As the culminating experience in the Lower School, the fifth grade focuses on polishing the skills students have built in the preceding grades and places special emphasis on leadership and service to the school and the larger community.
In the two fifth-grade classrooms, each with two full-time teachers, students learn leadership roles under the close supervision of caring adults.
- Fifth graders lead and run the twice-weekly all-school assemblies, as well as planning and running the Thanksgiving food drive and the all-school bazaar in the spring.
- Fifth graders run the school recycling and lost-and-found projects, work with younger children in their classrooms, and assist the library, art teachers, and maintenance staff.
- Fifth graders also lead tours of the lower school and serve as greeters for visitors to SPA.
The Fifth-Grade Curriculum
The fifth-grade curriculum is challenging; individual attention allows each student to push their limits. Literature classes are novel-based, with emphasis on inferential understanding. Math classes of 6–17 children are grouped for appropriate challenge. McGraw-Hill texts support the math program, as well as a wide variety of enrichment materials. Writing assignments are tied to the curriculum. Weekly journal entries continue to promote writing fluency, but with an increasing emphasis on precision. Grammar and spelling employ Scholastic Literacy Place supporting materials.
Social Studies in the fifth grade looks at American history—from the initial discovery of the Western hemisphere during the last Ice Age through worldwide exploration, re-discovery and colonization, up to the writing of the U.S. Constitution and the workings of the U.S. government. We rely on a very wide variety of sources; students are involved in simulations, projects, research, and presentations.
The fifth grade welcomes and depends upon open communication with parents at all times. Students bring home their work and announcements each week in their Friday Folder. Biweekly newsletters (paper and electronic) keep parents up to date on classroom activities and upcoming events; written reports occur three times during the school year, with conferences at report time and other times as needed.