At MJCS we use the IB Primary Years Programme framework and the Louisiana state standards to develop our curriculum and our Programme of Inquiry. The Programme of Inquiry consists of six transdisciplinary units taught at each grade level (Pre-K has four units). Students inquire into a unit within each theme every year. These units are transdisciplinary; teachers integrate the traditional subject areas into each unit as well as teach subject specifics as needed. As an IB school, we encourage inquiry and structure learning to allow students to be actively involved in their own learning through asking questions, experimenting, researching, collecting data, deepening understanding, and solving problems in diverse ways. Our units also encourage learning about both local and global communities and issues.
The six transdisciplinary themes are:
- Who we are: An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
- Where we are in place and time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations, and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
- How we express ourselves: An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
- How the world works: An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
- How we organize ourselves: An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
- Sharing the planet: An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Reading and Writing
Reading and writing instruction is part of the Programme of Inquiry as students read and write texts related to their units of inquiry. MJCS utilizes a balanced literacy approach which includes reading and writing workshop, read aloud, shared reading and writing, guided reading, and instruction in foundational skills and conventions, such as phonics, handwriting, spelling, and grammar. Students also practice skills, explore, and research topics of interest through technology including the Lexia reading program, NewsELA, World Book Online, and google classroom. Students participate in weekly library classes to enhance their literacy skills and love of reading and learning!
MJCS follows the Eureka math curriculum in grades PK-5, the only math curriculum to earn the highest rating in the state of Louisiana’s curriculum review process. Eureka encourages deep understanding of key mathematical concepts, real-life application, and the procedural fluency necessary for excellence and rigor in mathematics. Eureka’s approach is one that embraces inquiry and connections to real-life uses of math on a daily basis. Students also have the opportunity to learn math through Zearn, an online version of Eureka, as well as other digital programs. Whenever possible, students apply the math they have learned as part of their IB units.
Science and Social Studies
Science and Social Studies are fully integrated into our Programme of Inquiry and form the basis for many of our units of inquiry. We utilize a variety of resources including FOSS Science, Mystery Science, digital resources, and resources from the state of Louisiana.
MJCS believes in educating the whole child including regular classes in the arts. From Pre-K to 5th grade, MJCS students participate in weekly classes in Music, Movement, Visual Arts, and Library. Our enrichment teachers teach the content of their speciality areas while also connecting to our Programme of Inquiry.
Beginning in Pre-K, students have daily Spanish classes. Emphasis is placed on authentic and meaningful lessons, activities, and projects. Spanish classes also learn about the culture and people of the Spanish-speaking world as part of a global community.