The curriculum at Morganton Day School is based upon a framework that allows for the integration of subjects as well as the opportunity for in-depth exploration of topics. Using inquiry-based learning, students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills in order to help them become efficient and effective learners. The classroom is a beginning point; teachers use available resources to extend learning which may include local, regional, and global communities. The school is committed to a philosophy of experiential, holistic education which includes strong components for community interaction, service projects, and global awareness.
Morganton Day School is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer the Primary Years Programme for grades JK-4.
In grades JK-4, the curriculum is guided by the Primary Years Programme of Inquiry which has been a sustained effort among faculty to develop central ideas as topics for in-depth exploration which include standards and objectives from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Concepts are developed as powerful ideas which have relevance within and across the disciplines and which students must explore and re-explore in order to develop meaning. These concepts are approached from a range of perspectives in order to foster a deeper understanding.
Everyday Math, a math curriculum which facilitates higher levels of thinking and an inquiry approach to learning, has been adopted in grades K-6 for the coming year. Open Court Reading, a comprehensive reading/language arts program, is taught in grades JK-2 and Pegasus, a literature-based reading program, is used in grades 3-5.
Students in grades 5-8 receive instruction in specific content areas as well as through interdisciplinary units of study. The middle grades curriculum includes exposure to literature, grammar, writing, spelling, social studies, mathematics, science, and technology. Morganton Day School encourages middle school students to develop organizational skills, enhance communication skills, developinformation literacy, engage in reflection, and build problem-solving and thinking skills. A key component of the middle school curriculum is the development of purposeful and effective habits of mind.
In order to conduct purposeful inquiry and in order to be well prepared for higher education, students at Morganton Day School are encouraged to master a range of skills. Those skills which transcend the basic skills of individual disciplines include social skills, thinking skills, research skills, communication skills, and self-management skills. Students are encouraged to become confident, self-directed learners who develop skills that enable them to participate in a challenging curriculum.
All students in grades JK-8 are offered enrichment classes which include Spanish, Visual Arts, Music/Drama, and Physical Education. As much as possible, these special areas are incorporated into the JK-5 units of inquiry in order to provide a more balanced, integrated curriculum.
School traditions, such as the Thanksgiving Feast and other projects (including plays, Reading Partners, units of study, field trips, etc.) lend themselves to multi-age grouping. By grouping children of various ages together, students are given opportunities to learn cooperatively and collaboratively. Older students are able to assume leadership roles, younger students benefit from receiving individualized instruction, and all students are able to develop social and emotional skills which can be used throughout life.
Small class size, dedicated teachers, and involved parents create an environment at Morganton Day School which nurtures and supports student learning. Students are able to achieve personal academic goals while retaining a love of learning.
INTERNATIONALISM (IB PROGRAM)
What makes a school international? Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily a body of international students, the teaching of a foreign language, studying different cultures, or displaying flags of different countries. Although these might be components, it is a school that embraces a learner profile of what the IBO defines as the 10 most important attributes of an international person and provides the response to the crucial question: what do we want students to learn? We want them to learn how to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring,open-minded, well-balanced, and reflective.
Every aspect of the curriculum, then, focuses on moving students toward becoming people who reflect these characteristics.
In addition to the learner profile, Morganton Day School, as an authorized IB Primary Years Programme by IBO, will help students to explore their own personal cultural identities, promote true cross-cultural understanding by delving deeper and focusing on gender, class, race, family structures, types of communities, etc., and studying global issues in depth and over time. Students will be encouraged to “read the world multiculturally” by recognizing that race, class, and gender matter in how we interpret and analyze our experiences in the world.
Student Action and Service Learning
Students must not only develop responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. In order to make the action component of the curriculum as powerful as possible in terms of student learning, the PYP advocates a cycle of involvement which provides students with opportunities to engage in meaningful action.
The action component of the PYP involves service in the widest sense of the word: service to fellow students, to the staff, and to the community. Through such service, students are able to grow both socially and personally, developing skills such as cooperation, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and creative and critical thinking. These actions are ways in which the students exhibit their commitment to the attitudes that are embraced in the PYP classroom.
Action begins at the most immediate and basic level: in the family, in the classroom, in the hallways, and on the playground. The faculty and staff at Morganton Day School work to enable students to choose their actions carefully, to facilitate these actions, and to encourage them to reflect on theactions they undertake.
Service learning has been a component of the curriculum at Morganton Day School for many years. Each classroom traditionally chooses a service project for the year such as recycling, UNICEF, Christmas Cheer, Red Cross Blood drive, Burke County Friends for Animals, etc. Developing and maintaining a connection with the local community provides many volunteer opportunities.