Academics

Curriculum Overview

Overview:

CLS promotes and values student success.  As certified instructional leaders of the classroom, teachers create an excellent learning environment that encourages the pursuit of knowledge.  Teachers model their own passion for learning by participating in on-going staff development, mastering best practices, and incorporating advanced technology. Their excitement and commitment to education ignites student interests which influences academic achievement.  Textbooks and instructional materials vary by grade level. 

 

RELIGION:

Concordia's religion program is taught from a Lutheran perspective and is focused on the teachings of Jesus Christ. It complements a balanced academic program in conjunction with extra-curricular activities that lead to the holistic development of each student. We are intentional in integrating Christian principles throughout our curriculum. Religion instruction includes: daily devotions, chapel services, Bible study, catechism study, memory work, church history, and songs.  Weekly chapel is a time for students, faculty, church leaders, and parents to gather together to honor God.  Concordia has a yearly theme that is followed campus-wide.  Each month, we focus on a characteristic that exemplifies Christian behavior. Students are grouped into chapel families that are made up of kindergarteners through eighth graders in order to nurture a bond and develop a sense of community. Throughout the school year, chapel families are engaged in service projects to share the love of Christ and to gain empathy and compassion for others.  Many of our students and their families are actively involved in Concordia's church life.  At the same time, we recognize that God's children are diverse, and we welcome students and families from all faith backgrounds. Together, we rejoice in the opportunity to LOVE, SERVE, and SHINE!

 

TECHNOLOGY:

We take an integrative approach with technology so that it is used to enhance students' learning across the curriculum. Our educational technology coordinator partners with grade-level teachers to bring technology to the classroom. While students are focusing in their content areas, teachers incorporate different applications to create better understanding and engagement.  Meanwhile, students learn to use the most current and relevant tools including iPads, Chromebooks, Smartboards, and Student Response Systems to enhance their curriculum. In addition, they become adept in practical and time-tested skills that include keyboarding, proper use of the internet, and software applications including Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), and Google (Classroom, Docs, Drive, Forms, Sheets, email). For more information about our technology program, see the Technology, iPad, and Chromebook tabs.

Further enrichment and application opportunities exist through elective classes like Broadcasting, Movie Making, StudioWeb (programming), and Robotics.

 

GIFTED, TALENTED, AND ENRICHMENT:

All CLS students benefit from our enrichment program.  Our Gifted, Talented, and Enrichment (GT&E) Coordinator,  has scheduled times throughout the week when she works with teachers and students to enrich the curriculum through depth and complexity thinking skills, higher order questioning and responses, and differentiation in the classroom.  

Students explore the world of learning through a new lens. They are introduced to scholarly thinking using depth and complexity tools.  These tools activate deep levels of knowledge and add instant rigor and complexity to class lessons and discussions. For more information, please visit our Gifted, Talented, and Enrichment tab.

 

LANGUAGE ARTS:

English, spelling, literature, reading, phonics, research skills, dictionary skills, creative and expository writing, oral presentation, and vocabulary are included in the language arts block.

Students are encouraged to participate in academic enrichment opportunities like PSIA Story Telling, Creative Writing, Dictionary Skills, Vocabulary, Modern Oratory, Poetry Interpretation, and Ready Writing Competitions. Be sure to check out the November edition of The Beacon where several of our students' writing and illustrations were published.

A variety of extension opportunities are available like Broadcasting, Movie Making, Speech and Debate, our Christmas pageants, and our spring play.

 

SOCIAL STUDIES:

Our Houghton Mifflin Harcourt social studies curriculum combines outstanding student textbooks with a hybrid of on-line instructional resources that provide students access to the most current and innovative instructional resources. Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade enjoy learning geography, history, citizenship, current events, map skills, Texas, U.S., and World History. Enrichment opportunities exist through our Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) competitions in the areas of Maps, Graphs and Charts as well as the Geography Bee.

Further, 8th grade students are able to earn college credit through successful completion of our CLEP US History curriculum once they pass the exam. So far, our eighth graders have a 98% success rate on completion.

 

MATHEMATICS:

Arithmetic skills, concept development, problem solving, decimals, measurements, algebra, geometry, life skills, and critical thinking skills are included in our math classes.

Our elementary math curriculum in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade is Math in Focus which is an authentic Singapore Math program. It is known for its academic rigor and emphasis on problem solving. The program guides students' understanding through a progression of pictorial- concrete-abstract math skills with real-world, hands-on learning experiences. Among the international math community, Singapore has been a top performer for the past 15 years. Research indicates that their adoption of this math curriculum is behind their high achievement. By implementing this math approach, our students will excel in their ability to  understand the "how" and "why" of numbers so that  they can successfully tackle not only routine problems, but also new problems through applying concepts and adapting to new contexts.

Our middle school math program tailors instruction meets students where they are in their learning needs. We have build-in support programs to help reinforce math concepts where students can get one-on-one help from seasoned math teachers during tutoring and optional classes. Our math classes are small and engaging for all levels. Meanwhile, we also have an advanced math track that allows students to progress through high-school level coursework during their 8th grade year. Consequently, our students have a reputation for transitioning exceptionally well into both private and public high schools.

Further enrichment opportunities are available through our academic competitions like PSIA Mathematics and Number Sense, as well as other activities like Robotics I and Robotics II.

 

SCIENCE:

In grades 6-8, we've adopted Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Texas Science Fusion. This blended curriculum offers the best of both worlds: a beautifully illustrated text book in which students can record their observations and notes, and hands-on science experiments and laboratories. In addition, students are able to interface with an extensive on-line component that offers an electronic book, NTSA SciLinks, video-based projects, a media gallery, digital glossary, and an emphasis on Science Technology Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.). 

Sixth graders begin with the nature of science, measurement and data, matter, energy, motion and forces, energy resources, minerals and rocks, the study of the earth, the solar system, space exploration, and organisms and environments. They also enjoy a variety of hands-on activities like building hover crafts, observing the effects of liquid nitrogen, studying velocity through zip-lines, and making their own rootbeer with dry ice. A culminating activity is the students' Outdoor Education trip, where they spend several days camping and making first-hand discoveries of the many units that they had studied throughout the year.

Seventh graders receive their instruction in a fully-equipped science lab that equals college-level facilities. Students continue their learning about the nature of science as well as measurement and data, cells; then, they learn about reproduction and heredity, the diversity of living things, living systems, human body systems, Earth's changing surface, and living in space. One of the highlights of their year is attending Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Eighth graders also study in our exceptional science lab, where they develop an even deeper understanding of the nature of science and measurement and data. Then, they dive into chemistry, forces in motion, the earth-moon-sun systems, the universe, processes that shape the earth, the earth's oceans and atmosphere and ecosystems. Their class gets to look forward to visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C.

Grades K-5 use Scott Foresman which includes a fully-illustrated textbook that offers a strong foundation in life science, physical science and earth science, as well as health and nutrition. In addition to their daily science classes, elementary students participate in weekly science enrichment classes to ensure that they have a solid grounding in essential knowledge as well as the opportunity to stretch their understanding of science. Students also enjoy hands-on experiments and rich learning that extends the classroom through field trips like Botanical Gardens, Sea World, IMAX, Sunny Day Farms Animal Sanctuary, and the San Antonio Zoo.

 

MUSIC:

Music education classes include singing, rhythm, reading music, and listening.  Instrumental band, handbells, and choir groups are available for participation.

Students have an opportunity to showcase their talents through the Band and Choir Concert, the San Antonio Lutheran Schools Association (SALSA) performance, the Christmas pageants, musicals, Lenten service singing, the Talent Show, and Fine Arts Night.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ATHLETIC PERIOD:

During PE, students will learn about the fundamentals of both team sports and lifetime activities. Students are also active in cardio workouts and body weight muscle strengthening. Concurrently, students in a wide array of team sports practice during Athletic Period and enjoy outstanding facilities and exceptional coaching.

 

FINE ARTS:

Our fine arts include music, art, drama, and band. Student creativity is encouraged from a very young age when music and art are built into the schedule three times a week. As students enter middle school, they are able to explore their talents and interests through a variety of courses including Drawing and Painting, Mixed Media Art, photography for the yearbook, designing programs for the Christmas Advent Services, performing in SALSA, plays, pageants, concerts, and the Talent Show.

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE:  

Spanish is offered for kindergarten through 8th grades. Students enjoy exposure to vocabulary through songs, hands-on activities, technology applications, and opportunities to dialogue. As students progress to middle school, they are able to take beginning and advanced classes. Depending on their language proficiency, many are encouraged to opt out of high school freshman-level Spanish classes.

 

Note: Be sure to visit our Electives page for a list of additional courses that are available to middle school students.