Lower Division

Overview

Swift School’s Lower Division serves students in grades 1-5 who grow and blossom into confident, knowledgeable individuals. Students are encouraged to participate fully, to take risks, to be self-advocates and to create lasting memories. One of our goals is to provide an enriching, engaging, and challenging curriculum that prepares students for success. We believe that students, parents, and teachers all play an important role in helping students reach their greatest potential.

A Holistic Approach

The Lower Division instructional programming is built upon the Orton-Gillingham approach which is language based and success oriented; it is infused into every subject area, incorporating multi-sensory strategies along with immediate feedback. Each class benefits from two highly qualified teachers who utilize a data driven model to instruct students in both small and large groups in all subject areas. In addition to the content areas, student educational programming is enriched by attending PE three times a week, Art, and Music. Field trips enrich our educational programming by providing additional experiential learning opportunities. The Lower Division teachers utilize technology throughout their day with the use of iPads, Chromebooks, laptops and Smartboards. Students collaborate, create, and expand their knowledge while learning 21st century skills needed for the future. Swift’s Lower Division offers social skills and guidance class instruction which further creates a bridge between academic success and social development. Our students learn to be part of a team, cooperate, and navigate the world around them through modeling, play, and guided interaction.

Our Caring Community

At every level, Swift values community, excellence, individuality, potential, and nurture. Excellence permeates our language arts and reading programs which elicits increased reading and writing fluency, along with critical thinking skills. In math, teachers meet students where they are, provide the support needed, and challenge students to work towards their potential. We provide students opportunities to explore and expand their individual talents and strengths through the fine arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Teacher use the science and social studies curriculum as opportunities to nurture curiosity about the world around them.

Every student deserves to feel empowered and valued. Please visit our links to view for more information on our academic programming. See for yourself what Swift is all about!

Orton-Gillingham Approach

The foundation of the academic program is the Orton-Gillingham Approach, which emphasizes instruction in every subject with multisensory techniques that involve the auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic pathways. Although Swift’s intensive reading and language arts instruction is the foremost consideration, the subjects of math, social studies, and science are also taught using the Approach.

The Orton-Gillingham Approach


Language-based

Techniques of studying and learning language are implemented that involve the mechanisms involved in the language acquisition processes.

Multisensory

Teaching sessions are action-oriented with auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements that reinforce each other for increased learning outcomes. Students learn spelling simultaneously with reading.

Structured, Sequential, Cumulative

The elements of language are introduced systematically. Students begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation. Sounds are then blended into syllables and words. Students learn the elements of language – consonants, vowels, digraphs, blends, and diphthongs – in an orderly, sequential, progressive fashion. Students proceed to advanced structural elements including syllable types, roots, and affixes.

As material is introduced, a review of previously introduced material continues to be reinforced to a level of automaticity. Vocabulary, sentence structure, composition, and reading comprehension instruction occur in a similar structured, sequential, and cumulative manner.

Cognitive

The study of the English language and the many generalizations and rules that govern its structure are the building blocks of the Orton-Gillingham Approach. Students learn how best to apply the language knowledge necessary for achieving reading and writing competencies.

Diagnostic-Prescriptive

Instruction begins with the assessment of what a student knows about the structure of language and then builds on that knowledge using the application of phonetic principles.

Flexible

Teachers are trained experts who access the learning strengths of students to best meet their needs.

Emotionally Sound

Students experience academic success and gains in confidence as well as skill. Learning becomes a rewarding experience and the mysteries of the English language are unraveled, step-by-step.

Language Arts

Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are necessary tools for effective communication. Students become more skilled and confident readers over time to prepare them for challenges in the 21st century. Critical and purposeful reading allows students to extract a deeper meaning in what they read and write. The connection between reading and writing enables students to learn and understand more about their world. These strategic skills enhances their creative and purposeful expression in language.

Mathematics

Mathematical understanding is achieving a balance among concepts, skills, and problem solving. Concept development and real-world applications support computational and procedural skills. Clear expectations for instruction, assessment, and student work identifies skills needed to problem solve, reason mathematically, evaluate mathematical processes, communicate ideas and information, and to make connections among mathematical topics.

Science

The relationship between science, our environment, and our everyday world is crucial to each student’s scientific literacy. Hands on, student-centered and inquiry-based approaches are the emphasis of instruction. Content includes aspects of earth science, physical science, and life science. Students gather and interpret data and learn the scientific process.

Social Studies

Students develop an understanding of the history of the United States and our place in an ever increasing interconnected world. The Social Studies curriculum helps students understand their past and how that past influences the present day and the future.