Core to primary education is literacy and numeracy. In addition to this, through project-based learning and our culture of thinking our students gain the ability to think as scientists, mathematicians, historians, and writers. ESAA takes content knowledge to an advanced level with an Integrated Curriculum Model, focusing on practical application and hands-on demonstration, essential in the 21st century.
Literacy is taught through readers’ and writers’ workshops with personalization to meet each student where they are. Workshops start out with mini-lessons that are taught to the whole class or to small groups. In upper primary, students may work with sequencing, author’s purpose, or connections within the text or from the text to self. In lower primary, students may focus on phonics or Daily Five Model of Literacy. Throughout the workshops students at all grade levels work with higher level thinking skills using thinking routines. Rich conversations between students develop as students form an opinion, communicate their opinion, and learn to defend their opinion while finding value in the opinions of others.
The development of numeracy and basic math skills is an important aspect of an elementary school education. ESAA uses the Everyday Math program used by the Sheboygan Area School District. The Everyday Math program takes students through each aspect of Mathematics including: Numeration; Operations and Computation; Data; Measurement; Geometry and Basic Algebra. Within these curriculum, ESAA builds to develop an in depth application of mathematics by adding projects. These projects allow students the chance to take the skills they are developing and apply them to real life problems. One sample is one done as part of the upper primary curriculum called "Inchville". Inchville provides students with the opportunity to create their own town, to scale, using measurement skills.
Our academic and art disciplines are taught differently from those at traditional elementary schools. The academic content is delivered in a way that is reflective of how professionals — for example, scientists — study, think, and work in the field through projects that ask them to find their own answers and apply basic knowledge. The content delivery varies from a traditional elementary school while still maintaining the state and SASD standards for achievement and growth. To further engage students in the learning process, a focus of depth versus breadth is taken.