In the younger grades, students hear stories, respond to literature, keep journals, and begin exploring creative writing and storytelling. They build phonics, reading, writing, and math skills with a variety of activities at a pace that is individualized for each child. Andrea Randall has developed and published language arts curriculum that incorporates puppets, songs, handwriting, and bookmaking into an irresistible classroom experience for her K-1 students.
As students move beyond early literacy skills, they are enouraged and challenged daily to grow their reading, writing, and speaking skills while developing a true sense of personal responsibility for their work. Students are taught flexibility and ease with all modes of writing and reading. In addition to reading assignments in every genre and style, students participate in self-organized, and largely student-led, Book Clubs with their classmates.
In addition to essays, narratives, and other nonfiction writing, creative writing is an important element of language arts. Students are challenged to find their own voice across genres by writing in an environment that is both assignment driven and about constant personal progress. Students are taught to use any and all tools at their disposal to help them on this quest, from mentor texts to peer feedback, and most importantly: the lost art of revision. This environment has resulted in students who write for the pure joy of it.
No two children are ever in exactly the same place when it comes to their math skills. Some children are ready to surge forward and others need to take more time to master each new skill. At SCCS, each child moves forward in math at their own pace and celebrates their success based on their own progress and goals. Group math challenges and games keep it fun, interesting, and collaborative, while good old fashioned practice
Every year the students of SCCS have an in depth dedicated science class. Students receive a solid basis in the fundatmentals of a wide range of scientific subjects from Anatomy to Zoology. This year the focus is human biology.
Every other year we host a school wide science fair. Each grade has a different set of choices for their area of focus. All students present their project to the whole school as well as show off their work to the families and friends of SCCS at the fair. all students are eligible and encouraged to participate in the Santa Cruz County Science Fair. Our next science fair will be in the 2020-21 school year.
Spanish is taught to all students, Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. Students develop their ear and accent through conversation, singing, and consistent practice. The small class size ensures individual attention and practice.
In their weekly art class with Nicole, students will work with a variety of media over the school year exploring their creativity and imagination creating original works and learning art techniques.
Students start with weekly lessons in the recorder in 2nd grade and move on to instruments like the clarinet, flute, saxophone, violin, cello, piano, and even the ukelele in 3rd through 6th grade. Each year, the whole school shows off their skills in our annual spring concert.
Through a lively program that integrates movement, singing and musicianship skills, Anne Cleveland helps the children to develop their innate sense of melody and rhythm with joy, instilling in them the confidence in their ability to create beauty in the world through music. Children showcase their vocal skills at our annual spring concert.
Students explore and advance their performing arts skills through various exercises including neutral mask work, speech and elocution, movement and dance, and games.
The Santa Cruz Children’s School community puts on an original musical theater production every other school year. Every student will have a roll and the whole community comes together to make the production a success. It is truly a highlight! The next production will be in the spring of the 2019-2020 school year.
The K-6 history curriculum at Children’s School builds community by engaging all the school’s students with the same area of inquiry at the same time. While the level of instruction changes from group to group, all grades study the same subjects and themes, which creates a shared experience and allows students of all ages to discuss what they’re learning. The focus, while meeting CA state standards, will expand from local governments, state, national, and final global government models.
As a supplement to the creative writing skills program, the SCCS Cruz Kids Chronicle is designed to give the children greater understanding of how to communicate their stories in a succinct and ordered way. 5th and 6th grade students learn to research, write, edit and lay out their article, taking great pride in the final publication. They are encouraged to pitch feature ideas and to research their stories using the library and internet.
Santa Cruz County has it's own rich history and culture. As part of the Local Studies curriculum, student's explore the natural history, human history, art, music, food, people, and more, and gain a deeper connection to their community.
The focus of the ecology curriculum is to educate the students about the critical need to take care of our planet and ways in which even actions on a small scale can make a difference. Guest speakers, beach cleanups, recycled materials projects, and awareness education are all part of give the students of SCCS ownership and power over the future of their home.
Nicole's S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) class has instantly become a favorite. With hands-on projects students work together to solve design challenges that incorporate creativity and teamwork and stress the value of learning from failed attempts, redesign, and trying again.
Physical education is an important part of the student’s weekly education. Exercise, sports, and active games play an important role in maintaining physical health as well as supporting the students’ social and emotional development.
Starting in Kindergarten students start with simple games that progress in complexity over time to develop skills like turn taking, sportsmanship, and following directions. These skills are incorporated into age-appropriate team building games that support all aspects of their education, both on the field and in the classroom. With an emphasis on cooperation, kindness, and sportsmanship students are also introduced to the rules and proper techniques of sports and activities like soccer, volleyball, disc golf, and more.
Numerous studies on Mindfulness in schools have found that it improves student concentration, memory, behavior, attendance, and overall optimism and happiness. It’s also been shown to decrease bullying and aggression, increase compassion and empathy for others, and help students resolve conflicts. For more information about Kaia's class and experience visit https://www.thejoyplan.com/mindfulness-for-kids/
The 6th graders at Santa Cruz Children's School make up the Student Council. As the elder students of the school they help set the tone of kindness and inclusion for the younger students. Their goal each year is to work together to make their community (at school, locally, and even globally) a better place. We have the efforts of the student council and parent volunteers to thank for our beautiful garden and wonderful playhouse. They have also organized fundraisers and drives to help those struck by natural disasters and to help those less fortunate than themselves. We can't wait to see what they do next!
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Santa Cruz Children’s School does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, national or ethnic origin in its admission policies and educational programs.