The Sage School’s academic program is rich with advanced content that fosters critical thinking and problem solving through in-depth study. True to our mission and educational philosophy, we provide even our youngest students ample opportunities to make connections across the disciplines. Learning is often enriched through interactions with professionals (scientists, engineers, authors, and artists) in the form of guest speakers, field studies, and field trips. Starting at a young age, students also participate in community civic engagement, such as creating food bags for our local shelter or baking treats for nearby animal shelters. By the end of fourth grade, students are more confident, eloquent learners with a heightened understanding of a multitude of different concepts and ideas.
Beginning in Grade 2, students are engaged in a long-term project under an umbrella topic such as sustainability, and work either as individuals or in team to solve a global problem through the scientific, engineering, and design processes. Students build their solutions in the science lab, arts studio or Makerspace, and present these innovative solutions to parents and professionals within our community.
The curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 4 includes humanities (English language arts and social studies), math, science, Spanish, integrated arts (creative movement, art, music), physical and health education, and library. Learning takes place in a warm and nurturing classroom environment, either as a whole class or in small and flexible groupings, and often with more than one teacher in the classroom. For more information on specific subject areas, check out our curriculum below.
Curriculum for Kindergarten – Grade 4
Humanities in Kindergarten through Grade 4 is a spiraling curriculum; at each grade level, students participate in Reader’s and Writer’s Workshops and build on concepts learned the year prior, applying these lessons to their daily work. Classes build a strong reading culture in order to foster a love of reading and develop the skill to choose “just right” books for themselves.
For writing, our youngest students use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum to help students master their penmanship. As students progress through the grades, they strengthen their writing skills through a variety of written pieces, from “How to Books” and narrative fiction to opinion pieces, research papers, and lab reports.
In Kindergarten though Grade 2, students study integrated social studies themes (i.e. All About Me and My Community with a unit on Kenya and a Kenyan community). Social studies morphs into humanities when students enter third grade in order to focus on how history, literature, art, etc. all tie together to form the complete human experience.
Students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 move on to more advanced math topics such as money and measurement. By Grade 2, students are multiplying, dividing, and working with fractions. By Grade 4, students are studying Algebra and responding in writing to open-ended prompts about grade-level concepts using associated math vocabulary and applying their skills to real-world applied math problems.
Students also work with artificial intelligence web-based learning systems to supplement, inform, and support the traditional instruction; these programs enable each student to move at an individualized pace. Redbirds (Grades K-3) and ALEKS (Grade 4), both from McGraw-Hill Education, provide data for each child through online work. In Grades 2-4, the data determines student groupings and topics for small-group instruction.
Projects such as the creation of geometric solids, mathematical modeling, and science related math, allow students to connect mathematics to other disciplines. Contest-based learning includes Noetic Learning Math Contest (Grades 2-4), New England Math League (Grade 4), and Math Olympiad (Grades 3 and 4 after school).
Students study and apply the scientific, engineering, and design processes throughout all of their Sage science classes. However, each grade level has its own benchmark skills that students are expected to master, from making observations in Kindergarten to designing and drafting a scientific experiment in Grade 4.
Though content is updated yearly to ensure relevant and timely topics, we implement a spiraling science curriculum to ensure that our students master and excel in foundational areas of life science, chemistry, physics, earth science and engineering (material, mechanical). Each unit is presented to the students through a driving question or a big idea that often intersects with other science disciplines, or across disciplines such as arts, social studies/humanities, Spanish, and math. From a very young age, students interact with professionals (scientists, engineers, designers) through field trips, field studies and guest speakers).
Starting in third grade, the students are exposed to an advanced computer science and programming curriculum. For many of them, the skills and concepts taught in computer science are implemented in their projects during the Project Fair or the STEAM Expo.
The focus of Spanish in Kindergarten through Grade 4 is incorporating fun, age-appropriate Spanish lessons into each class. Students learn basic expressions and vocabulary, and are introduced to age-appropriate grammar. Lessons and themes may reinforce curriculum content in other areas.
Students will become familiar with world geography and where Spanish is spoken in the world, as well as with cultural elements, etc. Some classes may incorporate community connections and/or service learning. Spanish classes meet twice a week for 40 minutes.
Through individual and group activities, students continue to build upon their integrated foundation of artistic skills while focusing on developing a personal voice and process as artists. Students explore various artistic periods, styles, and influential artists as a means of personal growth. Through our integrated arts program, young students are able to see the agency they have in their individual choices, collaborative communities, and the larger context of society. Sage’s integrated arts classes provide activities and lessons, aimed at increasing students’ confidence in risk taking, self-expression and artistic growth.
Students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 learn to recognize different genres of literature, and they frequently share books by their favorite authors and illustrators. As they enter Grades 3 and 4, students discover how to locate and access information, explore ethical behavior for information use, locate a book through a call number, and develop an overall literature appreciation.
A primary goal of the health and physical education classes in Kindergarten through Grade 4 is for students to develop an appreciation of being physically active and how this contributes to a person’s well-being. Students learn fundamental sports concepts and implement these concepts in a multitude of games. As students progress through the grades, they
refine their sports skills and practice these skills during small- and large-sided games.