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Elementary School

ACE Elementary is a multi-year sequence designed to engage students academically, encourage personal and interpersonal development, and allow the pursuit of passions and interests at the highest level possible.

Elementary School years at ACE are not bound by traditional grade levels and age groupings, but are designed to cover, at a minimum, all objectives of 3rd through 6th grades. Students are split into Lower, Middle, and Upper Elementary advisories.

CURRICULUM

In our elementary school, each student takes a set of core classes each year. These are:

  • Language Arts – classes focus on reading, writing, vocabulary from Latin and Greek roots, and engagement with the written word.
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies – Lower Elementary: Global Languages; Middle Elementary: Texas History; Upper Elementary: U.S. History
  • Foreign Language – French and Spanish

At ACE Elementary, our baseline is an amazing gifted education. But beyond that, we want our students to be outstanding members of their communities. To that end, we offer Elementary students two courses — Emotional Intelligence and Examined Self — to make sure that they have the tools to be healthy and happy citizens of the world.

Emotional Intelligence

More than just a core class, we integrate Emotional Intelligence concepts and exercises across the disciplines, supporting students in successfully navigating the academic, social, and emotional challenges they face in their formative years. We promote healthy communication and interaction among peers, allow students to voice their concerns, and draw on the expertise of psychologists and current research on the emotional and social challenges of gifted children to provide an environment that is tailored to support their development as happy, well-adjusted, confident, and contributing individuals.

Examined Self
This course looks at topics like nutrition, sleep, stress management, organization, health, and mood while focusing on data collection and analysis. By self-assessing, tracking growth, and looking for trends in their data, students work to build healthy habits that will keep them operating at their own peak performance level.

In addition to our academic and personal development classes, ACE Elementary offers several elective choices that help foster and develop student passions. These change from year to year, but our most popular electives include Robotics, Art, Drama, Claymation, Fencing, Programming, Choir, and Filmmaking.

In the elementary school, a student’s Language Arts teacher is his or her advisor and serves as the main line of communication with the school. Besides teaching students and meeting with them each day for a short homeroom period, the advisor will also communicate with parents about everything from academic development to field trips. The advisor is also an advocate for a student within the school, tracking academic, emotional, or social development and ensuring proper class placement.

Luckily, at ACE we have teachers and students with very specific and interesting passions. So, after lunch each day we offer a dedicated block of time for clubs and informal classes led either by students or teachers. In the past, these clubs have included Chess, Rocketry, Cryptography, Improv, Mythology, and Science Fiction. These classes, all based on student interest, are always one of the most exciting parts of the day.

During this after-lunch block, we also offer time to work with a team for academic competitions like PSIA, Destination Imagination, and Math Pentathlon. After a few meetings to try out different groups, each student is invited to choose an event, join a team, and eventually represent ACE in a competition. It’s a great opportunity for students to learn new things, work as a team, and show off their skills to the rest of the world.

At ACE Elementary, we are more interested in the development of each student than assigning number and letter grades. Accordingly, each quarter our students receive narrative evaluations from each of their teachers outlining, progress, challenges, and goals for the future. Students are also evaluated on their demonstration of the Scholarly Habits and engage in self-evaluation and goal setting each quarter.

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Principles of Success

It takes more than intellect to be a successful student. In every class, ACE Elementary strives to embody our Principles for Success. These are the characteristics that we feel are integral to an excellent elementary education. Along with specific personal and academic development goals, each quarter focuses on a set of skills that is essential to doing great things, both in and out of the classroom.

Quarter 1
Voice and Agency

Quarter 2
Conscientiousness and Self-Regulation

Quarter 3
Grit and Determination

Quarter 4
Curiosity and Playfulness