The PALCS elementary department offers a specialized learning environment and vision called Personalized Learning Paths for Global Citizens. To meet the unique needs of every child, we:
- Design our curriculum around a continuum of ideas, skills and experiences in which students progress at their own rate and explore their interests in the style they learn best.
- Emphasize collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking in all learning pathways and provide a cohesive K-5 experience that builds upon fluencies and skills as students progress.
- View the integration of subject areas and problem based learning as key to helping students make connections in their learning and to prepare them to succeed in a global knowledge economy.
- Believe in a well-rounded curriculum that includes and encourages creative study and foreign language at every grade level.
All elementary students will be part of a mixed-performance, heterogeneous class at their grade level. Within each course, students will be grouped according to their performance level for online lessons, live virtual lessons, and personalized intervention or enrichment. Grouping students allows us to target curriculum, instruction and assessment for students throughout the year. We use multiple measures throughout the academic school year to group students. Students may move from one group to another based upon their learning needs and growth during the school year. See Elementary Core Courses »
We believe in a well-rounded curriculum that includes creative study and foreign language at every grade level. Every student is required to take physical education and choose at least one additional elective. Each elective course posts one lesson per week and requires students to attend a weekly live lesson with the teacher or watch a live lesson recording. Attendance at the live lesson is highly encouraged.
The Health/Safety/PE course is required for students in grades 2-5. Kindergarten and 1st grade students do not have an additional Health/Safety/PE course. Movement and health related activities are incorporated into their classwork. See Elementary Electives »
Virtual Lessons, Office Hours & Homework Help
Virtual lesson attendance in core classes is a required component of the elementary program. Teachers will work in real-time with children during three live, virtual lessons each week. Upon enrollment, teachers will contact families to schedule the three weekly lessons. Students who require more intensive instruction in reading and/or math will receive additional real-time instruction with a reading or math interventionist through our PALCS Eagles program. Lessons will be hosted by your teacher, using a headset and webcam, and is open to all students in the course. Virtual lessons last 45 minutes to an hour.
Teachers also host Office Hours during standard business hours, where they will be present in a virtual classroom at a scheduled time and be available to assist students with any assignment questions on an as-needed basis. PALCS offers online Homework Help after standard business hours, Sunday through Thursday nights, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Students may log in as needed and speak with a PALCS teacher.
K-5 students can attend any of our extra-curricular virtual field trips or open chats, and students in grades 4 and 5 have the option of participating in a non-academic virtual choir or instrumental lessons. In our offices, all elementary students are able to participate in an Elementary Connect program each month: Book Buddies and Got Science. Around the state, families are welcome to attend any of the numerous field trips hosted by parent network coordinators. Further information on PALCS activities can be found at http://www.palcs.org/all-programs, and enrolled students should check the weekly emailed Elementary School Weekly Newsletter or the PALCS Network for up-to-date field trip end event listings and contact information for these activities.
PALCS elementary guidance counselors each maintain a non-academic course where families can access supplemental monthly lessons that explore topics like positive character traits, study skills, bullying, careers and friendship. Guidance resources for parents and students are also available.
We challenge our advanced students through rigorous coursework and small group virtual lessons. Students who are identified as advanced in reading and/or math are assigned lessons that meet their learning needs within their grade level classes. PALCS honors all students who enroll with documented successful completion of advanced coursework or a GIEP. Our academic team works closely with each family to ensure students are challenged and placed in appropriate courses to ensure optimal social and emotional development and academic achievement. PALCS also offers unique electives to students interested in design, science and technology.
We are excited to offer PALCS Eagles, a program to help our students who need additional support in reading and math. Students who qualify for this program will be notified and receive additional support in the virtual classroom and through posted online coursework.
Special Education services are available for PALCS students. Accommodations are highly individualized on a student-by-student basis. More information is available on the PALCS Special Education