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School Life

Early Childhood Program (Pre-School - Kindergarten)

The Cornerstone School is a community and our students as young as three learn how valuable it is to be part of a place to grow, learn and become an individual who can make a difference in the global community. The Early Childhood Program at The Cornerstone School is designed to be a safe and welcoming community where young students play, learn, and enjoy developmentally appropriate experiences under the guidance of a supportive and talented faculty.

We know that young children’s curiosity makes them natural engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and creative thinkers. Children develop across a wide variety of capabilities and our preschool, with its academic-focused yet child-centered program, provides children with a strong foundation to prepare them for their formal schooling years.

We understand the complex nature of young children, and the important role that purposeful play provides in child development. Play is a powerful gift in a young child’s world and is essential in fostering cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. Additionally, play challenges the complex mind in immeasurable ways and nourishes the human spirit. When children engage in child-directed, unstructured play in the early childhood classroom, there are endless opportunities for learning.

Teachers focus on the whole child at a critical time of development in seven domains:  personal and social development, language and literacy, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, the arts, and physical development including health and safety. Children are formally assessed twice a year. Our program is designed using a developmental continuum across the Three Year Old Program, Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten.

Foreign language, music, physical education, and library support and enrich children’s learning experiences, opening doors for students to discover new ways of making sense of our world. 

Lower Division (1st Grade - 3rd Grade)

At The Cornerstone School, the Elementary School curriculum allows each student the opportunity to discover his or her physical, creative, social, and academic strengths. We teach to the whole child. Our experienced faculty is dedicated to high academic standards and to providing the individual attention that each child needs to fulfill his or her potential.  We see the value of infusing social and academic skills, so we strive to create a respectful, safe atmosphere where students can explore personal interests and take responsible risks while developing academic skills and knowledge.

The Mathematics Program in the Lower School classes is designed to encourage students to explore mathematical concepts through concrete activities and experiences that develop thinking. Students work on concepts with whole numbers, number sense, and important basic math skills like measurement and estimation using Singapore Math. As students’ progress through 2nd and 3rd grade, they build on foundational skills and deepen their understanding while working to mastery with math facts, money and time, measurement, geometry, graphing, pattern analysis, multiplication and division. Through these studies, students learn the importance of mathematics in everyday life.

The Reading Program used in the Lower Elementary is designed to build critical reading skills in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency and accuracy, comprehension skills, vocabulary and higher order thinking skills. Each student is met on their individualized reading level and provided academic support or enrichment if needed. The curriculum provides access to hundreds of texts, fiction and non-fiction, that can be printed or used with our SmartBoard and computers.

The Science Program is delivered through a web-based program with a scope and sequence that has been customized for The Cornerstone School and our STEM program. Students at this age are natural scientists and the hands-on inquiry approach that is engaging and thought provoking. Teachers use digitally delivered video lessons, digital student activities, real world teacher directed lessons and experiments, an extensive Science library, online Science journals, and continually updated content in Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.  Some of the studies include Collecting and Examining Life, Habitats, Landforms and Bodies of Water, Weather and Climate, Solids, Liquids and Gases. Students have determined the make-up of “Mystery Powders,” built anemometers for measuring wind speed, and created models of landforms.

The elementary school years are an exciting time for your child. During these years, The Cornerstone School will assist your child with acquiring the skills and learning habits that form the foundation of a lifetime of learning.

Upper Division (4th Grade - 8th Grade)

4th - 5th Grade

Students entering the fourth and fifth grades at The Cornerstone School have a solid academic foundation and have developed the skills they need for success in a curriculum that is enriched and accelerated. Students are introduced to a team-teaching approach, where the subject areas are departmentalized into Math/Science and Language Arts/Social Studies. The Fourth and Fifth Grade teachers work together in a positive environment that promotes academic achievement, where there is a strong understanding of the whole child and what is required to provide for their social, academic and character development. With this education model firmly in place, students in these grades will benefit in such a way as to prepare them for the next step; Middle School. Starting with Fourth and Fifth Grade then into Middle School, the program is designed to graduate students who are self-directed and motivated learners, who demonstrate leadership, innovation, and initiative. They think and problem-solve independently and creatively and understand that learning is a lifelong activity. Most important, the Cornerstone student grows into a moral, ethical and community conscious individual who communicates with confidence and competence. This philosophy and approach to education then blends with the middle school program’s design and purpose making the transition cohesive and successful.

6th - 8th grade

The Upper Divison experience at The Cornerstone School offers a comprehensive curriculum that is innovative, enriched, experiential and challenging. The curriculum reflects high academic standards that engage our students in a variety of programs in which collaboration, problem solving, communication, and leadership are integrated into our challenging coursework and the skills needed to flourish in a twenty-first century world. Research agrees that the skills and values that will be required and rewarded in the twenty-first century include the five Cs: Character, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication. The five Cs at The Cornerstone School are combined in a meaningful and purposefully designed curriculum and environment supported by our Tribes program. As an independent school, we have the ability to respond to current research and implement best practices. This ensures an immediate response in a world that is increasingly characterized by an unprecedented rate of change. This “small by design” and supportive learning environment is centered on the needs of the child and managed by qualified faculty, trained in current practices and strategies on teaching with an understanding of brain research and how children learn best. Cornerstone is a compassionate school environment that values personal responsibility, diversity and openness to different points of view, where students flourish and are prepared for the world.