Instructional Programs

Instructional Programs

A well-rounded school program provides enormous rewards for the student, the school, and the community.  A successful school program provides powerful possibilities and unique opportunities for every student.  Its power ultimately lies in its capacity to raise human beings to higher levels of human experience and understanding.  

English Language Arts K-4

  • The Warwick Valley Central School District follows a balanced literacy approach in the instruction of reading and writing. Based on the importance of literacy instruction in the younger years, students will receive 120 minutes of ELA instruction and practice daily.
  • Our work with students is built on the foundation of guiding them to find their own identity as readers and writers. While the students will learn reading and writing skills within the context of various genres, they will have many opportunities to make their own choices about their reading and writing experiences. Students will choose independent reading books from classroom libraries and the Library Media Center based on their interests and strengths. Students will also be able to choose topics and story ideas that are important to them when writing throughout the school year. 
  • Reading and writing lessons will be taught using the workshop model.
  • Students will be assessed in a variety of ways including daily informal classroom observations, the work in their readers and writers notebooks and through summative assessments. Our primary reading assessment tool is the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System. 


  • In grades K – 4 students use the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Into Math program. In addition to developing basic number concepts and skills, this instructional resource offers remedial and enrichment materials as well as problem solving activities for students at all levels.
  • A formal testing program is an integral and on-going part of the math program.  Chapter tests are given throughout the year to assess individual student progress.
  • As part of the program, students use hands-on materials suggested by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  Skills and concepts are developed through individual and small group instruction.


  • The Science Program teaches learning outcomes in the physical, life, and earth science areas.  As a basis for instruction, the Silver Burdett series provides scientific knowledge and designs for hands-on process experimentation at all levels.
  • Scientific attitudes and inquiry are emphasized and many lessons are supported through projects, software, CD-ROM, and technology.
  • An annual Science Fair is held to promote an understanding of the scientific method and phenomenon.

Social Studies

  • The Social Studies Curriculum for the elementary student encourages interdisciplinary learning organized around five perspectives: social, political, economic, geographic, and historic.
  • The district builds citizenship skills and multicultural awareness in our students by including activities, information, and experiences about racial, ethnic, geographic and socio-economic diversity.
  • The Social Studies Program initially focuses on helping the students develop an awareness of themselves as growing and changing individuals and the need to develop social interaction skills.  Based on respect for themselves and others, students explore the roles and responsibilities within families, schools, rural, urban, and suburban communities as well as global communities
  • Information from a variety of resources includes children’s literature, textbooks, and authentic experiences.

Arts in Education

An important objective of an elementary school program is that the child shall become creative and shall learn to admire and seek beauty. Throughout school life, in all learning areas, the arts are engaged to educate through all the senses.  Therefore, the arts are seen in both its creative (performing) and aesthetic (appreciative) aspects as an essential element of the total school curriculum.

Visual Arts

  • Art has structure within a broad dominion, a vast history, a varied technology, and a developed pedagogy.  The structure of art incorporates its history in many cultures, media, techniques, and creative problem solving. 
  • At the center is the structure of art principles (unity, variety, contrast, etc.) and art elements (color, texture, line, form, mass, etc.).  Art structure can be taught in any period of childhood development, using any personal approach that is honest.  The effectiveness of the elementary art education program is directly related to the environment within which the program operates.


The District offers a comprehensive music program in grades K-4. Students participate in general music class once per six-day cycle.

General Music Class Activities:

  • Students will participate in several activities for each class: singing, listening, creating, reading, and writing music.
  • Discussions, which may include content, composer, background, and style of all music presented.
  • Correlation to other arts or sciences when appropriate.
  • Listening sessions accenting objectives in chosen songs.
  • Involvement of students, whenever possible, through creative movement, singing or instrument playing (Orff, rhythm instruments, and recorders).

Library Media Center

  • The Library Media Program at Park Avenue School introduces students to the finest in children’s literature, while, at the same time, seeks to develop those basic skills of inquiry and analysis that are essential to the well-rounded individual.
  • Students have an opportunity to regularly visit the library with their class where they are given the opportunity to borrow books.  In addition, the librarian works with the classroom teacher and students are also introduced to the literature and/or information resources appropriate for their level.
  • The library is always available to students who need further help selecting reading material or finding information using our various print and electronic resources.
  • Parents can help make their child’s library experience even more rewarding by helping the children in the following ways:
    • Show interest in your child’s library books – research shows that the single most important factor in learning to read is being read to regularly from a young age.  Help your child learn to love books by sharing those he/she has brought home
    • Help your child remember what day his/her class visits the library – with some help your child will learn to become responsible for returning his/her books on “library day.”
    • Help your child find a special place to keep library books – by finding a safe spot for the books, they are less likely to become lost or damaged.


Classroom computers are maintained and kept in working order.  We also provide teachers appropriate software to be used in the classroom.

Physical Education

Our primary goal is to teach every child, from the physically gifted to the physically challenged, how and why they should keep themselves healthy and fit.  In our Physical Education Program, we provide learning experiences which are developmentally appropriate and will teach children how to be physically active in ways that increase physical competence and self-esteem. We achieve this by:

  • Our physical education curriculum includes a balance of skills, concepts, game activities, rhythms, and gymnastic experiences designed to enhance the cognitive, affective, and physical development of every child.
  • We provide experiences that encourage children to question, integrate, analyze, apply cognitive concepts, and gain a wide multi-cultural view of the world.
  • Throughout the year we teach activities that allow children the opportunity to work together to improve their emerging social and cooperation skills.  These activities also help children develop a positive self-concept.
  • The New York State Physical Fitness Test is used as part of the process of helping children understand, improve, and/or maintain their physical fitness.
  • Children are taught exercises that can keep the body in proper alignment, thereby, allowing the muscles to lengthen without placing stress and strain on the surrounding joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Some things that parents/guardians can do to help us achieve our goals are:

  • Make sure your child is prepared to participate with appropriate footwear, loose, but not baggy clothing, protective eyewear, and no jewelry for safety purposes.
  • Encourage your child to at least attempt the activities on a given day.  When it is absolutely necessary to dismiss your child from physical education, please list specific activities that your child can participate in, as it is against New York State regulations for a child to not attend a physical education class.
  • Attend as many sporting events as possible with your child.  It is very difficult for a child to grasp the whole picture of a sporting event, or how all of the small pieces fit together to make up the whole without visualizing it.