Reading and Language Arts: Reading with understanding and writing effectively are the fundamental tasks of elementary school, as they are the basis for all future studies. Kindergarteners write in sentences by mid-year and read well above national standards by the end of the year. TDSD uses frequent benchmarks and a small group approach to ensure that all students in early grades are ahead of targets. In the higher grades, students learn to interpret a wide variety of texts and to write with purpose and clarity.
Math: TDSD has made the commitment to devote almost an hour a day to this important subject. We are also fortunate to have been chosen as one of the project schools for the Rosenbaum Foundation’s intensive teacher training in math instruction. The intensive efforts they have devoted to math in the past several years have paid off in exceptionally high test scores for a school that does no admissions testing.
Science: With the aid of enthusiastic and well-qualified teachers, a hands-on curriculum, and a beautiful science lab, students at TDSD look forward to this important subject. One cornerstone of our curriculum is the award-winning FOSS (Full Option Science Systems) program that focuses on in-depth units in life, physical, and earth sciences each year. In addition, teachers have developed a thematic program in the basic areas of science to develop student vocabulary and conceptual understanding.
History: Over the years, students have risen to the challenge of TDSD’s high standards in this area. History is a priority because we want our graduates to be educated citizens, well-equipped to function in the world. It is also important as a means to learning numerous study skills (reading non-fiction texts, understanding maps and graphs, learning how to research, etc.) that will be necessary as students go on to challenging high schools and colleges.