Our upper school team takes each child's needs into account.
To best meet our goals of a personalized learning model, our upper school team takes each child’s needs into account. With our skilled teaching staff leading the way, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students can expect to be challenged and enriched throughout each school day based on the excellent courses and opportunities available to them. All students start each day with their homeroom grade teacher. The first 2 hours focuses on the Humanities: Reading, Writing and History. The 3 subjects are often integrated and are designed to challenge and meet each student where they are in their learning. With the flexibility of a small class size, teacher’s projects and lessons focus on providing individual 1 on 1 instruction, support and inspiration. The close connections that our teachers form with our students helps to drive their success inside the classroom and beyond.
Math Groups meet 5 times a week for 1 hour to delve deeply into the vibrant, colorful, and dynamic world of math. Throughout the entire school, Math occurs at the same time to allow students to move to the math class that challenges them most appropriately. This schedule model allows for students to continually grow in their math education and not be limited by the curriculum of their own grade level. Our program supports students in a wide range of learning needs, including those who excel well beyond the standards of their grade.
Afternoon Curriculum at Spring Hill is full of dynamic and diverse programs. Along with our special courses that are offered throughout our grades (Drama, Art, PE, Music, Dance and Science), students receive special courses and electives. Three classes of Spanish a week, Social Skills and Film are all special courses the Upper School receives. Electives include Design Lab, Tech Challenge, Typing, Life Lab, Advanced Spanish, Cultural Studies and Rock Band. These elective courses are just another part of our program that targets student interests and passions.
Teams of teachers also work together to provide student STEAM days. These happen 8 times throughout the year. This is a whole school event, mixed age groups, focusing on social skills, science, technology, engineering, art and math activities witin a particular theme. In addition, these STEAM days are ways for us to involve our local community, whether it be local agencies coming in to support the learning with real world experiences, or as places for our students to volunteer as community members.
UPPER SCHOOL SCIENCE
To encourage an interest in the process of science, a hands-on inquiry based approach is used. Students learn how to use models, keep records, and devise investigations as they look for answers in the evidence they observe. Each topic will include messy, hands-on science, exciting demonstrations and practice in literacy strategies that will facilitate the success of each student in the class.
The first part of the year is an introduction into the investigative aspects of science through a biology unit called Environmental Detectives. The students will try to solve the mystery of the dying fish in the watershed of the Gray Area. Next the students will be introduced to the wonders of chemistry. This includes more inquiry-based mystery, study of the periodic table, laboratory techniques, and reactions. We will then move to an in depth study of space with an astronomy unit. And the end of the year we will return to earth to study geology and plate tectonics.
Students are expected to conduct an independent science project for the school science fair. Projects are judged at the school fair and some projects are chosen to go on to the Santa Cruz County Science Fair.