Lower School

For over a decade, Capital Prep has dedicated countless amounts of energy to seeking out the best resources for the academic growth of our scholars. All of our content instruction is rooted in the Common Core State Standards which were created to be relevant to the real world and reflect the knowledge and skills that our children need for success in college and careers. We have adopted a strict philosophy for efficient teaching which involves providing students multiple opportunities to gain understanding of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Our humanities department uses the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop model developed by Columbia University as our vehicle to deliver literacy instruction. The Workshop, coupled with The Read Aloud curriculum developed by Dr. Bailey, addresses foundational literacy skills, comprehension, vocabulary, written expression, listening and speaking skills and incorporates social studies content and social justice themes. For mathematics, we implement the EnVisions program and Catherine Fosnot’s Contexts for Learning Mathematics series to deliver content. Every classroom uses adaptive technology through programs such as i-Ready and Dreambox. In all content areas, we teach through the Clayton Christensen Institute’s blended learning station rotation model. The institute defines blended learning station rotation as: Students within a classroom rotate across differentiated learning stations on a fixed schedule, or at the teacher’s discretion. Stations often include: (a) small group instruction by the teacher, (b) collaborative or independent practice, and (c) self-directed, online activities. Teachers introduce new technology programs, create differentiated independent practice, and effectively teach more in small guided groups. In these small guided learning groups students practice, at their appropriate academic level, building the skills associated with the objective through literacy and numeracy centers and instructional software.

To ensure we are meeting each of our scholars at the correct learning level, we turned to the expertise of Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli and his team at the Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at University of Connecticut. The center created Curriculum Compacting, a strategy developed to create an enrichment program for all students to be practiced with our Core Standards. This process begins with a pre- assessment at the beginning of each unit of study. Instruction is then tailored to create an individual instruction plan for the unit to fit our range of students’ needs. Scholars who have demonstrated mastery of most or all of the skills will have the opportunity to engage in a mini-project or exploration where they will research, explore, and create with the topics at a deeper level. Our Gifted and Talented program connects our highly advanced students to challenging English language arts, mathematics and technology courses. Those who have successfully tested with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth (CTY) extend this opportunity to working with engaging Johns Hopkins faculty and other high achieving students around the world.

Through all disciplines students will begin to make sense of the problems in the world around them and choose appropriate tools and construct appropriate arguments to persevere in solving these problems. With these practices in place, our five learner expectations, a school culture of high expectations for all students, and a dedicated well-informed staff, our Trailblazers are ready to leave their mark on the 21st Century!