Language Arts

At the Primary School, teachers use a balanced literacy approach to provide daily language arts instruction. This approach includes elements such as read-alouds, shared, guided, and independent reading, phonics and spelling instruction, and writing workshop. Teachers provide appropriate, differentiated reading instruction using fluid groupings based on data analysis and on observations of student reading.  

Our annual goal is to enable each student to attain at least one year’s growth in reading. The Primary School’s core approach to literacy is the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. The goal of this approach is to help young people become avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers. We accomplish this through research, curriculum development, and through working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, and school leaders. 

The organization has developed state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching reading and writing, for using performance assessments and learning progressions to accelerate progress, and for literacy-rich content-area instruction. Various services are available to meet student needs for support or enrichment.

The Primary School's language arts instruction is based on the Common Core Standards that have been adopted by the state of Ohio. To see the Ohio Learning Standards, please click here.


The Common Core Standards in Mathematics which have been adopted by our state and our district include standards for mathematical content and mathematical practice – both what and how our students will learn. At the Primary School level, the content is addressed through five major strands: Counting and Cardinality; Operations and Algebraic Thinking; Number and Operations in Base Ten; Measurement and Data; and Geometry. Students are involved in whole and small group instruction, hands-on activities and games, and application of a variety of technological resources. 

Kindergarten is currently using the McGraw-Hill series, “My Math.” First and Second Grade use the Houghton Mifflin series, “Go Math." Both programs provide the foundation, but neither meets all of the needs of our students. Teachers supplement these programs with research-based teaching methods and materials that help each student reach their potential.   To see the Ohio Learning Standards, please click here.

Social Studies

The Ohio State Standards for Social Studies were written to address four important strands: history; government; geography; and economics. At the Primary School, we have incorporated these strands at each grade level through a variety of units that are engaging and promote active learning by the children. To see the Ohio Learning Standards, please click here

In Kindergarten, the children learn about Citizenship, Personal History, and Camping. First Graders explore Community, Family, and Mexico. Second Graders study the various landforms and regions of our country, focusing at different times on the plants and animals, natural resources, climate, people and human systems, and changes over time.


The Ohio State Standards for Science were written to address three strands: Earth and Space Science; Physical Science; and Life Science. At the Primary School, we have incorporated these strands at each grade level through a variety of units that provide hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to explore concepts outside the school setting.  To see Ohio Learning Standards, please click here.

Kindergarten students study Daily Seasonal Change, Properties of Everyday Objects and Materials, and Physical and Behavioral Traits of Living Things. First Graders build upon these concepts through units that discuss Sun, Energy and Weather, Motion and Materials, and Basic Needs of Living Things. Second Graders conclude their Primary School studies with the Atmosphere, Changes in Motion, and Interactions within Habitats.  

Teachers will be starting to fuse a STEM curriculum into Science and Math during the 2016-17 school year.

Social Curriculum

The Primary School uses the Responsive Classroom approach. “The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching emphasizes academic, social, and emotional growth in a strong school community. How children learn is as important as what they learn, and that academic success is inextricably tied to building social-emotional competencies…

Independent research has found that the Responsive Classroom approach is associated with higher academic  achievement in math and reading, improved school climate, and higher-quality instruction. It has been backed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as one of the most “well-designed evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs”.