Immersion classrooms taught in French or Spanish.
During the Kindergarten year, children continue to develop their early academic skills, with a focus on reading, writing, and a holistic, hands-on introduction to math, science, music, and the arts. Ample opportunity is provided for free play, creative activities, and outdoor experiences. Reading and writing are taught phonetically at the ISC, to aid in the transition to an English-speaking classroom after "graduation." The Kindergarten program includes weekly instruction in English Phonics, as well, taught by teachers with experience and/or graduate-level education in English as a Second Language and literacy for young learners.
The ISC often has mixed-age classrooms, grouping JK students with our Kindergarteners. We find that this format fosters confidence and growth for both grade-levels. Our low student-teacher ratio for JK/Kindergarten allows experienced teachers to work with children individually and in pairs or small groups as they master early academic concepts.
The Kindergarten year is perhaps the most exciting at the ISC in terms of the child's target language development. Children who stay with us through Kindergarten tend to really think and process information in the target language. Rather than simply repeating vocabulary, the children can apply the language in a variety of settings and modalities, including reading, writing, math, science, etc. Most children who stay through Kindergarten finish their ISC experience effectively fluent in the target language, and are able to continue learning in French or Spanish at a fast pace even after leaving the school and the immersion classroom.
With the addition over the past two years of 1st and 2nd grades, we have been able to expand our Global Citizen program to additional grades while still providing the same core fundamentals as in our Kindergarten program. Emphasis is placed on continuing to develop speaking, reading, and writing in the target language. Children in First and Second Grade also begin to have more formal instruction in English also. In First Grade they spend roughly 70% in their target language and 30% in English. In Second Grade we move to a ratio of about 60/40. The aim is that children to continue the focus on target language development but have a seamless transition into an English speaking Middle School at the end of Fifth Grade.
As with our Junior Kindergarten students, our Kindergarteners/1st/2nd graders experience a wide variety of "extracurricular" experiences in addition to their regular school day.
All Elementary students attend Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the same extra care options as JK.