Because it is our mission to provide an excellent school program in which children are able “To increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man;” we teach our students that we increase in wisdom by expecting teachers and students to do their best in learning––and we measure success one student at a time. Here are some ways that our students are growing academically:
AJA starts our students on the right track by making perfect placements within the early years of the school experience. Grade level placements are recommended depending on a child’s developmental age and readiness testing for the school setting and curriculum. Our highly qualified staff works with each family to tailor and craft the perfect classroom experience enabling each child to develop positive attitudes towards learning and experience maximum growth each year.
Our multi-age classrooms allow each child to learn at their "just right" learning level. All children benefit from review and enrichment. By being in a multi-grade classroom they are able to review skills, preview what's coming up, and stretch themselves to do their personal best.
Our staff builds each child’s confidence in learning, sharing, and speaking. We teach problem-solving skills and create a safe place to learn how school works. Children are placed and carefully paced through their elementary years with the continued use of progress reporting, and in partnership with the family’s goals for their child’s education. To learn more about how our multi-grade classrooms can benefit your child… read more about each of our classrooms.
Music is good for the brain! An education in music provides an opportunity for cognitive development that no other school subject offers. Music uniquely combines right brain and left brain activities resulting in total brain development. Our students participate in twice weekly lessons with our music teacher. They learn about instruments, rhythm, musical notation, experience a variety of musical styles and enjoy singing together as a choir too!
Here are some resources from PBS on the benefits of music education to overall learning.
Art can be messy, but tons of fun! Our students are introduced to a variety of art mediums throughout their years at AJA. They experiment with crayon, marker, pencil, watercolors, charcoal, tempera, acrylic, paper mâché, and more! Art is taught weekly and integrated into other parts of our curriculum as well. Students learn the 8 elements of art and design and participate in art appreciation activities by studying various styles, artists, and periods.
These curriculum-linked, developmentally appropriate outings provide the opportunity for experiential learning not ordinarily available in the classroom. They range from learning about animals at the zoo, to exploring at the Eagle River Science Center, and appreciating storytelling for kids at the Alaska Performing Arts center.
These outdoor outings are incorporated into our yearly curriculum because we believe that children benefit from intimate knowledge of the natural world, a knowledge gained by experiencing the outdoors first hand. The world of nature is “God’s second book,” and the treasures stored within its pages are invaluable. These outings range from a leaf walk down our country road, to exploring stream life, to outings in nature.
Teachers create quarterly growth reports and give feedback on student learning and progress. Parents are invited to come into the classroom and see what their children are working on. Families are welcome to get updates from teachers between these times as well.
During the school year, each student’s progress is assessed 3 times a year using standardized tests such as MAP Growth. MAP Growth measures what students know and informs what they’re ready to learn next. By dynamically adjusting to each student’s responses, MAP Growth creates a personalized assessment experience that accurately measures performance. Performance reports help teachers teach, students learn, and administrators lead.
These assessments are nationally normed standardized tests offering educators a diagnostic look at how students are progressing in key academic areas. The results of these tests are shared with parents throughout the year.
The principal and teaching staff study the aggregate scores carefully to identify trends and refine the teaching approach in specific subject area(s).
We are proud of the fact that are students, on average, consistently score above grade level. And more proud of the fact that they typically make more than one full year’s progress in one year’s time. If you are interested in learning more, just ask our principal.