Elementary Education Excellence
North Side's elementary school program focuses on mastering the basics. Scholars learn through a variety of methods, regularly benefiting from individual and small group attention. The personalized focus is provided by dedicated classroom teachers as well as professionally trained interventionists and volunteer tutors trained by our grade level principals and teachers.
Mornings at North Side are devoted to the basics of reading, writing, and math. After lunch, social studies and science topics are explored as part of daily learning. Music, art, and physical education are taught on a rotation each week.
The foundation of North Side Community School's literacy program is intensive work on reading and writing. Our ELA program stresses the natural, creative, pleasurable, and comprehension process of reading. Our teachers take a balanced approach to literacy acquisition. We’ve recently revitalized our program to ensure our lessons align to Missouri Learning Standards and challenge students to be excited to read and reading to learn. There is a balance of direct instruction in phonics, phonemic awareness, reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Students receive small group and individual instruction in literacy daily. We regularly incorporate guest readers into our day.
Math workshop is a key part of our academic program. Our job is to prepare students to be proficient in fact fluency and understand different procedures for solving diverse math problems. Research supports the need for regular and repeated instruction and practice in basic concepts, memorization of math facts, a focus in the early grades on thinking/conceptualizing mathematically, extra attention to multiplication and division, fractions, and all functions with long numbers in the intermediate grades. At NSCS, we believe all students should carry a growth mindset into the classroom, be confident in their work, inquire, ask questions, and develop a deeper understanding of mathematics aligned to state standards.
North Side uses the mySci K-5 curriculum to explores science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through interactive experiences. Launched in 2005 with a generous grant from the Monsanto Fund, mySci was developed by Washington University's Institute for School Partnership and other local education leaders. The curriculum is comprised of 25 units arranged by grade level and core science area. The units use the 5E Learning Cycle (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate) as the instructional model. Each unit emphasizes scientific and engineering practices and focuses on a core disciplinary idea appropriate for the grade level. The learning progressions enable students to build on prior knowledge.
In pre-k and kindergarten, we teach science as part of theme-based units.
North Side aims to instill a love of music and the arts in our students. We believe music is as natural a form of human expression as speech. Through music instruction and performance, children develop language skills, the power of self-expression, the ability to discipline their senses and minds, the capacity to work together, and an appreciation of the beauty of choral and instrumental music. Students receive instruction in music every week. During the extended school day, select students in 2nd-5th grade are part of the school choir and chimes ensemble.
North Side combines freedom of artistic expression with core knowledge of art elements to create endless creativity in the art room. Our classes expand creative thinking skills, build self-discipline, and develop gross and fine motor skills. We help students discover how art impacts their everyday lives. Our primary focus is to broaden students' awareness of line, shape, form, color, value, texture, space, pattern, balance, emphasis, rhythm, proportion, and unity. Each project is developed based on one or more of these elements, helping students develop a keen awareness of the importance of each. Students are exposed to the impact of art history and develop positive critiquing skills when referencing a work of art.