FAQ About the Elementary Program

How do you teach reading?

Reading is taught with a combination of phonics and whole language (sight and contextual) approaches. Both of these strategies are important for learning. Each child has his or her own natural strength, and is supported in developing skills in both areas in order to become a competent, independent reader. During the K-1 years, teachers are able to assess the individual child’s readiness and use that as an opportunity to introduce formal reading instruction. Phonics are introduced systematically and children progress with reading at their own pace.

How do I know my child is learning?

Teachers at The Schoolhouse use formative and qualitative assessment for students. Grade level work and expectations are presented in the classroom and teachers support students to work at accomplishing their own, personal best. During the first month of attendance at Schoolhouse, the teacher will write a letter to the parents about how the child is doing. Parent-Teacher Conferences are held two times each year and as needed or requested. A narrative addressing the academic areas and social/emotional development of the student is written by the classroom teacher and a portfolio of student work samples is presented. For each student, the teacher completes skills checklists which follow them throughout their stay at The Schoolhouse. No letter grades or standardized tests are given at the Schoolhouse.