Curriculum

Overview

The Reading Difference is Greengate School

Across a rich and challenging curriculum, students from Kindergarten through 8th grade find encouragement to pursue their talents and interests in math, science, social studies, physical education, and the arts. An active, energetic learning environment fosters discovery, exploration, understanding, and the opportunity for each student to show what he or she can accomplish. 

Multi-Sensory Teaching and Individual Tutoring

At Greengate, teachers actively engage children’s learning through all of their senses. Sight, sound, touch, and taste and smell all have a role to play in the effective acquisition of new skills and concepts and in review. Orton-Gillingham structured, multi-sensory language teaching methods form the basis of daily, individualized tutoring and language lessons for beginning students. Research shows that reading instruction that is explicit, systematic, sequential and cumulative benefits children with reading difficulties (dyslexia). Daily individualized tutoring for all students provides opportunity for crucial practice and review.

Unfortunately, as children with learning differences (LD) struggle to succeed in public or other more traditional private schools, many deal daily with verbal abuse and humiliation from their peers. Even though many of these kids are gifted, students with learning differences can become disheartened, unsure of who they are and what they can do. Whether it’s their inability to complete class work at the same pace as others, the embarrassment they feel when asked to read aloud, or the stigma of being shuffled off to special classes, their self-esteem suffers and it becomes increasingly difficult to motivate them. At Greengate, we help our students learn about the strengths that are typical of dyslexia, as well as self-advocacy skills to help overcome weaknesses. 

Curriculum Guide

Our curriculum is designed to support the strengths of the individual student while offering remediation in areas of weakness. Based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, the academic program is not limited to offering accommodations or modifications to assignments.  Students gain skills and the ability to access the tools necessary to become independent learners.

The following are some features of the instructional program at Greengate:

Homework Policies

Students have the responsibility of completing homework, not parents. Parents should be ensuring that their child attempts each assignment. Before coming to Greengate, most students struggled with completing homework, and it often became a stressful, all night affair that left the child and parents in tears. Greengate teachers assign homework that can be completed independently and successfully. Students know that if they do encounter problems, they are encouraged to advocate for themselves by contacting the teacher prior to 8:00pm for guidance.

School-wide Organization System

Every student has a tabbed notebook and agenda that parents and teachers check daily.  Newsletters, student work, and other correspondence is sent home in the “Wednesday folder”, found in the notebook. Organizational skills are reviewed every morning, as students prepare their materials for the day. All students are taught to use the same heading for papers.

Grades Structure

At Greengate, students are placed in groupings, rather than simply grade divisions. We do consider appropriate developmental placement, but these groupings allow student placements to be determined by a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, rather than just by chronological age.  

Traditional Grades Greengate Group
Kindergarten Sprites
1st Grade Unicorns
2nd Grade Argonauts
3rd Grade Pegasus
4th Grade Perseus
5th Grade Centaurs
6th Grade Sphinx
7th Grade Phoenix
8th Grade Olympians

 

Cursive Handwriting

All students, even those in Kindergarten, are taught cursive handwriting.