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Our Curriculum

 

Jefferson provides a comprehensive curriculum that is focused on academic excellence and developing the whole child. Below are some program highlights:

Academic Programs

Reading/Language Arts is the core of our academic program.  Our goal is to support an atmosphere in which reading is a joyful experience, and where all children succeed.  Each day we have SSR (Sustained Silent Reading), a time when the entire school engages in reading.  Our students are also encouraged to write creatively as well as factually.  Many classes keep daily journals.  Emphasis is placed on both writing and editing so that students acquire editing skills, rather than waiting for a teacher to make corrections.

Mathematics is taught with the knowledge that our children need to learn basic facts as well as develop an understanding of mathematical concepts.  If students are to have a real understanding of mathematics, they must be encouraged and supported to become mathematical thinkers.  We believe it is not acceptable to say, “I’m not good at math!”  We want our students to learn basic math skills as tools to help them solve problems.  We also recognize that these skills are not a means to an end, but a beginning.  We are committed to the goal that all students can become mathematical thinkers and problem solvers.

The Social Studies program at Jefferson begins in Kindergarten, with the study of the child’s immediate environment.  At succeeding levels, the learning includes the neighborhood, the city, the state, and the country.  Our Social Studies program offers an inclusive approach to everyone's contribution to society.  We emphasize an in-depth approach toward understanding and learning rather than the memorization of facts and figures.

Science and Health employs a “hands-on approach” to learning about science. Teachers act as a facilitators instead of simply dispensers of knowledge.  The primary goal in our healthy curriculum is to help our students become responsible for their daily health needs.  We focus on teaching about nutrition and making good food choices, as well as building positive practices and habits to carry through adulthood.

 

Enrichment Programs

Visual & Performing Arts is a special highlight at Jefferson.  Our outstanding program includes a rotation of visiting artists—poets, visual artists, dancers, muscians, and a ceramicist.  All classrooms receive the services of at least one or two artists each year.  Through PTA fundraising, students further their art appreciation by attending the Opera, Symphony, Ballet, and all the major art museums.  Grades 4-5 participate in a weekly musical program, and every 5th grader is a member of the Jefferson Choir.

The Physical Education Program has recently been enhanced at Jefferson with the addition of a comprehensive PE Program. Paid for by Prop H money, the school received all new equipment—enough for every child to have their own. Jefferson Is committed to the physical health of our students. 

The Playworks pilot program provides our school with a trained Playworks coach, who teaches and coordinates games designed to build leadership and foster teamwork during recesses. As a result, students are more physically active, and learn to resolve conflicts on their own. Playworks not only transforms the playground, but the enitre school learning environment.

The Library Program highlights Jefferson's library - full of resources, books, and discovery. Each class visits the library weekly to learn how to use the library, check out books, and read with the school librarian.  In addition to continually updating its collection of books, the library also sponsors two annual events, Read Aloud Day and Author’s Day.

Field Trips expose students to a wide variety of learning experiences and are an integral part of the curriculum at Jefferson.  Our proximity to Golden Gate part offers easy access to its museums, gardens, and biological wonders. All 5th graders participate in an overnight environmental science trip to the Marin Headlands. Other trips have included Chrissy Field, a MALT farm in Petaluma, Exploratorium, Audubon Canyon Ranch, Bay Area Discovery Museum, and Sanchez Adobe.

Our GATE Program consists of clusters of gifted students in intermediate classes (grades 4-5).  Students' needs are met by offering an enriched and expanded curriculum to all students, with special focus to Gate students.  Students work on oral presentations, and are encouraged and expected to take leadership roles within the classroom and in the wider school community.

Our Gardens are Jefferson's outdoor classrooms.  The expanded Kindergarten yard and brand new garden in the lower yard have allowed us to grow our garden/outdoor education, beautification, and nutrition program.

 

Special Events

Enriching and community building activities occur throughout the year and include:

  • Author’s Day
  • Artworks
  • Book Fair
  • Family Math Night
  • Family Science Night
  • Gala Auction
  • Garden Days
  • Gift Card Fundraiser
  • June Picnic
  • Junior Olympics
  • 4th&5th Grade Kickball League
  • Kindergarden playdate
  • Read-Aloud Day
  • Spring Potluck & Raffle
  • Walk/Roll/MUNI to School Days
  • Winterfest