Elementary School

Churchill Elementary School for Students with Learning Disabilities

The Churchill Elementary School provides a supportive, structured, nurturing, & fun environment where students are encouraged to expand their knowledge & use their strengths while developing their reading, writing, math, social, & organizational skills. Students learn to accept & understand their learning disabilities, become self-advocates, & take responsibility for their learning.

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Sara Cohen

    Sara Cohen 

    Elementary School Principal

Elementary School Curriculum

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Student Life

    Students learn in small group settings, which are designed to meet their individual needs. We are proud of the active engagement of both our students and teachers that is inherent in our classrooms.

    The elementary school program is dynamic and supportive, which enables a nurturing environment for students to thrive. Skill acquisition and academic remediation are priorities in each student’s program. We have highly qualified and trained teachers who specialize in methods to ensure student progress.

    Our elementary school has a comprehensive program, which ensures both academic success and social and emotional growth. In addition to literacy and math instruction, the program includes science, art, performing arts, physical education, health education, library classes, technology integration classes, and a social skills curriculum. Additionally, related services are provided to each student as is necessary. Our school psychologists, social workers, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists work collaboratively with classroom teachers and administration using a push in and/or pull out model.

    Elementary school community meetings, field trips, and activities are incorporated throughout the school year as an integral part of the program. There are a variety of both day and overnight trips, which are directly related to content being studied. Additionally, students visit museums; attend concerts, musicals, plays, etc. Furthermore, our elementary school values the school community; thus, we offer many opportunities for parents, family members, and outside community members to participate in our students’ education and life at Churchill.

    The smiles, energy, and excitement emitted in our elementary school are evidence that The Churchill Elementary School is a happy, safe, and positive place to learn and grow!
  • Reading Program

    The Churchill School and Center provides a balanced approach to literacy incorporating all the components of a rich-literacy environment.  Phonics instruction is delivered through the Wilson Reading System and includes the direct instruction of phonics, phonemic awareness, decoding, encoding, vocabulary and fluency. Through small-group instruction the students are exposed to explicit, systematic and multi-sensory approaches. Our students thrive in these learning environments and develop the confidence to become lifelong readers.

    Reading comprehension instruction is taught in a variety of ways during the school day. Teachers engage students through read alouds, small-group instruction, and independent reading time. The students are exposed to different genres and are taught strategies in order to strengthen reading comprehension skills and develop a deeper understanding of text. Progress in reading comprehension is monitored throughout the school year using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment and the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Program. Our goal is to develop independent reading skills and a passion for reading!
  • Writing Program

    Writing instruction is delivered through the Writer’s Workshop Model in combination with techniques from EmPOWER. This model includes mini-lessons, guided and independent practice, and opportunities to work through the writing process. Teachers expose students to mentor texts to introduce a writing skill and spark idea generation. Some examples of genres taught are personal narratives, persuasive writing and informative writing. EmPOWER techniques are infused throughout the program allowing students to become more independent writers and problem solvers. A variety of brain frames and graphic organizers are used to assist students in their academic writing, as they learn to generate, organize, and express their ideas.
  • Speech & Language

    In the Elementary School, students are screened at the beginning of the school year and decisions for speech therapy are made based on the outcome of testing, classroom observations, and the extent to which the child’s speech/language function affects success of the classroom curriculum.  

    Speech and language therapy is provided to students to facilitate their receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills. Services are provided in small group, pull-out sessions as well as collaborative push-in sessions in the classroom.

    Receptive Language Skills: The ability to understand language.
    • Increasing knowledge of vocabulary words
    • Following multi-step directions
    • Comprehending paragraph length information/stories
    • Making simple inferences
    • Comprehending WH-question
    • Interpreting problem solving scenarios
    • Interpreting figurative language (idioms, multiple meaning words)

    Expressive Language Skills: The ability to clearly communicate thoughts and ideas.
    • Developing word retrieval strategies
    • Increasing word skills such as defining/describing, comparing/contrasting, categorization, and generating synonyms and antonyms
    • Increasing the use of appropriate grammar and sentence structure
    • Developing narrative discourse skills (telling a story, topic speeches, and describing events)
    • Expressing reasoning to support opinions
    • Sequencing information
    • Paraphrasing information
    • Organizing thoughts and ideas using our adapted writing technique, EmPOWER

    Pragmatic Language Skills: The ability to use language in order to navigate social scenarios
    • Initiating conversations and participating in classroom discussions
    • Remaining on topic when speaking
    • Responding to directions and questions
    • Requesting help
    • Maintaining personal space boundaries
    • Answering questions in social scenarios
  • Mental Health Support Services

    The mental health clinicians provide direct services to all students in many ways throughout the day. Weekly, structured “Health and Human Relations” (HHR) groups, social skills sessions for younger students, support and affinity groups in each division, and “drop-in” visits all provide Churchill students with a safe space to explore a range of feelings or problem-solve about tricky situations and help them make good choices. The psychologists and social workers provide ongoing consultation with school staff to support the students in the classroom. With a focus on prevention, we continually introduce additional strategies that offer students and teachers relief from the stress that builds up during a typical day. Churchill parents are our partners in fostering the growth and development of our young charges. To this end, the Mental Health Support Services team offers events and resources for our parents. Monthly Parent Support groups or Parent Forums are held for each division. We provide information, articles, suggestions, and referrals as needed. Helpful “tips” are provided on the Churchill website, in weekly “Mental Health Mondays” videos and in newsletters.

    Linda Price, MS, NCSP, Director of Mental Health Support Services 
    Lauren Rashbaum, LCSW, Elementary School Social Worker
  • Social Skills

    Students in the lower elementary school (grades K-3) participate in a weekly social skills class co-led by the Social Worker and a Speech Therapist. The purpose of the group is to teach language and social skills to help the students successfully navigate social relationships and develop friendships.  Additionally, the classes are designed to facilitate positive peer interactions to promote the development of each student’s social and language skills. The program incorporates aspects of the Social Thinking curriculum, which involves utilizing concrete strategies and techniques in order to increase each student’s awareness to help him or her more effectively interact with others.  The classes target areas of social skills and language development including Whole Body Listening, expected and unexpected behaviors, showing empathy, being flexible, perspective taking, initiating and maintaining conversation, negotiating peer conflict, and making and sustaining friendships.
  • Occupational Therapy

    The occupational therapy (OT) department supports students’ ability to function throughout their day at Churchill.  Services are provided with pull-out sessions, push-in to the classroom and consultation with classroom teachers and/or parents.  We focus on fine motor skills (i.e., ability to handle manipulatives in the classroom, or fasteners on their jacket), handwriting, visual perceptual functioning (i.e., being able to find an item in a crowded environment), gross motor skills (i.e., increasing core strength to maintain sitting posture in class), and sensory processing (i.e., providing movement breaks and/or alternative seating to increase attention in the classroom). Direct OT services are provided primarily to the elementary school, although consultation is available for middle school and high school students. During this time of COVID-19, the focus and delivery method of occupational therapy may change although our purpose of increasing your child’s level of functioning in the school environment remains the same.
  • Technology Program

    STEAM in Elementary School is an educational approach that merges science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to drive innovation. Students are encouraged to solve problems together and embrace the design process as they engage in inquiry and project based learning. Art and design are integral to the fields of technology and engineering and make the learning of complex concepts accessible for students. During the course of the year, students in grades 4 & 5 get hands on experience with video game programming, robotics, digital design and storytelling, and engineering challenges. We learn to code using resources from and Scratch.  We explore robotics using the Lego Mindstorms system and Bee Bots. We present our ideas and stories using tools like Book Creator and Pic Collage. Students in grades 2-5 also have access to a year long keyboarding subscription through This program allows students to familiarize themselves with the QWERTY keyboard and build automaticity during typed activities.
    In addition to our work in STEAM classes, many projects are created in conjunction with curricula in Social Studies, Science, Math, Reading, and Health & Human Relations as a way to reflect the integrated nature of engineering. We cover curriculum strands of computer science, digital citizenship, design and fabrication, and information and media during the course of the year.
    In grades K-3, students are engaged in work from our new curriculum, Paige & Paxton, which presents engineering concepts through the story of Paige & Paxton, puzzle pieces that find their perfect fit, or personal interests, as engineers. Students then get hands on experience doing the work of engineers in collaborative activities that develop their STEAM confidence and identity. At the end of the course, students increase their awareness regarding the fields of engineering, connect their interests and talents with career choices, and learn the work mindsets of structural, packaging, and aerospace engineers!
    Lastly, Tech Integrators also work with classroom teachers to introduce assistive technology to students individually and in groups. Assistive technology in the elementary school is responsive to the needs of students. Students are taught to use a number of tools to assist them through out the day, including text to speech use for reading, speech to text supports for writing, and handwriting supports such as Handwriting Heroes and Co-Writer.  iPads are used to organize students’ ideas and increase writing fluency with apps such as Book Creator, Kidspiration, Pic Collage, and Clicker Documents.
    At Churchill, we have ample technology resources for both students and teachers. Students in Kindergarten through 5th grade have classroom 1:1 iPads sets. In addition, teachers have access to a shared cart of laptops to enhance instruction.
  • Math Program

    Through the vehicle of mathematics, we teach students problem solving skills, reasoning skills, perseverance, independence and we help them develop more confidence. The Churchill Elementary School uses the Math In Focus curriculum. The curriculum was developed based on the Singapore Math approach. Through Math In Focus, students are introduced to concepts using manipulatives, providing them with a concrete approach to mathematics topics. Next, students learn to represent these concepts using pictures, finally using numbers and mathematical symbols to represent the abstract. The program provides Churchill with a research-based scope and sequence and a consistent structure, while allowing our teachers to adapt lessons to meet the needs and styles of our students at Churchill.   
  • Music & Performing Arts

    The Churchill Performing Arts Department is committed to celebrating the uniqueness of each of our students through the exploration of the arts across all divisions, K-12. 
    As a multi-divisional department, we strive to create a collaborative environment for our students; where individual ideas are valued, and hard work and commitment result in an unparalleled sense of accomplishment and an even greater appreciation of the performing arts. 
    We encourage our students to learn from those who are different from ourselves by exposing them to stories, histories and music that enrich their understanding of the world around them. 
    Our curriculum scaffolds learning from elementary school through high school. In Elementary School we lay foundations of rhythm, melody, harmony, dance, coordination and foster student creativity. In Middle School, we dig deeper into developing musicianship and performing capabilities. In High School we offer rigorous courses in which students can develop necessary skills to pursue performing arts as a career.
    Each Division presents numerous productions over the course of each year, including dramatic plays, musicals, band concerts, showcases and small group music concerts. The courses offered are:
    Elementary School
    General Music Class Cluster A through D
    Upper Elementary Band Lessons
    Upper Elementary Performing Arts Classes
    A Winter Musical – a music and performing arts integration
    Music and Performing Arts Field Trips
    For more information on Churchill’s Performing Arts Department, please, feel free to reach out to the Department Chair, Aaron Fisher, ext 3401, who can answer your questions and connect you to the necessary faculty.
  • Science Program

    The elementary school science curriculum fosters a hands-on approach to learning. The students at Churchill learn effectively when they are actively engaged in the discovery process, and working collaboratively in small groups. The experiments and hands-on activities are designed for the students to increase their investigative skills, as well as to discover the underlying scientific concept. The students are encouraged to apply their new knowledge towards making connections to the world around them. The units are developed to encourage critical thinking and to become creative problem solvers. Our goals are to create an atmosphere where learning is exciting as well as challenging and the students feel like successful learners. Elementary science covers a wide range of topics including physical science, life science, Earth science, and important environmental issues facing our planet. 

    In lower elementary science, cluster A students investigate the world around them by using their senses. This includes using their senses to learn about the human body, living things, and non-living things. Students also explore how scientists organize the world around them by sorting objects by common attributes, identifying states of matter, and investigating living things. Finally, students in cluster A learn about the tools scientists use to conduct experiments and to better understand changes in our world. This includes non-standard and standard measurement, measuring changes in heat and light energy, changes in the environment through the water cycle, seasons, and weather, and changes in living things by following the life cycle of ducks. Students in cluster B investigate the many cycles within the scientific world.  They will explore plant life cycles (seeds, fruit, and flowers), electricity (static and current), the water cycle, and animal cycles such as the life cycle of the butterfly.  

    Upper elementary students in cluster C will explore weather systems with an in-depth study of hurricanes. They will track the paths hurricanes take, compare conditions in the eye and eyewall, and research historic hurricanes. Students in cluster C also learn about an important tool scientists use, the microscope. Students will prepare slides and observe various materials under the microscopes’ lens. Finally, students will explore Earth Science. This includes the layers of the Earth, plate tectonics, continental drift, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Students in cluster D measure changes in the world using metric measurement. They perform scientific investigations using rulers, balance scales, beakers, and graduated cylinders. Cluster D students also investigate physical science by exploring the properties of matter (solid, liquid, and gas). Matter can be described, categorized, and sorted by its observable properties. Students will conduct investigations of liquid matter to discover its special properties (surface tension, density, viscosity, evaporation). They will also conduct investigations of dry ice, frozen carbon dioxide, to discover its special properties (freezing pt., sublimation).
  • Visual Arts

    Welcome to the elementary school art room, where art is all about exploration! Here in elementary school, we strive on creating multicultural and interdisciplinary art.  We achieve this through the use of many different hands-on experiences, while also trying out different mediums, processes, and techniques.  Students will be introduced to artistic terms including texture, color, shape, line, space, and form. Students are also exposed to aspects of art history, as well as becoming familiar with materials and early concepts of the cultural importance of the arts. All of this is accomplished while celebrating the students, building self-confidence, and further exploring their own artistic voice. 
  • Physical Education

    The Churchill physical education program is designed to meet the physical, social and emotional needs of our diverse population. Classes are taught in a variety of ways to accommodate all learning styles. Individualized instruction or small group instruction allows for modifications within activities and ensures that all students are appropriately challenged and enjoy success.

    Lower elementary students engage in activities that include movement exploration, cooperative games, fitness activities, tag games, relays, rhythms, multicultural games, and sports skills. Many of the skills taught in lower elementary physical education provide the foundation for more advanced and specialized learning.  In order to ensure solid skill development, ample time is allotted for basic skill acquisition and development. 

    The upper elementary physical education curriculum focuses on specialized skills, fitness, sports units, and character education. Skills are taught sequentially and one skill builds on another. Each unit is progressive and small-sided games are utilized for maximum participation and success. Units end in a culminating event or gameplay.

Student Work

Ruby Moore, Cluster A student, has written a short book titled Dyslexia Hero about her experience with dyslexia. Click below to read the book or click "Open Publication" to see a full screen version!