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Grade Overviews

Explore Curriculum Overviews for Preschool Through Omega

Grade Overviews

Whether a student is in preschool or in 8th grade, every grade level has a holistic curriculum designed to bring out the best in every student while maintaining high expectations and rigorous academic learning.

Explore the toggles below to learn more.

Click each button to learn more about each grade overview

Preschool Overview

At Rainbow Community School, we believe that the preschool child’s rightful world and work is play.

Preschoolers need a safe and loving space to dream, to imagine, to create and to experiment with self expression. They need to explore a world that is still magical, mysterious and awe-inspiring.

 

About The Preschool Program

Our preschool program nurtures the magical child through storytelling, art, drama, music, yoga, dance and multicultural celebrations. We encourage children to solve problems in the experiential world of puzzles, games, activity/learning centers and social interaction.

We believe that each child is a unique gift from the Universe, and that these gifts should be cherished and respected.

 

A Child-Centered Approach

Our program emphasizes a child-led approach in which we allow our children to gravitate to the activities and experiences that attract their attention and interest.

The preschool curriculum is designed to foster independence and to support diverse patterns of growth rather than force children into a particular “academic” curriculum.

Current brain development research supports this flexible approach as the best way to nurture mental growth for future academic success. We strongly believe it is the most respectful way to nurture whole children and their emotional, moral, spiritual and mental growth.

 

Fostering Community

Preschool is also where we introduce children to community-centered living.

Children are encouraged to work together in community, to make choices that benefit both the child and others, and to respect themselves, each other and the environment.

We empower children by teaching conflict resolution skills that help them identify and express their own feelings and needs; we also help children listen and respond to the needs and feelings expressed by others.

Preschoolers are provided ample opportunities to take responsibility for their actions and their outcomes.

 

Enrolling Your Child

The preschool program is open to children who have had their third birthday and who are potty trained.

Two-, three-, and five-day attendance plans are offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A before- and after-school program is also available.

Rainbow Community School Preschool Holds Prestigious 5-Star Ranking

For parents searching for a quality preschool program, sorting through the many choices can seem daunting.

Fortunately, the North Carolina Star Rated License is here to help.

All child care programs must meet a set a minimum health and safety standards to operate in North Carolina, earning them one star.

 

ECERS Rating

Programs that hold themselves to higher standards may participate in the rigorous and extensive ECERS rating process. ECERS (Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale) was developed at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina.

It was designed to enable teachers to create developmentally appropriate learning environments for preschool and kindergarten aged children. Its scale is used to quantify quality stands in not only the US, but Canada and abroad.

ECERS examines every aspect of a center’s program, staff, and environmental quality through an exhaustive look at the program’s strengths and weakness on 7 subscales:

  • Space and Furnishings
  • Personal Care Routines
  • Language-Reasoning
  • Activities
  • Interactions
  • Program Structure
  • Parent and Staff interactions

When a program meets the highest standards in each of these categories they may earn themselves the highest rating possible, the prestigious 5 Stars.

Rainbow Community School received their 5th star in 2008, and has worked vigilantly to maintain it  since.

This is a dynamic process that requires constant communication, commitment, and cooperation on the part of parents, staff, and administration.

Standards are constantly updated to ensure that the program meets the most up to date understanding of best practices for the care and education of young children.

When choosing your child’s first schooling experience there is a lot to consider, from a good location to convenient hours.

Worrying whether you are choosing a quality program should not be in question. Thanks to the North Carolina Star Rated License, and the commitment of early childhood educators, you don’t have to.

Our preschool students perform in our Winter Program.

They often talk about animals during their circle time.

Kindergarten Overview

In our kindergarten program, we provide a bridge between the magical, creative playfulness of preschool and the emerging cognitive development of the elementary years.

The Rainbow Learning kindergarten program incorporates the very best child-centered educational approaches; including Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia without being constrained by any one of them.

Our program emphasizes creative, imaginative play and experiential learning to develop physical dexterity, early literacy and math skills, and problem-solving abilities.

Our community-based learning environment encourages the development of important social skills such as listening, identifying and communicating needs, cooperation, and empathy.

Kindergarten program features include

  • a whole-language approach
  • dramatic play
  • vocal-centric music
  • manipulative math
  • seasonal studies
  • nature-based science
  • Spanish language instruction
  • yoga and creative movement
  • multicultural stories/folktales
  • world traditions and celebrations

Children are accepted into Kindergarten based on their readiness. We will consider admitting children with October birth dates on a case-by-case basis after an assessment has been made by our faculty and director.

Our Kindergarten “Mariposas” spend time studying biomes and animals.

Recently they were able to sing a song about “Animal Homes” based on a poem their music teacher, Sue Ford, made into a song.

Elementary Overview

During the elementary school years, we work to increase our students’ understanding and mastery of eight essential learning skills:

  • thinking and working creatively and critically
  • collaborating with others
  • communicating effectively
  • learning independently
  • using appropriate resources to access and apply knowledge
  • taking risks to succeed
  • creating options and making choices
  • exhibiting authentic self-confidence

 

A Seven Domains Approach, with Project-based Learning

Our elementary program draws heavily on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences approach to engage children in the learning process. Rainbow, however has developed its own unique holistic approach called the Rainbow Seven Domains ™.

Particularly in the primary grades, this holistic approach encourages students to explore subject matter by providing a variety of ways of knowing, including linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligences.

Collaborative project-based learning allows children to develop a sense of personal competency while nurturing in them an appreciation for the value of human differences.

Children learn to embrace difference as a basis for collaboration rather than something to fear or judge. Post-project reflection and self assessment helps students fully integrate what they have learned.

Early Elementary Program

The first, second and third grade classroom cultures provide a nice balance of child centered learning and collaborative learning.

At this developmental level, children are exploring their own interests and curiosities yet our teachers are serving as guides in content areas such as literacy, math, and science.

 

Differentiation of Learning

The Rainbow Learning curriculum is holistic in its approach. All lessons, activities and projects are planned, organized and presented in highly differentiated ways that appeal to growth and development in all seven learning domains.

Additionally, our school-wide math program eliminates classroom borders to ensure each child is learning at his or her optimal level.

In the early elementary grades, children are exposed to a variety of quality literature and original source materials.

They develop their writing skills through journaling and authoring their own stories in a process that includes planning, writing, revising and presenting their work.

 

Specials Opportunities

Students attend special subject classes each week. They have opportunities to study

  • Art
  • Music
  • Spanish
  • Physical Education
  • Nature is also the laboratory for these younger scientists.

Upper Elementary Program

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade is a dynamic transitional year that builds independence with a developmentally appropriate focus on individual responsibility. In this grade, the interpersonal and academic expectations presented to students gradually increase in order to allow for some autonomy in the classroom.

As a result, students are authentically engaged in genuine explorations of peer dynamics and conflict resolution, enriching class discussion that are relevant and purposeful, and continued growth as reflective members of our community.

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade often serves as a companion class to provide ample opportunities for mentorship and shared learning experiences. Older children learn by teaching; younger children learn from their peers and reinforce newly acquired skills when it is their turn to teach.

In the upper elementary years, project-based work deepens as students hone their reading, research, and writing skills.

Reading for content is encouraged in all subject areas, and students develop critical thinking skills by finding, organizing, processing, and sharing information with their peers both orally and in writing.

Art, music, P.E. and Spanish continue to play an integral role in our well-rounded upper elementary program.

Service-learning projects also provide students with an opportunity to apply what they have learned for the benefit of their local community.

Class Times

First Grade: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m

Grades 2-4: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Grade 5: 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

 

A before-school and afterschool program is also available.

By the time students reach the upper elementary grades, they are expected to create and present projects such as their science fair projects to the greater school community.

The video below is a short snippet of some 4th grade projects.

Want to know more?

The best way to experience Rainbow Community School is first-hand. We encourage you to make an appointment to tour our campus and discover the magic of learning.

 

 

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