Calhoun Elementary School provides students with exciting learning opportunities outside of the general curriculum. The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Academy is one avenue that involves students in interest/career based study. During STEAM, students participate in one of forty, self selected age appropriate units of study that range from culinary arts to video production to construction. As a preview to upcoming career pathway opportunities, students at the primary level begin to explore different interests and careers during STEAM as course offerings heavily involve community resources such as park rangers, veterinarians, public safety officers, cosmetologist, equestrians, nutritionist, dancers, etc.
As part of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standard schools will use the CCRPI to aid in the measurement of the implementation of common core standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics in grades K-12. In the state of Georgia, this means lessons are being prepared to include rigorous knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and/or careers. These lessons in English Language Arts are integrated to include content from other subject areas, including but are not limited to science, social studies, and technology. A major component that will be most obvious will be the text complexity of reading materials in all subjects; writing assignments will be tied to the reading material, and will be developed more deeply. It is theorized that by increasing academic and technical vocabulary, students will be better prepared to bridge the transition between elementary, secondary, and post-secondary technical reading and writing. Mathematics will be taught more consistently with the workshop model, and each grade will focus on standards for mastery rather than covering many standards. All courses will include relevant content and application of knowledge through high-order skills. With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in most subjects, students may expect and realize consistent expectations across states, regardless of whether they decide to go to school at Georgia Tech, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Harvard, or UCLA, or find a job in Georgia, Maine or Indiana.
Business professionals in the community take an active part in helping students at the complex become familiar with potential careers and with successful adult partnerships in many different ways. Many volunteer to be speakers at annual Career Days on the education required to attain their jobs, the daily work load, the pay, and other information pertinent to young children. The children are prepared for Career Day by completing career interest inventories prior to career day. Many teachers invite speakers from local organizations to present to their classes on topics relevant to their daily lessons. Community partners are more a vital part of the overall educational experience. Another supporting service that our partners offer is mentoring children. They come weekly to visit with their school “pal” to talk about school progress or other topics, to read together, to play games, and to become friends; many children have realized improvements in their academics and behavior due in part to these mentoring relationships. The Big Jacket / Little Jacket initiative also allows for our high school football players to mentor young students.