The Upper Elementary houses children ages 9 – 11 (grades 4 – 5). The elementary-aged child is moving from the physical world of concrete understanding to the assimilation of abstract concepts. The curriculum in the Elementary Program is broad, embracing all core subject areas (Language Arts, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Sciences), cultural studies (History, Geography, and Technology), Health and Fitness, Foreign Languages, and the Arts (Visual and Music). There is a high level of integration between subject areas that further enhances understanding and internalization of subject matter. Children are provided with age appropriate learning opportunities, additional support, and challenge through extensions. Children participate in weekly homework assignments as well as project based homework commitments that may span up to a four week period.
Students in the Upper Elementary classrooms take new steps towards independence. They make more decisions for themselves and manage increased responsibility. Children begin to create their own decorum within their communities and make decisions, as a group, that impact the way their community is run. An essential piece of the Upper Elementary Program is that of life education; this involves the practical life curriculum: care of self, care of others, and care of the environment. Children learn to use tools for cooking, cleaning, and household tasks. They learn the skills of special event planning, menu planning, phone use, food preparation, and conflict management at our peace tables. Another component that accompanies this life learning is that of going out into the community; students learn to manage awareness of others, talking to people in public and businesses, being part of an audience in a theatre, leaving a tip, ordering from a menu, table etiquette, and appropriate public behavior.