At Community Partnership School, our philosophy of education is grounded in our core values: Curiosity, Courage, and Compassion. These values drive our approach to teaching and learning and serve as guideposts for the community as a whole.
Our emphasis is on educating the whole child— paying attention to our students’ specific backgrounds, cultures, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Engaging each child as an individual, we address his or her social-emotional, academic, physical, and family needs. Each of these elements holds equal importance.
In order to implement our philosophy we have created small, intimate classrooms so that every teacher, student, parent/guardian, and volunteer can get to know one another and work together to maximize what’s best in our children.
Reading, Writing, and Literacy
Our approach to literacy uses a balanced model, with each grade level giving time to comprehension, phonics, writing, grammar and mechanics, spelling, handwriting, and vocabulary. Across all grade levels our focus is on robust vocabulary development, deep thinking and conversation about texts, and a love of literacy. We create an equal balance between teacher-selected and student-selected texts. We are also intentional about choosing literature that supports our social-emotional and social studies curriculums.
Across grade levels, we strive to cover mathematical content by focusing on fewer concepts more deeply. While basic facts and computational skills are important to our curriculum, we put emphasis on developing strong number sense and conceptual understanding. Problem solving and math discussions are also a focus of the curriculum. We have a school-wide, common math time that allows for two teachers to be in every classroom during the math block.
At CPS, our science curriculum focuses on student inquiry. While we have specific content covered at each grade level, the final outcome expected for students is to develop a sense of wonder, an understanding of the scientific method, the ability to ask questions, and the skills develop an investigation, and draw conclusions based on observations. The goal of our curriculum is that children leave CPS with a love of scientific inquiry and an understanding of careers that use science. We also see science as an opportunity to instill the growth mindset in our students, a focus of our social-emotional curriculum. We teach that scientists have many trials and failures before they find success.
Social Studies at CPS is centered on our core values: curiosity, courage, and compassion. We begin in Pre-K and Kindergarten focused on “myself and others”. In first grade we focus on families, school, and our neighborhood. In second grade the focus expands to our city, Philadelphia. In third grade students study the state of Pennsylvania including the colonial period in our state and geography. Fourth and fifth grades transition to an integrated study of US History. Fourth grade begins with native people and European explorers and ends with westward expansion. Fifth grade begins with a study of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and continues through to the Civil Rights Movement.
Each year as a school, we choose a different continent to study with the idea that when students leave CPS, all seven continents will have been explored. This is a student-driven learning project culminating in a school wide fair showcasing the chosen continent. Each classroom chooses a country of focus, but throughout the school year, aspects of the continent studied will be highlighted through field trips, musical guests, and presentations.