Strelitz International Academy‘s Primary Years Program offers an integrated curriculum of core subject areas that are supported by our specialty classes. Our culturally enriched curriculum benefits students in the following ways:
- Our students learn core concepts at an accelerated pace.
- Student agency is promoted through excellent time management to complete tasks.
- Integration of academic subjects builds strong learning connections.
- Foreign language study in the primary years improves cognitive abilities, positively influences achievement in other disciplines, and results in higher achievement test scores in reading and math.
- Exposure to global and real-world issues frames confident character development and tolerance.
Strelitz International Academy believes that a strong reading program is essential in building an everlasting educational foundation in all core subject areas. Our kindergarten and first grade students participate in the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program®– (LiPS®)*. LiPS®* provides students with the necessary skills for decoding, spelling, letter blends and digraphs to help build a student’s concept of whole language that will follow them into adulthood as they continue to decipher and add new vocabulary to their reading repertoire.
Our language arts program combines phonemic awareness, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and language development, and prepares students to read and appreciate literature, while learning to express themselves with creativity and clarity. At every grade level, varieties of instructional techniques are used to explore both written and oral language. Through individual, paired, and small group instruction, students learn the strategies they will need for analysis and comprehension of increasingly more difficult written passages. In addition, students write their own books, poems, and speeches which may be published or highlighted in special programs, as well as a variety of local, regional, and nationwide contests. The common thread throughout the school is the teaching of effective communication skills and critical thinking. The curriculum aims to inspire students to think creatively and to develop articulation of thought in both the spoken and written word.
*Strelitz International Academy is not affiliated with, certified, licensed, or sponsored by Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, Nanci Bell, Phyllis Lindamood or Pat Lindamood. Lindamood-Bell Learning Process in no way guarantees the quality of the materials or services that might be supplied by the Strelitz International Academy.
The math program that not only concentrates on competency, but also stresses problem solving. The math curriculum is a spiraling program and is key to reinforcement and ultimate mastery. Our students learn fundamental concepts using manipulatives and hands-on activities and are given opportunities to think for themselves. They work independently, with partners, in small groups and large groups to develop confidence in their ability to investigate their choice in a safe environment. The curriculum provides a comprehensive range of reasoning, number sense, computation, and estimation skills. Measurement, interpretation of data, and patterns are studied at every grade level. Calculators and computers are utilized to enhance the learning process in a meaningful way. Repeated exposure to concepts and skills is important for reinforcement and ultimate mastery. Students learn how to use mathematical thinking in an atmosphere that promotes creativity and connections to everyday life.
Strelitz International Academy’s social studies curriculum challenges students to be information gatherers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. History, geography, economics, and civics are woven together to form the basis of our social studies program. The social studies curriculum takes our students on a sequential journey, exposing them to diverse cultures along the way. The journey begins with the importance of groups, incorporating families and friends, and then expands to communities, cities, states, and countries ranging from the earliest civilizations to the present. Students practice acquiring, organizing, using, and interpreting information. There is a natural integration between all core subject areas and our social studies programs that is enhanced through Inquiry Based Learning. We are fortunate to live in an area infused with our great nation’s history and blessed with technology to virtually explore various locations that are coordinated with areas of the social studies curriculum. Through programs such as National Geographic Explorers and Empatico, our students are connected to the world. Our goal is to imbue students with knowledge, thinking skills, and respect for democratic ideals on a global level so that they can internalize the conviction that personal actions make a difference.
Our junior scientists are very curious and busy with their many research projects and investigations. The science program at Strelitz International Academy is planned as a series of hands on experiences that expose students to important areas of life, earth, and physical sciences. Students engage in scientific discovery through inquiry, making observations and conducting experiments. Students learn to observe, interact with, and understand the living and non-living world around them. In addition, since communicating scientific findings is so important, students frequently work on projects involving writing: depending on the grade level, they record data and notes in journals, create informative brochures on a given topic, write articles and reports, compose letters, and/or sum up their experiments with detailed lab reports.
The school laboratory is fully equipped with modern technology as well as sufficient space to allow students to participate in experiments that reinforce the scientific method, from the study of mold growth to the study of seeds, bugs, and hurricanes. Students compare and contrast things by smell, taste, and feel. They graph data, measure mass and length, and form conclusions based upon the testing of hypotheses. At our yearly science fair, NASA scientists are invited to be judges for our fourth and fifth graders’ experiments and presentations. They are constantly amazed at the quality and implementation of the scientific method by our students. We firmly believe that a good science program lays the foundation for the development of critical thinking skills and stimulates children’s curiosity.
The philosophical basis of Strelitz International Academy’s technology program is a commitment to promote technology as a useful tool that connects the outcomes and activities of all content areas. In practice and implementation, the technology program acts as a tool that facilitates and enhances instruction. However, technologies are not an end in themselves; they are the tools students use to access and analyze information, create knowledge, promote critical thinking, problem solve and learn to work collaboratively, as well as develop effective oral and written communication.
Technology is an integral part of both the Judaic and general studies curriculum. It is used in the presentation of information and the reinforcement of concepts taught. Computers are available in individual classrooms, the library, and in our computer lab. Every classroom is equipped with either an Activboard, a Smart-board, or Epson BrightLink projectors which enables interactive learning. In addition, computer classes are held in our library with a specialist once a week. During this period, directed learning takes place in digital citizenship, keyboarding, documentation, and design. Without a doubt, the benefits of technology best emerge when integrated into interactive reinforcement, enrichment activities, and inquiry/project-based curricular activities in which students are the gatherers, problem solvers, and communicators of information. Our teachers have embraced technology as a fundamental aspect of creating life ready learners.
Every fall SIA offers Coding Club to all interested students from 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Students learn basic concepts of coding and computer science. The beginners focus on logic and various functions while the more advanced students start learning python, a very popular programming language.
Every spring SIA offer Robotics Club for students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade who successfully complete Coding Club. In Robotics, students learn basic building of robots as well as how to code them to perform functions. Robotics Clubs has 3 aspects to it: a guided building where students follow specific directions to build and program a robot. Challenges where they must design a robot to solve a problem and free build where they can do whatever they want.
At Strelitz International Academy, music is both an academic pursuit and an art form. Through music we are able to celebrate and preserve our individual and collective heritages, express our feelings and emotions, and explore our creativity and imagination. Students are exposed at an early age to recorders, Suzuki violins and other string instruments with plenty of performance opportunities throughout the year. They learn about music history, musicians, various global musical styles, and the overall value of music in our lives. Teachers integrate the use of performing arts and Judaic studies through programs such as the annual Chanukah De-Lights, Siddur and Chumash presentations. We believe participation in a balanced, comprehensive, and sequential music program allows students to build self-esteem and positive self-image. Through exposure to a broad variety of global musical experiences our students will be led to appreciate a diverse society.
Students are exposed at an early age to Suzuki violins (grade K-1) and other string instruments (grade 2-5), Suzuki recorders (grade 3) and Suzuki bells (grades 4-5) with plenty of performance opportunities throughout the year. All students in grades K-5 participate weekly in a music program.
At Strelitz International Academy we focus on developing a love for physical activity in physical education. This is achieved by developing gross motor skills, coordination, desirable social skills, and safety skills in an enjoyable manner. Students benefit from a variety of physical activities from organized games and relays to gymnastics and fitness routines. The school is fortunate to augment the physical education program with a nine week swim program for our kindergarten classes. As students move up through the grade levels, they are introduced to individual and team sports such as disc golf, soccer, basketball, floor hockey and volleyball with skills further enhanced in our fourth and fifth grade intramural program. They learn the rules and strategies of games while developing strong muscles and cardiovascular fitness at the same time. SIA students become proficient in several movement forms and are able to apply them in game situations. They understand the value of teamwork, leading a healthy, physically active life, and are able to be personally and socially responsible in physical activity situations.
Strelitz International Academy’s art curriculum is committed to providing a rich experience in the visual arts for all students. The curriculum is designed to be cumulative through the identification of essential artistic concepts, content, and skills which progress in complexity from kindergarten through fifth grade. Art lessons are centered on drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, surface design and printing, clay, and paper crafts. The presentation and expectations reflect the knowledge and concepts required to meet the cognitive and psychomotor needs of the students at each grade level. Through art production, students express ideas and feelings in two-dimensional and three-dimensional art form. Visual arts develop students’ skills of observation and their ability to describe, interpret, evaluate, and respond to their own art work. In addition, students are introduced to the works and styles of global artists throughout history.
Our annual art display showcases the amazing talents of all our students. Students have the opportunity to submit artwork including the Water Awareness Calendar Contest sponsored by the City of Virginia Beach’s Public Utilities Department, and Israeli poster contests, resulting with yearly winners. Visual arts provide students with multiple means of expression and communication, fosters the development of self-expression, and encourages lifelong appreciation of the arts.
The goal of Hebrew at SIA is to create students who are conversationally capable and comfortable with Israeli culture and language. Students are immersed in Hebrew from having modern day secular conversation to using biblical texts in the ancient Hebrew. Students use Hebrew to acquire a second language as well as develop a strong connection to the State of Israel.
Jewish Life and Learning
At SIA, the Jewish Life and Learning curriculum includes Jewish Holiday Celebrations, Tefillah (prayer), Torah (Bible), Parasha (weekly Torah readings), and Jewish History.
Jewish education stresses learning that leads to action. We believe that it is not the learning that is the main purpose, but the action that comes from the learning. Central to Jewish learning is a meaningful exploration of Jewish ideas and values that will make a lasting impact upon each student’s life.
The Jewish Life and Learning program is taught as a spiraling curriculum. The complexity of the topic increases each year. New learning is related to the old learning and is presented in that context. For example, students celebrate the Jewish holidays every year. In the Early Years Program, students learn the basic symbols and rituals of each holiday, but as they get older, they will understand the symbolism and connection to Jewish history. Central to Jewish learning and the IB® approach to education is the importance of inquiry. By asking questions, students are able to personalize their learning and apply their education meaningfully to their lives.
At SIA, our students come to us with a variety of exposure to Jewish life. The beauty of our community is that our students gain an understanding that every family practices Judaism or their religion in their own way. As a result, each student is confident and secure in his/her own beliefs and feels comfortable in any Jewish setting around the world.