Our Programs


Grades K-5th

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  • Welcome to the Elementary School

    Ignite your child’s passions in our Elementary Program

    Our goal in the Elementary program is simple: ignite a love of learning that goes well beyond the years spent at GSLS. We aim to nurture the passion to explore, examine and engage. A cornerstone of our program is our commitment to a 12:1 ratio where students can participate in both group and individualized instruction, which is vital to mastering core subjects. Every classroom has a teacher and a teacher’s aide, which allows us to create a truly dynamic learning environment.

Our Research-Based Program

Our strong academic program focuses not only on the four core subjects (Language Arts, Math, Science, and History) but also includes a vast enrichment program.  Every student in K-5th grade takes Spanish, Art, Music, Drama, PE and STEM in our lab every week. Social emotional skills are equally critical for elementary students. We utilize a research-based program, practiced school-wide and reinforced by our school counselor.  We build empathy and community through lessons, our weekly chapels and buddy programs, but also through our working philosophy both in and outside the classroom. Children are truly cared for at GSLS, and it shows.
We build empathy and community through lessons, our weekly chapels and buddy programs, but also through our working philosophy both in and outside the classroom.

Grade Level Highlights

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  • Kindergarten

    Kindergarten at Good Shepherd Lutheran School is set up to support our students to make the transition from Preschool to our Elementary School Program.  They are immersed in intentional, developmentally appropriate learning experiences to help them to develop academically, physically, socially and emotionally.  Our focus is on the whole child, helping them to develop independence in a safe learning environment, with the support of a teacher and teacher aide.  Students begin to expand their sense of place and community, from family and school to the broader community as they meet and visit community helpers, including police officers and firefighters.

    In addition, our Kindergarten students are partnered with grade 3 buddies for learning opportunities in school and special field trips, such as a trip to the pumpkin patch and holiday caroling at assisted living homes.  They also join the K-5 community at special events and activities, including our Monday Morning Assemblies.  

    Our Kindergarten students also attend a variety of Enrichment classes each week including Art, Music, Physical Education, Science, Technology, Spanish and Library.  These experiences often help our students to further develop or even find a new strength or passion.

  • 1st Grade

    The first grade classroom is child-centered, allowing for a great deal of student activity. Here you will find children actively involved in reading books in small groups or with partners, writing in journals, using math manipulatives, and discussing story problems.

    Instruction is integrated with authentic reading and writing experiences so that students learn how to use literacy strategies and have opportunities to apply what they are learning. First graders experience important transitions, make remarkable discoveries, and acquire new skills. During the year, they learn how to read, write stories, add, subtract, and develop their problem solving skills.

    Skills introduced in earlier years are nurtured to new levels of achievement as students grow in confidence and maturity. Inquisitive minds are encouraged to seek solutions and develop skills through hands-on experiences with a richly integrated and varied curriculum.
  • 2nd Grade

    Second grade is a time of growing independence. As students learn to navigate peer relationships on the playground and in the classroom, we frame our instruction around our SEL Toolbox tools, a growth mindset, and our faith.

    Readers focus on tools for comprehension that they will use for years to come. Using both mentor texts read by the teacher and those read by the students, second graders learn how to use context clues, make predictions, find the lesson, compare and contrast and other essential skills for making sense of literature. Students hone their phonics skills and practice commonly used words in their weekly spelling practice. As writers, we practice strong leads, descriptive language, and logical organization within personal narrative, opinion, and informational pieces.

    In Math the students work through building blocks including adding and subtracting three-digit numbers with regrouping, identifying geometric shapes, using money, learning how to tell time on an analog clock, and establishing strong foundations for multiplication. As their curiosity about the world grows, we delve into how things change over time, and the influence that individuals have had on the world from the founding fathers and  MLK to Jane Goodall. We focus on celebrating cultures throughout the world as we learn the geography and history of places near and far.

    Capitalizing on the natural wonder of students this age, our Science program covers subjects of interest including animal classification, how matter changes form, and the changes that landscape environmental forces can cause. We even learn how to form our letters in cursive.

    Throughout the year with each objective introduced, our goal for second graders is that they know how loved they are by God and how amazing is the world He has created for us all.
  • 3rd Grade

    Third grade is an exciting time of independence and growth for our students. Third graders learn and practice the skills of personal responsibility, problem solving, and independence, as they take a more active role in their own education.

    With the support of art, music, technology, and Spanish, students experience hands on learning, projects, field trips, writing units, math and science journals, reader responses, and more to support them in developing a strong foundation of skills needed for success in the upper grades. Third graders discover the joy of researching people, places, and events that lead to a broader understanding of the world around them and their place in it.
  • 4th Grade

    4th grade is a year of self discovery and understanding. Students no longer take on the likes and dislikes of their family, they begin to discover their own preferences and where they fit in the world. This is a wonderful time for learning new concepts like those taught in Mathematics. For example, division, multiplication, facts, fractions and geometry. These functions are more than one step to solve and the 10 year old brain is ready for such challenges. 

    In Language Arts, novels such as Zia, Island of Blue Dolphin, By the Great Horn Spoon, Sylvia and Aki, and Riding Freedom are used to help the students work on fluency and vocabulary. We also add in fictional content to the California History curriculum and the writing process for opinion pieces and informational reports. Our spelling program includes digraphs and spelling blends which are more advanced and challenging for our 4th grade students, as well as including advanced vocabulary.  Cursive is well practiced in 4th grade, finding practical applications for cursive writing as well as encouraging students to write in cursive in all forms of writing. 

    California history is introduced and taught to our students throughout the year. This includes the discovery of the very early inhabitants of California, the Native Americans, learning about when California was ruled by Spain and Mexico and when it became a US state. This program is supported by relevant field trips including Sierra Outdoor Education in Columbia, California. Other historical field trips include, visiting the US Capital, Sutter’s Mill, and walking the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • 5th Grade

    In 5th grade, students are becoming more independent learners. Critical thinking skills are emphasized and woven into all core subjects whenever possible. Students are encouraged to increasingly take ownership for their own learning and social behavior, practicing at all times, alongside staff, a restorative approach to social engagement.

    Academically, students learn about the growth of America, from its early colonial period up through the Civil Rights movement. Mathematically, students delve deeper into concepts learned in 4th grade, frequently incorporating multi-step concepts into practice.

    In the spring, 5th graders partake in a 3 day, 2 night outdoor education experience at Camp SEA Lab in the Monterey Bay, learning the scientific investigative process in a marine environment, a day of kayaking on the side!

    5th grade students have the privilege of participating in our Student Council. With the support of our Elementary School Principal, Student Council is responsible for leading our Monday morning school-wide assemblies and initiating fundraising projects for the community at large.