Overview » Elementary School

Elementary School

Elementary FAQs

How large are classes in MAS' elementary program?
There are approximately 30 students per class, but they're nearly all co-taught in grades K-3. That means there are two full-time, licensed educators in each classroom!
 
How long is the school day?
The school day runs 8:20 am - 4:20 pm, the same as the school day for middle and high school students. We know this is a long day, but we also know that our students need to make tremendous gains in reading and math, especially in order to be college-ready. We extend the school day because significantly more time in school means significantly more learning!
 
Do young students get naptime?
MAS elementary students do not take naps. We know our school day is longer than most elementary schools', but within a short period of time, students adjust beautifully to the long, but structured and engaging school day.
 
Do students have a snack?
All MAS students in grades PreK-5 are provided an afternoon snack each day, free of charge. Good nutrition keeps our students energized and focused!
 
What is recess like?
At MAS, our elementary students don't have traditional "recess." However, students in grades K-6 are scheduled for PE every day to provide an appropriate outlet to release energy, as well as to teach and encourage socialization skills.
 
Is before-school and after-school care available?
We offer a free before- and after-school program for all students at both of our campuses. These programs offer supervised educational play for our elementary students and organized sports and structured activites for our older students. For our Old Coors students, we also offer transportation to and from the Yale-based before-school and after-school program, so our Old Coors students can join their siblings at Yale.
 
Does MAS provide bus transportation?
MAS provides limited public school transportation to students. A bus schedule with bus stop locations and times is available in the main office as well as on our website. All grade levels ride the bus together, including our PreK students, but elementary students are separated from middle and high school students and are seated closest to the front of the buses.  We also have a staff member that rides each bus every afternoon to make sure all students are picked up by parents or accompanied by an older sibling to their destinations.  
 
What is MAS like as a student?
We've built a culture at MAS that values seizing every opportunity to learn! We teach students structured procedures for everything from entering the building in the morning to leaving the building at the end of the day, and everything in between. These routines help our team maximize instructional time with our students, but it's not all work. While we value structure, we also value nurturing our students and ensuring that they find learning at MAS so much fun that they would come to school every day, even if they didn't have to!

Elementary Academics

Reading, Writing, and Language Arts

In elementary school, students learn to read so that they can read to learn beyond these grades. As a result, in grades K-3, MAS students receive three approximately 90-minute instructional periods focusing on reading, writing, and language arts. Our curriculum includes the Reading Mastery and Language Mastery programs, plus the Wit & Wisdom language arts curriculum. In grade 4, literacy instruction is reduced to two approximately 90-minute periods per day, still three times more than what many traditional public schools offer. The extensive time dedicated to literacy makes MAS students some of the strongest readers in the state of New Mexico based on K-2 Istation performance, PARCC, and transition assessment scores!

Mathematics

At MAS, we use the Achievement First Curriculum K-12. With Achievement First, our hope is to prepare students to be successful in the world after college.  To do this, they must be able to make sense of the world through a mathematical lens. Therefore, we approach learning mathematics as more than learning facts and procedures for solving specific types of problems. At MAS, we know that a student is well prepared by developing their proficiency and expertise in a number of mathematical practices that have long standing importance in mathematics education.

We do this at MAS by focusing on conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts and making connections across math ideas.  As we do this, students are simultaneously gaining procedural fluency. This allows students to focus their mental energy on how to approach and think through problems rather than know a specific algorithm. In our classrooms, you will see math instruction with teachers as the facilitators to guide student knowledge. As students engage in problem solving, they will learn to make sense of problems.  Our students develop critical thinking skills and concepts to help plan and execute the best approach to solutions while reflecting on the process. 

With the use of guided inquiry, students can develop conceptual mathematical understanding of topics and strengthen their perseverance.  By increasing this, students will make connections to previously learned content and will be able to use its application to solve real work problems.  

Our K-1 math classes utilize a blended learning model with whole group instruction, small group instruction, and computer instruction with interventions based on student need by using both teachers in the classroom. Classrooms in grades 2-4 also use two teachers in order to differentiate and support all learners in the classroom.

Science
Beginning in 4th grade, students at MAS have a separate, daily class for science.  This promotes a strong science background for students beginning early in their school career.  Instruction is a combination of hands-on inquiry as well as guided and direct instruction.  
The Arts

We believe the arts are an integral part of educating the whole child and a critical part of the school day. Elementary students are exposed to various fine arts including art, music, and dance incorporated into their daily classes.  

Physical Education

At MAS, we introduce a variety of sports and other physical activities to provide students with the skills they need to improve their fitness, health, and fine and gross motor skills, all while having fun. The physical education curriculum provides students the opportunity to learn active participation in group games, develop habits to maintain physical well-being, focus on conflict resolution and team-building skills, and provide fun mental and physical challenges. Elementary students have physical education every day to keep them healthy and fit, and to provide them an appropriate outlet to release their energy!