Students spend two years in one "village" -- with one home teacher, and two partner teachers. Studies show that socially and emotionally, being able to bond with classmates and teachers for this longer time period gives students the security to academically "risk" -- and strive for in-depth goals. The teachers work collaboratively to provide curriculum directed at the learning level of each child. Our classrooms are divided into K/1, 2/3, and 4/5 grades. Kindergarten is also a full day program.
Our school begins earlier in August and ends later in June than the other CUSD schools -- and we provide breaks throughout the year. Studies show that students are more likely to retain what they have learned with shorter instructional breaks -- than with one long break in the summer.
Our goal is to provide each student with a balanced curriculum to meet the needs of 21st Century Learners today. We strive to create classroom opportunities that focus on engaging student creativity, flexibility, initiative and leadership -- and employ project based learning whenever possible. Educational Technology is big at Murdock-Portal. We are constantly looking for ways to integrate technology into the curriculum so that learning remains relevant and student-centered. As a base, we follow CUSD core curriculum -- with all students receiving instruction in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, as well as PE, Computers, Art, and Music -- our classes are organized around flexible student groups to allow students to achieve at their level. Each child, each year, develops an individualized learning plan with his or her teacher. Teachers meet with families twice a year in parent/teacher conferences to review and update learning goals.
At Murdock-Portal, our teachers work together to create a consensus-based learning environment -- which means we discuss and review our school focus on an on-going basis. We strive to create a community that has a family feeling -- and we enthusiastically welcome parent participation! Our home/school communication goal is strong.