A Progressive Education
The curriculum at CCS embraces students' individual learning styles and interests. We emphasize critical thinking, communication, and creativity. We have high academic expectations and are committed to fostering social-emotional growth.
The foundational elements of our curriculum are:
- Active learning
- Collaborative projects
- Emphasis on process and product
- Public speaking
- Project-based learning
- Integrated instruction
- Strong emphasis on critical thinking
- Strong teacher-student relationships
- Recognition and cultivation of children's individual learning styles
- Attention to the whole child (intellectual, artistic, kinesthetic, social and emotional)
Stimulating Children's Natural Curiosity
The Cascade Canyon School K-5 elementary program fosters insightful thinking, exploration, and problem solving. In addition to the core elementary curriculum, students participate in Spanish, Art, Music, Theater, STEAM, and PE. We believe that the rich exposure to core and specialist learning stimulates children's natural curiosity and desire to learn.
Discovery & Connection
In Kindergarten and 1st grade students gain strong foundational skills. Students make meaningful connections with one another, across the curriculum, and with the greater CCS community. The Kindergarten and 1st Grade curriculum emphasizes play-based learning and exploration of the natural world.
Risk Taking & Expression
2nd and 3rd Graders are really getting to know themselves as learners and communicators. The second and third grade curriculum takes full advantage of their new and growing abilities to overcome obstacles and consider multiple perspectives. Through investigation and inquiry, 2nd and 3rd graders dive into projects, collaboration, and independent learning with enthusiasm and purpose.
Growth & Independence
4th and 5th grade students step up as leaders in the Elementary School. Students model curiosity, perseverance, self-advocacy, and respect for one another. Our 4th and 5th grade curriculum is designed to guide students through an exciting year of academic and personal discovery.
Building Life & Leadership Skills
Middle School students are active leaders in our connected K-8 learning community. Their heightened self-awareness and self-control contribute to their success as role models here at CCS. The middle school program emphasizes depth over breadth, and builds upon the foundation established in the Kindergarten-5th grade years. Middle School students work at a higher level of abstraction- analyzing, synthesizing, and applying their knowledge in new and exciting ways.
Problem Solving & Perspective
Our 6th graders make the transition from elementary school to middle school. 6th grade curriculum delves deeper into more challenging, and often more abstract, content. Students are expected to sustain focus over longer periods of time. They learn to read and write with greater sophistication, tolerate ambiguity, weigh multiple perspectives, recognize patterns, and solve interesting problems.
Character-Building & Self-Awareness
Seventh Grade at Cascade Canyon School equips students with a variety of critical thinking strategies and a wide array of transferable skills in the areas of self expression, problem solving, organization, collaboration, and interpersonal development. Students will extend their learning and develop research and presentation skills through integrated projects. On the social emotional front, students will continue to grow and become more confident. They learn to advocate for themselves and plan for their future endeavors.
Academic & Social Confidence
The 8th grade curriculum is designed to prepare students for the rigors of high school. Students develop the strategies and skills necessary to think critically, solve problems, stay organized, and collaborate with their peers. 8th Graders become more confident learners and learn to advocate for themselves and others.
Middle School science
Investigation, Inquiry, and Experimentation
Middle school scientists demonstrate more sophisticated collaborative and independent learning skills. Students investigate a variety of topics within the areas of physical science, life science, and earth and space science. Using the scientific method, they build models, ask meaningful questions, conduct experiments, and engage in lively scientific debate. Students collect and analyze data, and report their scientific findings.
STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math
Full STEAM Ahead!
The STEAM curriculum at Cascade Canyon School focuses on developing skills in design and engineering. Through STEAM, students learn that they can make anything, using a combination of cloud based CAD software and 3D printers. The curriculum was developed by James with help from Standford’s Design School. The “dSchool” at Stanford promotes a design strategy called “Design Thinking”, in which empathy and human connection are held as valuable sources of insight and innovation in the creative process. Through collaborative design challenges, students learn how to work as a team, how to ask good questions as empathetic observers, and how to persist through multiple iterations when initial designs fail.
Art, Music, & Theater
At CCS, we strongly believe that the arts are essential components of a child's education. All of our K-8 students take art, music, and theater. They are asked to share their creative work in our school-wide performances and exhibitions. In addition to providing students with art, music, and theater classes, the arts are integrated into the K-8 core curriculum.
Embracing the Creative Core Through Visual Arts
Artists at CCS travel an adventurous path. The universal language of the visual arts provides experiences that help each student express and expand their imaginations. Students make art; observe art; think about art; and interpret art. The art curriculum asks students to consider the influences/approaches of other cultures, people, and artists. As they relate art to and with each other, they discover alternative ways of knowing the world! In art class, we practice flexibility, originality, curiosity, complex thinking, risk-taking, being inventive, and searching for differences and similarities.
Culture and Passion
We will be collaborating with Youth in Arts this year for our music education. Youth in Arts allows us to bring a diverse set of musicians and teachers into our classrooms to share their culture and expertise with our students. Each semester, the music curriculum is shaped anew by the culture and passions of the artists who join us. The music program integrates three core strands of movement, singing, and instrumental work.
Taking the Stage
The theater program helps students explore who they are, find their voice, and learn how to create and perform together. Students explore storytelling, pantomime, monologue, speech, characterization, theater settings, costumes, props, and script writing. In theater students learn the process of giving and recieving feedback from peers to revise performances.
social & emotional learning
Communicating Feelings, Needs, and Requests
One of the strengths of CCS is the way the school prioritizes and attends to each child’s social and emotional development. Our close-knit learning community allows students to develop self-awareness, confidence, trust, responsibility, empathy, and kindness. With teacher guidance students learn to constructively resolve conflict and use positive communication.
Fostering Growth Mindsets
CCS is committed to helping students develop growth mindsets. We encourage students to take risks in an environment in which they feel safe, respected, and valued. Mistakes are celebrated and viewed as learning opportunities.
outdoor education & School Trips
Experiential Learning & Collaboration
Cascade Canyon School strengthens our students’ sense of community and independence through outdoor education and school trips. The fall overnight trip focuses on hands-on outdoor learning and environmental education. The students learn to work together as a class and form strong connections with their teachers and peers.
In addition to school-wide overnight trips, classes extend learning through a variety of field trips to enrich the curriculum and make real-world connections.
Encouraging Teamwork & Healthy Habits
The Physical Education program at CCS balances instruction in teamwork, coordination, skill building, game playing, body awareness, and overall fitness. As students progress through PE they develop good sportsmanship, learn a variety of sports, and set personal fitness goals.
Leaders & Activists
Graduates of Cascade Canyon School are self-aware, collaborative, and willing to take risks. They are recognized for their kindness and community service. CCS graduates are involved citizens who advocate for social and environmental justice. We always enjoy having alumni visit to share their post-CCS experiences and adventures.