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ABOUT OUR K-6 PROGRAMS
The Transitional Kindergarten Program was created for students at Mueller Charter School to assist them in meeting the rigorous academic standards of the state of California. Many students come to Mueller who have not had the benefit of pre-school. Others simply need more instructional time or just more time to adjust to the structured demands of the school day. Too often, these students struggle, and eventually fall behind. And with the emergence of the Common Core State Standards, the demand for academic readiness will be even greater.
This half-day program affords our students an extra academic year, so that by the time they start kindergarten they are one year older, have a strong academic base, and are ready to learn and excel in all areas of school. Transitional Kindergarten at MCS focuses on oral language, listening skills, social and emotional development, phonemic awareness, early number sense and motor skills.
Students who will turn five between September 2nd and December 2nd, are pre-assessed for their academic and social readiness and placed for year one in our Transitional Kindergarten program.
Watch the CVESD VIDEO on Transitional Kindergarten: TK Video
Students who turn five before September 2nd, are placed in our Kindergarten program. The strongest students enter kindergarten able, at a minimum, to recognize letters and sounds and to write their first name. In math, they must recognize numbers and be able to count up to twenty.
Throughout the year our teachers help our students develop mastery of the Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten.
K-3 Literacy Academy
The Literacy Academy was created at Mueller Charter School for all students in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. The goal is to assist them in meeting the challenging academic standards of the State of California– especially in Language Arts.
A key principle of this program is that no child will be promoted to 4th grade without first mastering the grade level standards in reading for 3rd Grade.
Multi-Age (Multi-Grade) Classrooms
Many of our classrooms in grades K through 6 are MULTI-AGE, which is a little bit of a misnomer because all classrooms have children whose ages can span as many as four years. The key to multi-age is that children are strategically placed in a well balanced classroom and given the personal support and the time they need to master the standards.
Teachers in Multi-age classrooms use methods and strategies to individualize learning to meet the individual needs of each student. Our Multi-age Program has been in place at Mueller Charter School for over 12 years, expanding from 6 classrooms back in 2000 to 26 classrooms today. Each Multi-age teacher considers a child’s developmental needs for the starting point of instruction, regardless of age determined grade level curriculum. We know that all children learn at different rates and have various learning styles; the Multi-age setting encourages teachers to focus on the individual child and meet each of their needs.
Click here to download our Multi Age Brochure
In 3rd grade, our students are now “reading to learn”. They are developing basic skills in language arts and math and experiencing an integrated approach to learning. 3rd graders write a lot and are preparing for the transition to the Common Core State Standards.
In 4th grade our curriculum focus is writing. While this is a school-wide focus for Mueller, 4th graders take a writing assessment for the state of California in March. This assessment is a component of the California Standards Test and targets one of several writing genre: summary, response to literature, and narrative.
Of course writing is only one element of the curriculum. 4th graders also study math, science, social studies and Physical education.
But that’s just the beginning! In 5th grade, students also address all the state standards for language arts, math and social studies.
One local school district provides a particularly good description of the 4th and 5th grade standards here.
In 6th Grade students begin the transition toward multiple teachers in their school day. While the teachers all team together, students may have a different teacher for math, language arts, science or social studies. All of our teachers teach PE!
One highlight of 6th grade, of course, is 6th Grade Camp at Camp Marston. Mueller has sent student to 6th grade camp for the past 20 years– even while many other schools have discontinued doing so for financial reasons. Outdoor Education provides an exciting way to conclude the elementary grades. It is great for teambuilding, nature studies, and preparation for MCLA!
Learn More About the Common Core!
• Common Core Language Arts Standards
• Common Core Math Standards
For more info on Common Core: CLICK HERE