Day School Programs > Curriculum
At Pioneer we are committed to advancing our students through a unique and individualized curriculum. We work with a student’s IEP team to assess their needs and build on their strengths. Academics, social skills, and life skills are presented in appropriate ways for each child in a variety of ways and through many instructional techniques.
Language deficits are a central feature of many learning disabilities. As a result, Language Arts class is where our students often have some of their greatest struggles, as well as make some of their greatest progress. Our language arts team consists of a Special Education reading teacher and a Speech and Language Therapist. That team is responsible for the evaluation of each student’s reading, writing, and oral communication skills, and the entire staff is responsible for a child’s language improvement. Individual and small group activities are designed for each student. This collaborative model of instruction between educators and therapists has proven to be a very efficient and productive model of instruction.
Mathematics instruction at Pioneer is highly individualized. Some of our students complete class work that is designed to prepare them for higher education, while others complete course work that is designed for real world functional applications of mathematical principles. Our curriculum includes a variety of textbooks and computer-based curriculum.
The Science curriculum is designed to increase a student’s knowledge about the world around them. Through guided readings, written assignments, and hands on projects, the students can express an understanding of the world around them. At the Community School, we are often able to test the principles of science right in our own garden and in the community. This allows us to give our students a first-hand understanding of these principles and lets the students identify more closely with the material.
Physical Education and Health:
The physical education and health program is designed to teach students about their bodies – how they work (including form and function of body parts), regulation strategies, place in space, self control, and why healthy choices are important. Movement is an important part of our everyday program. Students have P.E. several times a week and can take “sensory breaks” when needed throughout the school day. Our program improves balance, left/right awareness, and hand/eye coordination. Our students learn games and hobbies that foster social play and healthy physical activity. The healthy habits that students learn can be applied throughout their lives.
In Art class students learn about different types of art through studying famous examples from different periods. Students use various media to express their thoughts and feelings creatively. Students create projects in the classroom and often decorate our school. In addition to learning about artists and expressing themselves creatively, students also improve focus, fine motor control and hand strength.
In Social Studies, students learn about how people live. Through guided readings, written projects, games, videos, and community activities students learn about important people, historical and cultural events, their community and the different cultures in them, as well as how it is all important and works together to create the world we live in. In order to be good community members, our students need to understand the form and function of the world around them.
Home Economics encompasses a lot from doubling recipes to making cookies for our community contributors, to counting to money to buy groceries for the kitchen. This class exposes students to all things culinary, including the tools, proper manners and cleanliness, and of course preparing food. Our Home Economics classes also overlap with other classes: fresh vegetables are used from the garden, shopping in the community, and while cooking fine motor skills, sequencing and math skills are practiced.
Learning basic life skills is a huge area of need for many of our students. Life skills classes are designed to teach independence in daily living activities. Topics include, but are not limited to, meal shopping and preparation, basic hygiene, budgeting, laundry, community safety, and self-advocacy. These skills will allow our students to participate with peers and family, as well as in their community to the best of their ability.