Center in Baltimore, MD 21218
4417 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21218
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A general description of NACA’s K-3 subject areas follows — including objectives, content, and some skills taught-and-mastered:
General: NACA’s focus and commitment is to provide the foundation for high academic achievement. NACA immerses children in a print-rich environment and emphasizes phonics at each grade level. The instructional program centers on developing literacy skills through developing reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Students learn the basic concepts of social studies, science, and health education as well as the ability to work independently and as part of a group. Students are administered the California Diagnostic Tests for reading and mathematics during the fall to determine their instructional strengths and weaknesses. Additional assessments will be administered to determine other strengths and/or needs.Kindergarten: NACA’s kindergarten program immerses children in a print-rich environment. The reading/language arts program focuses on the development of each child’s alphabet knowledge, listening, speaking, and pre-writing skills. Students write the alphabet and their numbers. Units in science, mathematics, health, and social studies are taught through exploration and hands-on learning activities.(Source: BCPSS) Children also have opportunities to select their own learning activities and plan to participate in music, art, and physical education(martial arts). Students are also introduced to basic financial principles; computer manipulation; and Freedom and Democracy — definitions, benefits, and responsibilities. First Grade: NACA’s first grade instructional program emphasizes skills related to phonics and comprehension. Children should be readers and writers before the end of the year. In mathematics and science, instruction focuses on investigations, problem solving, concepts, and applications. Social Studies instruction addresses concepts related to family life. Manuscript writing is emphasized.(Source: BCPSS) Students continue being guided deeper relative to financial principles; computer manipulation; and Freedom and Democracy — definitions, benefits, and responsibilities. Second Grade: In second grade, students refine skills acquired in first grade and move toward deeper levels of understanding. In reading/language arts, students learn advanced phonic skills so that they can read unknown words. Children begin reading and writing for a variety of purposes, use cursive writing, and listen for understanding. In mathematics, students compute basic addition and subtraction facts, organize data using graphs, and refine estimation and problem-solving skills. Children work alone and in groups to complete scientific investigations and to learn about concepts related to self, family, and community.(Source: BCPSS) Students continue being guided deeper relative to financial principles; computer manipulation; and Freedom and Democracy — definitions, benefits, and responsibilities. Third Grade: Third grade moves students from “learning to read, to reading to learn.” Your child should be a highly skilled reader by the end of grade three. Students should use phonetic skills to read unknown words and should read with greater understanding. Students are exposed to a various pieces of literature dealing with topics from social studies and science. They use information from readings and research to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Mathematics and science instruction continues to focus on concepts, problem solving, investigation, and reasoning. Social studies provides an in-depth study of the development of larger cities and urban communities. Cursive writing is expected. (Source: BCPSS) Students continue being guided deeper relative to financial principles; computer manipulation; and freedom and democracy – definitions, benefits, and responsibilities.
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NACA’s educational foundation rests on the following tenets:
NACA also utilizes the Rites Of Passage Shule (ROPS) instructional/pedagogical methods: “repetition equals reinforcement equals realization,” “affirmation rather than negation,” “real-life modeling and pratices for growth and success,” and “think links; expect connections; (w)holistic integrative pedagogy.”
Computers are utilized regularly for instruction; as all NACA classrooms are wired. NACA also has a computer learning lab. Regular computer contact and learning from K-12 is an essential and normal part of how NACA students learn and grow.
The culture and ethos of the school is optimistic, student-centered, high-achieving, committed to and expectant of excellence for all, culture-sensitive, respectful, engaged, energetic, creative, serious, fun, and finally, focused on and committed to freedom and democracy, so that our students are proficient at making a living and a life. Perhaps most importantly, NACA is guided by Yale University’s Dr. James P. Comer’s School Development Program (SDP), wherein all major decisions are made collectively, with parents, students, faculty, administrators, NACA’s board, business people, and community stakeholders, all sitting, planning, and deciding together. This is a relatively time intensive process — and it is a democratic process; as it allows and calls on everyone involved in the students’ education to participate. While some may disappreciate the time involved in the Comer Process, we at NACA see the matter differently. At NACA, the students are the highest priority; and we put in the time now to ensure their success now and later.