Learners, Leaders, & Collaborators

Challenging Academics Embedded Within a Nurturing Environment

Academics
Overview

At TCS, our age 3 – grade 8 students experience nurture and challenge, independence and community – all at the same time. Our innovative curriculum delivered by expert teachers uses immersive play- and project-based learning to engage students and connect them to the world around them so they can see the relevance and impact of their learning. At TCS, learning is hands-on, minds-on, and all heart.

By the time our students graduate, they are highly skilled, confident, compassionate, community-minded global citizens who are well equipped to lead successful lives and make a positive difference in the world.

Age 3-5

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At TCS, three-, four- and five-year-olds become active participants in learning and building community. Through play, our youngest students explore and make sense of their world, examine language, articulate their thinking, practice handwriting, gain basic math skills, learn to navigate the social world, develop strong spatial skills and begin to experiment with creative problem-solving.

With a student to teacher ratio of 7:1 in our 3’s/4’s classrooms and 9:1 in our 4’s/5’s classrooms, our youngest learners receive individualized attention from expert teachers. They enjoy art, music and movement, Chinese (Mandarin), story-time with a dedicated teacher-librarian, and much more. They especially love the relationships they build with their big buddies – older students with whom they regularly play and learn, and who mentor and model good behavior and citizenship.

Curriculum

Math

In our Early Learning program (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s), students are encouraged to explore their spatial world, play with blocks, build things, and explore patterns and properties of objects, all of which builds the foundation for numeracy. Then, through play, they’re introduced to pre-number concepts such as counting with one-to-one correspondence, sorting, and patterns. 

Kindergarten – grade 5 students use “Singapore Math: Math in Focus.” This is an authentic Singapore Math curriculum, based on national standards used in Singapore, and it meets or exceeds all Curriculum Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  Grades 6 – 8th use a combination of Math in Focus and CRM, which allows students to go deeper in advanced topics.

“Math in Focus” focuses on problem solving to facilitate math learning. Concepts are taught with a concrete-pictorial-abstract learning progression through real-world, hands-on experiences using manipulatives and physical modeling. The Singapore program solidly builds the foundational concepts that will best prepare students for higher math. This style of learning stimulates clarity of thought, communication skill in the language of mathematics, and adaptability to problem solving.

Broad topic categories for grade levels include: numeration; operations and relations; data collection and analysis; geometry; measures and reference frames; money; and patterns, rules and functions. The program has built-in extensions and flexibility that allow it to be tailored to the needs of students of every ability.  The progression ends in eighth grade with most students completing Algebra I, and some completing Geometry.

Language Arts

The language arts program includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In the Lower School (age 3 – grade 3), teachers implement a balanced approach to teaching reading that incorporates language experience, guided-reading strategies, phonics, and multi-sensory approaches to language. These increase student involvement and motivate further exploration and growth. In the Upper School (grades 4 – 8), children are exposed to a reading workshop approach that includes a variety of nonfiction and reference materials, as well as works of fiction. Skills, strategies, and literary techniques are taught within the context of the reading program across all grade levels.

Writing occurs daily in the classrooms through labeling, dictation, journal writing, research reports, and learning logs. Lucy Calkins’ Writer’s Workshop approach is used in kindergarten – grade 8. Students work through all the phases of writing, from brainstorming to producing a final draft. Grammar instruction takes place within the context of reading, writing, and speaking.

Kindergarten and first grades use the “Sounds and Letters for Readers and Spellers” series, as well as other materials to build children’s spelling success, which includes inventive and phonetic spelling as a natural phase of developing formal spelling and literacy skills. The spelling program is based on phonemic awareness. Students learn and practice rules for spelling the sounds that make up the English language. In grades 2 – 3, teachers draw from “Words Their Way,” a research-based instructional model, as well as other materials with which teachers can target instruction based on students’ needs and development. For students in grades 4 – 7, spelling instruction is embedded into Writer’s Workshop.

Science

Science is most often integrated with other subjects within the project-based learning units. Teachers introduce science through exploration of the natural and physical world. Older and younger students are encouraged to solve problems using process skills that include observation, classification, record-keeping, making hypotheses, experimentation, consideration of variables, and drawing conclusions. The program uses a hands-on, investigative approach that is correlated to the developmental needs of students and is designed to help students gain concept and topic knowledge and science skills as they progress. At each grade level, students study topics from life, earth and space, and physical sciences.

Social Studies

The overall social studies program goals are to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values for responsible and effective participation in all aspects of a global society; to improve students’ abilities to make intelligent and socially responsible decisions; and to assist in developing informed attitudes toward controversial issues. 

Six themes are stressed: cultural studies, history, civics, geography, economics and science, and technology and society. In each of these areas, there is an expanding progression of topics, moving from self, family, and home to world issues and cultures. The instructional program provides for children’s active involvement in their learning process. Social studies is interactive with other areas of the curriculum and encourages taking learning beyond the classroom, including community service projects. Social studies is most often integrated with other subjects within the project-based learning units.

Outdoor Education

Our Outdoor Education program is unique among Atlanta area elementary schools. Students in grades 3 – 8 become immersed in Georgia’s great outdoors on fall and spring multi-night, overnight camping trips. Teachers integrate each trip into grade-level curricula through classroom study and on-site activities. The trips are planned and sequenced so that over a six-year period students can develop skills and competencies in camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking as well as familiarity with the ecology of mountains, barrier islands, cypress swamps, and rivers. Students in grades 4 – 8 participate in increasingly demanding outdoor experiences.

Field Experiences

As part of their project-based learning units, each class goes on multiple field trips to local venues and locations each year. These include performances, museums, parks, and education centers throughout the Atlanta area. Teachers are encouraged to take advantage of the myriad cultural, environmental, and historical opportunities that abound. The purpose of the field experiences is to connect learning and school to the broader community in which we live.

STEAM and Digital Literacy

At The Children’s School, technology use and instruction are embedded within the curriculum and also also taught in STEAM classes.  Technology use supports the school’s progressive learning mission by creating opportunities for students to collaborate, create, share, and explore. Students at all levels use mobile devices and technology tools in one-to-one and classroom learning centers to facilitate group and individual projects. In kindergarten, students begin their formal instruction in their STEAM class to enhance the skills they’ll need in technology-infused classrooms and to strengthen their individual technology literacy. At all grade levels, students work with age-appropriate programming software. In the K-8 STEAM curriculum, students face increasingly difficult hands-on challenges that increase their ability to creatively solve a wide variety of  engineering and coding challenges. By the time they graduate, students have been exposed to and engaged in all of the differing aspects of what it means to be truly digitally literate, including basic coding, computational thinking, digital content creation, and navigating the increasingly complex world of online media and relationships.

TCS students begin working with iPads in Early Learning 4’s/5’s. Students in grades 4 – 5 are issued Chromebooks early in the school year and Middle Grades students are issued laptops to support their learning.

The practice of good digital citizenship – students using technology safely and responsibly – falls within the context of our larger community citizenship expectations. 

World Language

The Children’s School offers Chinese to all students age 3 – grade 3 and Spanish to all students in grades 4 – 8. Classes meet two – three times per week and have proficiency as their goal, with a focus on speaking and listening. We make the switch from Chinese to Spanish to allow students to have deep experience in two very different language systems.

The Chinese program uses a play-based, highly kinesthetic approach with a focus on oral proficiency appropriate to younger learners with clear learning outcomes defined for each stage of the program. Ultimately, students will achieve a level of Chinese language proficiency that will allow them to communicate and give them a meaningful foundation in the language should they choose to return to Chinese language study in high school or college. 

The Spanish program is equally engaging and proficiency-based, with clear and measurable outcomes to develop robust listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills given the age and English-language proficiency of the older students.

In all language classrooms, teachers are experienced language teachers and the target language is used the majority of class time. 

Library

Early Learning (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s) – grade 5 students visit the library weekly. The program focuses on literature appreciation and information literacy skills. The librarians work closely with classroom teachers to incorporate classroom studies into the program. Beginning with Early Learning, students may check out books of their choice from the library.

Visual Arts

At all levels, the Visual Arts program strives to give children meaningful, enjoyable experiences with art. Children progress from exploratory experiences toward growing expertise with a variety of media. Children meet with the art specialist weekly. Projects range from free use of imagination to structured activities.

Music

TCS’s music program lets students sing, dance, play instruments, listen and express themselves musically. Students in the Early Learning (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s) program combine music and movement with their music teacher both in and out of their classroom. Kindergarten – grade 8 students learn basic instruments, rhythm, singing, and, as they progress through the years, begin to learn guitar, keyboards, and basic theory. Students in grades 1 – 3 have the opportunity to participate in TCS Jr. Voices and grades 4 – 8 have the opportunity to participate in TCS Voices.

Physical Education

All students meet with a physical education specialist twice a week. Within the physical education program, students develop habits of fitness and wellness, experiment with creative movement, and develop leisure and sports skills.

Character Education

From its inception, The Children’s School has focused on character development and education. We work to create an environment that inspires and promotes moral development. The Building Character and Community (BCC) Program, seeks to develop students’ personal and social integrity, teach peaceful conflict resolution, anger and temper management skills, and treating others fairly.

Immersive Project-Based Learning

At TCS, we use immersive project-based learning to embed big ideas, skills and academic subjects within an integrated, problem-based approach. When used together, these allow for a complete and nuanced understanding of the project and problems students are investigating.

Take a look at TCS project-based learning in action!

Learning Support

The primary function of the Resource Program at The Children’s School is to offer support to families, children and teachers to maximize students’ academic success. The Resource Team collaborates closely with classroom teachers to identify individual learning needs and differentiate instruction with enrichment approaches, academic strategies, accommodations and interventions.

When students demonstrate a need for additional academic support, the Resource Team administers classroom observations and standardized assessments to identify appropriate next steps and determine the need for auxiliary services. It is generally upon the recommendation of the classroom teachers that the Resource Program initiates testing; however, parents may reach out and must request and authorize support services.

The Resource Program also offers academic support for math and language arts so children can gain the skills and confidence they need to thrive. Math support employs a consultative model delivered in the classroom, and language arts support is delivered in the Learning Lab through small group remedial instruction that uses an Orton-Gillingham informed approach.

Please note that The Children’s School does not offer on-site diagnostic testing. When teachers and parents agree that assessment may be beneficial, the resource director and administration will recommend professionals who have educational testing expertise. The resource director also provides referrals to specialists and tutors. Please contact Michelle Toma-Harrold, director of resource services, with questions at 404-835-4628 or michelleth@tcsatl.org.

Grades K-5

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From developing math skills through real-world projects to building and programming their own robots, our play- and project-based approach to learning gives our elementary students opportunities to explore real-world challenges, learn essential 21st century skills like communication and collaboration and make their voices heard.

We take learning beyond the four walls of the classroom. Through partnerships with  our Midtown neighbors or by simply crossing the street to Piedmont Park, our elementary students learn not just to observe, but also to become truly engaged citizens of the world.

Finally, our student-to-teacher ratios in our elementary grades – 10:1 to 12:1 – allow TCS teachers to develop close relationships with their students so they feel known, understood, believed in, and challenged to be their best.

Curriculum

Math

In our Early Learning program (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s), students are encouraged to explore their spatial world, play with blocks, build things, and explore patterns and properties of objects, all of which builds the foundation for numeracy. Then, through play, they’re introduced to pre-number concepts such as counting with one-to-one correspondence, sorting, and patterns. 

Kindergarten – grade 5 students use “Singapore Math: Math in Focus.” This is an authentic Singapore Math curriculum, based on national standards used in Singapore, and it meets or exceeds all Curriculum Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  Grades 6 – 8th use a combination of Math in Focus and CRM, which allows students to go deeper in advanced topics.

“Math in Focus” focuses on problem solving to facilitate math learning. Concepts are taught with a concrete-pictorial-abstract learning progression through real-world, hands-on experiences using manipulatives and physical modeling. The Singapore program solidly builds the foundational concepts that will best prepare students for higher math. This style of learning stimulates clarity of thought, communication skill in the language of mathematics, and adaptability to problem solving.

Broad topic categories for grade levels include: numeration; operations and relations; data collection and analysis; geometry; measures and reference frames; money; and patterns, rules and functions. The program has built-in extensions and flexibility that allow it to be tailored to the needs of students of every ability.  The progression ends in eighth grade with most students completing Algebra I, and some completing Geometry.

Language Arts

The language arts program includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In the Lower School (age 3 – grade 3), teachers implement a balanced approach to teaching reading that incorporates language experience, guided-reading strategies, phonics, and multi-sensory approaches to language. These increase student involvement and motivate further exploration and growth. In the Upper School (grades 4 – 8), children are exposed to a reading workshop approach that includes a variety of nonfiction and reference materials, as well as works of fiction. Skills, strategies, and literary techniques are taught within the context of the reading program across all grade levels.

Writing occurs daily in the classrooms through labeling, dictation, journal writing, research reports, and learning logs. Lucy Calkins’ Writer’s Workshop approach is used in kindergarten – grade 8. Students work through all the phases of writing, from brainstorming to producing a final draft. Grammar instruction takes place within the context of reading, writing, and speaking.

Kindergarten and first grades use the “Sounds and Letters for Readers and Spellers” series, as well as other materials to build children’s spelling success, which includes inventive and phonetic spelling as a natural phase of developing formal spelling and literacy skills. The spelling program is based on phonemic awareness. Students learn and practice rules for spelling the sounds that make up the English language. In grades 2 – 3, teachers draw from “Words Their Way,” a research-based instructional model, as well as other materials with which teachers can target instruction based on students’ needs and development. For students in grades 4 – 7, spelling instruction is embedded into Writer’s Workshop.

Science

Science is most often integrated with other subjects within the project-based learning units. Teachers introduce science through exploration of the natural and physical world. Older and younger students are encouraged to solve problems using process skills that include observation, classification, record-keeping, making hypotheses, experimentation, consideration of variables, and drawing conclusions. The program uses a hands-on, investigative approach that is correlated to the developmental needs of students and is designed to help students gain concept and topic knowledge and science skills as they progress. At each grade level, students study topics from life, earth and space, and physical sciences.

Social Studies

The overall social studies program goals are to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values for responsible and effective participation in all aspects of a global society; to improve students’ abilities to make intelligent and socially responsible decisions; and to assist in developing informed attitudes toward controversial issues. 

Six themes are stressed: cultural studies, history, civics, geography, economics and science, and technology and society. In each of these areas, there is an expanding progression of topics, moving from self, family, and home to world issues and cultures. The instructional program provides for children’s active involvement in their learning process. Social studies is interactive with other areas of the curriculum and encourages taking learning beyond the classroom, including community service projects. Social studies is most often integrated with other subjects within the project-based learning units.

Outdoor Education

Our Outdoor Education program is unique among Atlanta area elementary schools. Students in grades 3 – 8 become immersed in Georgia’s great outdoors on fall and spring multi-night, overnight camping trips. Teachers integrate each trip into grade-level curricula through classroom study and on-site activities. The trips are planned and sequenced so that over a six-year period students can develop skills and competencies in camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking as well as familiarity with the ecology of mountains, barrier islands, cypress swamps, and rivers. Students in grades 4 – 8 participate in increasingly demanding outdoor experiences.

Field Experiences

As part of their project-based learning units, each class goes on multiple field trips to local venues and locations each year. These include performances, museums, parks, and education centers throughout the Atlanta area. Teachers are encouraged to take advantage of the myriad cultural, environmental, and historical opportunities that abound. The purpose of the field experiences is to connect learning and school to the broader community in which we live.

STEAM and Digital Literacy

At The Children’s School, technology use and instruction are embedded within the curriculum and also also taught in STEAM classes.  Technology use supports the school’s progressive learning mission by creating opportunities for students to collaborate, create, share, and explore. Students at all levels use mobile devices and technology tools in one-to-one and classroom learning centers to facilitate group and individual projects. In kindergarten, students begin their formal instruction in their STEAM class to enhance the skills they’ll need in technology-infused classrooms and to strengthen their individual technology literacy. At all grade levels, students work with age-appropriate programming software. In the K-8 STEAM curriculum, students face increasingly difficult hands-on challenges that increase their ability to creatively solve a wide variety of  engineering and coding challenges. By the time they graduate, students have been exposed to and engaged in all of the differing aspects of what it means to be truly digitally literate, including basic coding, computational thinking, digital content creation, and navigating the increasingly complex world of online media and relationships.

TCS students begin working with iPads in Early Learning 4’s/5’s. Students in grades 4 – 5 are issued Chromebooks early in the school year and Middle Grades students are issued laptops to support their learning.

The practice of good digital citizenship – students using technology safely and responsibly – falls within the context of our larger community citizenship expectations. 

World Language

The Children’s School offers Chinese to all students age 3 – grade 3 and Spanish to all students in grades 4 – 8. Classes meet two – three times per week and have proficiency as their goal, with a focus on speaking and listening. We make the switch from Chinese to Spanish to allow students to have deep experience in two very different language systems.

The Chinese program uses a play-based, highly kinesthetic approach with a focus on oral proficiency appropriate to younger learners with clear learning outcomes defined for each stage of the program. Ultimately, students will achieve a level of Chinese language proficiency that will allow them to communicate and give them a meaningful foundation in the language should they choose to return to Chinese language study in high school or college. 

The Spanish program is equally engaging and proficiency-based, with clear and measurable outcomes to develop robust listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills given the age and English-language proficiency of the older students.

In all language classrooms, teachers are experienced language teachers and the target language is used the majority of class time. 

Library

Early Learning (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s) – grade 5 students visit the library weekly. The program focuses on literature appreciation and information literacy skills. The librarians work closely with classroom teachers to incorporate classroom studies into the program. Beginning with Early Learning, students may check out books of their choice from the library.

Visual Arts

At all levels, the Visual Arts program strives to give children meaningful, enjoyable experiences with art. Children progress from exploratory experiences toward growing expertise with a variety of media. Children meet with the art specialist weekly. Projects range from free use of imagination to structured activities.

Music

TCS’s music program lets students sing, dance, play instruments, listen and express themselves musically. Students in the Early Learning (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s) program combine music and movement with their music teacher both in and out of their classroom. Kindergarten – grade 8 students learn basic instruments, rhythm, singing, and, as they progress through the years, begin to learn guitar, keyboards, and basic theory. Students in grades 1 – 3 have the opportunity to participate in TCS Jr. Voices and grades 4 – 8 have the opportunity to participate in TCS Voices.

Physical Education

All students meet with a physical education specialist twice a week. Within the physical education program, students develop habits of fitness and wellness, experiment with creative movement, and develop leisure and sports skills.

Character Education

From its inception, The Children’s School has focused on character development and education. We work to create an environment that inspires and promotes moral development. The Building Character and Community (BCC) Program, seeks to develop students’ personal and social integrity, teach peaceful conflict resolution, anger and temper management skills, and treating others fairly.

Immersive Project-Based Learning

At TCS, we use immersive project-based learning to embed big ideas, skills and academic subjects within an integrated, problem-based approach. When used together, these allow for a complete and nuanced understanding of the project and problems students are investigating.

Take a look at TCS project-based learning in action!

Grades 6-8

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The middle school years are a time of transition and vulnerability. The journey to adulthood is not yet complete, so TCS honors the emerging adult and the child who remains by building on the joy, wonder and curiosity of this age while also developing the skills and knowledge needed for teens to succeed in high school and beyond.

Our Middle Grades students grapple with big ideas, forge community connections, and explore the question of who they are in this world – distinct from friends, family and teachers. The curriculum is grounded in well-respected national standards that articulate expectations for content mastery, critical thinking, and applied learning.

Students develop deep understandings in social studies, science, math and writing, and apply that knowledge to hands-on, community-based problem solving, which allows them to:

  • Develop strong academic skills from faculty who are experts in their subjects
  • Understand how academics answer important questions about their world
  • Establish the advocacy and communication skills to add their unique voice, perspective and contributions to the local and national dialogue about issues like social justice, equity and sustainability.

Curriculum

Math

In our Early Learning program (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s), students are encouraged to explore their spatial world, play with blocks, build things, and explore patterns and properties of objects, all of which builds the foundation for numeracy. Then, through play, they’re introduced to pre-number concepts such as counting with one-to-one correspondence, sorting, and patterns. 

Kindergarten – grade 5 students use “Singapore Math: Math in Focus.” This is an authentic Singapore Math curriculum, based on national standards used in Singapore, and it meets or exceeds all Curriculum Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  Grades 6 – 8th use a combination of Math in Focus and CRM, which allows students to go deeper in advanced topics.

“Math in Focus” focuses on problem solving to facilitate math learning. Concepts are taught with a concrete-pictorial-abstract learning progression through real-world, hands-on experiences using manipulatives and physical modeling. The Singapore program solidly builds the foundational concepts that will best prepare students for higher math. This style of learning stimulates clarity of thought, communication skill in the language of mathematics, and adaptability to problem solving.

Broad topic categories for grade levels include: numeration; operations and relations; data collection and analysis; geometry; measures and reference frames; money; and patterns, rules and functions. The program has built-in extensions and flexibility that allow it to be tailored to the needs of students of every ability.  The progression ends in eighth grade with most students completing Algebra I, and some completing Geometry.

Language Arts

The language arts program includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In the Lower School (age 3 – grade 3), teachers implement a balanced approach to teaching reading that incorporates language experience, guided-reading strategies, phonics, and multi-sensory approaches to language. These increase student involvement and motivate further exploration and growth. In the Upper School (grades 4 – 8), children are exposed to a reading workshop approach that includes a variety of nonfiction and reference materials, as well as works of fiction. Skills, strategies, and literary techniques are taught within the context of the reading program across all grade levels.

Writing occurs daily in the classrooms through labeling, dictation, journal writing, research reports, and learning logs. Lucy Calkins’ Writer’s Workshop approach is used in kindergarten – grade 8. Students work through all the phases of writing, from brainstorming to producing a final draft. Grammar instruction takes place within the context of reading, writing, and speaking.

Kindergarten and first grades use the “Sounds and Letters for Readers and Spellers” series, as well as other materials to build children’s spelling success, which includes inventive and phonetic spelling as a natural phase of developing formal spelling and literacy skills. The spelling program is based on phonemic awareness. Students learn and practice rules for spelling the sounds that make up the English language. In grades 2 – 3, teachers draw from “Words Their Way,” a research-based instructional model, as well as other materials with which teachers can target instruction based on students’ needs and development. For students in grades 4 – 7, spelling instruction is embedded into Writer’s Workshop.

Science

Science is most often integrated with other subjects within the project-based learning units. Teachers introduce science through exploration of the natural and physical world. Older and younger students are encouraged to solve problems using process skills that include observation, classification, record-keeping, making hypotheses, experimentation, consideration of variables, and drawing conclusions. The program uses a hands-on, investigative approach that is correlated to the developmental needs of students and is designed to help students gain concept and topic knowledge and science skills as they progress. At each grade level, students study topics from life, earth and space, and physical sciences.

Social Studies

The overall social studies program goals are to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values for responsible and effective participation in all aspects of a global society; to improve students’ abilities to make intelligent and socially responsible decisions; and to assist in developing informed attitudes toward controversial issues. 

Six themes are stressed: cultural studies, history, civics, geography, economics and science, and technology and society. In each of these areas, there is an expanding progression of topics, moving from self, family, and home to world issues and cultures. The instructional program provides for children’s active involvement in their learning process. Social studies is interactive with other areas of the curriculum and encourages taking learning beyond the classroom, including community service projects. Social studies is most often integrated with other subjects within the project-based learning units.

Outdoor Education

Our Outdoor Education program is unique among Atlanta area elementary schools. Students in grades 3 – 8 become immersed in Georgia’s great outdoors on fall and spring multi-night, overnight camping trips. Teachers integrate each trip into grade-level curricula through classroom study and on-site activities. The trips are planned and sequenced so that over a six-year period students can develop skills and competencies in camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking as well as familiarity with the ecology of mountains, barrier islands, cypress swamps, and rivers. Students in grades 4 – 8 participate in increasingly demanding outdoor experiences.

Field Experiences

As part of their project-based learning units, each class goes on multiple field trips to local venues and locations each year. These include performances, museums, parks, and education centers throughout the Atlanta area. Teachers are encouraged to take advantage of the myriad cultural, environmental, and historical opportunities that abound. The purpose of the field experiences is to connect learning and school to the broader community in which we live.

STEAM and Digital Literacy

At The Children’s School, technology use and instruction are embedded within the curriculum and also also taught in STEAM classes.  Technology use supports the school’s progressive learning mission by creating opportunities for students to collaborate, create, share, and explore. Students at all levels use mobile devices and technology tools in one-to-one and classroom learning centers to facilitate group and individual projects. In kindergarten, students begin their formal instruction in their STEAM class to enhance the skills they’ll need in technology-infused classrooms and to strengthen their individual technology literacy. At all grade levels, students work with age-appropriate programming software. In the K-8 STEAM curriculum, students face increasingly difficult hands-on challenges that increase their ability to creatively solve a wide variety of  engineering and coding challenges. By the time they graduate, students have been exposed to and engaged in all of the differing aspects of what it means to be truly digitally literate, including basic coding, computational thinking, digital content creation, and navigating the increasingly complex world of online media and relationships.

TCS students begin working with iPads in Early Learning 4’s/5’s. Students in grades 4 – 5 are issued Chromebooks early in the school year and Middle Grades students are issued laptops to support their learning.

The practice of good digital citizenship – students using technology safely and responsibly – falls within the context of our larger community citizenship expectations. 

World Language

The Children’s School offers Chinese to all students age 3 – grade 3 and Spanish to all students in grades 4 – 8. Classes meet two – three times per week and have proficiency as their goal, with a focus on speaking and listening. We make the switch from Chinese to Spanish to allow students to have deep experience in two very different language systems.

The Chinese program uses a play-based, highly kinesthetic approach with a focus on oral proficiency appropriate to younger learners with clear learning outcomes defined for each stage of the program. Ultimately, students will achieve a level of Chinese language proficiency that will allow them to communicate and give them a meaningful foundation in the language should they choose to return to Chinese language study in high school or college. 

The Spanish program is equally engaging and proficiency-based, with clear and measurable outcomes to develop robust listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills given the age and English-language proficiency of the older students.

In all language classrooms, teachers are experienced language teachers and the target language is used the majority of class time. 

Library

Early Learning (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s) – grade 5 students visit the library weekly. The program focuses on literature appreciation and information literacy skills. The librarians work closely with classroom teachers to incorporate classroom studies into the program. Beginning with Early Learning, students may check out books of their choice from the library.

Visual Arts

At all levels, the Visual Arts program strives to give children meaningful, enjoyable experiences with art. Children progress from exploratory experiences toward growing expertise with a variety of media. Children meet with the art specialist weekly. Projects range from free use of imagination to structured activities.

Music

TCS’s music program lets students sing, dance, play instruments, listen and express themselves musically. Students in the Early Learning (3’s/4’s and 4’s/5’s) program combine music and movement with their music teacher both in and out of their classroom. Kindergarten – grade 8 students learn basic instruments, rhythm, singing, and, as they progress through the years, begin to learn guitar, keyboards, and basic theory. Students in grades 1 – 3 have the opportunity to participate in TCS Jr. Voices and grades 4 – 8 have the opportunity to participate in TCS Voices.

Physical Education

All students meet with a physical education specialist twice a week. Within the physical education program, students develop habits of fitness and wellness, experiment with creative movement, and develop leisure and sports skills.

Transitioning to High School

Counseling our eighth graders in their next steps after The Children’s School is an integral part of our educational process.  The same skillsets and mindsets TCS works hard to foster in students both in and out of the classroom everyday also serve our students well in the high school counseling process, and ultimately, their chosen high schools. 

We work closely with students and their families to help them discover, research, and select  their unique, right-match school. Mock interviews, practice essays, and SSAT classes prepare our students to move through the application process with confidence and poise. Our approach is highly individualized and is based on students’ specific talents, needs and interests as well as parents’ educational goals and a shared understanding of schools that will further students’  intellectual, physical, and social development. Our approach also recognizes the value of collaboration and includes close partnership with the director of student life and high school counseling, assistant head for academics and upper school director, our head of school, the eighth grade teaching team, and the director of enrollment management to advocate for each student during the admission process.

Our graduates are sought after by schools across Atlanta and beyond and have excellent public school options as well. We have developed strong ties with all of our receiving high schools, and these schools value how  TCS has prepared our students to meet the demands of their next educational environments. Our students are accepted to and thrive in a range of schools- public and private, single-sex and co-ed, and day and boarding schools.

Our Outcomes

Graduates of The Children’s School are compassionate, community-minded global citizens who value diversity in its many forms. They are confident young people who are strong, adaptive learners and go on to excel at other schools.

Our graduates attend a variety of different schools throughout the Atlanta area and beyond including – Atlanta Girls School, Atlanta International School, The Galloway School, Grady High School, Lakeside High School, Mount Vernon School, The New School, The Lovett School, Pace Academy, Paideia School, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, The Westminster Schools, and Woodward Academy.

Our students get administrative and faculty support preparing for the high school application and transition process. TCS students develop experience writing essays, interviewing, and evaluating potential schools, skills that are necessary for high school, college, and professional careers.

Our graduates are passion-driven young adults who lead lives of empathy and purpose in an interconnected world. 

Immersive Project-Based Learning

At TCS, we use immersive project-based learning to embed big ideas, skills and academic subjects within an integrated, problem-based approach. When used together, these allow for a complete and nuanced understanding of the project and problems students are investigating.

Take a look at TCS project-based learning in action!

Learning Support

The primary function of the Resource Program at The Children’s School is to offer support to families, children and teachers to maximize students’ academic success. The Resource Team collaborates closely with classroom teachers to identify individual learning needs and differentiate instruction with enrichment approaches, academic strategies, accommodations and interventions.

When students demonstrate a need for additional academic support, the Resource Team administers classroom observations and standardized assessments to identify appropriate next steps and determine the need for auxiliary services. It is generally upon the recommendation of the classroom teachers that the Resource Program initiates testing; however, parents may reach out and must request and authorize support services.

The Resource Program also offers academic support for math and language arts so children can gain the skills and confidence they need to thrive. Math support employs a consultative model delivered in the classroom, and language arts support is delivered in the Learning Lab through small group remedial instruction that uses an Orton-Gillingham informed approach.

Please note that The Children’s School does not offer on-site diagnostic testing. When teachers and parents agree that assessment may be beneficial, the resource director and administration will recommend professionals who have educational testing expertise. The resource director also provides referrals to specialists and tutors. Please contact Michelle Toma-Harrold, director of resource services, with questions at 404-835-4628 or michelleth@tcsatl.org.

Extended Day Program

The Extended Day program provides after-school activities in visual, performing and exploratory arts; sports and environmental studies for elementary and middle grades students from The Children’s School and the broader Atlanta community. It’s divided into the following four program areas: Discovery/EPIC, Enrichment, Day School Electives, and TCS Athletics.

Click here for more information about Extended Day and Summer Learning at TCS.