At Murdock-Portal, every students has weekly "Specialists" in a variety of areas to provide enrichment learning opportunities. Students in Grades K-3 rotate between Art, Music, STEM, and Social Sports. Students in Grades 4-5 rotate between Art, Music and STEM.
All grade receive art instruction through CSMA. The program consists of in-depth, skill-building and sequential art lessons that meet the California State Visual and Performing Arts Standards for Art. Taught by professional CSMA visual arts instructors, these art classes coordinate with each classroom’s curriculum to become an integral part of the school day. Students in Grades K-3 receive art instruction on alternating weeks for 45 minutes. Students in Grades 4-5 receive art instruction on alternating weeks for 90 minutes.
Art lessons and projects focus on drawing and painting with an introduction to ceramics, sculpture and basic three-dimensional concepts. Students develop basic technical skills, as well as learn concepts such as line, shape, value, form and color. Lessons are often inspired by a master artist or a cultural/historical context that encourages students to explore topics from other perspectives.
In Grades K-3, the CSMA Music Program consists of in-depth, skill-building, hands-on, sequential music lessons that meet the California State Visual and Performing Arts Standards for Music. Taught by professional CSMA music instructor, these music classes coordinate with each classroom’s curriculum to become an integral part of the school day. Students receive music instruction on alternating weeks for 45 minutes.
In Grades 4-5, students receive music instruction from a credential CUSD music teacher for 45 minutes.
The Hands-On STEM program offered to students in Grades K-5 provides students opportunities to learn theory and concepts by doing hands-on experiments. Using hands-on projects makes the learning process much more sustainable for students, and understanding the concept is easier. Simple materials and problem solving are used to learn concepts in Science, Math and Technology. Our instructors guide students towards the answer while allowing the students to discover by doing and find their own answers. Students have opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other. Students build confidence in your group and within themselves.
Our students in Grades K-3 are led by Mrs. Anurita Gupta, past Murdock-Portal parent, who has been doing this work at our school since 2004. Our students in Grades 4-5 are supported by our School Site Technology Specialist, Ms. VJ. In both experiences, students are provided with opportunities to learn and grow their love for STEM.
Social Sports supports the social and emotional well-being of students, while also giving students ample time of physical activity. It will include a variety of high-energy, organized sports/games that are great for all levels of athleticism and provide students with individualized entry points at their personal readiness.
Valley Sports Camp coaches will build student capacity socially and emotionally, and students will gain confidence in themselves through our fun, collaborative, and team-oriented games. Our games allow students to play to their strengths and abilities, developing confidence along the way, while also building relationships and communication skills. We also will discuss character building traits, such as sportsmanship, respect, teamwork, integrity, honesty, etc. These “Words of the Day” are the foundation to starting each game grounded in a character trait. Coaches will facilitate conversations with students before activities and brainstorm ways students can show the word of the day during activities.