Like a magician’s trick or grandma’s secret cookie recipe, a successful journey through elementary and middle school can sometimes seem like an elusive concept. It doesn’t have to be. ASD is proud to help students find clarity in that journey. We do this not by ignoring the growing pains, but by embracing them. Students are held to a high standard of excellence, because teachers see educational struggles not as failures, but rather as opportunities for growth.
The school implements standards-based curricula and assessments and teachers believe in collaborative planning practices to guarantee the fidelity of every child’s education. Teachers educate the whole child and encourage students to take agency over their own educational path. Cultivating a sense of community ranks as a top priority, since knowing each other is the natural first step in being compassionate toward one another. Therefore, we implement responsive classroom, including daily meetings focused on fostering a sense of friendship and community.
We also use a student mentoring program for new students transitioning in. Students feel welcomed by staff and students alike, as they collaboratively strive toward integration and independence.
Kindergarten at ASD is a place where strong foundations are built for a lifetime of learning. Our Kindergarten teachers believe it is a privilege to help open young minds, and to encourage them to become explorers in ways that will set them up to become happy, enquiring students with good verbal and social skills.
From the earliest grades, our students are active learners. They analyze and question, take risks and learn from failure in a supportive environment that gives them opportunities to express themselves through writing, presentations and discussions. In elementary school, we work on building children's self-confidence and self-advocacy. As well as the core curriculum subjects, our young learners have regular sessions in physical education, art, music, Arabic and visits to the school library. Experiential learning beyond the classroom through field trips keeps them engaged in learning in the wider world.
The transition from elementary to middle school brings its own unique challenges and ASD teachers are sensitive to this. Guided by a distinctive middle school philosophy, we provide a carefully structured, well-balanced curricular and co-curricular program designed to support students' development. In line with recognized U.S. educational standards, our middle school program focuses on meeting the educational and social needs of the young adolescent.
Appropriate content knowledge in all subjects is carefully balanced in order to guide students through these years of significant social, physical, emotional and cognitive development.