Our Curriculum

Classical Curriculum

Classical education is rooted in the best of time-honored educational practices. The traditional liberal arts are Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, and Music; the study of these prepared students for the study of Philosophy. Today, a classical curriculum is based on the first three liberal arts, which together are called the Trivium. Students are taught the grammar, or basic knowledge, in each subject. Young students readily learn rhymes, stories, language, vocabulary, arithmetic, and facts. As knowledge grows, students want to know not just “what” but “why.” They learn logic and critical thinking skills through reading ideas and arguments of others, by contemplating knowledge, truth, and ideas, and by discussing and practicing. Mature students learn rhetoric to express their ideas eloquently and persuade others. Throughout their study of the Trivium, students are trained in virtues and core values, such as citizenship, cooperation, courage, honesty, integrity, perseverance, respect, and responsibility.

Classes at ALA Coastal will be taught using a variety of methods, including direct instruction, Socratic questioning, class discussion, seminars, read-aloud, projects, hands-on learning, and writing assignments. Students will work individually and in small groups. Information throughout grade levels is presented in an integrated fashion, emphasizing the connections between areas of knowledge and reinforcing what students are learning.

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Core Knowledge

A Coherent, Cumulative, and Content-Specific Curriculum. The idea behind the Core Knowledge Sequence is simple and powerful: knowledge builds on knowledge. For the sake of academic excellence, greater fairness, and higher literacy, Core Knowledge provides a core curriculum that is coherent, cumulative, and content-specific in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge, grade by grade.

If all of our children are to be fully educated and participate equally in civic life, then we must provide each of them with the shared body of knowledge that makes literacy and communication possible. This concept, central to the Core Knowledge Foundation’s goal of excellence and equity in education, takes shape in the Sequence—a pioneering attempt to outline the specific core of shared knowledge that all children should learn in American schools.

The Core Knowledge Sequence and Teacher Handbook are detailed outlines of specific content (and skills) taught in English/language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science, and fine arts.

The Arts

Beyond providing wide background knowledge that can help with reading comprehension, studying the arts gives further benefits. A new National Endowment for the Arts Research Report shows the potential benefits of Arts Education for at-risk youth. Those who study the arts have better academic outcomes, higher career goals, and are more civically engaged. Studying the arts can also enhance creativity, creative thinking, and problem-solving. Learning about the arts and cultures around the world, past, and present, provides a better cross-cultural understanding and a greater comprehension of what it is to be human.

At ALA Coastal, arts education is integrated into the Core Knowledge Sequence.  Art will be an encore class that is offered to all students in grade K–5 and as an elective for Middle School.

Highlights of the ALA Coastal Academic Experience

  • Accredited status opens doors for college admission
  • Core Knowledge (not Common Core) curriculum, for comprehensive, in-depth learning
  • Eureka math connects math to the real world in ways that take the fear out of math.
  • Strong focus on literacy and mathematics at all levels
  • Homework assigned appropriately to each grade level
  • Time-proven, traditional classroom approach that is as effective as one-on-one tutoring
  • RAISE Leadership curriculum incorporated into daily learning
  • Lessons planned for optimal engagement
  • Lessons presented in small, manageable pieces that allow for quick mastery
  • Well-rounded curriculum with opportunities to dive deep into multiple subjects
  • Extracurriculars available and encouraged, including sports, fine arts, and robotics
  • Before and after school tutoring programs are available

It all adds up to students who are not only ready for college and careers, but who are ready to learn, lead, and change the world.

Physical Education

It is generally acknowledged that physical activity helps keep students fit and healthy, but numerous studies have shown that there are also academic benefits to physical activity. According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, physical activity can:

  • Improve blood flow and oxygen to the brain, improving mental clarity.
  • Positively affect the portion of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
  • Improve connections between nerves in the brain, thus improving attention and information-processing skills.
  • Build strong bones and muscles.
  • Decrease the likelihood of developing obesity and risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Reduce anxiety and depression.

ALA Coastal is committed to providing each student the opportunity for a minimum of a half-hour of physical activity a day while at school.

Responsive Classroom

A responsive classroom is an evidence-based approach to education that focuses on the strong relationship between academic success and social-emotional learning (SEL). The Responsive Classroom approach empowers educators to create safe, joyful, and engaging learning communities where all students have a sense of belonging and feel significant.

ALA Coastal is committed to developing strong relationships with our students that we dedicated a minimum of a half-hour a day of our schedule while at school.

Character Education

We believe in educating the whole child.  Our school uses the acronym RAISE to highlight the strong character traits we desire and cultivate in our scholars.

  • Respect: Our teachers, students, staff, and families show respect for one another.
  • Accountability: We hold students, teachers, and staff accountable for their responsibilities and their actions. Our classrooms and lessons are held accountable to state standards.
  • Integrity: We value and expect honesty and adherence to principle.
  • Service: We seek after and organize opportunities for service, both in and out of school..
  • Excellence: We hold ourselves to high standards and seek constant improvement.