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Academics

AcademicsOur Program

SJEDS offers an educational program encompassing academics, the arts, athletics and spiritual formation. We offer opportunities to grow intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally, allowing students to develop their individual worth and dignity. The challenging environment prepares students for higher education and emphasizes learning as a pathway toward ethical leadership and a commitment to the common good.

We offer a curriculum that incorporates proven methodology for instruction and infuses current trends, allowing our faculty to teach a variety of ways to approach problem solving and critical thinking. Teachers have the flexibility to supplement curriculum as they see fit, tailoring instruction for each child as needed. By providing a strong foundation based on our hybrid curriculum, our students are prepared to succeed at secondary schools that use a variety of programs and curricula.

Our educational programs are thoughtfully planned and implemented with intention to develop a life-long love of learning. As a child grows and develops, classes are structured to promote creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking. Beginning in the earliest grades, we work to instill the characteristics that will serve a child well throughout the school years and beyond. By encouraging curiosity and exploration with confidence, we create learners for life.

Small classes with personalized attention prepare our students to continue on to the area’s most prestigious secondary schools and the country’s best universities.

Curriculum

Early Explorers
Young children are naturally curious and eager to investigate their environment. At SJEDS, our goal is to provide a stimulating, positive and secure environment in which children’s natural enthusiasm for solving problems, gaining new insights and refining concepts will be fostered.  Our young students develop spiritually, socially, emotionally, intellectually, creatively and physically.

The classroom environment at our preschool allows students to investigate their world while learning skills in language arts, math, social studies and science. Students also participate in art, music, Spanish, library, physical education and religious education through drama (Kingdom Theatre) classes. Our character education program, Keys to the Kingdom, is interwoven throughout the day.  The SJEDS global studies program provides students the opportunity to experience the culture of different countries around the world.  Our weekly chapel service, designed for this specific age group, teaches the children the power of God’s love through scripture lessons, songs, and active student participation.

Our overall program encourages children to think and work both collaboratively and independently, as well as engage in tasks that motivate and challenge.  Within the curriculum, the children engage in direct experiences with opportunities to review, reflect, and discuss what they’ve learned.  The student’s natural curiosity is fostered as the foundation of personal motivation and problem solving abilities are created.

First Grade
First graders become independent readers and writers. By incorporating both phonics and whole language concepts, children become confident in their ability to read and to write creatively. Their discoveries are shared with the class in a variety of ways, including research and oral reports, stories, projects and class dramatizations.

As students explore math concepts, they develop an awareness of how math is part of everyday life. Students use manipulatives, pictures and abstract representations to solve problems. Addition, subtraction, place value, measurement, data analysis, geometry and fraction concepts are the foundation.  Critical thinking skills are employed as they make predictions and test them; basic skills are reinforced using games and flashcards.

Science and Social Studies concepts are introduced and complemented by the integration of geography and scientific inquiry. The Sunshine Science Lab provides a place for hands-on experiences. Students learn to make observations and to record data in an organized and meaningful way, then present their findings in class reports. The global studies focus in first grade is on Ireland.

Our character education program, Keys to the Kingdom, permeates all aspects of the students’ day. Additional enrichment is provided through participation in resources including art, music, Spanish, library, Kingdom Theatre and physical education.

Second Grade
Second graders are given daily opportunities to refine their literacy skills. Reading skills, including fluency, comprehension and decoding are strengthened. Writing skills, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, editing, sentence and paragraph structure are emphasized. Time is set aside daily to encourage silent reading. Research skills are taught, and children are allowed to pursue individual interests and share their discoveries.

Students use manipulatives to understand math concepts on a concrete level as they build to pictorial and abstract levels. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, place value, measurement, data analysis, geometry and fraction concepts are the foundation they continue to build upon.  Critical thinking skills are employed as they make predictions and test them; basic skills are reinforced using games and flashcards.

Science exploration includes living things, weather, earth’s surface, matter and energy, and force and motion. The Sunshine Science Lab provides a place for hands-on experiences.

Social Studies focuses on geography, communities, citizenship, government and Famous Americans/People. Research and reporting are emphasized and confidence is gained in oral and written communication as students organize information, sharing it in a variety of ways. The global studies focus in second grade is on Iceland.

Our character education program, Keys to the Kingdom, permeates all aspects of the students’ day. Additional enrichment is provided through participation in resources including art, music, Spanish, library, Kingdom Theatre and physical education.

Third Grade
The language arts curriculum is designed to refine and reinforce communication skills by integrating reading, writing, speaking and listening. By learning and applying reading strategies, reading comprehension and fluency are strengthened. The reading text and supplemental books are selected for their literary value and provide models for students’ writing assignments. The process of planning, writing, revising and editing develops skills in research, spelling, grammar, punctuation and communication.

In math, third graders continue developing the mastery of number sense and its application to mathematical concepts and problem solving. Students use manipulatives, pictures and abstract representations to solve problems. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, place value, measurement, data analysis, geometry and fraction conceptual understanding continues to be be expanded and deepened. With the help of mathematical thinking stories, manipulatives and games, students discover their capacity for reasoning, problem solving and conceptual thinking. Various exercises develop mastery of skills and encourage a positive attitude toward mathematics.

Science concepts introduced earlier are expanded upon in third grade. Studies of plants, ecosystems, energy and matter are complemented with hands-on activities and problem solving opportunities. The Sunshine Science Lab provides a place for these hands-on experiences.

Social Studies incorporates the study of geography, Jacksonville history, city government and more. Research projects give the students opportunities to develop technology and media skills. The global studies focus in third grade is on Italy.

Our character education program, Keys to the Kingdom, permeates all aspects of the students’ day. Additional enrichment is provided through participation in resources including art, music, Spanish, library, Kingdom Theatre and physical education.

Fourth Grade
Language arts focuses on the refinement of oral and silent reading, vocabulary and decoding skills, grammar, usage, listening, speaking and writing skills. As part of our elementary school curriculum, reading and writing are integrated to allow meaningful interaction and response to the text. Students learn to access information, communicate and share information and collaborate in groups. Spelling and vocabulary are emphasized as tools for writing as well as understanding when reading. The mechanics of writing include instruction in capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, grammar and paragraphing. Planning, writing, revising and editing written work are emphasized.

The mathematics program gives the students the opportunity to use their math skills in real life situations. Place value, the application of all four operations to fractions and measurement, estimating, analyzing and interpreting data and dealing with shapes and angles are important concepts.

Science is enhanced by introduction to the upper school S.T.E.A.M. lab. Hands-on experiments, labs and critical thinking projects are employed as students study the Earth and its resources, space, matter, energy and heat, objects in motion, plants and animals and ecosystems.

Social Studies explores Florida history from the earliest people to modern times. Group projects increase students’ research and presentation skills as well as cooperation and sense of responsibility. The global studies focus in fourth grade is on China.

Our character education program, Keys to the Kingdom, permeates all aspects of the students’ day. Additional enrichment is provided through participation in resources including art, music, Spanish, library, Kingdom Theatre and physical education.

Fifth Grade
Emphasis on vocabulary development, comprehension through inference, sequence, interpretation, evaluation and literary style are the hallmarks of the language arts program. Parts of speech, punctuation and capitalization are reviewed as paragraph organization and outlining are introduced. Weekly assignments emphasize paragraph construction, transition and continuity.

The math program continues the study of whole numbers, decimals, fractions and geometry. The curriculum encourages students to go beyond basic computation and to analyze patterns and relationships. This is achieved by student application of various strategies to problem solve and work collaboratively toward a common goal.

Learning about United States history, geography, states and state capitols becomes living history when the fifth graders take a five-day trip to Washington D. C. Students gain a new perspective of freedom when visiting historic landmarks and memorials. The global studies focus in fifth grade is on Latin America and more specifically Peru.

Science units include nutrition, human body systems, weather, space/astronomy, Earth’s resources and changes, energy and science fair. Human growth and development is taught collaboratively by a veteran teacher, the physical education teacher and the religious education teacher.

Our character education program, Keys to the Kingdom, permeates all aspects of the students’ day. Additional enrichment is provided through participation in resources including art, music, Spanish, library, Kingdom Theatre and physical education.

Sixth Grade
The sixth grade curriculum provides a bridge between elementary and middle school. Students are gaining independence and responsibility for their education. Language arts and social studies are integrated to teach the higher order reading skills. Through the exploration of themes common to most civilizations (religion, culture, belief systems, geography, government, etc.), students embark on a journey through the past. They explore ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, India and China. The global studies focus in sixth grade is on Egypt.

In reading, improved comprehension is gained through the use a variety of strategies and skills. Fluency is focused on through poetry and Readers Theater. The stories in reading integrate with science and social studies. In addition to the reading text, students enjoy trade books and read for pleasure and understanding. The spelling program is built on spelling principles, generalizations and learning easily-confused and often-misspelled words that are frequently used in writing. Vocabulary studies provide practice in deconstructing words by sound and by meaning, investigating the age of words and where they come from, and applying this knowledge in writing.

Math curriculum requires computational fluency and extends previous understanding of arithmetic to algebraic expressions. The four basic operations are utilized to reason and solve equations and inequalities. Rational numbers, ratios and quantitative relationship understanding further extend mathematical content understanding and prepares the students for middle school.

Studies in science include nutrition and human body systems, classification of living things, cells, genetics, matter, ecosystems/biomes, chemistry, motion/force/machines and science fair. A unit of study centers on the plant kingdom in preparation for the annual sixth grade trip to Kanuga Falls, North Carolina. Outdoor adventures in data-gathering and team building skills will develop a unique bond between students.

Our character education program, Keys to the Kingdom, permeates all aspects of the students’ day. Additional enrichment is provided through participation in resources including art, music, Spanish, library, Kingdom Theatre and physical education.