Instruction

We teach the whole child. Students learn, build healthy bodies, make friends, and feel confident

The NOVA faculty is skillful at teaching in ways that accommodate different student learning styles and skill levels. Developmentally appropriate hands-on activities, individual, group and whole class instruction, projects, demonstrations, experiments, role playing, performances, exhibits and field trips are all used in elementary school. Students receive instruction in Reading/LA, Math and Science daily and on alternating days they have Art and Music, and Dance and Physical Education. Information technology, Macedonian Language, and Library are scheduled two or three times a week, depending on the grade level.

Meaningful homework is assigned that reinforces the lessons taught during the day, and gives students more time to complete tasks begun in class. The amount of homework is appropriate for each grade level and students are expected to read every night.

The school day begins promptly at 8:00 and ends at 15:00. Students are expected to be in their classrooms and ready to begin at 8:00 and may arrive at 7:45. Take this out – it’s already in with the “The School Day”.

More information about the specific curriculum taught in each subject by grade can be found in the Course Catalogue section.

 

Assessment

We help all children succeed

NOVA is a student-centered elementary school where we honor all stages of a child’s progress. We understand that students learn along a continuum of skills and develop in a specific manner as they mature. Our assessments are developmentally appropriate for each grade level. Many different assessment tools are used to chart growth, such as: continuums, rubrics, self-assessments, peer-assessments, portfolios, checklists, performances and tests. Beginning ESL students are often assessed differently until their proficiency is high enough for them to express the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in written or spoken form.

On report cards and student work these descriptors are used:

BEGINNING = introduction, needs much support

DEVELOPING = understands and applies some concepts, needs support

PROFICIENT= understands and applies most concepts, needs minimal support

MASTERY = understands and applies concepts consistently and independently

ESL = not sufficient English proficiency to be assessed in subject area

NG = no grade because of absences

*Beginning or * Developing = not working at expected grade level

 

Our report cards are standards-based and identify the skills taught in each semester. The report is designed to show progress, for example a child who received a “Beginning” description in the fall may progress to “Mastery” in the spring. Two report cards are given at the end of each semester, in January and June, and two parent/teacher conferences where student portfolios will be reviewed are mandatory, one in November, and one in March. The report card also notes student behavior and study habits, which are an important part of the learning process. The teacher may also write a short narrative to highlight or explain specific areas of growth or concern.

 

NOVA views assessment as a tool to encourage, motivate and inform and we understand the proper expectations for each grade level. If a student is not working up to grade level, we work together as a team, the student, parents, and teachers to identify the challenges and devise a program that will help the student succeed. We believe creating and maintaining a strong partnership with parents is essential for student success.