Developing the Whole Child
Students at Bay View Academy enjoy a rich, interdisciplinary curriculum. Each grade has multiple thematic units that are several weeks in length. While each unit is focused around Social Justice, Next Generation Science and California Social Studies Standards, BVA thematic units go beyond the state standards in fostering deep conceptual understanding of topics on a global scale. English language arts are taught through the lens of the social justice, science and social studies concepts. Students in all grades are involved in writing informational papers, lab reports, persuasive letters, and narratives inspired by real word events, social justice and natural phenomena.
Teachers use a variety of resources to create and implement their curriculum. Teachers rely on novels and classroom read-aloud books specifically tied to thematic units to teach reading standards. Students at all grade levels are engaged with a variety of technology and taught digital citizenship skills to further deepen their learning. From exploring pollinators via Lego WeDo 2.0 in 2nd grade, to building and troubleshooting their own Mars rovers using Lego robotics in 5th grade, to building and testings underwater ROVs in 8th grade science, our students are engaged in real world applications of their learning on a daily basis. We have also adopted the Code.org CS Fundamentals course to further our students’ understanding of the language of coding. Computer coding is taught in all grade levels at Bay View Academy.
Math standards are explicitly taught using EngageNY and project based learning. Our K-3 math curriculum is supplemented with targeted small group enrichment for advanced learners. In grades 4 through 8, math differentiation blocks are built in to the master schedule to allow teacher to regroup students across classes to remediate based on formative assessment. For our 7th and 8th graders, this differentiation also allows for advanced mathematics students to be provided with a high school level Math I course in 8th grade.
All curriculum is rooted in a deep commitment to anti-bias education and enriched through hands-on applications and project-based instruction. Students participate in frequent field trips that serve to enhance our thematic units and reinforce connections to the concepts being explored. Some examples of recent field trips include our Kindergarteners going on a glass bottom boat to experience the kelp forest, 3rd graders going to the Tech Museum to explore physics concepts, 5th graders going to Science Camp for a week, and our 8th graders going to Yosemite for a leadership camp.
All students participate in service learning. Our lower school students work either as a class or in groups to develop ways to improve our school community. Upper school students focus on improving the community in which we live. Bay View Academy 8th grade students partner with a community organization to design and produce a culminating inquiry-based project that is representative of their work and growth over the year. Each student is paired with a mentor that supports their growth throughout the year with this project. All students demonstrate their academic knowledge and skills, as well as evidence of their personal integrity and social maturity through these projects that are directed toward improving the lives of others.