Nurturing Early Learners
Metro Christian Academy offers a Christ-centered, nurturing, and safe learning environment for our early learners. Academic and developmental needs are integrated into a child-friendly, interactive, and adaptable curriculum where teachers inspire collaboration, creativity, curiosity, and confidence. We recognize the unparalleled opportunity to positively influence children and partner with parents as we set the stage for life-long learning. Seeds planted during these years take root and help produce God-honoring character as children learn about God’s love and His word through integrated classroom Bible lessons and weekly Chapel services.
Our P3 and Pre-K programs offer children a developmentally and age-appropriate academic foundation. We help our children learn how to work with others in an integrated, fun, and collaborative learning environment.
Families of P3 children have enrollment options of 2, 3, or 5 days per week. Pre-K enrollment includes options of attending 3 or 5 days per week. Both programs are full day (8:05 am to 2:45 pm) with the option of participating in our extended day, after-school program. In addition to lunches in the cafeteria, we have water stations in the rooms, and healthy, nut-free snacks following the afternoon rest break. Weather permitting, children go outside daily for fresh air and movement.
Besides guided small and large group instruction, learning stations are used for instruction and practice in language development, reading readiness, number concepts, listening skills, creative play, and socialization skills.
Our P3 program provides developmentally appropriate experiences using large and small group instruction, learning stations, and individualized time with the teacher. Exploration, interaction, and child-friendly instructional approaches help foster a love of learning. Instruction in literacy includes story times, weekly librarian visits, and learning activities introducing and developing letter recognition, pre-reading skills, and phonemic awareness. Through a variety of age-appropriate, hands-on activities, each child’s familiarity with the letters and sounds is increased to promote reading readiness. Math concepts are primarily taught through manipulatives and daily calendar activities, with an emphasis on patterns, number connections, sorting, sequencing, and counting. Thematic units on such topics as families, animals, plants, and seasons help to stimulate interest in early science and social studies learning.
Our Pre-K program is rich in literacy with music, movement, and multisensory manipulatives all used to connect relationships between letters, sounds, and syllables. The five main areas of literacy learning include: phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Specific skills embedded into daily literacy activities include: detecting differences in spoken words, recognizing rhyming words, listening for and identifying beginning and ending sounds, identifying and forming letters and shapes, connecting oral language to print, recalling information from stories, making connections using illustrations, prior knowledge and real-life experiences, predicting outcomes and sequencing events. Letter formation is fostered through the nationally recognized Handwriting Without Tears program. Teachers create a solid foundation in early math literacy, number sense, shapes, and measurement through intentional instruction and active discovery. Other skills of emphasis include patterning, classifying, sequencing, estimating, and graphing. Calendar activities include number relationships, days/months, and weather/seasons. Learning stations help to integrate science concepts through observation, exploration, and discovery.
Early Childhood at a Glance
Our Early Childhood teachers are academically trained in best practices for young learners and devoted Christian believers who partner with parents in the spiritual training of their children. Teachers are the living curriculum in the classroom, using their training and creativity to maximize learning for every student.
In addition to the classroom learning experiences, our children have opportunities for integrated learning in music, motor skills, STEM, art, and library. Our Specials teachers are all certified in their area of expertise and create learning opportunities unique to early learners. Technology integration occurs through class sets of iPads and interactive Smart Boards in every classroom.
Daily prayer and age-appropriate devotions help to reinforce our mission of learning to become a devoted believer of Jesus Christ. Worship songs are often a part of the daily Bible lessons and can also be heard during work and rest times. Weekly chapel services include kid-friendly worship, student-led pledges, and scripture-based culture building.
With a 10:1 student to teacher ratio, Metro’s teachers customize learning opportunities to help reach distinctive abilities, personalities, and needs. Metro Christian Academy is committed to customizing the scope and pace of learning to best meet individual needs without compromising the learning goals in preparation for entering Kindergarten.
Beyond the Classroom
Teachers recognize that learning is extended beyond the classroom through field trips to such places as the pumpkin patch and apple orchard; celebrating Reading Week with book character dress-up; recognizing 100 days of school: class celebrations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter; donuts with Dads; and on-stage musical performances. Outreach opportunities include visits to local retirement centers for games, music, and conversation with senior-living friends.
Extensions of Learning
In addition to certified classroom teachers, our resource team includes a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, and instructional specialists. We also have a full-time Elementary counselor who provides weekly classroom guidance lessons, individual and small group counseling, and academic and organizational support.
Whether it’s a 3-D snowman in a Pre-K class or an artist’s paintbrush and acrylics in upper Elementary, Metro students of all ages have many opportunities to cultivate their creativity in the visual arts. Students are introduced to a wide variety of media such as pencil drawing, clay, water color, oil pastels, markers and pens, weaving, acrylics, etc. The curriculum includes projects and age-appropriate skill development promoting creativity and personal expression. Student artwork is regularly displayed throughout the building with a culminating year-end art show open to the community.
Early Childhood Motor Skills
Students in P-3 through Kindergarten participate in early childhood motor skills to promote health and exercise and develop developmentally appropriate physical skills and abilities. Students actively participate and build physical fitness, body spatial awareness, balance, and eye-hand coordination.
Students in Pre-K through 5th grade attend weekly library classes. The librarian presents age-appropriate lessons that focus on genres of literature, author studies, and application of library skills and related literacy topics. The librarian also helps support reading instruction with book talks and read-alouds that support comprehension strategies. Students begin checking out books in 1st grade.
Students encounter music through singing, playing, listening, and moving. The Elementary music experience includes exposure to instructional strategies from Orff and Kodaly methodologies. The following concepts are covered at an appropriate pace and level for each grade: rhythm, melody, sound quality, major/minor ear training, instruments, appreciation, sight-reading, and singing. Students also learn an appreciation and understanding of famous composers and their music. All students participate in at least one yearly musical performance.
The physical education curriculum is designed to instruct children in basic motor skills, development of coordination and perception, sportsmanship, teamwork, endurance, and strength training. Physical education also provides a venue for teaching Godly character, such as working as a team member, encouraging others, being gracious and respectful, and doing one’s best to honor God and others.
Elementary students participate in a weekly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Lab for hands-on instruction and application. Metro joins more than 9,000 schools across the U.S. in offering the nationally recognized Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Launch curriculum. We are pleased to engage our students at the earliest ages in math and science applications. PLTW Launch taps into students’ exploratory natures, engages them in learning that feels like play, and encourages them to keep discovering for years to come. Through PLTW Launch, students learn how to become innovative problem-solvers. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations based on their own short stories, students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for, and confidence in, STEM projects.