Academics

Academic Programs

Advanced Learning Opportunities


Academic Programs

Reading
Laurelhurst has a comprehensive reading program that ensures all students not only learn how to read but also comprehend what they are reading. Teachers use a variety of reading materials and teaching strategies to ensure students develop strong reading skills, including:

  • Houghton Mifflin – Reading Adoption for Grades K-2
  • Pegasus – Reading Adoption for Grades 3-5
  • Junior Great Books
  • Guided Reading Groups
  • Literature Circles
  • Reader’s Workshop

Reading Support
Laurelhurst has several programs for students who need help toward being able to read at grade level.

Sound Partners Tutoring
Sound Partners is a one-on-one tutoring program emphasizing phonics and decoding skills. Students in grades K-2 may qualify to receive this type of instruction. In kindergarten and first grade, the focus is on learning letter names and sounds and reading smoothly. The second grade program continues to help students with fluency, decoding and comprehension.

LAP (Learning Assistance Program)
LAP is small group reading instruction for grades 1-5, provided by our reading specialist. This program teaches reading skills through guided reading, writing in response to reading, word work, and test preparation. Children work on materials that are similar to those used for classroom instruction. The LAP Program and the Sound Partners Program complement each other.

Laurelhurst’s reading specialist is partially funded by the PTA this year.

Writing
Laurelhurst focuses on the state standards in writing, specifically targeting forms of writing that are difficult for students. Teachers provide instruction and practice in expository forms of writing that are integrated meaningfully into units of study. In science, for example, students write in their notebook to record observations, make hypotheses, support hypotheses with data and evidence, draw conclusions, compare and contrast, etc. Students are expected to clearly and concisely explain their thinking in writing on a variety of topics. Primary grades teach writing through Writer’s Workshop following the Units of Study curriculum.

Mathematical Thinking and Problem Solving
Laurelhurst has a comprehensive math program that helps students master the basics and develop excellent problem solving skills. Students learn to construct math concepts through a variety of hands- on experiences. These experiences give the students a strong foundation for developing critical problem solving skills and strategies. Students are expected to be able to explain the logic behind how they have solved a problem. Classroom teachers use Everyday Math and other supplemental mathematical curriculum.

Math Support
Extra math support is provided by math tutors. Each grade level has three math tutors assigned to work with students that have been identified as needing additional support. The tutors will work closely with the classroom teacher so that their support is aligned with the math curriculum. These math tutors are funded by our PTA. Pipeline Tutors from the University of Washington and parent volunteers also provide additional support for individual students.

Science
Laurelhurst is creating a new generation of budding scientists. A hands-on science program developed by the National Science Foundation has been implemented very successfully. The curriculum helps students develop sophisticated scientific inquiry skills used by scientists:

  • Interpreting data and graphs
  • Making inferences, including evidence
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Explaining sequences and cause and effect
  • Making persuasive arguments, including evidence
  • Explaining conceptual understanding, including supporting details and evidence

Library and Computer Lab
Our librarian and technology specialist collaborate to create a strong technology and resource program for grades K-5. Students use technology in the computer lab and library throughout the school year to enhance and build upon curricula already in place in the classroom. All classes are scheduled for both Library Class and the Computer Lab at least once a week. Teachers often schedule additional times so that students can do special independent or class projects using technology.

Physical Education
The focus of Laurelhurst’s P.E. program is to teach children the importance of being physically fit and ways in which to incorporate fitness into their daily life. The program is fun, active, and skill-oriented. Kindergartners go to P.E. once a week. Grades 1-5 go to P.E. twice a week. Along with the regular program, some Laurelhurst students participate in high level skill performance teams. Practices for these teams are during lunch recess. The PTA provides support of the P.E. program through the purchase of equipment and materials along with contributions towards maintenance and repair costs. Our P.E. teacher can often use the assistance of parent volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 252-5427.

Instrumental Music
Elementary Instrumental Music is offered to students in grades four and five. Classes meet once a week during the regular school day. The parents furnish instruments and music books. Loaner instruments are available for students on the free lunch program.

Special Education Resource Room
Do you think that your child may have a disability that affects his or her learning? If so, the first step is to talk to your child’s teacher. Your teacher will refer the request to Laurelhurst’s Student Intervention Team (SIT). This is a team of staff members who will review the request and make a recommendation as to whether your child should be tested for special education. Parents are encouraged to attend the SIT meeting. If testing is recommended, the school psychologist will conduct the testing.

Eligibility is determined in accordance with state and federal guidelines. A child may qualify for special education services as Learning Disabled, Health Impaired, Developmentally Delayed, Autism, or Behavioral Disability.

Once a child qualifies for special education, the parents meet with the Resource Room teacher to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to set goals and objectives that will help the child reach grade level expectations. The IEP outlines programs, methods, and techniques to be used towards improving overall school performance. Each IEP is unique to the student and area of need. Areas of specially designed instruction may include some or all of the following categories: reading, written expression, math, and social skills.

The Resource Room program provides small group instruction for students based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. Resource Room staff work closely with classroom and other support staff to ensure that students receive appropriate instruction and accommodations.

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Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO)

Laurelhurst has been certified as an Advanced Learning Opportunity School based on the many meaningful learning experiences for students, which stimulate creativity and critical thinking while providing a firm foundation in the basics. We have high expectations for all our students and know that each will be challenged by the rigor and depth of our curriculum. Our ALO program is an inclusion model in which teachers differentiate instruction for advanced learners within the general education classroom setting. Advanced learners are provided opportunities to develop critical and analytical thinking skills through such strategies as: integrated and multi-disciplinary learning, rigorous curricula, tiered assignments, higher level questioning, flexible grouping, and integration of technology. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the classroom teachers. Teacher-student-parent communication is an important component of our program.

An ALO report card will be used for those students that have been tested and identified as qualifying for advanced learning placement by the school district. The use of this report card maintains eligibility for either Spectrum or APP self-contained classes, located in different schools throughout the school district. Students do not need to take the district test in order to participate in Advanced Learning Opportunities at Laurelhurst, as our school community is committed to serving the needs of all students. Teachers use math assessments, state and district assessments, reading assessments, class observation and evidence, and work completion to determine the instructional needs of our students. All-school advanced learning opportunities in technology, science, music, and art enrichment are available to all students.

Teachers infuse higher level thinking skills into instructional units of study by aligning instruction for advanced learners with grade-level expectations one year above and using Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain. The following chart provides examples of some of the ways that we create advanced learning opportunities for our students. Advanced Learning Expectations are directly related to Washington State Grade Level Expectations that are one-grade level ahead. Instructional strategies and activities that promote the development of higher level thinking skills are woven into the core curriculum.

Click here to see a sampling of ALO expectations by grade level.

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