We believe in a balanced approach to language arts instruction. Reading, writing, grammar, spelling, and handwriting are explicitly taught to develop the skills students need to understand and communicate written expression. These skill sets, along with speaking and listening, are also woven into other content areas to deepen our students’ literacy capabilities. All of our English language arts and literacy instruction is guided by the Common Core State Standards and is supported by literature-based curriculums.
Study of the Bible is both a heart and a head matter at Dutton Christian School. We utilize the Walking With God and His People curriculum, published by Christian Schools International, to equip students with the knowledge they need to understand and believe God’s word. We also use our Biblical study as the lens through which we view our other subject areas as well as the foundation for our students as they grow in their personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ.
In grades K- 8 we use curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP). Up through 6th grade, this curriculum is often referred to as Everyday Math. The strength of this curriculum is in moving students from becoming dependent on symbol manipulation to developing conceptual understanding and problem-solving in the areas of arithmetic, data, probability, geometry, algebra and functions.
In grades 7 & 8, our students are engaged in Transitions math and Algebra. The main goal of Transition Mathematics is to act as a stepping-stone between the processes learned in Everyday Mathematics 6 to the material presented in UCSMP Algebra. Transition Mathematics incorporates applied arithmetic, algebra, and geometry; and connects all these areas to measurement, probability, and statistics. The goal of UCSMP Algebra is to act as an introduction to the language of algebra, and the ways it is used in the real world, while integrating geometry, probability, and statistics with a variety of approaches.
With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, our curriculum remains valid but the Standards dictate our scope and sequence, instructional emphasis and pacing guides.
Real-world scientists learn by discovery. Our focus on inquiry-based instruction mirrors this process by allowing students to carry out investigations, talk and write about their observations and emerging understandings, and discuss ways to test them. Teachers serve an integral role of facilitating learning and teaching scientific principles based on what the students have experienced through hands-on activities.
In grades K-7, our curriculum is developed and supplied by the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center. The curriculum scope and sequence engages students in all four strands of science proficiency (physical science, life science, earth science, and inquiry and technology). Our 8th grade curriculum follows the same philosophy and practices of inquiry based, hands-on science, but our unit guides and corresponding materials are supplied by the FOSS Program.
Using the framework created by the National Council for the Social Studies, our students are engaged in learning based on the ten identified themes of social studies. In the lower elementary grades, this is accomplished through teacher-developed units. Beginning in fourth grade with the study of Michigan, our students are guided through the social studies themes via published curriculum materials.