Lower School Curriculum & Instruction
The Lower School places an emphasis on nurturing and developing the whole child through a robust curriculum:
- Literacy: In Kindergarten, we use the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction. In Grades 1-5, phonics, fluency, and comprehension instruction takes place in a variety of ways (guided reading, literature circles, novel studies, etc.). We use the Writer’s Workshop approach in Grades K-5. In addition to classroom instruction, students attend a weekly a library/media class.
- Mathematics: Singapore Math-Math in Focus curriculum is used in Grades K-5. We supplement this curriculum with hands-on experiences and math games that support conceptual understanding and skill fluency.
- Science and Social Studies: We use experiential, theme-based units of study in Grades K-5. Nonfiction texts are used to enhance science and social studies instruction. In addition to classroom instruction, students engage in inquiry through a STEM Lab class.
- Arts: Our Lower School fine arts program consists of music, visual art, and Spanish.
- Physical Education: Our coaches use thematic units to teach skills and sports that promote health, physical development, and sportsmanship. Students also participate in weekly fitness rotations that focus on strengthening muscle groups in an age-appropriate way.
- Social-Emotional Learning: All classrooms use the Responsive Classroom approach to social-emotional learning throughout the school day. Our counselor uses the Second Step curriculum in bi-weekly guidance lessons.
- Academic Support: Students who have needs beyond the classroom are eligible to receive academic support. Our resource teacher is trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and works primarily with students in Grades K-3 who need language-based support. Our guidance counselor, resource teacher, and division director work with families and teachers to provide accommodations for students with diagnosed needs.
Students in Kindergarten have a rich and enjoyable developmentally appropriate program in small classes. Experienced, caring teachers lead the children in appropriate activities that develop personal, social, physical, and early academic skills. Kindergarten students engage in an integrated program of language arts, math, art, social studies, science, play, and special activities with their teachers as a guide. They also have weekly classes with enrichment teachers in art, music, Spanish, STEM lab, physical education, and the library. The program offers seasonal celebrations and numerous experiential learning field trips during the year. Special visits by various community members and other guests invigorate the early childhood curriculum.
Classes in Grades 1-5 feature stimulating activities and learning experiences with guidance from expert teachers. Students in grades one through three are taught in self-contained classrooms with a curriculum of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Students in fourth and fifth grades rotate daily among multiple teachers who teach the core content areas. Outside of the academic classroom, students in Grades 1-5 are taught by enrichment teachers in the areas of Spanish, music, STEM lab, art, and library/media services. Students have daily physical education classes to promote a healthy mind and body through fitness.
Teachers at The Montgomery Academy emphasize each child's development in basic skills, using both innovative and traditional classroom techniques. The academic year is divided into two semesters, and progress reports are sent to parents at the end of each nine-week grading period. Parent-teacher conferences are an important communication of student progress, and teachers work as a team with families to support children's learning and development at home and school. Lastly, schoolwide service projects encourage our students to grow in character and responsibility, which is an important part of our daily curriculum.