Elementary Through Eighth Grade

Walbridge School provides students with individualized educational experiences that increase the likelihood of school success. Reaching goals of progressive academic achievement, greater independence, and a solid sense of self-worth is emphasized in our educational program. Because the needs of our students differ, a number of special options are offered for our students in an intensive full-day program.

Organization of Classes: Our school day is from 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M., with early release at 1:30 on Mondays. Students are assigned to multi-age learning groups based on their academic achievement levels rather than traditional school grades. Core academic classes of reading, math, writing, science, and social studies are held in the morning, and all other classes such as music, art and physical education are in the afternoon.

Objectives: Walbridge emphasizes academic objectives and standards that parallel those required for public school students. A variety of teaching strategies, combined with sensitivity to individual differences, provide an opportunity for students to experience personal success as teachers seek to teach each child the way he or she learns best.

Curricular Focus: The Walbridge curriculum is structured to meet each student’s individual needs. The overall program stresses multi-sensory learning, with a combination of techniques utilized to reinforce specific skill development as needed. A combination of instruction, modification, and accommodation is provided in each of the core academic areas.

Reading: Our reading program is based on an understanding of each child’s academic strengths and needs. Teachers have been trained in a variety of methods, such as Wilson, Open-Court, Orton-Gillingham, Project Read, and Direct Instruction. Teachers use the method(s) that are determined to be the most effective for each child. Students can also access individualized online instruction and opportunities for skill building through Reading Horizons Elevate.

Written Expression: Written language is a natural outgrowth of reading at Walbridge School. Use of a multi-sensory approach to reading offers students an opportunity to develop writing skills that reinforce and extend content covered in reading instruction. Teachers draw from 6+1 Traits, Framing Your Thoughts, and Reading Horizons Elevate programs to develop students’ writing abilities. While students frequently use a keyboard/computer for their writing assignments, Handwriting Without Tears is used for penmanship instruction.

Math: The math program is individualized and covers all basic arithmetic concepts. The use of manipulatives, task teaching, and demonstrations, utilized in combination with “hands-on” experience, enhances understanding of mathematical concepts. Math games, as well as elements and materials from Making Math Real, are also commonly used as teaching tools.

Social Studies: The social studies program is based on the curriculum guidelines and objectives outlined by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Students practice discussion skills, study skills, and reference capabilities. They also have the opportunity to discuss current and historical issues, and to work on long-term projects.

Science: At Walbridge, the science program is one of small group "hands-on” learning experiences. Basic science concepts in the areas of biology, life science, earth science, and physical science are covered. An emphasis on projects allows for greater internalization and retention of science content material. At the middle school level, science instruction includes an emphasis on developing note-taking and study skills. Students also explore composting and gardening through our No Waste Lunch program. Walbridge has established a partnership with Arington Tree Farm that helps students understand sustainable land management. A section of the farm has been named Walbridge Woods, and this provides a place for students to explore, engage, and be active in the outdoors. Students participate in educational activities that explore wildlife habitat, tree identification, life cycle of trees, and they learn the Aldo Leopold “land ethic” concept. Through the generous support of Arington Tree Farm, Walbridge students have a valuable and unique opportunity for hands-on environmental learning.

Music: Using the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy for music education, creativity and musical self expression, as well as listening skills, are developed and encouraged in music classes. Students hear, perform, and compose music of many kinds. Drama, movement, dance, playing instruments, drawing in response to music, and singing provide active and balanced musical experiences.

Study Skills: The purpose of this program is to help students understand how they learn. We assist students in evaluating their learning strengths and challenges in an effort to teach them how best to study and make academic progress. Content covered includes the development of organizational strategies, memorization techniques, note taking, and using graphic organizers to meet the needs of learners. Study skills, strategies, and organizational skills are taught for each academic area.

Art: Walbridge School offers an art program that adapts to match individual student needs and interests with projects. The carefully monitored art project experiences help students increase their self-awareness through a sense of self-directed project completion. Art also exposes students to other cultures through a variety of art forms and media. Through the creation of their own art, seeing the art of others, and talking about art, students can develop an awareness and appreciation for individual and cultural differences.

Technology: At Walbridge, technology is integrated with learning in all content areas throughout the school day. All of our students have access to computers to use in the classroom for word processing as well as creating and managing documents/files that enhance their technological, organizational, and research skills. With the addition of extensive online course content, we are able to further individualize the level and pace of learning for our students.

Physical Education: Walbridge partners with Madtown Twisters for our physical education program. Students have an opportunity to participate in a variety of healthy physical activities twice a week in this well-equipped gym and exercise facility, conducted by qualified instructors. Our goal is to provide students with a repertoire of experiences that will encourage a continued active lifestyle. Some of the areas in which instruction is offered are the Martial Arts, Yoga, Fitness, and Gymnastics.

Social Skills: Walbridge provides ongoing opportunities that are designed to systematically teach children behaviors necessary for effective and satisfying social interactions. Our small learning community, class sizes, and a curriculum geared towards individual success contributes to developing a positive self-image, while improving social interactions and social skills.