Quick Facts on MAS’ Elementary Program
- MAS elementary school classrooms have approximately 30 students per class and in most cases, there are two full time, licensed teachers in each classroom!
- Our school day for elementary students is the same as the school day for middle and high school students. We recognize that this is a long day; however, we also know that our students need to make tremendous gains in reading and math, among other subjects, in order to be college-ready. We extend the school day because significantly more time in school means significantly more learning!
- MAS elementary students do not take naps. We recognize our school day is significantly longer than most elementary schools, but within a short period of time, students adjust beautifully to the long, but structured and engaging school day.
- MAS elementary students are provided a mid-morning snack per day. Both snacks are provided by MAS and are free of charge. We recognize the importance of ensuring good nutrition for our students to keep them energized and focused.
- MAS does not have “traditional” recess for our elementary students. However, we provide a structured playtime every day and elementary students are also scheduled for PE every other day to provide an appropriate outlet to release energy and teach and encourage socialization skills.
- MAS offers a before and after-school program for our elementary students and this program is housed in our multi-purpose facility and is available to families free of charge!
- MAS provides limited public school transportation to students. A bus schedule with bus stop locations and times is available in the main office as well as on our website. All grade levels ride the bus together, but elementary students are separated from middle and high school students on the buses.
- Every minute counts! The culture of MAS is one where value is placed on making every minute of instruction matter. We teach students structured procedures for everything from entering the building in the morning to leaving the building at the end of the day, and everything in between! In order to ensure that every minute counts, we explicitly teach students routines and procedures to maximize our instructional time with students. While we value structure, we also value nurturing our students and ensuring that they find learning at MAS so much fun that they would come to school every day even if they were not required to!
Elementary Courses with General Course Descriptions
MAS recognizes the importance of literacy and learning to read in the primary grades so that they can read to learn beyond these grades. As a result, in grades K-3, students receive THREE 90-minute instructional periods focusing on reading and writing. Our curriculum includes usage of the Reading Mastery and Language Mastery programs and Wit & Wisdom language arts curriculum. In grades 4-5, literacy instruction is reduced to two 90-minute periods per day. The extensive time dedicated to literacy makes MAS elementary students some of the strongest readers in the State of New Mexico based on Istation performance, our interim assessment measure to determine student growth and learning!
At MAS, our mathematics curriculum was developed utilizing the Five Steps to a Balanced Math Program. The five steps included in the program design are modeled after the recommendations of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and implementation of the program supports MAS teachers in building mathematically powerful students. The five steps program emphasizes supporting students to not only solve mathematical problems, but to effectively communicate their understanding to others. The curriculum is designed so that teachers provide “balanced” instruction to support students in learning more than “procedural” or computational mathematics. The curriculum is deliberately created to support students in gaining a deep understanding of math so that they can apply their math skills and reasoning abilities to solve real-life problems requiring mathematical solutions. Our math program is centered on activity-based investigations, which encourage our students to think creatively and develop their own approaches to problem-solving and work cooperatively.
New Mexico recently changed to Next Generation Science standards, as a result, MAS teaches these standards using HMH’s Science Dimensions. We teach science as a stand alone course starting in grade four through high school. In grades K-3, science is embedded through the English language arts curriculum.
We believe the arts are an integral part of educating the whole child and a critical part of the school day. Elementary students are exposed to various fine arts including, but not limited to, art, music, and dance.
At MAS, we introduce a variety of sports and other physical activities to provide students with the necessary skills needed to learn about, and improve their fitness and health, while having fun through activities that allow the utilization of fine and gross motor skills. The physical education curriculum allows the opportunity to teach active participation in group games, develop the habits to maintain physical well-being, focus on conflict resolution and team building skills, and provide opportunities to challenge students both mentally and physically. Elementary students have physical education every other day to keep them healthy, fit, and to provide them an appropriate outlet to release their energy!