At Good Shepherd Lutheran School our core curriculum includes:
Spiritual and Social Development- At Good Shepherd Lutheran School students are free to express their relationship to Christ in their writing, praying, singing and conversations. We help our students develop a clear understanding that God loves all and that each individual is unique and beautiful in their own way. We teach and help our students build each other up with character and be problem solvers through words and positive actions. Our approach to social interactions assures that each student learns and develops through friendship with their culturally diverse peers. Curriculum includes: the NIV Bible, "One in Christ" in grades JK-5 and "Here We Stand" in Grades 6-8. On Wednesday mornings, we worship together in student led chapel.
Math- Our dedicated teachers apply practical applications of mathematical skills in the classroom, but they don't stop there. Each week our students are encouraged to stretch their logical and creative thinking skills to solve math problems in the real world. Elementary school curriculum includes Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt's, "Go Math." Going above and beyond the Common Core, we offer Middle School Math 1, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and Geometry at the middle school level, based on placement tests.
Reading- At Good Shepherd Lutheran our language arts classes include literature where our students read many classic novels. In addition, the students create movies and other creative projects that relate to one of the novels.Strategies in reading are introduced, modeled and practiced as a class, and individually to increase comprehension. Word study skills are continuously honed throughout the school year. Our students experience the excitement of reading through the use of books and accompanying story tapes and workbooks to reinforce the learned skills. Reading instruction is woven through all subjects, and individualized to reflect students' varying reading level. In addition to required reading books, curriculum in literature includes Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt's "Journeys" in grades JK-5 and Prentice Hall's "Timeless Voices" in grades 6-8.
Science- Conducting hands-on experiments helps our students discover the various disciplines of science. Each year our students, at every grade level, conduct experiments, take field trips and follow the scientific method to discover the joy of science. Following the California State Standards, our elementary students enjoy raising bean plants, silkworms and butterflies. They learn body systems by examining squid, and the heart and brain of a pig. Our 6th graders explore rocks and physical features of the land around us and build their own water wheels. By 8th grade, our students are ready to focus on the Physical Science in preparation for high school Physics coursework. All students participate in a Science fair either individually or as a class, depending on grade level.
Language Arts- Students begin daily journaling in Kindergarten. Grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary are regular staples at every grade level. In writing composition students participate in Poetry and Writing workshops led by a local author. Our students in grades 2-8 participate in the National Scripps Spelling Bee program and Good Shepherd's annual "Flash Fiction Writing Contest". Middle School students learn persuasive writing and speaking as they prepare for a mock trial of a historical figure from their readings before a judge and jury. And, in the Spring, our students have the opportunity to experience being part of a full-scale musical.
Social Studies- Our students explore our communities and our world. Kindergarten curriculum includes Social Studies Weekly magazine, grades 1-5 include Macmillan/McGraw Hill's "California Vistas" and grades 6-8 include Holt's Earth, Life and Physical Science textbooks. History of early pioneers, native Americans, our golden state, government, midieval and ancient times are explored both inside the classroom and on fieldtrips. Projects are a wonderful way to introduce our students to community and embrace cultural diversity.
Physical Education- While budget cutbacks have forced many schools to omit physical education from their curricula, at Good Shepherd, we continue to make it a priority. Students participate in a regular exercise routine emphasizing cardiovascular fitness and strength training. We also educate our students about good nutrition and encourage them to eat a healthy diet. We emphasize to students the importance of regular exercise - helping reduce the risk of obesity and disease. Daily exercise also helps our students boost their self-confidence and reduce stress.
Foreign Language - In middle school, our students take one year each of Spanish 1A and Spanish 1B, so that they can place into Spanish 2 as freshman in high school.