compassion. curiousity integrity respect

The Bright School Curriculum

Philosophy of Learning and Commitment to Students

Our program offerings emphasize citizenship, the joy of learning, and confidence within a nurturing environment. The school's founding philosophy is carried out today by a talented and dedicated faculty that has been consistently successful in aiding children in becoming top-rated students who most often enter some of the finest college preparatory schools in the country.

Our comprehensive curriculum is not only grounded in research-based practices, but more importantly it is centered on the academic needs of each individual learner. Children are challenged to meet their potential while opportunities for creative growth are provided in music, the visual arts, foreign languages, and technology. Students learn to think critically, solve problems, be creative, and become confident, independent learners. Bright School builds a firm foundation upon which students become wise and compassionate citizens of the world. 

A Seamless Continuum of Learning:  From Early Childhood to Upper Elementary

Early Childhood Programs

Capturing the imagination of young children is at the heart of our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs.  With a focus on early literacy, math skills and social development, students are provided with a predictable, developmentally appropriate learning environment.  Practicing independence, working with friends, and becoming a part of a learning community, complement the many opportunities for academic growth. 

First and Second Grades

Building and strengthening each child’s fundamental skills of reading, writing, and number sense is the work of first and second graders.  These primary grades offer students learning opportunities that foster confidence and independence.  Considered critical years of literacy and math development, first and second grade students flourish and begin to spread their academic wings as readers, writers, and thinkers. 

Third through Fifth Grades

While becoming the leaders of the school, our upper elementary students are challenged to utilize their fundamental skills and knowledge through critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving.  Intentional learning opportunities broaden students’ reading comprehension skills and develop proficient writers and thinkers. Operational concepts of math are solidified and topics relevant to their world are analyzed.

Building Learning Communities Through Responsive Classroom

Bright School uses the Responsive Classroom approach to build respectful learning communities throughout the school. This approach is research-based and effective in creating a learning environment conducive for learning which increases academic achievement, decreases problem behaviors, improves social skills, and leads to more high-quality instruction.  It ultimately emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. Developed by classroom teachers, the approach consists of practical strategies for helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies day in and day out.  It is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills. 

The Responsive Classroom approach is informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers. The heart of the Responsive Classroom approach includes:  Morning Meeting, Collaborative Rule Creation, Interactive Modeling, Positive Teacher Language, Logical Consequences, Guided Discovery, Academic Choice, Classroom Organization, Working with Families, and Collaborative Problem Solving. There is a specific set of social skills that children need to learn and practice in order to be successful academically and socially: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. Character qualities that children need to be able to interact with one another effectively are explicitly taught at Bright School. 

Our Guiding Principles for Our Classrooms:

  • The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn: Process and content go hand in hand.
  • The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  • To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
  • Knowing the children we teach—individually, culturally, and developmentally—is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  • Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children's education.
  • How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.