Lower and Upper Elementary

Our Lower Elementary includes Kindergarten to 2nd grade, and Upper Elementary consists of 3rd to 5th grade.

Lower Elementary Program

Our lower elementary program consists of Kindergarten to 2nd Grade. These teachers work together as a team to ensure a smooth transition between grade levels. This team-level approach also creates a unique sense of community among our students and their families.

 

A Solid Foundation

 

Our elementary program begins with our preschool and Kindergarten programs that prepare students for 1st grade and beyond. Our entire elementary program features a challenging and developmentally appropriate curriculum. We purposefully design our curriculum to ensure a fluid transition between grades. Our lower elementary classes (K-2) use the same phonics program and math program in order to maintain instructional consistency.

Beginning in Kindergarten our students participate in Foundations & Frameworks (F&F), our reading program for Kindergarten to 8th Grade. This reading program moves students beyond basic comprehension as it challenges students to think critically about aspects such as character development, plot, and setting. The use of visual tools not only allows students to better understand their reading, but it also aids students as they organize their writing.  

The "cornerstone" of our classrooms is a strong biblical worldview. Our core values are woven throughout the classroom environment. Teachers purposefully integrate the Scriptures and a biblical worldview into each content area subject. Students also participate in daily Bible instruction and weekly chapel services.

 

Classroom instruction is enhanced through field trips and hands-on projects and demonstrations. Our K-2 students participate in Physical Education twice each week. These classes focus on teamwork, physical fitness, and basic sports skills. These lower elementary students also participate in music classes twice per week. The focus is on enjoying music, moving to music, and preparing the vocal pieces to be performed at our annual Christmas and spring concerts. Each class also visits the library once a week in order to participate in a literature lesson and to check out books to bring home. Beginning in 1st Grade students also take weekly art classes. Their artwork is displayed during our annual spring art show.

Our Parents Say

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Cornerstone is a fantastic place for your children to attend! My children have received the love and care they deserve from the teachers and faculty...You won’t find this sense of family and Christ-centered community anywhere else. I highly recommend The Cornerstone Christian School to anyone looking for a school for their children.
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CCS Parent
Posted on Greatschools.Org
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I have loved to see my children growing in their walk with the Lord. I especially love to hear my ADHD son say that he is loving to learn and to write. I am thankful for Cornerstone’s commitment to excellence.

 

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CCS Parent
Anonymous Parent Survey

A Developmental Kindergarten

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Our Kindergarten is a full-day program, which is committed to a developmental philosophy and meets the needs of the whole child: academically, socially, physically and spiritually. Academic fundamentals and godly character traits are the foundation of our Kindergarten program. Math, science, social studies, Bible, writing and early literacy skills are integrated into a language arts-based program. Music, Physical Education,and Library are a part of the Kindergarten student's experience.

 

The classroom environment introduces the child to academic work within the context of exploration, cooperative play, and whole-class instruction. The classroom provides an atmosphere of discovery and experimentation through teacher-led and child-directed hands-on activities with a wide variety of materials. Learning in this way helps each child discover new interests and God-given gifts, express curiosity, work in cooperation with others, and communicate ideas. Children discover that learning is meaningful and fun.

 

Our developmental philosophy influences the components of our Kindergarten program.

  • Active curriculum with hands-on experiences
  • Environment providing the appropriate levels of challenge
  • Creative learners who take pride in their growing abilities
  • Play as a path to learning and self-discovery
  • Nurturing of children's growth socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually

Upper Elementary Program

Cornerstone's upper elementary program consists of 3rd-5th Grade. These teachers work together as a team to ensure a smooth transition between grade levels. This team approach allows the teachers to work together to support each student's learning needs.

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Photo by Mark Santostefano

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Photo by Ed Main

The upper elementary academic program upholds high expectations for student learning; our teachers partner with the parents to help each child reach these goals. Our teachers intentionally design lessons to integrate our core values and biblical worldview across the content areas. Students are challenged to think critically as they examine each subject area in the light of a biblical worldview. 

 

Our upper elementary classes utilize the same math program in order to ensure a smooth transition between grade levels and to eliminate the possibility of gaps in student skills. The teachers focus on a deep understanding of the math concepts as well as mastery of foundational skills.

 

Students in these grades continue with Foundations & Frameworks (F&F), our reading program for Kindergarten to 8th Grade. This reading program moves students beyond basic comprehension as it challenges students to think critically about aspects such as character development, plot and setting. The use of visual tools not only allows students to better understand their reading, but it also aids students as they organize their writing.

Students participate in daily Bible lessons as well as weekly chapels. Social studies and science units are reinforced through hands-on projects as well as through field trips. Students also participate in the Academic Fair each spring which features cumulative projects such as their science experiments.

Beginning in 3rd Grade, students participate in music classes three times per week; one choral class and two recorder classes as they prepare for future instrumental instruction. In 4th-5th Grade, students continue with a weekly choral class and receive band instruction twice a week. Each of these musical groups performs at our annual Christmas and spring concerts.

 

All of our elementary students participate in Physical Education twice per week. These classes focus on teamwork, physical fitness, and learning basic sports-related skills. Students in 3rd-5th Grade also participate in weekly library classes as well as art class. Additionally, students visit the computer lab for weekly technology instruction.

Developing the Whole Child

Cornerstone continues to maintain a developmental approach to education throughout the upper elementary years. First, teachers understand the developmental stages and behavioral expectations of students at these grade levels. They purposefully design their classrooms with this information in mind. Study skills support and training helps to prepare students for the independence of future grades.

 

There are many opportunities for students to develop their social skills through cooperative learning projects. Specifically, Foundations & Frameworks (F&F), the reading program, encourages thoughtful group discussions, and each unit culminates with a group project called "Intelligent Art." Students gain confidence in speaking and presenting as they complete book reports and other similar projects. Additionally, each class presents a special chapel each year.    

 

The uniqueness of having a Pre-K to 12th Grade program on the same campus offers a variety of opportunities for our students to see and to practice servant leadership. Each elementary grade is partnered with a middle or high school class. These partner grades get together throughout the year for fun and for service. Our elementary students are able to see role models of godly leadership by our older students. They also work side-by-side with these older students to complete one or two service projects for the community. Our elementary students also have opportunities to serve our younger students throughout the year as they participate in programs like "book buddies" or when other opportunities naturally arise. 

 

Our membership with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) allows our students to engage in activities with students from other schools. Typically in the fall, our students in 6th-8th Grade participate in the ACSI District Spelling Bee. We often have CCS students who place high enough to qualify to attend the ACSI Regional Spelling Bee in Lancaster, PA. The students in Grades 3 through 8 also participate in ACSI's Math Olympics each spring. 

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