NorthCreek Preschool provides children a Christian environment in which they can develop spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally and socially through age appropriate activities. Our state licensed, high quality program offers a balance between child-initiated play and teacher directed activities. We recognize the crucial importance of children’s experiences during early childhood. Positive, supportive relationships during the earliest years are essential for healthy emotional development, cognitive development and social attachment. We believe that all areas of a child’s development – physical, social, emotional, spiritual and cognitive are interrelated and equal in importance, and that play is the best vehicle for discovery and growth.
Our programs encourage children to think independently, to experiment and to problem solve. Our curriculum is Bible based and emphasizes that God loves them, while helping them grown in their love for God, themselves and others. Children are encouraged to develop healthy relationships and consideration and respect for others. Our program offers interest centers, language development, fine and gross motor skills, math and reading readiness, science exploration, art, music and cooking, and is state licensed.
Our instruction will be utilizing methods from the Classical Education model. The design of Classical Christian education is to produce a student with the mental discipline and ability to read an in-depth book, write discerning, thoughtful essays on the book, present lectures or debates on the contents of the book, and evaluate its contents in light of the Christian worldview. Its goal is to teach the student to think clearly and express himself persuasively. To accomplish this, we will be teaching children according to three stages of learning and development: the Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric stages. These stages make up what is known as the Trivium. The word Trivium comes from the Latin prefix Tri meaning “three,” and the Latin root “via” meaning the way. The word Trivium literally means three-way, referring to the three ways of learning that coincide with a child’s cognitive development as he or she matures.
During this stage, children compile information in an organized framework (or “grammar”) for each subject area. Children love to chant, recite, and memorize. Emphasis on repetition and rote techniques corresponds to a child’s ability to easily memorize and learn by rote during this phase of development. During these elementary years, we are focused on the fundamental facts and rules of each subject, the building blocks, the “a,b,c’s” of each core subject including phonics, English grammar, spelling, reading of the classics, Bible study, math facts, and penmanship. This is the time to fill them full of facts, such as the multiplication table, geography, dates, events, plant and animal classifications – anything that lends itself to easy repetition and assimilation by the mind. The material is presented to the students in an assortment of techniques to reach all types of learning styles. Through the use of varied repetition, a strong foundation is laid as the building blocks for future learning.
During the second stage, the Dialectic stage, the child begins to understand that which he has learned and begins to use his reason to ask questions based on the information that he has gathered in the grammar stage. It is during this stage that the child no longer sees the facts that he learned as separate pieces of information, but he starts to put them together into logical relationships by asking questions. No longer can the American Revolution merely be a historical fact, but it must be understood in the light of the rest of what the child has learned. For example, how can one reconcile the fact that some of the founding fathers can be held up as great men even though they were also slaveholders? Through more in-depth and careful discussion and examination of evidence, the students learn how to question, how to dialogue, and how to discern. This leads to the development of stronger critical thinking skills. Formal logic is taught as a class. It is also integrated into each subject matter enabling students to learn the rules that guide sound thinking.
With the grammar and dialectic stages serving as building blocks, children in this stage progress toward articulating their views. Children are learning how to think out loud; they become concerned with expressing themselves and how their ideas are coming across to others.
Although our students will enter the Rhetoric stage after graduating from NorthCreek Academy, our educational goal is to prepare our students to enter these upper grades ready to learn how to 1) communicate clearly in written and verbal form, 2) thoroughly research all subject areas, 3) see interrelationships between subjects, 4) and apply a biblical worldview to daily living and future learning.
By recognizing and utilizing these stages throughout the child’s development, we are cognizantly working with how God designed children, and their ability to learn.
NorthCreek Academy’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program. The TK bonus year focuses on developmentally appropriate, engaging, hands on learning activities that equip a child to thrive in kindergarten the following year. Within the nurturing Transitional Kindergarten environment, attention is given to development of the whole child, including “academic” skills such as letter and number recognition, as well as social and emotional development, language development, attention span growth, the ability to flourish within the classroom structure, and fine, gross, and visual motor skills. The dedicated TK teaching team are committed to supporting our youngest learners as they grow in their understanding of our heavenly Father’s great love for them, building confidence, developing independence, and experiencing the joy of learning with the gift of time embedded in this two-year program. TK students must be 5 years old by January 31, 2023, to be eligible for TK.
The NorthCreek Academy Kindergarten classroom recognizes that God created children as sponges for learning! We believe young learners can soak up knowledge and we are committed to filling up our kindergarten crew with enrichment and solid curriculum. Our approach at the Academy recognizes that reading, writing, listening, and speaking are interwoven skills. Each element exists in context and in relation to one another and is best learned in unison.
The Classical Christian Trivium paradigm of education highly considers the early school years as foundational to the future successes of a learner. Students are supported by a dedicated teacher in the classroom with a 1:16 ratio along with bonus teachers for music, art, library, and PE. Learning objectives focus on physical, social, personal, and cognitive development in an encouraging environment that fosters a love for education. Our kindergarten program is an academic year designed to give students solid groundwork for budding reading skills and a vigorous introduction to memorizing facts and information through song, memory work, and enrichment opportunities. Students must be 5 years old by September 1, 2022 to be eligible for NorthCreek Academy Kindergarten.
Since opening the Academy doors in 1999, NorthCreek has delivered a distinctly different Christian education through its classical approach, emphasizing mastery of the basics through memorization via poems, songs, and other valuable tools to retain and recall information. We are deeply committed to training children as Biblical Thinkers, Well Rounded Learners and Lifelong Learners. While rich in language arts and history, which are at the heart of a classical education, NorthCreek Academy has placed a strong emphasis on math and science curriculum as well – ensuring an enriching, rigorous, well-rounded education. Beyond Bible as a course of study, we endeavor to integrate God’s Word throughout the elementary program, weaving the Truth of God’s Word within all subjects. A weekly Chapel as a school family bolsters the students with hope and truth from God’s Word. In addition, enrichment extensions are essential in our commitment to excellence. Students receive instruction from dedicated teachers in music (choral TK-3rd and instrumental 4th -5th), art, PE, and Latin, which is introduced in first grade. Small class sizes with a 1:22 ratio in 1st -5th classrooms enable staff to truly know and teach our students as we affirm each child entrusted to our care.
Junior high students continue to benefit from small class sizes under faculty members who teach from dedicated areas of passion and strength. The core curriculum for junior high includes Bible, Latin, history, language arts (including classic literature and an emphasis on writing skills), science, and math. To further address a classical vantage point, students also receive formal training in logic, P.E., and enrichment elective choices like debate, band, and other fine art disciplines. Junior high staff work closely as a team to provide caring guidance for students, striving for balanced student workloads while fostering best practices in the classroom.
Junior high emphasizes a transition in focus in the trivium model from acquiring the “what” that was developed in grades 1-5 to the “why” in junior high. Drawing on previously taught and retained information, the target in junior high is to move students to think more critically and engage in higher-level reasoning. Sixth through eighth grade classes cap at 22 students, allowing staff to truly know students as individuals. Junior High students benefit from staff members that teach from an area of passion and strength, having a variety of instructors who are trained to teach in specific subjects. Students study God’s Word, discuss history, read classics of literature and hone writing skills while being challenged in the fundamentals of science and math, including the teaching of formal logic. The junior high students enter the world of lockers and Spirit Week, science labs and debate teams, after school sports and socials. The junior highers choose from enriching electives and rise to the occasion in their role as the big kids on the campus by taking on “Big Buddy” status to the younger students.
NorthCreek Academy offers a Learning Assistance Program for students who are experiencing difficulty in classroom achievement. Students can be referred for consideration in the program through a classroom teacher, the principal, or by his/her parents with the agreement of the teacher and principal. Students are given several assessments in order to determine learning strengths and weaknesses, and to develop an appropriate educational program that would best meet identified needs. Based on the assessment, recommendations are made, which may include individual remediation, classroom accommodations, and referrals for additional testing/support by other professionals.
Students who are referred to the LAP for remediation meet with a learning specialist in individual sessions one to three hours per week.
These sessions are based on individual student needs and focus on developing foundational academic skills, strengthening processing skills and improving compensatory skills for classroom success.
For our younger students, NCA offers the Search and Teach program. The purpose of this program is to find and assist students who may have difficulty with skills basic to reading and the language arts. All kindergarten students are assessed with the SEARCH screening tool in September. Those who would benefit from individual instruction in preacademic and beginning academic skills meet with an instructor in individual TEACH sessions thirty to sixty minutes per week.