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Lower School Distinctives

Millennium Charter Academy is distinct from other schools in a myriad of ways.  Each of these distinctions finds its roots in the classical education model that has developed and been implemented over the centuries in the Western world.  This classical model is a long tradition of education that has emphasized seeking after truth, goodness, and beauty by the integrated study of the liberal arts (grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), the reading of great literature, the appreciation of beautiful art, and the contemplation of one’s own humanity.  The purpose of this education is not the training of a child, but the formation of an adult.  Classically educated individuals are equipped for living virtuous lives and for flourishing as strongly thinking and deeply caring citizens regardless of their own career paths.  

The most basic and foundational aspects of this classical model may be found in our lower school, grades kindergarten through five.  Through the use of Core Knowledge, Everyday Math, and Core Knowledge Language Arts, students are exposed to rich teachings in history, science, mathematics, and English.  

North Carolina standards provide a framework of learning objectives, and the rich content of the Core Knowledge curriculum fills the framework with a spiraling and coherent sequence of knowledge in language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science, and the fine arts. Core Knowledge includes, for example, the basic principles of constitutional government; important events of world history; essential elements of mathematics and of oral and written expression; an array of science concepts and famous scientists; widely acknowledged masterpieces of art and music; and timeless literature, stories, and poems passed down from generation to generation.

Grades K-5 teach the specific skills of Core Knowledge Language Arts, an integrated program for delivering phonics, reading instruction, reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and content areas in an effective, systematic sequence.

Through Everyday Math, developed at the University of Chicago, MCA teaches basic fact knowledge and number sense, computation and accuracy, as well as concept and skill development from arithmetic to algebra. In addition to a focus on both mathematical processes and precise answers, we balance discovery learning with teacher-directed instruction. The faculty works diligently to increase students’ mental dexterity, discouraging an over-dependence on calculators. We are committed to fostering mathematical literacy! 

Lower school students are also provided with “specials,” classes which enrich their core classes.  There are six specials:  physical education, library, art, vocal music, instrumental music, and technology.  These classes are taught by teachers who specialize in their respective areas, and a dedicated gymnasium and separate classrooms are dedicated to each special.  

Throughout the entire K-12 curriculum, the humanities, arts and sciences are integrated to provide an education that emphasizes the wholeness of the human being and the order and wholeness of the world.