At a young age, gifted students can surge in some subject areas and need more guidance, iteration, and patience in others. ACE's Lower School structure allows for the asynchronous development in students providing them with individualized instruction to meet their academic, social and emotional needs.
Throughout most of the day students are with their age-appropriate peers, allowing for exploration, creative play, and the development of their social skills. During core academic subjects the students can be grouped by ability. This unique fluidity with learning groups facilitates meeting each student’s diverse academic needs regardless of their age.
Our students in Lower School are grouped to strengthen social and leadership skills, while exploring an advanced curriculum that can extend up to upper school level, for those students who would benefit from such study. Developmentally, this is the time when students can take on more responsibility, ownership and organization through special classes that are embedded to prepare them for Upper School.
Building on the affective curriculum, as well as maintaining some routines for consistency, students develop self-regulation, empathy, and perseverance while continuing to provide opportunities for creativity and problem solving; students social and emotional needs are weighed equally with their academic needs.
The first step into ACE is an important one. In Lower School, children are expected to act their age, being gifted should not mean more pressure to grow up. Teachers encourage the development of skills in a positive way, center activities are designed to allow multiple levels of engagement, and an overall higher level of vocabulary is used daily in the classroom by teachers and students. This is just a taste of how our lower school classes set the tone for an ACE education.
• Math offerings that cover Kinder - 4th grade levels and can extend for those students who demonstrate readiness.
• Language Arts offerings that cover Kinder - 4th grade state and national standards and provide differentiation for students to explore depth and complexity.
• Science offerings (using the AAAS Atlas, Next Generation Science Standards, and the International Society for Technology in Education Standards) that cover Kinder - 4th grade standards.
• Social studies offerings that tie in with thematic units and cover, at a minimum, content and skills in agreement with state-level standards and enhanced through the application of national standards (e.g., NCSS, NCHS, NGS) to provide deeper understanding as well as increased student-centered involvement.
• Foreign language & Fine Arts classes.