Our fifth grade program for the 2023-2024 school year will work as both a combined 5/6 class, giving students all of the benefits of our combined Primary School programs, as well as a single fifth grade class. Sixth graders will partake in the arts programs, homeroom, lunch, and recess with their sixth grade classmates but will take all academics separately for this school. For the 2024-2025 school year, our program for this grade level will following our usual pattern for the primary school, having a split 5/6 class with a full-time aide in the classroom to assist with differentiation and personalization of instruction.
As such, this year's fifth grade will spend all of their academic time in a class of only 10 children total in the room. This very small class will allow for incredible amounts of individual attention. It will also allow our fifth graders to make a smooth transition into our program from other schools wherein they may have been the oldest or youngest in the school depending on the makeup of the district. Because our primary school is modeled after the development of the adolescent brain rather than upon space constraints or district policies, our fifth graders have room to enjoy being children while still developing an increased level of independence and being given more difficult academic material. At CBA, we believe firmly in allowing our students the cognitive space and emotional support to remain children for an appropriate amount of time, and our fifth graders are absolutely still given time to play, are exposed to the magic of holidays, are encouraged to experience the excitement of adventures, and given full support to enjoy all of the beauty that comes with still being a "kid" rather than feeling the pressure to prematurely fit yourself into an adolescent world in which you do not belong.
For the majority of their academic day, our grade five students will enjoy enormous one-on-one time in a beautiful, large, sun-drenched room many original built-ins, a rich classroom library, and in-classroom personal storage. Their dedicated wing is located across the hall from the intermediate school, allowing them the ability to get to know the teachers they will have in the future while still offering them the safety of their own space. Jack and Jill bathrooms are located in the connecting annex between our Primary School classrooms, meaning students have no need to leave their wing during academic hours. Their close proximity to our arts wing allows for increasing autonomy as they progress throughout the Primary School, and by the second quarter, 5th and 6th graders will go on their own to their arts classes in the arts wings (supervised by program directors). Our 5th graders enjoy many of the same privileges as our younger Primary School students, such as the ability to participate in the Spring Musical, Friday A La Carte snacks during lunch, and use of the older students' playground at recess, plus a few additional ones, like the ability to work crew for the fall drama, help coordinating the sixth grade bridging ceremony for their classmates, and the opportunity to participate in the school-wide Reading Buddies program. Our service requirement increases to two hours per quarter during Primary School, with one hour satisfied quarterly by school-sponsored events. By these grade levels, students are also engaged in quarterly projects in ELA, math, and a combined activity for the content areas. Geography, history, and more formal instruction in science also become hallmarks of these grades, and students begin explicit instruction in study skills, enjoying their transition from learning to read to reading to learn. French language exposure continues in grade 5, with students continuing their introduction to the language conversationally through educational songs, videos, and interactive digital activities. Grade 5 students also take the IOWAs in the spring, allowing teachers and parents to track student progress in a very concrete way and allowing students a bit of exposure to standardized testing in a safe, nurturing environment without any of the pressure of a high-stakes exam. Their arts instruction also becomes more focused at these grade levels, splitting into recreational and preprofessional tracks in certain areas to ensure that children who wish to more seriously pursue an art form have the ability to do so. Their interaction with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders also increases during arts courses, allowing for more social interaction with children who have similar goals and passions. As happens with each year of growth, their involvement in CBA-wide events increases. Take a look below at what a day in the life of a CBA 3rd or 4th grade student looks like:
8:00-8:10: Arrival and Unpack 8:10-9:10: Homeroom 8:10-9:10: Mathematics Block 9:10-10:10: ELA Block 10:10-10:40: French Exposure 10:40-11:30: Geography/History 11:30-12:10: STEM 12:10-12:40: Study Skills/Mindfulness 12:40-1:20: Lunch and Recess 1:20-2:00: A Days- Music (recreational or preprofessional); B Days- Acting and Musical Theater 2:00-2:40: Art 2:40-3:20: Dance (Recreational or Preprofessional): Monday - Ballet; Tuesday - Tap/Acro; Wednesday - Modern; Thursday - Jazz; Friday - Hip Hop 3:20-3:30: Pack and Dismissal