Mount Vernon Curriculum

female student working at a desk
  • Reading

    Using the ACPS Curriculum and Reading Guidelines, students will receive 60-75 minutes of daily reading instruction through a balanced literacy approach. Balanced literacy is composed of shared reading, interactive reading, guided reading, independent reading, and word study. Within the reading block students will be instructed in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and meta-cognition. Our literacy block will also be supported by our in house literacy coach, bookroom full of leveled fiction and nonfiction texts, and Lexia Reading Core5. Lexia Reading Core5 is a computer based reading program that provides personalized learning on fundamental literacy skills for students in grades K-5. It provides real-time data without testing and adapts to each students individual needs. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will take the Virginia Reading SOL.

    MVCS will partner with The Literacy Lab, a non-profit organization that provides individualized reading intervention to at-risk students in grades K-3. MVCS will have one full time tutor that will work with 12-15 students each day. This tutor is trained in intensive reading interventions and progress monitoring.


    Students receive daily writing workshop instruction using the ACPS curriculum and the New Units of Study by Lucy Calkins. Daily writing instruction will be taught through a workshop framework of a focused mini-lesson, student writing time with conferring and culminating with a share time. The writing process is the foundation of the workshop which includes brainstorming/collecting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.

    Spanish Literacy

    Students in the dual language program will receive 40-50 minutes of Spanish literacy each day. The teachers will focus on building literacy skills through direct instruction and incorporated into the ACPS Science curriculum. Maravillas, Sparkito, and Comprendo will be used as resources. MVCS teachers are working with ACPS Office of Curriculum and Design to write and implement Spanish literacy curriculum.


    Using the ACPS Curriculum, students receive 75 minutes of mathematics instruction daily. Teachers work with both the in house math coach and a new math textbook, Math Expressions, provided by ACPS. This textbook focuses on standards-based instruction and the best traditional approaches. It uses drawings, conceptual language, real world examples, and online games to help students make sense of mathematics. All students have access to Think Central, the online component to Math Expressions. There are tutorials, games, and a variety of other learning resources. Students in grades 3-5 use an additional online math resource called First In Math. This engaging game based resource focuses on fact fluency, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Students' math levels are monitored and tested at different points throughout the school year using different assessment tools. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will take the Virginia Mathematics SOL.


    Students receive daily science instruction taught using the ACPS curriculum and the FOSS science kits. Classroom teachers and the science coach plan and guide students to conduct experiments and scientific investigations throughout the year. This coming year, only students in grade 5 will take the Virginia Science SOL.

    Social Studies

    Students receive social studies instruction that follows the ACPS Curriculum. Students learn to think and act globally and to apply higher order thinking skills to solve real life situations. Students take a Virginia Social Studies SOL in 4th grade.

    English-Spanish Dual Language

    Spanish-speaking and English-speaking students have the opportunity to learn Spanish and English literacies through content based instruction in selected core subjects. Science, mathematics, and Spanish literacy are taught in Spanish. English language arts and social studies are taught in English. Dual Language students continue to develop language and literacy skills in their primary language, while learning the same in their second language. The dual language program offers students an enriching and challenging learning environment. All curricula taught meet local and state requirements. Students participating in dual language are held to the same academic standards as peers in other Alexandria City elementary schools. Dual Language at Mount Vernon strives to make students bilingual, bi-literate, and culturally aware.