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Program

Class Size

The school continues to grow from one class per grade to two (and to three kindergarten classes). In 2017-18, grades 1-6 will have two classes per grade with only two more years until we have double-tracked through 8th grade. Currently, the school has 388 students and when fully enrolled in 2019-20, there will be 509 students. There are currently 184 females (47%) and 204 males (53%) enrolled. 

Curriculum

MBCS's curriculum and approach to teaching reflects the developmental stages of childhood. The school participates in Common Core State testing and uses benchmark testing to determine and track academic proficiency and fluency. All class teachers hold a California teaching credential and receive Waldorf training. 

Methods derive from an instructional model that recognizes the specific

developmental stages of the child. The educational philosophy views education as an art, so each subject, whether math, biology or English, is presented in a way that addresses the child's developmental stage. Each subject is presented through direct experience and is often augmented with art, poetry, music, or drama. 

In the early grades, the curriculum provides an unhurried way of learning that protects childhood while encouraging children's creative expression and fostering their imagination. As children mature, the learning process accelerates and provides a program that meets students where they are developmentally.

The teacher’s aim is to draw out the child’s inherent capacities by creating an atmosphere in the classroom that fills the children with interest, wonder and enthusiasm. 

Class Teacher

Each elementary school child begins the school day with an individual greeting and a firm handshake from the Class Teacher.

The Class Teacher usually, but not always, stays with the class from one year to the next.

This continuity enables a deep understanding of each student’s strengths and challenges and supports the development of a rich social dynamic in the class. The class teacher is also able to bring continuity to the curriculum as well, unifying the various disciplines over the years.  At the same time, working with new subject matter at every grade level inspires class teachers with enthusiasm.

The morning Main Lesson immerses the students in a particular academic subject of the curriculum over three or four weeks, and each child produces a hand written and illustrated Main Lesson book for each subject. The class teacher works with each child to draw out the child’s strengths and focus on areas in need of improvement.

With the Waldorf-inspired method, the class teacher involves the children in the subject through the following methods:

  • presentation
  • story telling
  • writing
  • reading
  • recitation
  • dramatic acting
  • painting
  • drawing
  • movement

Throughout the lesson, the teacher amplifies the subject matter and the students add to their Main Lesson books. The involvement of the students in the Main Lesson develops active listening, imagination, memory and verbal skills.

Student Evaluation and Reporting

Students are evaluated through comprehensive written reports sent to parents at the end of the school year. Grades and traditional report cards are not given, however, formal parent/teacher conferences are held twice in the school year providing a detailed progress report for each student.

Benchmark testing is administered in each grade and students take the California

standardized test each spring.

Teaching methods include:

  • Teacher-led explicit instruction.
  • Student discovery.
  • Group work and independent practice.
  • Peer study groups.
  • Structured and guided practice.
  • Regular assessment and re-teaching as necessary.

Assessment Tools:

  • Benchmark tests
  • Standardized tests
  • In class tests and quizzes
  • Portfolios
  • Observation/evaluation
  • Self-evaluation
  • Group projects

Special points of interest:

  • Teachers may stay with their class from grade to grade, however, most loop up only with the lower grades or upper grades.
  • Handwork and Spanish instruction begins in grade one.
  • Norm referenced state standardized tests are administered in compliance with state law.
  • The curriculum and deep learning approach  prepares students well for high school. Students attend their local high school, a private high school such as York, or a program such as MAOS at Monterey High School.

Subpages (1): Curriculum Overiview