ACADEMICS

Elementary School

The Elementary program at GCA serves students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Each of our elementary classrooms is led by a certified teacher with a student to teacher ratio of

  • 1:18 in Grades 1-8
  • 1:9 in Kindergarten

Elementary classroom teachers follow the carefully selected learning standards for each grade level to determine their course of planning. While teachers are expected to utilize the curriculum resources provided to each grade level, they are also encouraged to differentiate their lessons in order to engage students of all learning styles and needs.

In addition, technology is thoughtfully and age-appropriately integrated into all aspects of our academic program. We view technology as one of the many tools for learning. Students in Grade 4 and 5 are assigned an individual laptop computer that is used in the classroom.

As a Christian school, we put the Bible and biblical values at the center of all we do. We provide opportunities for our students to engage in a biblically integrated academic program. Students will also have weekly Chapel and classroom Bible instruction which will continue to reinforce a love for God, His Word, and His world.

The school day is 8:15 AM – 3:00 PM.

Students will also be provided with off-campus learning opportunities and field trips that will build into the well-rounded education they receive at GCA.

Kindergarten

Our Kindergarten program focuses on providing students with foundational academic skills that will prepare them for future years. Students in our Kindergarten class will receive a developmentally appropriate education while challenging them to grow as learners. They will have opportunities to develop reading, writing, and math skills, as well as social and emotional skills. Students will also be given opportunities to engage science and social studies concepts appropriate to their age. Kindergarten students will be given daily opportunities for learning, play, and rest time. Each Kindergarten classroom has a full-time teaching assistant to provide for the unique needs of the kindergarten learner.

In addition, the Kindergarten program includes a full schedule of enrichment classes. Students will have Physical Education 2 days per week in addition to Art, Music, Spanish and Library.

A child must be five years old on or before August 31 to be considered for enrollment in Kindergarten.

Grades 1-2

Students in Grades 1 – 2 are expected to build on the learning completed in Kindergarten. Independent skills are established in all academic areas, including reading, writing and math. Students will move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” as they progress through our primary grades. Science and social studies concepts continue to build in these primary grades. 

Students will also have Physical Education 2 days per week in addition to Art, Music, Spanish and Library.

Grades 1-2

Students in Grades 1 – 2 are expected to build on the learning completed in Kindergarten. Independent skills are established in all academic areas, including reading, writing and math. Students will move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” as they progress through our primary grades. Science and social studies concepts continue to build in these primary grades. 

Students will also have Physical Education 2 days per week in addition to Art, Music, Spanish and Library.

Grades 3-5

Students in Grades 3 – 5 continue to engage the well-rounded academic program offered at GCA by being challenged to grow in all areas of learning. Cursive writing is introduced, along with basic technology skills with classroom Chromebooks beginning in Grade 4. Scientific reasoning, problem solving, and independent thinking skills are promoted in each of our classes. 

Library time will continue to be encouraged and will be integrated into the literacy program at each grade level. In addition to the core courses of study, students will have Art, Music, Spanish, STEM and Physical Education (3 days/week).

National standardized testing, which is scheduled in the spring, will begin in third grade.

Enrichments

Art

Knowing God values art and its forms, GCA provides opportunities for students to express their creativity while learning more about art history and culture. Elementary students participate in Art as a weekly enrichment, working with different mediums and correlating with classroom learning as much as possible. Each spring student work is displayed at a school wide Art Fair.

S.T.E.M.

In STEM class, students integrate the learning of technology with science, engineering and mathematics. They will utilize Chromebooks and tablets, along with other materials to build circuits, learn coding, robotics, computer animation and more. Students are given creative challenges that require cooperation and collaboration as they walk through the scientific method. This enrichment combines creativity, engineering, and technology to give students a hands-on approach to learning.

Physical Education

Because we believe lifelong healthy habits begin at a young age, Elementary school students will have PE 2-3 days/week. Students will engage in various motor skill activities that will help students develop skills individual and group sports — ultimately, to honor God in all that we do and carry these skills for a lifetime.

z

Music

In our elementary program, students learn to read music, engage with different instruments, understand the basics of stage presence, and participate in performances throughout the year.

w

Spanish

In the Elementary Spanish program, GCA students are exposed to Latin American culture, Spanish vocabulary and verb/sentence structure, and have the opportunity to practice their Spanish knowledge. Students will engage in games, written and oral learning in order to help all students grow in their language skills.

Library

GCA students visit the library weekly to learn basic library skills and to access our 8,000+ fiction and non-fiction books for loan.  Families can use the library portal to access  our library catalog.

Technology

Students in Grades 3-5 will have a weekly Technology enrichment class that will teach our students about digital stewardship. We believe technology is useful as a tool and is to be a help for us, and we aim to teach students to be users of technology and will develop their digital literacy and keyboarding skills.