The curriculum in the Summit School has been thoughtfully created in response to a growing need for an education created to unlock the hidden potential of every student. Our program is success-oriented. Our students often come to us from educational experiences where they struggled to find success for a variety of reasons. Therefore, our primary initiative is to restore a confidence and enthusiasm to pave the way for a lifetime of learning. Our talented and unique faculty seek to nurture and support students in their development of critical thinking skills, creativity, care and respect for others, and personal independence.
The Summit School is organized by grade level division in elementary, middle, and high school. All of our classes offer differentiated instruction, brain-based, and project-based models of learning. Our project-based learning model is based on driving questions that integrate every aspect of learning. Project-based learning (PBL) increases motivation and student choice, allowing for a true demonstration of knowledge and real world application. It promotes team collaboration, in-depth exploration of topics, and exposes students to basic and advanced level resources. We implement a daily, intensive multi-sensory structured reading program (MSSR) to target phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and oral reading for fluency and comprehension. Our whole school approach to reading instruction ensures that our language arts teachers are all professionally trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach, a highly effective and respected method for teaching students who have dyslexia and other language-based learning needs.
In the Lower and Middle schools, we build the foundation for student success through direct instruction in reading, writing, math, history, science, social studies, and the arts. The rigorous academic curriculum stimulates and challenges students to think independently and creatively, to observe and evaluate, and to solve real-world problems. The high school curriculum challenges students to strengthen and further develop academic skills, close gaps in content, and feel the excitement of a greater understanding of topics that matter to them. Transition planning begins in the Upper School and encompasses a self assessment experience to determine a post secondary plan. A daily SAT prep course is offered to provide explicit instruction in advanced vocabulary, comprehension, and creative writing to prepare students for more complex concepts. In addition, we are committed to providing instruction in important executive functioning skills such as organization, time management, note taking, and study skills. Improving these higher order thinking skills provides our students with the strategies they need to critically analyze literary selections and to develop well structured paragraphs, essays, and presentations.