Curriculum, Programs, and Services
- Physical Education
- Social Emotional
- Special Education
Piedmont elementary schools’ visual arts program is designed and taught by certificated Visual Arts teachers. The curriculum builds a strong foundation by developing skills and processes outlined in the National Visual Arts Standards: Creating, Responding, Presenting, and Connecting. Each project or lesson joyfully nurtures students’ engagement in all four standards via Project Zero’s Studio Habits of Mind: Develop Craft; Envision, Express, Stretch and Explore, Engage and Persist, Observe, Reflect, Understand Arts Community.
Students Develop Craft by learning and practicing new art mediums, including painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. Students Engage and Persist through problem solving, Envisioning their ideas and considering next steps. Students Observe artwork, Reflect, and make connections to their own experiences, the world around them, and art history. Students are encouraged to Stretch and Explore, learning that mistakes are opportunities for growth and that curiosity is key to making art. Students gain visual literacy skills, learning to Express their ideas through their artwork. Our art teachers thrive on creating inviting spaces and fun and engaging opportunities to build art skills in the studio and beyond.
The counseling program at Beach is a general education service that is available to all students. Students participate in the program for basic skill building, such as improvement in communication, leadership, or self-regulation skills, as well as for help with recent life changes and transitions that are interfering in the student’s ability to access their school day. Both individual and group counseling are offered. The goal of the program is to help students enjoy a positive social-emotional experience at school.
One of our primary goals at Beach Elementary is to create a safe, inclusive, kind and respectful environment. Children at every grade level are given guidance on how to be a good friend, school citizen and student.
Piedmont Unified School District’s TriSchool Elementary libraries
promote reading through storytelling, exposure to different genres, guest authors and illustrators, and individual reader advisory.
use technology to enhance learning and research.
support classroom curriculum with resources for students and teachers.
help students develop information literacy skills by teaching them how to find, analyze, and use information in meaningful ways.
The McHugh Library at Beach Elementary School is a safe and welcoming space for all students to explore their understanding of the world and their understanding of self through stories, informational texts, and additional materials.
At the McHugh Library, students:
seek and find answers;
make connections; and
Each library site maintains a wide variety of print and media to meet the reading and information needs of students, teachers and families. Our collection, curated by the teacher librarian, includes over 14,000 titles, which include print and digital materials. You can access digital resources as well as each elementary school’s online library catalog through our TriSchool Library Website.
STAFF & SCHEDULE
Elementary libraries are staffed part time throughout the week. Kindergarten and first grade students have library lessons once a week. Second through fifth grade students have lessons every other week. A credentialed teacher librarian teaches the library curriculum designed to support students on their journey as voracious readers, inquisitive learners, critical thinkers, and responsible digital citizens.
The library is also open to students during morning and lunch recesses under the library assistant’s supervision. The library serves as a quieter and calmer alternative to outdoor recess where students come to read, craft, puzzle, play board games, or engage with building materials available through our mini makers-centers.
Tiffany Cothran, teacher librarian (Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday, Friday)
Sarah Keith, library assistant (Monday-Friday, part-time)
FAMILY ACCOUNTS & CHECKOUT
Family members are welcome to create an adult account in order to check out additional books for their students. The library is open from 3:00-3:15 on Tuesdays and Fridays, and 1:45-2:00 on Wednesdays for family checkout. Students must have an adult present to check out books on a family account.
Parent volunteers are an important element of our school library program. They help to staff the library during library lessons, class research projects, and recesses. To learn more, contact the current parent library liaison on the BPO website.
Helping each child develop a love for reading and writing is one of the primary goals in Piedmont. Whether your child is already an avid reader or reluctant to pick up a book, we have wonderful resources to enhance their learning of literacy skills.
In grades K through 3, Reading into Phonics, published by Sadlier is our adopted foundational literacy curriculum which covers skills such as phonics, phonemic awareness, and spelling. The district’s adopted curriculum for reading and writing is Units of Study from The Teachers College at Columbia University.
In the upper grades, our adopted curriculum is the Fountas and Pinnell Word Study System and Units of Study from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Our elementary school has been using the writing workshop model for more than a decade. Each workshop is designed to provide personalized instruction, including brief, highly focused lessons on one aspect of the writing craft as well as guided exercises to develop skills in writing.
Starting in Kindergarten, children are encouraged to express themselves through writing. Each day, we’re amazed by the complexity, beauty and progress we see in our students.
All students practice reading skills in a workshop model to ensure that all students are learning at their own level. In Kindergarten, First, and Second grades, students work in small groups using decodable readers to develop their skills, and work on comprehension. In Third, Fourth, and Fifth grades, students work in book clubs, small groups, and as a whole class to develop their reading skills.
Three times a year, our K-3 students are assessed using DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) to track their progress in reading, as well as screen for reading disabilities. In grades 4 and 5, students’ reading comprehension is assessed three times a year using the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI). Students are also assessed on spelling several times throughout the year.
If a student needs more support to reach a benchmark in literacy skills, we have a robust Reading Intervention program where interventionists work in small groups, or one-on-one, to reinforce the concepts being taught in the classrooms.
Learning practices that foster a growth mindset and curiosity are integral to the classroom mathematics community. Students are encouraged to take risks, make mistakes, explore, communicate, problem solve, reason and justify their thinking so that they are able to make sense of mathematics at the deepest levels. Through these experiences, students develop an appreciation for the beauty and creativity inherent in the field of mathematics.
All three elementary schools use Bridges in Mathematics, including Number Corner, as its core curriculum. Bridges is a comprehensive K-5 curriculum that equips the teachers to fully implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners.Through the use of various strategies and the use of manipulatives, students are supported in developing problem-solving skills as well as their confidence in their math concepts!
Teachers also enrich their classroom math programs with problem-solving resources from the Silicon Valley Math Initiative and other highly-engaging curricula. These programs, along with the Bridges curriculum provide many avenues for differentiation to meet student needs.
The Math Resource program provides supplemental support for students needing support, time, and attention, all in a small group or individualized setting. The math intervention teacher works collaboratively with classroom teachers to keep in step with the curriculum being taught at any point during the school year.
We are very fortunate to offer music instruction at all grade levels.
A music specialist provides vocal music instruction once a week for students in grades kindergarten through third. Kodaly and Orff methods of music teaching are practiced in the classroom. A holiday program in December and a spring concert provide a heartwarming experience where students perform seasonal works.
All fourth grade students participate in 40 minutes of musical instruction each week with Ms. Wilde. At the beginning of the year, students will learn about the brass, woodwind, and string families. In September they will make a selection between the following instruments: clarinet, flute, trombone, trumpet, violin, and viola. Students will be split into two groupings: band (brass/woodwinds) and orchestra (strings). They will learn about tone production on their instrument, how to play as a group, and learn to read rhythms and musical notation/tablature.
In fifth grade students will continue on the instrument they chose in fourth grade. (String students, however, have the opportunity to switch to cello based on availability of instruments.) All fifth grade students will participate in 40 minutes of musical instruction each week with Ms. Wilde. They will continue to refine their instrumental technique in either a band or orchestra grouping.
The tri-school physical education program is off to a dynamic start. We’ve kicked off the year with individual ball skills, cooperative and competitive team sports, muscle building fitness circuits and heart pumping Fun Runs. Students have been putting their best foot forward, whether it is a run, skip, hop or jump!
The Piedmont Elementary physical education curriculum is based on the California State Standards. Not only does this guide our teaching but it also directs the grading of students. Following is the grading supplement that explains what students learn at each grade level as well as the areas we evaluate for report cards. Please let us know if you have any questions about the grade reporting or your child’s physical education.
Heidi Sawicki (email@example.com)
PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION
“The purpose of physical education is to teach the whole student, not just their body and movement. Physical education provides the opportunity to teach students about movement, strategies, teamwork, problem solving and health related fitness.”
“The goal of physical education is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.”
To pursue a lifetime of healthful physical activity, a physically literate individual:
Has learned the skills necessary to participate in a variety of physical activities.
Knows the implications and the benefits of involvement in various types of physical activities.
Participates regularly in physical activity.
Is physically fit.
Values physical activity and its contributions to a healthful lifestyle.
Students in grades one through six must be provided with PE instruction with an “emphasis upon the physical activities for the pupils that may be conducive to health and vigor of body and mind, for a total period of time of not less than 200 minutes each 10 schooldays, exclusive of recesses and the lunch period” (EC Section 51210[a]).
CDE Physical Education Fact Sheet http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/pe/physeducfaqs.asp#top
PHYSICAL FITNESS TESTING
FitnessGram Performance Standards
California State Standards for Physical Education
Beach Elementary is part of a rich tri-school elementary science team. Teachers have access to the Lawrence Hall of Science FOSS (Full Option Science System) curriculum as well as many other resources to support science instruction in all curricular areas. FOSS is a research-based science program for grades K-8 developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are coming to Beach classrooms! NGSS curriculum emphasizes three essential dimensions of science instruction: Science and Engineering Practices (what scientists and engineers do), Crosscutting Concepts (how scientists and engineers think), and Disciplinary Core Ideas (what scientists and engineers know). Today’s students learn so much more than science content, they learn to be scientists! Come to our annual tri-school STEAM Expo (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) in the spring to find out more.
One of our primary goals at the elementary level is to create a safe, inclusive, kind, and respectful environment. Children at every grade level are given guidance on how to be a good friend, school citizen and student.
Inevitably problems will arise; this is part of growing up! When they do, teachers and staff are available to help students navigate through difficult situations. In addition, Beach is fortunate to have a school counselor, for those who need extra support and guidance.
Children at all grade levels learn age-appropriate examples of appropriate tools to help them understand how to be a good friend and classmate. We utilize Second Step curriculum and lessons from the Welcoming Schools curriculum at all grades to support this learning.
Beach Elementary’s technology curriculum teaches students to use digital tools to access, manage, evaluate and synthesize information in order to solve problems individually and collaboratively. The technology curriculum is integrated with all curricular areas, and is used as an instructional tool in reading, writing, math and science instruction.
The school’s technology program also emphasizes digital literacy and citizenship, including units developed by commonsensemedia.org to address these topics in an age-appropriate way. Lessons focus on thinking critically, behaving safely and participating responsibly with digital media.
Technology is a critical component to student advancement because it supports inquiry, communication, and analysis. Our implementation of technology resources is grounded in research, tied to curriculum, and focused on positively impacting student learning. Informing our approach are best practices of 21st century skills, ISTE’s NETS skills, and critical thinking derived from work around Bloom’s Taxonomy to create engaged and literate learners. Educational Technology aims to improve student achievement through providing:
1- equitable access to technology, through adequate student/computer ratios, security, maintenance and reliability
2- opportunities for students and staff to acquire 21st Century skills
3- support to state curricular standards by enhancing instruction planning, delivery, practice, assessment, and communication
Computer lab periods are scheduled for all 1st – 5th grades. 3rd, 4th and 5th grades are also outfitted with chromebooks for each student in the classrooms. Library workstations are also available for student use.