Grades Kindergarten through 8
P.G. Chambers School students participate in a full academic program where learning is supported by access to technology, research-based curricula, and collaborative professional expertise. High-quality instructional programs address each student’s individual learning style. Teachers, speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses work as a team to ensure successful participation in instruction. Teaching strategies utilize a wide range of high and low assistive technology and multi-sensory approaches. The teams deliver instruction within a meaningful context to foster motivation, mastery, and application to everyday life. The PGCS curriculum offers a unique blend of academic approaches to instruction chosen to develop success for all students. Data-driven academic instruction is combined with opportunities for expression and exploration through the arts in whole class and small group art and music classes.
Movement opportunities are created throughout the day to foster health, fitness, and readiness for learning. All instruction is supported by assistive technology and occupational, physical, and speech therapies. Families are encouraged to participate in lessons, join parent groups, and support the many school activities. As students graduate to middle school age classes, person-centered planning is offered to students and families to help facilitate thoughtful transitions to high school.
Elementary School Program
Students ages 5 through 8 years in classes kindergarten through third grade
At P.G. Chambers School, students participate in a full academic program beginning in the elementary school program. Learning is supported by access to technology, researched-based curricula, and collaborative professional expertise. High quality instructional programs meet each student’s individual learning style and unique learning needs. Teachers, speech, physical, and occupational therapists, and nurses work as a team to ensure successful participation in instruction. Teaching strategies employ a wide range of high and low tech assistive technology and multi-sensory approaches. Each student’s academic experience is guided by the IEP (Individualized Education Program), and there is a collaborative approach to instruction and curricula.
In the elementary school program, all students learn to enjoy and understand the written word as they listen to and engage in conversations and stories, share ideas in writing, and develop the skills to read. Reading instruction is a process of both skill development and experience. Through direct instruction in reading groups, students learn word analysis and comprehension skills. Teaching throughout the day and homework practice reinforces these skills. All students enjoy story sharing, creative writing, guest readers, and literacy programs that combine skill development with experience. In the elementary school program three reading curricula are used.
Mathematics instruction centers on the acquisition of skills and understanding of concepts through hands-on learning, state-of-the-art technology, and real life experiences. Students explore mathematical concepts and applications through the Mathematics curricula. Whole body activities that teach both basic and complex number and spatial concepts are at the center of our unique program, Math in Motion.
Application of skills is important for all students and P.G. Chambers School students use their developing skills to solve real world problems, for example, our elementary students “shop” at the school store.
Science and Social Studies
Students at P.G. Chambers School develop critical thinking skills for learning and exploring scientific concepts and processes through observation, testing ideas and explaining what they have learned. In essence, they experiment! The FOSS Science program, provides guidance and materials for students to experiment with balance and motion, rocks and minerals, solids and liquids, air and water and the life cycle of insects.
Elementary School students learn about community resources, geography, government and history through stories and real life experiences. Local firefighters, police officers and other community representatives visit regularly to assist in bringing lessons to life.
Physical Education and Arts
For many of our students, movement activities and creative arts offer important alternatives for self-expression and skill development. The goal of our physical education program is to enhance lifelong health and physical fitness as well as body awareness. Students participate in adapted sports programs, including basketball, baseball, and soccer, track and field, developing athletic skills, sportsmanship, and cooperation. Physical education includes exercise, a walking and fitness program, and cardiovascular activities. One physical education class per week is a yoga class and yoga is incorporated into daily classroom activities. Students stretch, move, and learn about their own bodies, while engaging in breathing exercises and yoga postures.
Through the creative arts program, students explore fine arts in all mediums, including sculpting, painting with acrylics and watercolor, printing, sketching and pastels drawing, mixed media collage making, and weaving using a variety of tools to foster independence. Student art work has been displayed at the Morris Museum and was featured at the Morristown Craft Market and Show. The P.G. Chambers School music program is a hands-on, multi-sensory experience encouraging creative and emotional expression while promoting social interaction, self-esteem, and community building. The Silver Burdett Making Music Curriculum focuses on listening, moving to and creating music. Music promotes the natural benefits of music making, including improving spatial awareness, fine and gross motor coordination, and speech development. Students listen, move, play instruments and sing in the weekly classes.
Middle School Program
Students 9 years to 14 years of age in grades five through eight
At P. G. Chambers School, the middle school years mark the start of applying foundation skills to higher level thinking in the full academic program. In middle school the students use their foundation skills in reading, mathematics, self expression, science and social studies for creative writing, understanding written instructions, solving-problems and critical thinking, collaborating on projects, and exploring their world. Teachers and teams deliver instruction within a meaningful context to foster motivation, mastery, and application to everyday life.
Math in Motion continues in the middle school where students can be found graphing functions in the hallways and competing in number facts relays. The Everyday Math curriculum continues to serve as a basis for academic instruction and problem solving while basic skills are enhanced using the Harcourt Math program. Skills are applied to everyday life while managing the P. G. Chambers School Store, calculating prices for groceries and mapping walking routes in school and the community.
Social Studies, History, and the Physical Sciences
Students continue their academic learning as they explore concepts in civics and government, history, and the natural world. In Social Studies, students apply lessons in civics to group problem-solving, decision-making and event planning as well as student representation in school wide initiatives. History lessons are brought to life through research projects, discussion, dramatization, and use of technology. Science lessons emphasize experimentation as students observe, hypothesize, and test their ideas. The advanced curriculum in the FOSS Science program, provides hands on investigation in the physics of sound, the human body, magnetism, and solar energy.
The Functional Academics Curriculum* developed by Valletutti, Bender and Baglin is used to guide instruction that is chronologically age-appropriate and emphasizes immediately useful skills through application to real life experiences.
Along with teaching literacy, mathematics, social studies, history and physical sciences, middle school students engage in physical education and the creative arts and music on a weekly basis.
For more information about our Private School Programs, please contact Principal Heather Gilliland at firstname.lastname@example.org.