Curriculum at Barrett

teacher working with student
  • Charles Barrett's academic program includes reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. The school also offers:

    • arts integration approach to instruction
    • art instruction with a certified art teacher once a week
    • vocal music instruction with a certified music teacher once a week
    • instrumental music lessons beginning in fourth grade
    • two physical education classes a week with a certified P.E. teacher
    • strong program for talented and gifted children who perform above their grade level academically or who have special ability in art and/or music
    • instruction in family life education at levels appropriate to age
    • English Learner classes
    • special education programs
    • certified reading specialists
    • math specialist

    Charles Barrett Elementary School offers a challenging academic program for all students. The faculty at Charles Barrett deliver instruction based on the 2014 ACPS Curriculum Guides.

    Key Components of Our Instructional Program

    Arts Integration

    Charles Barrett Elementary School is proud to have been selected as one of five schools in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to be a member of the Kennedy Center's Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program. Our school's partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which began in 2012, helps teachers develop their expertise in integrating the arts with the teaching of other school subjects (such as history, language arts, and science).

    This focus on arts-integrated instruction is designed to help all students learn with greater motivation and ease. To that end, the Kennedy Center and the schools work together to develop, implement, and evaluate an in-depth staff development program of courses, workshops, coaching, and study groups. The CETA program uses a comprehensive definition of arts integration as its foundation. This definition helps teachers, administrators, and teaching artists know exactly what arts integrations is and how it differs from teaching the arts or just using the arts in the classroom.

    Arts integration is an approach to teaching which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both. Additional information may be found on our school website.

    Language Arts

    Students participate in daily lessons in the area of language arts. During this time all students are taught:

    • Specific reading, decoding and comprehension skills that enable them to become skilled, motivated, and independent readers
    • The writing process and the specific spelling, handwriting, and grammar rules which enable children to compose a variety of written communications such as stories, reports, and letters
    • Effective listening and speaking skills.

    Mathematics

    Mathematics is also taught on a daily basis. At Charles Barrett every child participates in lessons that teach:

    • Basic math facts and computation skills
    • A variety of strategies for solving "real life" math problems
    • Place value, numeration and number sense
    • Geometry and Measurement

    Science

    Science instruction begins at the kindergarten level and continues with increased levels of difficulty throughout grades one through five. The science program teaches our students: *Science process skills that enable them to perform experiments to investigate and find answers to scientific questions; *Basic facts and information about life, earth, and physical science.

    Social Studies

    Social studies is also an important part of the instructional program at Charles Barrett School. Beginning in kindergarten children learn about the many different people and events that have shaped the development of their community, their country, and the world. The curriculum at each grade level is divided into the following four strands:

    • History (Including Virginia Studies)
    • Economic *Geography
    • Civics

    Library Media Center

    The Library Media Center supports the instructional needs of our students by providing an environment which encourages students to become life-long learners and effective users of information, ideas, and technology. The library media specialist works in collaboration with teachers and staff members to design and implement units of instruction that promote student mastery of key research and informational technology skills within the context of other areas of the curriculum.

    The library collection includes books, videos, magazines, newspapers, and computer access to Charles Barrett’s network and the Internet. Students are encouraged to read for pleasure and information through regular book check out. Books may also be checked out after school each day.

    Art

    Students participate in formal art lessons taught by an art specialist once a week for forty-five minutes. Children apply what they learn about design, color, space, and shape to create original works of art.

    Music

    All children enjoy weekly lessons in vocal music taught by the music specialist. Children may choose to participate in band or orchestra lessons beginning in fourth grade.

    Physical Education

    Charles Barrett students receive instruction twice a week from the physical education teacher. Lessons are designed to encourage children to enjoy physical activity while developing personal fitness that promotes good health. Please ensure that your child wears sneakers on their PE days.

    Technology

    Every classroom in Charles Barrett School is equipped with personal computers, a staff laptop computer, wireless access, a SmartBoard, and a telephone. Our classrooms are wired to support an internal network and all classes have access to the Internet. Sound enhancement systems have been installed in regular classrooms. In addition, digital cameras, state of the art projectors and netbook computers have been made available to all grade levels.

    Guidance

    The school counselor at Charles Barrett supports the academic, social and emotional needs of all students. This is achieved through regular classroom visits and individual 9 and small group counseling. Children learn a variety of techniques that lead to the development of positive communication skills. Skills taught include: listening, sharing, problem solving, and conflict resolution. The school counselor is also responsible for administering standardized testing (SOLs, SDRTs, CRTs, PALS, etc). If you have questions or need information about these topics or the emotional/social life of your child, you may contact the school counselor.

    Family Life Education 

    Family Life Education lessons are taught at all grade levels. Please refer to the brochure provided at registration for a more detailed explanation of the content taught at each grade level. Please contact your child’s teacher with any specific questions related to this important program.

    Resource/Enrichment

    In addition to the regular education program, the following resource programs are available to Barrett students to address their individual needs: English Learning, Talented and Gifted (TAG), Special Education, Reading Support, Mathematics Support, Panda Learning Club.

    Internet Safety

    Internet safety is taken seriously in Alexandria City Public Schools. Parents should reasonably expect that students in ACPS are afforded the tremendous educational benefits of the Internet in a safe environment. Students in ACPS are receiving instruction through Alexandria City Public Schools about being safe on the Internet. Parents should also be aware of Internet safety issues that affect their children outside the safe environment of the classroom.