Academics 2017-10-20T14:14:51+00:00

Academics

Our goal as an institution is to educate the whole child – spiritually, academically, physically, socially and emotionally. Teachers guide students through a challenging curriculum supported by developmentally appropriate activities and multi-sensory teaching methods. Students are encouraged to discover their individual strengths, explore their God-given talents and, through the school’s flexible and sequential learning program, strive for academic success.
CMDS is accredited by AdvanceEd, and is a member of the Memphis Association of Independent Schools, Tennessee Association of Independent Schools, and Southern Association of Independent Schools.

Curriculum

Curriculum decisions are based on national standards, research and best practices.
Our Early Childhood (2K-SK) curriculum enables teachers to prepare young students for future educational achievement and to nurture each child, using carefully chosen learning methods to benefit each individual.

Beginning in JK, CMDS teachers use the Core Knowledge Language Arts program as the foundation for their classroom instruction. CKLA is an all-encompassing language arts program that encompasses phonics, reading comprehension, writing, grammar and spelling. It also incorporates science and social studies into reading. Each grade level focuses on specific domains – such as Roman civilization, the human body, weather and climate, world religion – and those domains build upon prior knowledge as a student advances through school.

Our mathematics curriculum provides knowledge of basic math concepts and skills while challenging the student to higher level thinking for creative problem solving. Manipulatives and instructional materials are used to keep children engaged and excited about learning.
Encore classes in Art, Bible, Computer, Discovery Lab, Engineering Lab, Global Preschool Studies, Library, Music, Physical Education, Science Lab and Spanish expand the challenging core curriculum.

Early Childhood
Lower School
Upper School
Encore Classes

STEAM Initiative

From building bridges to creating catapults to designing a house that will withstand an earthquake, CMDS students are exposed to a STEAM Initiative that forms the foundation of the academic curriculum at our school. Rather than teach science, technology, engineering, art and math in a vacuum, our STEAM program integrates these subjects in an inquiry-based, hands-on curriculum that more closely aligns with what ­students will experience in high school, college and the workforce.

These days, students are used to working with technology.  Active engagement is always more meaningful than worksheets. By learning and living out the engineering design process, our students must seek out information rather than just receive it from a teacher. We want to create an environment where students feel comfortable to take risks and try new ideas, while still remaining supportive and encouraging as they change and reinvent their ideas and creations. The STEAM Initiative gives our students the chance to tinker, create, collaborate and build!

Technology

We invest strategically in technology to support a balanced learning environment. In the classrooms, our students learn to use technology as a tool to research, evaluate, communicate, connect, create, collaborate and learn. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum, and students, beginning with our youngest in 2K, are taught a progression of skills. They develop coding skills and keyboarding proficiency, learn research techniques and experiment with a wide variety of applications and their functions. They also have many opportunities to connect and communicate with people across our nation and around the world.

Resources

1:1 Chromebooks in 5th and 6th Grade
Classroom iPad and Computer Centers
Promethean Boards in every classroom (SK-6th)
Document Cameras in every classroom
EC Promethean Labs (2K-JK)
Chromebases in the Computer Lab
Lego Robotics WeDo Kits
Little Bits
Vernier Probes
School-Wide Wireless Network

Subscriptions

Go Animate
Kid Blog
Wixie
Brain Pop, Jr.
Typing Agent
Scratch Animation
Discovery Education
IXL
RenWeb
AR and STAR Programs

Student Support

Connections

Connections is designed to give academic support to students through work in a small group setting for a portion of the day. Our Connections teachers also give periodic learning support in the students’ regular classrooms as needed. Students are admitted to the program based on performance observations, teacher referrals and diagnostic testing. The Connections program promotes success through a combination of small group work in a separate setting, as well as individual assistance in the regular classroom.

 

KUDZU

The KUDZU program is designed for high-achieving students in second through sixth grade who need further academic challenges at an accelerated pace. Entrance into the program is based on exceptional classroom performance, work ethic, grades and standardized test scores. KUDZU follows a multidisciplinary curriculum built around thematic units that are based on student interests and teacher recommendations. Students are challenged through a variety of teaching strategies, including manipulatives, learning centers, cooperative groups, thematic units, games, visual/dramatic arts, guest speakers, field trips and technology research.
Through active learning strategies, students develop their skills in math, language arts, leadership, social skills, creativity, technology, independent thinking, reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving. KUDZU students are challenged to reach their greatest academic potential.