Core Knowledge Sequence
BFA’s rigorous academic program is based on the Core Knowledge Sequence for all grade levels. The Core Knowledge Sequence is a research-based program founded on the premise that a grade-by-grade core of common learning is necessary to ensure a sound and complete elementary education. The sequence was developed by Dr. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. to provide a solid, specific and shared core curriculum in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge. Students learn new knowledge by building upon what they already know. The Core Knowledge Sequence defines the knowledge and skills students will master at each grade level. Core Knowledge At A Glance provides an excellent overview of the Core Knowledge Sequence for preschool through eighth grade.
BFA also utilizes Pearson Learning Core Knowledge History and Geography in kindergarten through sixth grade to teach key history and geography topics at each consecutive level.
Emphasis on Math
BFA uses enVision Math curriculum for all students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. The enVision program provides concrete instructions for each concept and adds depth and complexity by offering higher level thinking skills, real world problem solving, and differentiation in each lesson. The curriculum is rich in academic vocabulary and encourages student growth and confidence through mathematical discussions and multiple opportunities to share math thinking.
Emphasis on Science
BFA has implemented a hands-on science curriculum that actively engages its students in a broad science program through the implementation of the Core Knowledge science sequence, supplemented by Pearson Scott Foresman Science (grades K-5).
Science is taught daily at BFA and BFA’s facility has two science labs — one utilized by the elementary grades and one used by the middle school classes — to reinforce the materials learned in the traditional classroom. Each class spends a minimum of one day a week in the lab working on experiments. In addition, BFA annually hosts a Science Expo in the fall to inspire its students to be scientists and its science fair series in the spring to showcase student projects.
Emphasis on Literacy
BFA believes that an effective language arts program is critical to the education of each child. Students must develop the skills of reading, writing and communication in order to find success in all areas of their education. Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) is a comprehensive, preschool through fifth grade program for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking while also building students’ vocabulary and knowledge across essential domains in literature, global and American history, and the sciences. In the early grades, CKLA focuses on oral language development through carefully sequenced read-alouds as well as systematic instruction in reading and writing skills. In later grades, CKLA continues to advance students’ knowledge and vocabulary through read-alouds and in-depth discussions while also immersing students in complex texts and advanced writing assignments that draw on the academic content they’ve been engaged in since preschool.
BFA will emphasize literacy by supplementing the Core Knowledge Sequence in language arts and literature with Step Up to Writing, 6+1 Traits and Accelerated Reader in all elementary grades.
Character development is an integral part of BFA’s mission statement and BFA provides character education founded on Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues. While the specifics of his virtues are particular to his time, place and need, they have been modified for the times and needs of BFA’s students, as appropriate for a public school and for each grade. The Thirteen Virtues and illustrative explanations can be found here.