The Math Curriculum at Pearl has a strong emphasis on problem solving. The regular math curriculum is augmented by Renaissance Place’s Accelerated Math program. With this adaptive math program, students can advance at their own pace or get reinforcement in skills that they are weak in. Students take an initial assessment test to place them at the appropriate level and each assignment is individually designed for that particular child. Parents and students have access to the program at home as well to provide easy access to math practice and to earn extra credit.
Reading at Pearl is taught through a strong phonics based program that incorporates the memorization of core sight words. Kindergartners at Pearl will be reading by the end of the year. However, research has proven over and over again that the more students read, the better reader they will become. Pearl uses an extensive reading incentive program to encourage our students to read. Goals are set in 10 hour increments with prizes awarded on the set target date. Favorite prizes include bowling, Kona Ice Truck, bounce houses and Ice Cream Truck. Students can earn raffle tickets by going above and beyond to earn additional prizes in weekly drawings throughout the year.
Writing is taught starting at the very beginning of kindergarten where the students are encouraged to write their very first stories. In working with the students, the teachers focus on the development of good ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation known as the 6+1 Trait model. The consistent use of terminology such as having a strong “grabber” and “zinger” starting as young as kindergarten, helps to develop our students into strong writers.
Teachers strive to bring history to life through lessons in the classroom. Through hands-on activities and living history programs, students get to become part of history. They also learn note taking skills starting in 3rd grade to create a strong foundation for their higher education. Field trips are incorporated with their studies as they participate in re-enactments of the American Revolution or attend school for the day in a one-room schoolhouse.
Science at Pearl is experiment based. The students learn by doing science, not just reading about it from a book. Units are studied in depth over twelve week periods. Units include Entomology (Insects), Weather, Zoology (Animals), Plant Growth & Development, Electrical Circuits, Ecosystems, Chemistry, Physics through KNex and Magnetism.
Pearl offers a comprehensive art program for all our students. Each grade has a unique focus starting in kindergarten with arts and crafts. The first grade class studies the works of famous illustrators from classic children’s books. In 2nd and 3rd grade, they focus on famous artists such as Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keefe. A variety of painting methods is the focus in 4th grade and in 5th grade the Rio Hondo Prep art teacher comes over to introduce our students to drawing techniques. In addition, throughout their time at Pearl, students will have the opportunity to visit the Huntington Library as well as the Norton Simon and Getty Museums.
Pearl has a mobile computer lab consisting of laptop computers as well as a regular computer lab. Students are introduced to proper typing skills as early as 1st grade. The computer curriculum focuses on using computers as a tool to further their educational studies. The formalized computer classes begin in first grade when students are introduced to Microsoft Word and complete their first Power Point Presentations. In second grade they start utilizing Microsoft Publisher and by third grade they also start graphing using Microsoft Excel. At the older grades they incorporate the use of Google Classroom as well as coding and web design.
Pearl Prep offers a unique program called Honors Arts. It is an elective period held every Friday afternoon for Grades 1st-6th. Classes vary and students will take three different classes each year. Favorites include: Dance, Drama, Chess, Yearbook, Watercolor Arts, Drawing, Robotics and Lego Engineering.
Conversational Spanish is taught in grades kindergarten through 6th. The Spanish teacher is shared with our sister school Rio Hondo Prep's language department and focuses on building a foundational base of vocabulary and basic grammar for high school Spanish.
All students at Pearl will perform at least three times a year as part of our music program. Students are part of the all-school choir and in addition the younger students learn rhythm as part of the rhythm band. Starting in 2nd grade, they start learning to read music by playing a song flute and later in 4th grade they join our band program in either the beginning band or recorder band programs. See our Honor Arts program information for more music opportunities.
At Pearl we believe that students learn by doing. With that philosophy in mind, field trips are an integral part of the Pearl curriculum and are monthly occurrences. Pearl students experience a broad range of field trips from living history programs to nature programs to theatrical performances. Southern California becomes an extended classroom where the learning is active, hands-on and compels students to develop a sense of exploration and discovery.
Traditional values are a hallmark of the Pearl experience. Character and leadership training are an integral part of instruction at Pearl. Each month has a theme such as responsibility, honesty, respect, caring and perseverance. Students are recognized for exhibiting these traits in their daily activities. Older students are encouraged to take on leadership roles as in our Reading Buddies program where the older students read to the younger students each week.