to apply the skills they have acquired in new and exciting ways in the upper grades.
Upper Grades (4-6)
In the upper grades (4-6), the student-centered curriculum continues to build on student’s individual strengths through differentiation. Students are taught to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the primary grades to new and different situations. Connections continue to be made across the curriculum to enhance student understanding. Social skills continue to be honed, with the emphasis shifting from cooperation to leadership.
Language arts in the upper grades includes read alouds, core literature, Reading and Writing Workshops, Word Study, and oral communication. Reading Workshop in the upper grades grows the community of readers into thoughtful, articulate readers who can discuss and interpret complex text, all the while making connections to self, other text, and the world around them. Writing workshop builds on the skills learned in the primary grades and teaches students to write expository, persuasive, literary, and personal essays. Mathematics in the upper grades continues to build skill sequentially, becoming more differentiated as students approach sixth grade. Pre-algebra and algebra are offered as we continue to differentiate the needs of our fifth and sixth grade students. Social studies continues to be integrated with the classroom and school-wide themes through literature and simulations. Science examines the scientific process through different thematic lenses, promoting critical thinking in the scientific world.
Students leave Los Encinos School with a well-rounded experience and education, prepared for the challenges of middle school.