Elementary Program: Introduction
For grades K-5, Bridge School's educational curriculum offers students a standards-based core curriculum and the same instructional materials used by the local public school district Hillsborough City School District. Common Core Content standards were designed by the California Department of Education to encourage the highest achievement of every student. These standards define the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire in each subject area for each grade level. General education academic subject areas include reading/language arts, math, history/social science, science, modified physical education, visual and performing arts, and health.
In providing our students an appropriate grade-level general education curriculum, we provide necessary accommodations to ensure each student's access and participation in all subject areas. Accommodations are practices and procedures that provide students with equitable access to curricular areas during instruction and assessment. Accommodations allow students to gain access to grade-level learning expectations without changing the content of the expectations for each subject area. Examples of accommodations that we frequently provide for Bridge School students include:
- Assistive technologies such as AAC devices, tools for computer access and environmental control, switch-activated toys, and customized supports for seating, positioning, and mobility.
- Environmental adjustments and supports such as customized work areas and workstations, engineered activity stations, reduced visual and auditory distractions, accessible doorways and hallways, and small group instruction.
- Scheduling adjustments such as extended time to cover a particular topic or complete a curricular unit, periodic breaks to rest or obtain nourishment, extended time immediately prior to delivering instruction to set up/quickly troubleshoot equipment and assistive technologies, and assure that each student is properly positioned in functional seating and mobility devices, scheduling subject areas throughout the day in ways that maximize the student's ability to attend and participate in curricular activities.
Core Subject areas at the Elementary Grade level address California's Common Core Standards. At the elementary grade level, our weekly student schedule is organized by, sometimes overlapping, core subject areas that include:
- English/Language Arts/Language
- Visual/Performing Arts
- Modified Physical Education
- History/Social Science
Selective Inclusion in General Education Environment Pre-K through Grade 5
The Bridge School is located on a campus in the Hillsborough School District that we share with North Elementary School (preK through grade 5). As determined by IEP teams, each of our students is assigned to an appropriate grade-level general education classroom for participation in selected subject areas in one of these schools. A Bridge School staff member accompanies each student during all general education experiences to provide ongoing support that maximizes their ability to participate, interact with peers, learn curricular content, and address relevant IEP goals.
Educational teams assess and monitor the levels of support required, including accommodations, material adaptations, and interaction strategies that maximize their participation in general education classrooms. Our students' participation in appropriate general education classrooms allows us to determine the types of support that each student will need when returning to their respective home school district.
We use an adaptation of the Participation Model (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2006) as a guide when determining expected levels of participation for each student in general education environments.
A Look At Kindergarten Through Grade Six in California Public Schools (2011) is a compilation of subject-matter curriculum, including information about the Common Core State Standards, organized by individual grade levels. A pdf of this document can be downloaded from the CDE website.