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Elementary Curriculum Guide

Purpose of the Elementary Curriculum Guide

The purpose of this guide is to communicate an overview of the elementary curriculum from kindergarten through fifth grade; highlighting concepts, skills, and processes to be developed for all students in each content area across the elementary grades. Pennridge prides itself on the quality of its instruction and the delivery of a program that creates balanced and diverse experiences for all students. The diverse experiences feature the core subjects of integrated language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as the special subjects of art, computer education, developmental guidance, health and physical education, library, and music. The elementary level program values all of these experiences for students and also celebrates concepts and processes that appear in all content areas to provide students with opportunities to make meaningful connections with subject matter and life experiences.

Overview of the Elementary Program

Core Subject Areas

Integrated Reading and Language Arts
The integrated reading and language arts curriculum develops students’ language and communication skills. Through the study of language and literature, students will make meaning by reading, writing, listening, speaking, thinking, and researching; while applying these skills in all subject areas.

The mathematics curriculum focuses on the students’ ability to understand and use math in their daily lives. Using the study of numbers and their relationships, geometry concepts, data, algebraic thinking, students develop the skills of mathematical thinking, reasoning, and computation; thereby encouraging them to apply mathematics to a variety of contents and situations.

The science curriculum is a process and inquiry-based program that includes concepts of physical, earth, and life sciences. Students develop knowledge of concepts by using critical thinking skills and scientific process skills including observing phenomena, developing questions and hypotheses, gathering data, and communicating conclusions.

Social Studies
The social studies curriculum prepares students to be responsible and productive citizens by engaging them in the development of their ability to solve problems and make decisions, research, debate, negotiate, and work effectively with groups. Students also develop their critical thinking skills by studying concepts of economics, geography, government, and history.

Special Subject Areas

The art curriculum helps students experience art as a form of self-expression and response to the world. Students create and develop their understanding of art from different cultures, time periods, and artists, while exploring different art forms and media.

Computer Education
The computer education curriculum develops students’ ability to use technology to communicate, access information, collaborate, and solve problems. Students develop their knowledge and skills with various technologies used to accomplish these goals.

Developmental Guidance
The guidance curriculum helps students understand themselves, promotes career awareness, develop effective social skills and work habits, and apply problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Health and Physical Education
The health and physical education curriculum provides students with activities, skills, and knowledge to promote life-long fitness and healthy choices.

The library curriculum develops the skills each student needs to locate information effectively and use information appropriately, research independently, and develop interest in and appreciation for a variety of media.

The music curriculum develops students’ knowledge of music and its practical application through vocal and instrumental activities. Students can also participate in the strings program beginning in third grade and vocal and/or instrumental performance groups beginning in fourth grade.

Available Programs and Services

Special Education
Students with special needs may be eligible for Special Education services including autistic support, emotional support, hearing support, learning support, life skills, multiple disabilities support, physical support, speech and language support, and vision support. Each student who is identified as eligible for Special Education services will have an Individualized Education Plan developed before entering the program.

Gifted Education
Students who are identified as gifted at the elementary level participate in a program that challenges students to extend beyond the regular curriculum. 

English as a Second Language
Students whose native language is not English may be eligible for the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students who qualify for ESL are given instruction focused on the development of English language skills for part of the day, or support from an ESL teacher depending on the language needs of the student.

Each elementary school has a student counselor on staff who provides individual and group counseling for students and parents. Counselors also participate in classroom instruction, oversee school-wide programs such as bullying prevention and programs for child safety, and work as members of the Instructional Support Team (IST) at each building.

Instructional Support Team
Each elementary school has an instructional support teacher on staff who serves as the leader for initial interventions for students who show a need for support in the classroom. The IST teacher works with the classroom teachers and parents to develop strategies to help struggling students succeed.

Reading Support
Reading specialists at the elementary level work with students to develop phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension through the strategies that target the needs of identified students. Students receive support based on referrals that are the result of the analysis of a variety of benchmark and classroom-based assessments.