Academics

Literacy | Writing | Mathematics | Science | Anti-Bullying | World Language, Social Studies and Geography | The Arts

Teachers and staff at Alki provide challenging instruction that encourages children to explore their world and develop multiple solutions for complex problems. We offer rich, integrated learning experiences that offer a variety of ways for children to be engaged in the learning process. We cultivate citizenship, responsibility, and collaboration among students, staff, families and community members in order to provide a successful school experience for every child.


Literacy

Alki Elementary School has a partnership with Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. We collaborate with staff developers from Teachers College to integrate reading and writing workshop into each of our classrooms. The philosophy behind workshop teaching is that we recognize the range of diversity, instructional skill and pace at which individual students present within any given classroom. After the teacher delivers a mini lesson on a specific skill and/or reading/writing strategy, students work at his or her own pace during independent work time. The classroom teacher is responsible for conferring one on one with students about his or her reading and writing, and pulls small groups for targeted instruction. Workshop embraces a fluid and differentiated model of instruction, so that children are challenged at their "just right" level. In addition to reading and writing workshop, we incorporate the following components of balanced literacy into our day: Word work, instructional read alouds, shared reading and writing, and grammar. Research tells us that the amount of reading at one's "just right" level a child does - directly influences positive student achievement. It is because of this that Alki encourages reading at home. The "Alki Reads" program asks every student to read at least 30 minutes a day with the goal of fostering healthy reading habits to last a lifetime. Each year our collective school goal is to read ONE MILLION MINUTES!​


Writing

Alki is a Writer's Workshop school. We utilize the Lucy Calkin's Units of Study to teach writing skills and strategies in kindergarten through fifth grades We collaborate with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to support teachers as they nurture even the youngest of writers. Students learn and write in a variety of genre. We begin the school year with personal narrative and realistic fiction, and move students into personal, persuasive and expository essays. Students gain important writing skills that will facilitate success in multiple subjects.


Mathematics

Alki teachers utilize the Everyday Mathematics curriculum and the Seattle Public Schools Mathematics Instructional Guide for our core programming. We also supplement with Singapore Mathematics and promote computational fluency with Math Facts in a Flash.


Science

Using the district standard National Science Foundation curriculum, Alki works hard to foster curiosity about the natural world surrounding our students. We use science notebooks to teach expository writing in science, with a focus on writing conclusive summaries that include data from experiments.

We are fortunate to be located between two natural classrooms, the old-growth forest of Schmitz Park and the marine ecosystem of Puget Sound. Our school courtyard is a certified National Wildlife Foundation habitat. Additionally, we enrich our standard curriculum with a program to raise and release salmon, the Audubon Finding Urban Nature program, Environmental Camp, and a PTA-sponsored Naturalist Program.


Anti-Bullying

It is the policy of the Seattle School District to prohibit harassment, intimidation and bullying. This includes direct or indirect electronic, written, oral or physical acts which physically harm a student, substantially interfere with a student's education, threaten the overall educational environment and/or substantially disrupt the operation of school. To help ensure a safe learning environment for our students, and to help schools enforce this policy, Alki Elementary School uses the following program:

Steps to Respect

This program teaches the importance of everybody's role in:

  1. Respect and responsibility
  2. Recognizing and reporting bullying behaviors
  3. Naming what bullying is and isn't
  4. Taking assertive steps to prevent bullying
  5. The difference between reporting and tattling
  6. What to do if you or your child is being bullied

World Language, Social Studies and Geography

Alki is one of the few schools to offer a world language to all students during the school day. We have a dedicated classroom and teacher used to teach Spanish to all grades. Cultural studies, as well as dance and music, are also incorporated into the world language curriculum, providing our children with a richer view of the world around them. <p class=">Social Studies is incorporated into our monthly curriculum planning. Primary students focus on being a member of a school community, learn about our city, and civic duties. Intermediate students learn a variety of subjects aligned to our Washington State standards. Third grade students focus on coastal Native Americans. Fourth grade students learn about Washington State History and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Fifth grade Social Studies engages students in learning about our nation's history.

Thanks to a wonderful PTA, Alki students are able to participate in the "Passport Program". Each month, students learn world geography and are tested on a variety of countries, oceans, and important global destinations. Tests get progressively harder throughout the school year.


The Arts

Artist-in-Residence Programs: Music, Dance, and Visual Arts

Arts education has long been a high priority for Alki families. Alki PTA is proud to sponsor an Artist-in Residence program, Music, Dance, and Visual Arts for all the students at Alki.

Artist-in Residence

Alki PTA is thrilled to welcome Nicole Appell as this fall’s Artist in Residence. She will be leading the kids in collage art projects during the course of her 4 week residency. Nicole is a Seattle artist who specializes in working with youth in community art projects. A graduate of the University of Washington School of Art, Nicole has taught art at many Northwest venues including the Frye Art Museum, University of Washington Summer Day Youth Programs, and Seattle and Lake Washington Public Schools. In addition to her work in the classroom, Nicole also works in her own art studio, painting and creating multi-layered mixed media artworks. She regularly exhibits her work at galleries and venues around the Northwest. When asked about her approach as a Teaching Artist, Ms. Appell wrote this: "My goal as a teaching artist is to expand students' artistic horizons and help them find the joy in creating art. Art is not about perfection, it’s about exploration. I encourage students to experiment with materials, develop techniques, and to create from the heart.”

Music

Alki PTA is excited to sponsor an integrated music program to all students. This year students will be introduced to more music appreciation and world rhythm focus through the use of guitar, vocal, drums, xylophones, shakers, bells, blocks and sticks during our Spanish program.

Dance

Dance is an integral part of our Physical Education program at Alki. Dance styles will change every year and be presented to the parents during an evening event.

This year The Massive Monkees are coming!!! Alki PTA is proud to announce Jerome Aparis of the Massive Monkees will be teaching hip hop/breakdancing as part of Alki’s physical education program this spring. Perhaps best known for competing on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew – Season 4, the Massive Monkees have also performed at NBA half time shows, the Apollo Theater and on MTV's reality show "MADE." In addition to learning both hip hop and breakdancing moves, kids will also focus on team building while working as a group to perform for the school as part of the spring Arts Showcase.

Visual Arts

Alki's Master Artist program is about introducing all students at Alki to Master Artists, art concepts, masterpieces, techniques, and different media. Docents visit each classroom once a month to discuss a specific artist, their art works, and then lead a project based on similar art concepts. Students spend 60-90 minutes a month with the docents. All art work is displayed throughout our hallways until the end of the school year.

Musical Theater

Alki elementary school has been very fortunate to be able to offer an afterschool introduction to musical theater for 3rd through 5th graders thanks to the Alki PTA. This program is secured with funds through the PTA and is presented to us by Youth Theater Northwest on Mercer Island. Students audition for parts in the musical where they will learn songs, dances and lines. All students who perform commit to 6 weeks of rehearsal while keeping a focus on schoolwork and citizenship. What began as a way to introduce students to theater at Alki has ended up being a terrific community event and small fundraiser for the PTA and theater program. 

Watch for more adventures to come in the next season.

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