Overview of Lower School Education

Pioneer Academy’s Mission is to provide a well-rounded, character-building education through challenging interdisciplinary curricula guiding interactive learning that is delivered in a rigorous academic environment from the moment our students join us to embark upon their educational venture.  Special attention is given to the development of and implementation of effective, research supported Language Arts and Math programs so as to provide our students with the content knowledge and skill sets necessary for success throughout their educational careers and beyond.

Literacy is entwined into every facet of life and if students are to be successful it is essential that all critical components be taught, modeled, practiced, and assessed for learning. At the elementary level, the Literacy Program is built around nine components of effective instruction. Each component is strategically aligned in a carefully planned sequence allowing for scaffolding and student success as new skills are taught and rigor intensified.

The nine components of literacy instruction include:

  • Phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, and concepts of print
  • The alphabetic code: Phonics and decoding
  • Fluent, automatic reading of text
  • Vocabulary
  • Text comprehension
  • Written expression
  • Spelling and handwriting
  • Screening and continuous assessment for learning to inform instruction
  • Motivating students to read and developing their literacy horizons

Math instruction also builds heavily upon previously learned skills and as such it is critical that instruction be clear and systematic with key prerequisite skills taught in advance.  Math instruction in grades Kindergarten through four includes development of the following abilities:

  • Concepts and reasoning including basic number concepts and the meaning of operations
  • Automatic recall of number facts
  • Computational algorithms
  • Functional Math
  • Verbal problem-solving

In grade five and beyond, general education instruction in Math focuses a great deal on advanced concepts of reasoning, learning of complex computational algorithms, and more difficult kinds of verbal problem-solving.

Dr. Cathy Labate, Ed.D
Curriculum & Assessment Coordinator