Across all grades, a foundation for confident learning


Kindergarten at Poly offers an environment in which children are encouraged to question, explore, and draw conclusions about who they are and how they fit into the world. The emotional growth of the child, including interactions with peers and adults, is central to the curriculum. With class sizes of approximately 15 students, the program seeks to recognize of the contributions of each child, celebrate similarities and differences, and develop a positive self-concept. Every student is encouraged to embrace the joy of learning and to develop responsibility and concern for others. Poly encourages a strong partnership between home and school. The curriculum includes art, music, Spanish, math, literacy development, physical education, library and technology skills. Social studies and science concepts are presented through thematic units that integrate content across the curriculum. The program emphasizes teaching the whole child, learning through hands-on exploration, and developing independence within the classroom community.

First Grade

First grade teachers design units of study that integrate all subject matter around unifying themes. These integrated units include language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, and computer technology. Poly’s experienced team of first grade teachers guides every child through the reading process at a pace that is both developmentally and academically appropriate. The classroom mathematics program is grounded in the sequential acquisition and application of basic skills. It is here that students learn the importance of knowing the “how,” “when,” and “why” of mathematical applications. The first grade program emphasizes the importance of community. Students participate in a cross-age reading program where they are paired with a fifth grade buddy. First grade students also conduct interviews of staff and faculty members to become better acquainted with the adults on campus. Students learn more about the community outside of Poly through various service projects and local field trips.

Second Grade

The second grade at Poly resonates with the new sense of growing independence that is a developmental characteristic of this age group. Our teachers encourage students to take responsibility for their learning through inquiry, discussion, and reflection. Students build on the literacy skills acquired in first grade to become fluent readers with strong comprehension skills. Students use graphic organizers to classify information and connect ideas in their writing. Finished products at this grade level reflect an introductory emphasis on writing mechanics and conventions. Various teaching strategies are used in mathematics to address learning at the concrete and symbolic levels. The social studies curriculum in second grade focuses on community. Students also acquire basic terminology and map reading skills that are eventually applied to discovery projects. Second grade students regularly take part in discussions and activities that focus on respect, making choices, and the importance of values.

Third Grade

The third grade at Poly offers students a program grounded in a firm understanding of their developmental needs. It encourages students to take responsibility for their learning through exploration, discovery, and reflection in a safe and nurturing learning environment. Within the balanced literacy framework, students engage in activities that promote active participation to enhance their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency skills using a variety of literature selections. Students develop narrative, creative, and expository writing skills through a variety of formal and informal writing assignments using literature to help guide them through the writing process. Using Singapore Math, students discuss, question, and verify mathematical concepts. Using Social Studies Alive, students develop an appreciation for the views of others through activities that expose them to diverse cultural perspectives in their community as they share their own culture and experiences.

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade students make connections to the world around them through shared literature experiences and a focus on the study of California. The history and culture of California provides a unique lens into the diversity that shapes its development as people come from around the globe. Geography skills enhance this global understanding of California’s connection to the world. Literature selections include primary sources and texts to create connections between the past, present, and future. Students improve oral and written expression and reading comprehension through a balanced literacy program. Furthermore, students write across the curriculum, both creatively and analytically. Using Singapore Math, students apply computation skills and use a variety of strategies to solve problems as they move from being concrete thinkers to more complex thinkers. Teachers create a safe community where students are increasingly independent learners with a clear understanding of their role in the classroom and the school.

Fifth Grade

The fifth grade at Poly marks the end of the Lower School experience for our students. Our dedicated teachers have designed a program that addresses both the academic and affective needs of students in this age group. Aside from independent reading, students explore between six and eight novels in class. Literature selection reflects an emphasis on academic and social development themes that promote tolerance and appreciation for different perspectives and life experiences. Students demonstrate in-depth understanding of new concepts through the creation of multidisciplinary projects that integrate art, computer, math, and library skills. The math program extends students’ understanding of numeration, operations, applications, and problem solving in preparation for Middle School. In social studies, fifth grade students study United States history through 1865. Colonialism, slavery, westward movement, and the Civil War are examined from various perspectives. The development of positive study habits and important study skills is firmly established in the academic program. Goals in this area include self-management skills, time management skills, and strategies for making choices. Students at this age are increasingly aware of the world around them, and our experienced fifth grade teachers encourage them to begin to define themselves and their place in the larger community.
Polytechnic School | 1030 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106 | Phone 626.396.6300 | Fax 626.796.2249
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