The lower school maintains a strong core program of Bible, language arts, reading, math, science, and social studies courses. Creating a collaborative, responsive, and supportive classroom setting is at the core of instruction. The student experience is enriched by participation in STEAM Lab, art, music, and Spanish classes once a week. In addition, all lower school students have P.E. daily. Students in fifth grade participate weekly in exploratory band class with concert performances. Christian worldview standards of instruction are woven throughout all subject and grade levels, allowing students to see their world through the framework of God's creativity.
The Academy Kindergarten fills each day with learning experiences that guide students’ growth as beginning readers and mathematicians and builds habits for student life in the years to come. Bible stories, praise and worship, phonics instruction, stories and rhyme, patterns and number sequence, ABC Bible memory verses, self-help skills, and kindness in helping and learning with others all fill the kindergartner’s day while he/she explores the wonder and awe of growing in knowledge of the world in which God has placed us.
The first grade year is one filled with experiences that guide skill development toward becoming age-appropriately competent in reading, addition, subtraction, writing, listening, speaking, thinking, and truly becoming students—all within the reality that six and seven year olds are in perpetual motion physically, self-absorbed emotionally, wanting to please socially, intellectually able to begin solving problems and hear the answers to their many questions—but still trying to increase very short attention spans and self-control.
First grade is a year filled with phonics and syllable types, addition and subtraction, special themed celebrations, memorizing the Christmas story in Luke 2, flowering the cross at Easter, and reading, reading, reading every day.
Second grade is the year of mastery for all of the skills taught in kindergarten and first grade. Second graders have become readers and many meet and surpass their goal of reading 100 books during the year. Addition and subtraction concepts are understood and students are introduced to fact drill and memorization.
Students also form friendships while learning to cooperate and collaborate, and even how to disagree graciously as they navigate their tendencies towards “black and white, right or wrong, no middle-ground” in this conceptual stage of development. All of this while studying the soil, observing the metamorphosis of a butterfly, solving math problems, celebrating the Reformation, reading, learning about America, preparing for Easter with a Passover feast, writing stories, listening to stories, and so much more!
The third grade year is the beginning of putting all the early learning skills into the practice of research, study, and projects in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Continuing to become more fluent as readers, students choose one person for biography reading and research and spend several weeks completing their report, display, portrait, and dress for the Living History Museum.
Projects in science and language along with the mastery of multiplication fill this pivotal year of transition from primary to upper elementary student life. Reading/studying Pilgrims Progress culminates this year where the foundation has been laid for the student’s continued life-long learning.
The Fourth Grade is a year marked by developmental readiness for greater individual student responsibility and a growing ability to analyze and think more deeply about what is learned. Students are guided in study and organizational skills and the development of best learning practices, while wrestling internally with their own individuality, forming friendships, working as a team of classmates learning and growing together. Individual responsibility within collaborative project work fills the fourth graders’ day.
The opportunity for growth of this personal responsibility in learning is nurtured by completing homework, checking online assignments and resources, participating in group gestures for grammar memorization, learning a script to serve as docent at the Hermitage, building and wiring small-scale house models, and earning compliment parties. The days include long division, problem solving, writing projects, learning more of God’s story in Old Testament history, and more in the students’ growth towards well-equipped upper elementary school students.
Fifth grade, the last year of the lower school years, is focused on continuing to bring to light each individual’s strengths while guiding the class relationships and growth with the theme verse from Philippians 2:3,4. Collaborative teamwork and building deeper trust in God and one another is the major goal of the year, energized by the fall trip to Nature’s Classroom. This others-centered process for learning continues as students assume leadership roles through the daily activities of elementary school of work and play together in the many activities available.
The years’ curriculum exposes students to ecosystems, decimals and fractions, the writing process, power point presentations, weather stations, one hundred years of American history, problem solving, and continued organization and study habits development. The fifth grade year culminates with Commendation, a graduation ceremony celebrating the strengths evidenced in this team of students as they head toward their middle school years.
CPA Lower School's unique approach to developing the whole child addresses spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, and creative aspects of growth and discovery.
- P.E. Every Day
CPA believes that physical fitness and well-being is a critical life-long skill, and an integral aspect of intellectual health. Instructors use daily classes to give students both a channel for their physical energy and a vChristian worldview on body image, teamwork, sportsmanship, and vitality.
- STEAM Lab
The STEAM Lab is not only a space for exploration in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, but also a place for students be creative in their own interests and at their own pace. An ambient atmosphere where no project is off limits, the lab is a true creative and collaborative haven for students. Fueled by hypothesis and curiosity, projects often come with deeper lessons of learning from failure and reprogramming from the beginning.
- Fifth Forward
This unique program empowers qualifying fifth grade students as leaders in the lower school. Affording students with servant leadership opportunities, as well as school ambassadorship, builds confidence and responsibility as fifth graders prepare for the middle school transition.
- WIN Time
Brainchild of the lower school academic leadership team, WIN time provides "What I Need" for students on a daily basis. A daily time set aside for students to benefit from targeted support, enrichment, and extension based on their individualized learning profile.
- Connection on a PS-12 Campus
The advantages of being on campus with students in middle and upper school are endless. The PS-12 campus not only provides lower school students with the excitement of being a part of a community bigger than themselves, but it also forges connections with older classmates. Whether spending time reading with Big Brothers and Sisters Club in the upper school, or attending an all-school pep rally, CPA lower schoolers see the community come alive through the experiences of middle and upper schoolers.
- Technologically Integrated Classrooms
Every lower school classroom is equipped with a smart board and interactive digital tools to enhance learning. Students are taught digital citizenship while parents are educated on the ever changing digital landscape.