Our classroom is a mixed-age community. Children grow at their own pace and work at their level and to their capabilities with support from the classroom teacher. Each child is expected to reach milestones appropriate to their age and capabilities.
In addition to the standard curriculum covering language arts, reading, math, and science, students receive instruction in the arts, social studies, and history. Knoxville School of Progressive Education’s goal is a well-rounded and informative education that focuses on student-centered learning outcomes.
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.: Drop off. Children may play outside or work quietly in the classroom.
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.: Language Arts.
10:00 – 10:45 a.m.: Snack and recess.
10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Mathematics.
12:30 – 1:15 p.m.: Lunch, lunch clean up and recess.
1:15 – 3: 00 p.m.: Project-based, integrated learning (STEAM, social studies, science, etc.)
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.: Recess.
3:30 p.m.: School day ends.
3:30 – 6:00 p.m.: AfterSchool Learning.
Morning Focus: Reading, writing & mathematics
The morning activities are devoted to foundational skills: reading, writing, spelling, and math. Literacy is an important component of the school’s instructional model. KSPE uses explicit foundational instructional methods, as advocated by reading experts and mandated by the Tennessee state law. Also sometimes called phonics-based instruction, this method emphasizes four foundational reading skills: print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency. At KSPE our instruction focuses on integrating these foundational skills to develop complex literacy.
Students are grouped by ability levels, not by age or standard grade designations. They are encouraged to tap into their intrinsic motivation and to measure their progress against their own goals, which are set with the help of our teacher. Thus, a first grader may be grouped with the Level 3 readers, as her reading skills have developed beyond her standard grade level designation, Level 1. However, this same student may be in the Level 1 math group, working to perfect her foundational math skills which will be key to her later success. All students are encouraged to work at their own pace, with the support of peers and with daily, focused one-on-one instruction with KSPE’s classroom teacher.
Outdoor recess is an integral part of our program, and all children are expected to participate. Fresh air, unstructured social time, and the opportunity for large muscle development are vital to healthy emotional and physical development, and regular exercise contributes to a healthy immune system. Regular movement throughout the day improves student learning outcomes, including focus, retention, and leadership skills.
Afternoons are devoted to STEAM work, including science, social studies, art, and other associated instruction. The afternoon schedule is organized around themed units. These units allow the student’s classroom learning to be tied together in unique ways. Learning progress is reinforced and tied together during Friday Fun Day activities. These hands-on experiences allow the students to put to practice their learning with experiments, activities, and experiences that emphasize collaborative teamwork and experiences.
Students who stay after 3:30 p.m. enroll in KSPE’s AfterSchool Learning experience. This hands-on, collaborative experience offers students time to engage in self-directed experiential learning. From engineering projects to self-directed artwork and team sports, students are enriched by this student-focused and -driven time. Overseen by the school’s AfterSchool teacher, Miss Emmeline, the students are given the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild.