Our K-5 families recently came together for Elementary Curriculum Night. Everyone gathered under the main tent for presentations from Interim Head of School Judy Fox, Head of Elementary Renee Miller, and founding Head of Middle School, Mike Levy. The English department held a Q&A session to discuss English language instruction in an immersion environment, and our music, art, STEM and physical education teachers discussed our specialist classes and resources.
The main event is always the homeroom teachers, who provided an overview of what the students will experience over the course of the year, including the developmental milestones and expectations for each grade. They outlined the Units of Exploration, and how math, STEM, and field trips are woven into the curriculum. Parents also learned about classroom conduct codes, which, by PKS tradition are drafted and voted upon by students.
Mike Levy reflected on his excitement as he shepherds the PKS Middle School to its opening in August 2018:
“Educators in middle and high school yearn to receive students who have been immersed in a genuine progressive program like the one we have here at PKS. First, because their curiosity and willingness to explore abound. PKS students are taught explicitly and implicitly day after day that the world is, in essence, a maker space. It is a place to muck around, to engage, to do good work. They construct knowledge. To me, this is a sign that a young student is developing the mindset of a designer, and of a doer, rather than those of a mere consumer. I’ve also noticed that our students are unafraid to ask ‘so what?’ They ask why things matter. Why does what we are asking them to learn make a difference in the world? I think I’m most proud of the way our elementary program helps them develop this particular habit."
One of the major focal points of PKS elementary classrooms this year will be the concept of community. Many classrooms have spent the first weeks of school discussing how we each contribute to our classrooms, school, neighborhoods, city, and country. Thus, Curriculum Night also included a healthy dose of community-building among adults!