The Elementary School (3rd, 4th, and 5th grades) program builds on the foundation laid in the Primary School. Curriculum is created using an understanding of the developmental sequence of boys and teaching strategies proven to be beneficial for boys’ learning.
The Elementary School program offers courses in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish as well as instruction in visual and performing arts. Additional classes include choice classes. A few of the choice classes include: Outdoor Leadership, Makerspace, journalism, speech, and robotics. Daily physical education fosters self-confidence and positive attitude through fitness and athletic skills. We start the day by attending Chapel where the whole school gathers to learn life lessons based on our school’s motto: Be honest. Be kind. Be the best you can be.®
The academic program in the Elementary School is reviewed on a continuous basis to make adjustments to pacing and scope based upon the individual student and whole class needs. Curriculum planning centers on the use of the 6 C’s of 21st Century Learning: Critical thinking; Communicating clearly; Collaborative work; Cultural awareness; Creativity development; and Connectivity through technology and interpersonal skills.
Homework and Daily Routine
Homework is a regular expectation for boys in 3rd through 5th grade for Monday through Thursday. Homework is given to reinforce classroom learning and establish good study skills and responsibility. Starting in 3rd grade, students have the opportunity to attend Homework Club after school. Homework Club is monitored by SAA teachers or staff to provide a quiet space and dedicated time for independent work. The monitor is available for assistance but is not expected to act as a tutor or reteach lessons.
In 1st and 2nd grades, it is almost exclusively a review of material and skills learned in class and test preparation. In 3rd through 5th grade, homework often calls for greater independence, and there are long-term assignments.
Students in Primary School generally have 20–30 minutes of homework. In Elementary School the expected homework time gradually increases to 60-80 minutes (including daily independent reading).A consistent daily/weekly routine is very beneficial for most children. Boys need guidance in managing after-school time and responsibilities. A parent’s ability to establish a regular place and time for homework is important for their son to successfully learn independence. The time invested in enforcing homework routines when boys are young will be rewarded later when homework help becomes more difficult for parents. Boys also need unstructured time each day for play. SAA encourages students to participate in school sponsored sports. Teachers are aware of important games and competitions so they are able to make adjustments to homework requirements. It is also essential that growing boys have a nourishing breakfast each day and a consistent, appropriate bedtime on school nights.
Addressing Academic Difficulty
SAA believes students should have access to high-quality instruction every day and in every class. It is understandable that with a rigorous curriculum, some boys may have a period of time when the school’s program is particularly difficult.
To assist with short-term challenges, any student in grades 3 through 8 may visit teachers for no-cost tutoring in their subject from 3:30 to 4:00 PM, Monday through Thursday. At times, the school may recommend that a student receive longer-term private tutoring, or parents may choose this option on their own. When tutoring takes place, the classroom teacher should be aware and able to communicate regularly with the tutor. A student who would like to work with an outside tutor or therapist on the school campus must receive permission from the Office of Student Services. Generally, all tutoring should be done after school.
If parents choose to utilize outside specialized practitioners, it may be possible to coordinate therapy during the school day by contacting the Director of Student Services.
Students with an identified learning disability may be eligible for academic accommodations. For further information about this topic, see The Guide to Academic Accommodations. Academic accommodations are not a guarantee of success or provide an unfair advantage.
When school lets out at 3:30 PM, Elementary School students have the opportunity to attend Homework Club or extracurricular classes like fencing, robotics, cooking, and more through the WELL (Wildcat Extended Learning and Leadership). Additionally, competitive sports are available through the WELL with practices held on campus.