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Elementary School (K-5)

Essential Elements: Cultivating Learning

Our elementary school is an experience not unlike the cultivation of our school garden. Teachers coax individual "sprouts" to their fullest potential, showering them with diverse opportunities for growth and blossoming. Elementary students participate in a partnered reading program in which they read with and to both younger and older students. 

Our accelerated Kindergarten program is designed to give students the tools and confidence that they need for academic, social and moral success. It is not a "readiness" program, but one with a challenging curriculum delivered by experienced and encouraging faculty who pride themselves on bringing out the best in each student. Fertile soil is the key to healthy growth, likewise our teachers know that a strong academic foundation leads to years of positive learning habits and attitudes. We believe that our kindergarten is the finest experience a child can have and we celebrate all of their achievements.


Adventures in First Grade center around cross-curricular teaching. This means that students approach a topic from a full spectrum of subjects, giving it their attention from many different angles. Reading and writing projects are about social studies or scientific topics. Mathematic concepts are taught following the Saxon & Otter curriculum with an emphasis on using manipulatives. Like seedlings collecting sunlight for photosynthesis, our first-graders collect their work in binders that they can review, stimulating their growth and feeding their progress.     

Second Grade at ASES focuses on expression. Students learn through creative writing, illustrating and other artistic creating. Young plants are challenged by the elements before they can produce a flower; our second graders face an impressive spelling and vocabulary curriculum that enhances their phonemic awareness and allows them to blossom verbally. As with all elementary classes at ASES, second grade science and social studies units rely heavily on hands-on interactions, field trips and community service projects. Critical thinking activities, long-term memory skills, and reasoning are encouraged to develop from bud to blossom.

Flowers play an important role in every culture. They are symbols of faith, hope and love and are used to physically communicate emotion, purpose and fulfillment of potential. The Third Grade curriculum focuses on enhancing our students' learning so that they better understand their role as members of a family, a school, a community and the world. They take many field trips, study advanced core subjects and experience interactive learning that teaches them to become emissaries for education.

While maintaining separate classrooms, the Fourth & Fifth Grades at ASES work together as a cohesive unit. Together the two classes concentrate their energies to form skills, knowledge and experience--seeds of potentiality that they will carry with them to middle school. Fourth-graders use performance to explore their reading curriculum and fifth-graders venture into the world of literature reading novels that exceed their regular grade-level reading. Both grades work through an accelerated math and vocabulary program. This allows them to process information using higher-order thinking skills and then have the tools to write and speak about what they have learned. Energy and physics experiments, like building model houses with working lights, make difficult concepts more concrete.
They also take a two-night trip to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama to experience the famous Space Camp program. Creating and observing terrariums and aquariums immerse them in the life sciences. Students are taught to follow current events and cap their studies of American and Tennessee history with a trip to the state capital.

Our students finish elementary school having experienced a full cycle of growth and learning. After this essential education, the seeds of education they harvest have unlimited potential.