Academic Program

Excel Academy provides students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to succeed in school and life.  To prepare our students, Excel Academy provides staff with the tools, training, and curriculum to educate girls with cognitive delays, gifted and talented children and students who do not speak English. Students advance based on mastery of the curriculum and progress is measured continuously using standardized assessments, rubrics, and curriculum checklists.


Literacy and the Early Intervention Model

The practice of the most successful schools has demonstrated that when young children are provided an environment rich in language and literacy interaction and full of opportunities to listen and use language constantly, they begin to acquire the essential building blocks for learning how to read. A child who enters school without these skills, and who does not develop them in the earliest grades, runs a significant risk of starting behind and staying behind.

We believe that the sooner girls are enrolled in Excel Academy, the greater the impact on their academic achievement and personal development. Excel Academy begins with the earliest learners, pre-school, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, to allow for the movement of students who may be ready for more advanced academic work or for those who may need to be grouped with younger students based on academic and/or social-emotional needs.

Much of the student success in the early years of school at Excel Academy is connected to intensive and comprehensive reading and writing teaching and instruction.  At Excel Academy, every girl receives about 2 hours of reading and writing per day.  Students receive direct instruction in phonics, decoding, vocabulary, handwriting, writing, and comprehension.  Through a variety of learning techniques, small group instruction, center work, read aloud and writer’s workshop, students are equipped with the necessary tools to read.  Excel Academy is committed to ensuring that every child is ready to read by kindergarten and is a developing reader before entering first grade.


 

Elementary School Programming

The Elementary Campus at Excel Academy, comprised of grades 1-4, provides a comprehensive and rigorous foundation for its scholars. Each scholar receives quality instruction in phonics for 20-30 minutes per day; engages in close readings of the complex text and writing in response to text aligned with CCSS; 90 minutes of mathematics instruction through the Eureka curriculum; Social Studies units and hands-on Science experiences. Scholars have access to a variety of web-based instructional platforms and technology such as Lexia, IXL, and Typing Club.  Scholars engage in 50 minutes of either movement through PE or Dance or the creative arts of music and visual art each advisory. Social-Emotional learning is supported through daily morning meetings where students greet each other, sing or recite the school creed and college cheer, and learn about character development through the IDEALS. Meaningful partnerships with the National Cathedral School, Stone Ridge, and NSBE continue to provide opportunities for enrichment for scholars throughout the school year.

Middle School Programming

Our mission in middle school is to provide our girls with a rigorous and well-rounded education.  Scholars receive 70 minutes of Common Core-aligned ELA and math daily, as well as challenging Social Studies and Science courses each week that utilize technology and hands-on experiences and Spanish language.  In addition, scholars have the opportunity for physical movement every day through either Physical Education or Dance class, and opportunities for creative outlets through either visual arts or music courses.  All math and ELA teachers work with small groups of students to help support and push students in their learning.  Excel also offers opportunities for character development, and life skills work through our weekly sister circles, and 8th grade has the opportunity to delve deeply into high school preparation every week.