Sage School’s goal for each student is to improve reading, writing, math, and process skills across all content areas.
With this as its focus, Sage School approaches the content areas consistently as students progress from one grade level to the next. Students are carefully placed in their content classes based upon age and initial assessments. All teachers use a consistent curriculum designed to meet the academic needs of Sage School students. In each content course, students are taught directly and explicitly how to read and write effectively.
Students’ progression throughout the year is structured systematic, and students progress through Sage School similarly. All content courses are taught using Orton-Gillingham’s tenants of multisensory techniques and with diagnostic-prescriptive assessments and planning. Teachers carefully plan each lesson for the child after observing and evaluating the child’s abilities. There is a maximum of student to teacher ratio of 3:1 or less in the Orton-Gillingham class. In the content courses, there is a maximum student to teacher ratio of 10:1.
Every teacher at Sage uses the frameworks for learning established by the Georgia Standards of Excellency as a guideline for planning. This provides a framework for teaching & learning. We are aware of prerequisite skills required to advance our students to an on or above grade level status, which is always the goal. Therefore, teachers deviate from the Georgia Standards of Excellency as needed to provide remediation and acceleration. We use many resources for each content area, not any one curriculum. Teacher’s have access to a vast variety of curriculum and hands-on materials in house. All instruction at Sage School upholds the principals established by the Orton Gillingham Academy of Practitioners and Educators.
All reading, writing, and grammar teachers at Sage School are OG trained. Students complete baseline assessments at the beginning of the school year to determine strengths, weaknesses, and academic levels. Teachers have access to assessments including the GORT, WIST, TOWL, and Fountas & Pinnell leveling system to promote a diagnostic, prescriptive, and systematic instruction. Teachers then use a multisensory approach to teach the fundamentals in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Morphology centered instruction is started in upper grades. In reading class, instruction is balanced between comprehension, response to reading, accuracy, fluency, and analyzing text structures. Students use a multitude of resources including decodable texts, leveled texts, articles, magazines, and novels. In writing, teachers use the 6-trait model in addition to a Montessori system for learning grammar.
Science teaching and learning is based on the Georgia Standards of Excellency along with student inquiry and interest. Units based on our environment and everyday world help encourage investigation. Teacher’s use this to support practice within the scientific method. Units of study are balanced between learning through labs, projects, research, and reading & writing within the content area.
The teaching of mathematics also includes many tenants of the Orton-Gillingham approach: multisensory, structured, sequential, direct, and explicit. Teachers are trained in the Orton-Gillingham math approach which utilizes multi-sensory blocks. The class structure and materials reduce distractions to learning. Students are encouraged to practice basic math facts to improve fluency, and are taught to prepare their own mathematics resources that they use during class. Students also engage in daily word problem practice and hands-on problem solving. Concepts are based on the Georgia Standards of Excellency in the math framework. Multiple curriculums are used depending on the needs of the class.
Social Studies teaching and learning are based on the Georgia Standards of Excellency with a focus on understanding how the past and present affect our future. Units are rooted in history and current events. Students learn about other people in our own community and around the world. Map and globe skills are also explicitly taught throughout each unit.
Students in fourth through eighth grade visit the computer lab for instructional technology once a week. Students focus on keyboarding skills by using the program “Keyboarding without Tears”. The main focus of the course is to learn to type fluently and efficiently. Students have homework that reinforces their keyboarding skills. Times tests are given periodically to measure student progress.
All students attend Bible class daily using the Bible Choices curriculum. Students in 5th grade and up are learning the organization of the Bible, with a focused study of the New Testament, and the life and teachings of Jesus. Each month Sage conducts a school wide Chapel. Parents are invited to attend.
Speech & Language Therapy
Some students may need additional Speech and Language Therapy. This service is offered to those students by a Certified Speech & Language Therapist as needed at an additional cost.
Art classes meet once each week, and students are encouraged to develop their inner artist. The curriculum focuses on drawing, painting, and historical perspectives. We use Meet the Masters Curriculum: www.meetthemasters.com.
Students engage in Drama classes weekly. Drama classes encourage line memorization, reading fluency, character development, set building, and team-building, and confidence.
Physical Education (P.E.)
Weekly Physical Education classes are designed to increase the physical competance, health related fitness, self responsibilty and enjoyment of physical activity. Students will improve motor skills, muscular strength, flexibilty and cardio vascular endurance.