Gig Harbor Academy is committed to providing the highest quality education to all students. One way to provide a quality education is with an effective curriculum that reflects high standards and expectations. Thus, GHA has developed rigorous content standards aligned with national guidelines. These expectations are aligned with the curriculum that is used by the classroom teacher for daily instruction. GHA believes in educating the whole-child, therefore these expectations are the foundation upon which teachers build an individualized educational experience for each student. Because of learning styles and differences, we recognize that not all children reach the same expectations at the same time. GHA teachers value ongoing, open communication with families to monitor and support each child’s development.
Gig Harbor Academy approaches literacy instruction in a way that provides a solid foundation of reading and writing and leads to a self-driven passion for written and oral expression. Shaped by Lucy Calkins Units of Study in Reading, Writing and Phonics, Gig Harbor Academy invites learners into a vibrant, student-centered approach to reading and writing acquisition. Valuing a workshop model and individual conferencing, literacy instruction includes teaching phonics, spelling patterns, grammar, and writing skills, reading and comprehension strategies, fluency, presentations, performances, and much dialogue and discussion about reading and writing. Students receive direct and indirect reading and writing instruction, through modeled, shared, guided and independent reading and writing experiences. Children are given direct instructional support and a variety of daily reading and writing experiences that promote student engagement in the complex process of becoming independent readers and writers.
Students at GHA learning mathematic concepts through a holistic method of acquiring and applying their understandings in a variety of ways. While teachers are empowered to creatively integrate math into other content areas and supplement with research-based resources, GHA uses Investigations in Number, Data, and Space as its primary math curriculum. Funded by Savvas, TERC, and the National Science Foundation, Investigations represents over 20 years of research and development. It provides new digital tools, ongoing professional development, and expanded family support, and most importantly, an inquiry-based approach to teaching math. Students actively explore mathematical ideas to develop understanding and fluency. They collaborate, investigate, and take part in problem-based learning. An emphasis is placed on discovering that there is often more than one way to solve a problem and equipping students with the tools to justify their reasoning.
Social Studies at Gig Harbor Academy has inquiry at the heart of instruction. Teachers and students alike use questions to spark curiosity, guide instruction, and deepen understanding of topics being investigated. Using the curriculum Inquiry Journeys as a guide, each unit takes root in a series of compelling questions that draws from one or more of the social studies disciplines of civics, economics, geography, and history. Embracing an inquiry-based approach, students are drawn into collaborative, sustained investigation and their thinking culminates in informed action. Inquiry Journeys is aligned to the Washington State K-5 Learning Standards for Social Standards.