At EPIC Academy, students grow academically, behaviorally, and socially through a combination of large group, small group, and individual instruction. We believe strongly in a progressive education model and work diligently to accommodate a diverse array of learning styles and modalities through visual, auditory, and kinesthetic approaches.
Throughout a typical school day, students receive instruction as a class group, in smaller groups and pairs, and in 1:1 conference settings with instructors. Our classrooms are thoughtfully designed with areas to accommodate these different instructional models, including large rug areas, small group tables, flexible individual seating arrangements, and calming/quiet areas.
In order to determine our students’ strengths and needs, we administer quarterly academic assessments, which we then use to develop an individualized sequence of instruction for each student. Through a well-rounded curriculum, we aim to help every student meet grade-level Common Core State Standards and to challenge them further once they’ve met them. We share data regarding student performance and goals with families through daily report cards, weekly summaries, and quarterly progress reports.
Through our literacy curriculum, students hone the foundational skills they need to read, comprehend, and analyze texts. Whole-group literacy instruction consists of interactive, teacher-led lessons focused on broad concepts and themes, including phonics and decoding, fluency, word study, and reading comprehension strategies. During one-on-one and small-group instruction, students apply the skills they’ve learned in whole-group lessons to work appropriate for their levels and goals. This work may consist of student-led book clubs, guided reading, partner reading and discussion, word study games, and self-assessments. Across all grade levels, through daily group read alouds and independent reading, we aim to lead with literacy and help our students discover books that ignite a life-long love of reading.
Our whole-group writing lessons introduce concepts that benefit all students’ growth as writers, such as the writing process, author’s craft and individual voice, revising and editing, understanding genre conventions, and proper grammar and sentence structure. Students put these skills into practice through a variety of independent projects, brainstorming, writing, illustrating, and revising pieces across all genres. Each writing unit culminates in a publishing party, where students present their polished works to the whole EPIC community.
All students take part in group math lessons targeting key concept areas, such as counting and cardinality, operations and algebraic thinking, numbers and operations, fractions, measurement and data, and geometry. Students then expand their content knowledge by delving deeply into individualized work and activities, including learning games and hands-on projects. Each math unit culminates in an assessment, allowing students to demonstrate their progress through written or performance-based means.
Science & STEM
Our students study the scientific method through hands-on experiments in biology, physics, and chemistry. These experiments are highly collaborative, highlighting the value of teamwork by encouraging students to solve open-ended problems in pairs and small groups. Our integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum challenges students to apply the concepts they’ve learned in math and science lessons to real-world projects. Students engage with a variety of tools and mediums as they draft, design, build, and refine original creations. As long as students follow the design process and demonstrate safe behavior, STEM is a child-led period granting our students the freedom to exercise their full creative potential.
In social studies, students explore history and current events with a particular focus on social justice. Our curriculum is designed to incorporate key aspects of social-emotional learning, empowering students to reflect on their own lives and communities through the lens of the larger world.
EPIC’s team includes speech, occupational, and physical therapists. Our program is designed to meet every student’s goals in these areas through a combination of embedded classroom support and pull-out sessions.
All students participate in daily enrichment classes led by specialists. Enrichments include physical education, music, American Sign Language, and chess. Teachers often incorporate visual arts into the school day, allowing students to engage in content-relevant projects that foster their creativity and promote fine motor practice.