Citizens of the World Charter Schools are built on the belief that the diversity of our communities, and of the world at large, is a great strength. Through targeted outreach and recruitment, our charter schools are intentionally designed to reflect their surrounding communities and the larger society in terms of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. By learning, interacting and growing in a diverse setting, our students are preparing to thrive in the pluralistic society they will soon join.
Social Emotional Development
At Citizens of the World West Valley, we believe that Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is integral to academic success. A number of tools have been blended together to create an SEL program that specifically develops skills in:
Social Emotional Development is the process through which children learn to understand and manage emotions, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
- self-recognition and self-management of one’s emotions
- an understanding of others including empathy and perspective-taking
- decision making, problem-solving and resolving conflict
Mindfulness is at the core of this program. We believe that mindfulness creates space for students, changing their impulsive reactions to more thoughtful responses. Through designated SEL sessions and in an environment dedicated to social and emotional intelligence, children are learning how to be happier and healthier, working and learning effectively.
The hallmark of our English Language Arts program is the implementation of a smaller, mixed-age group taking part in leveled reading instruction across the elementary years. Reading teachers utilize curricular materials including Lucy Calkins Readers’ Workshop approach, Fountas and Pinnell’s Continuum of Literacy Learning, and more. Our teachers provide dynamic, targeted instruction to small groups of students to support early literacy to emerging readers, meeting each child at their current level and moving them forward with a balanced approach to developing technical reading skills, reading for learning across the curriculum, and a nuanced appreciation for and understanding of uses of the written word in different genres.
Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) is an approach that deeply informs our teaching at Citizens of the World Charter Schools West Valley. In Math Workshop, teachers create and pose different types of story problems to students. Problems are differentiated to meet the needs of all learners in the classroom, and children are encouraged to use a variety of tools to explain their thinking to their peers. Children have opportunities to work in whole group, partnerships as well as independently to solve a variety of problem types, utilizing many different solution strategies.
Drawing on the skills and content from English language arts and mathematics, and combining with the California State Standards in social studies and the Next Generation Science Standards, integrated projects enable meaningful learning through life-based, active projects. This approach allows children to experience learning within a real world context. Emphasizing the Graduate Dispositions such as collaboration, critical thinking, global advocacy and cultural competency in conjunction with the skills of communication, problem solving, planning, reflection, and perseverance, these learning experiences are frequently driven by student interests and questions, allowing students to engage in investigations that bring about deeper understanding of thematic concepts and the big ideas that guide each grade level’s projects.
Art at CWC is an exploratory journey where children not only learn about art but also about themselves, their world and each other. Our children gain a practical understanding of art processes and skills whilst using a wide variety of art materials and techniques. Children learn artistic perception and aesthetic valuing, i.e. how to look and respond to works of art, culture, nature and the environment. They learn about the elements and principles of art and design and develop their visual vocabulary.
CWC’s music program strives to provide children with opportunities to sing songs, play instruments and create musical compositions of their own. Children learn to describe music using the eight musical elements – melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and tempo. Children are exposed to music from different cultures, musical periods and rich musical traditions from around the world.
In Physical Education children develop their confidence and skills with an emphasis on body and space awareness. Students learn personal versus shared space, fundamental locomotor, as well as non-locomotor, manipulative skills, and applications. The introduction of team lead-up and cooperative games and activities help to promote good sportsmanship and fair team play. Sport-specific units of study include basketball, soccer, tennis, kickball, and volleyball. In addition to the vast array of sports skills and team sports fundamentals that are taught, activities practicing effective social skills such as active listening, conflict resolution, and compromising with others are interwoven as well.