Academics

At Jackson, our commitment to excellence and high standards touches every aspect of the elementary school experience. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the academic arena, where we cover the traditional subjects of reading, mathematics, language arts, science and social studies, visual arts, music, physical education, STEAM, and World Language in our classrooms.

As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Jackson focuses on the total growth of the child which includes a student’s social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to his/her academic development. The IB Primary Years Program (PYP) draws on research and best practices from a range of school systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.

Reading | In the early grades, the focus is on phonics and guided reading, enabling students to develop a love of literature and reading habits that will sustain them throughout their school years and beyond. In the primary grades, early reading is introduced, using the Orton-Gillingham method of phonics instruction. Phonics is the cornerstone of our early reading program and gives students the skills to decode, while guided reading provides the practice and context for understanding. Teachers utilize a variety of resources, including real literature to develop both the skills and the competence to decipher and enjoy the printed word. While the primary grades are the time for students to “learn to read”, the intermediate grades stress “reading to learn”. As students matriculate through the grades, literary circles and book clubs becomes common vehicles for developing the love of reading that will enable our students to becomes life long readers and learners.

Fundations is a program that provides research-based materials and strategies essential to a comprehensive reading, spelling and handwriting program. The program emphasizes:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Phonics/ word study
  • High frequency word study
  • Reading fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension strategies
  • Handwriting
  • Spelling

Language Arts | Grammar, writing, spelling, listening, and speaking comprise our Language Arts program. These are all designed to help students develop communication skills. Our writing program begins early in kindergarten, as does vocabulary enrichment. We see a strong language arts program playing significantly in the understanding and advancement of all other subjects across the curriculum. At Jackson, students have many opportunities to demonstrate their language arts skills through writing and publishing – from innovative class assignments to various literary compilations published school-wide such as Jackson Jottings.

Mathematics | Our mathematics program is anchored in a manipulative-based approach that focuses on concepts and problem solving. The Georgia Department of Education publishes standards for all Georgia schools to follow and these standards drive our instruction. We utilize a wide variety of resources to teach these standards and focus our efforts on concept development and application. Students have many opportunities to apply mathematics concepts and solve complex mathematical problems, with real life applications utilized throughout the curriculum. Our students reinforce their learning with appropriate games and competitions that engage and excite learners.

Science | The science program is designed to expose students to a wide variety of science disciplines with a hands-on emphasis on the real world. Students learn the scientific method of observing and experimenting while developing their natural curiosity.

Social Studies | Our social studies curriculum takes students from their own awareness of self to their place in the world around them. It includes history, geography, and economics, as well as current events. Social Studies is integrated throughout our curriculum as we encourage students to expand their understanding to include a true global perspective.

Media Center | Our Media Center is open for students daily. In it, students not only learn library research skills, but also develop a love of literature through our extensive book collection. Our Media Center collection is available on-line and the Accelerated Reader Program (AR) is an integral support to our already-strong reading program.

Music | In General Music, students establish a foundation of musicality through active music making such as singing, playing instruments, movement and listening experiences. Music notation is introduced for rhythm and melody patterns. Social development is fostered as children experience the joy of making music individually and as a part of a group. Children deepen their passion for and knowledge of music through exposure to instruments, music vocabulary, and all genres of music. Visit our Fine Arts page for more information.

Physical Education | Our PE program includes exercise, skill development, rhythms, and a wide variety of introductory sports instruction. Our Wellness program, focusing on healthy eating and living, encompasses both physical education and health and fitness, offering a variety of activities designed to develop both. Please visit our Jackson Physical Education page for more information.

Visual Arts | Our visual arts program encompasses multiple mediums, including painting, drawing, clay, ceramics, and mixed media, exposing students to a wide variety of artistic expression. Student work is displayed throughout the year. Students are then invited to display a sample of their work in our annual Art Show! Visit our Fine Arts page for more information.

STEAM | Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics – All young people should be prepared to think deeply and become innovators of the future. STEAM learning is very hands-on and active. It is inquiry and problem-based to help better prepare our students for the future. STEAM will enhance our International Baccalaureate PYP program by emphasizing critical components of the IB program already occurring–integration across the curriculum, project-based inquiry, local and global awareness, and a positive learning attitude. ​Please visit our STEAM program page for more information.

World Languages | At Jackson Elementary, we are able to offer World Language instruction to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program focuses on learning a second language through listening, speaking, singing, reading, and writing through developmentally appropriate activities. Instruction includes learning about the many countries and cultures and helps to support our IB global awareness objectives. We are transitioning our signature language from French to Spanish, with older students continuing to study French, while younger students are studying Spanish.

SEL | Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Please visit our SEL page for or more information about SEL at Jackson.

EIP | Students often begin school at different stages of academic readiness. While some are early readers and writers, others are still at the readiness stage. Our Early Intervention Program provides small group instruction for students who may need extra help or support to meet academic expectations in reading and/or mathematics. As students move through the grades, EIP support may be needed intermittently and is provided by fully certified, Orton Gillingham trained teachers.

GATE | Gifted and Talented Education is program we provide for gifted students. Visit our GATE program page for more information.

ESOL | English for Speakers of Other Languages is program for our English language learners. Visit our ESOL program for more information.

Special Education | Our Interrelated Program provides support for students with specific learning disabilities, or other health impaired concerns, with specialized instruction from specially trained teachers. Those services range from consultative support to small, specialized classrooms with instruction tailored to those learning needs. Individualized Education Plans are developed to meet the specific learning needs of eligible students. Contact Heather Stephenson for more information.