We recognize what a true gift it is to celebrate the uniqueness of every learner. Every day, we accept the responsibility of creating a learning environment where curiosity is encouraged, minds are appropriately challenged, individual talents and needs are recognized, and a collaborative spirit is fostered. To this end, we have developed a balanced curriculum where the essential understandings in the core subjects of language arts, math, social studies, and science are intentionally and seamlessly woven into interdisciplinary experiences that cultivate 21st century skills.
Students are constantly “doing,” whether they are measuring in math, working as a team in science, or creating and selling gently used shoes to participate in a community service project while exploring the concept of economics.
Specialist teachers provide instruction in art, music, and Spanish. Students are also given opportunities to be leaders in and outside the classroom. Our students are challenged to think “outside the box” and be confident in their ability to question, examine and learn within a challenging curriculum.
The overall philosophy of our math program is for our students to love math, build confidence, and see the relevance of math in everyday life. Math provides experiences to explore, learn and practice mathematics in a range of settings, including whole class, small groups, partners, and individually. The main function of the curriculum is to teach students that math can and should be used every day, not just in isolation. New Horizons Elementary School implements the University of Chicago’s Everyday Mathematics curriculum. The core of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum is real-life problem solving, balanced instruction, and multiple methods of instruction. Everyday Mathematics creates a spiraling curriculum that builds on the concrete and moves to the more abstract. We believe that students understand mathematics best when it is related to their own experiences, inspiring them to become mathematical thinkers. The Everyday Mathematics program spirals so children are given multiple exposures to math concepts before mastery is expected. Through interactive games, inquiries, and open-ended questions, students learn the processes involved in solving mathematical problems with creativity, flexibility and perseverance. We provide a learning environment that enables the students to utilize real-life situations, intuition and experimentation to solve problems. Our teachers place an emphasis on basic fact mastery and knowledge of number sense. Students experience fun methods of learning whole numbers and place value, decimals and fractions, measurement, geometry, data analysis, quantitative reasoning and algebra.
Science at New Horizons is truly an opportunity for each student’s inquisitive spirit to soar. The students are immersed in hands-on experiences, enabling them to explore a variety of scientific concepts. These scientific experiences strategically build from year to year and children work as scientists by observing, classifying, and recording data collected through their investigations. All grades participate in our school wide Science Fair held each spring. From exploring with magnets and observing the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, to planting and cultivating the crops in our organic garden each season, our science program actively nurtures students’ natural curiosity.
Our social studies curriculum focuses on the study of people in relation to their past, present, and future; their environment, and their society. Our curriculum encourages curiosity and helps students develop an understanding of a rapidly changing world. Students become aware of their personal and cultural identities, and they acquire the skills and knowledge needed to actively participate in their classroom, school, community, and world.
New Horizons Elementary strives to create lifelong readers who effectively communicate ideas and judgments about literary works from all genres. Reading Street is a comprehensive language arts program that introduces, reinforces and enriches reading comprehension skills and strategies and fluency. Spelling and grammar are key components of the Reading Street program that are not taught in isolation. Consistent assessment allows students the opportunity to strengthen and expand these reading strategies. Teaching the writing process is woven into the Language Arts curriculum at New Horizons. The actual writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising and editing, rewriting, publishing—mirrors the way proficient writers write. In using the writing process, our students are able to break writing into manageable chunks and they can focus on producing quality writing pieces independently. The final stage, publishing, ensures that students have an audience of peers and cross curricular sharing. Students take on the role as a coach during various stages of the process for further emphasis on audience and greater collaboration during editing. Writing portfolios are created and maintained from Kindergarten -5th grade.
Our goal is for students to become competent, confident and safe technology users. Beginning with a foundation of identifying technology as a resource for research, keyboarding and operation instruction, students also learn to use utilize technology as a creative presentation medium and create a variety of products across grade levels. In addition to instruction, students benefit from the use of iPads and laptops in the classroom. Classrooms are equipped with Apple TV’s and document cameras. Technology curriculum integration transitions easily using these classroom tools. In alignment with our technology philosophy, New Horizons equips teachers and students with the tools necessary for success in today’s world.
The physical education program builds and develops cardiovascular strength, muscle, agility and athletic fundamentals through a wide variety of activities and sports. The curriculum covers an abundance of games and lessons, from golfing, basketball, volleyball, tennis, bowling, jump roping, and folk dancing to name just a few. Games and drills are hosted in our gymnasium, playground and outdoor fields. The physical education program continuously builds on a foundation for lifelong health and wellness.