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Academic Updates

By Colleen O’Boyle, associate head of school
Elevating student agency and literacy across all school divisions.
At La Jolla Country Day School, we prioritize positioning our students as reflective, research-based and future-focused and choose community partners who enhance our ability to meet this goal. The core values shaping our teaching and learning practices revolve around three key tenets: the academic aspect (what we teach), the pedagogy (how we teach), and, most crucially, the relationships and environments fostering deep learning among educators, students and their surroundings.

This commitment to nurturing students as agents of their own learning begins early in the Early Childhood Center and continues through Lower, Middle and Upper School. Our focus is on cultivating mastery over time, promoting effective communication across subjects with a strong foundation in literacy, and encouraging students to make connections and real-world impacts.

Throughout the year, our newsletter will spotlight various aspects of our learning program. As part of our annual priorities, our education team regularly meets to define academic goals, enhancements, and their impact on students’ lives. We emphasize our role in student’s learning, the significance of assessment and feedback for adjusting instruction, and the challenge of meeting students where they are in their learning journeys.

Key Highlights

1. Literacy Focus in ECC and Lower School: This year marks the third year of our emphasis on developing strong readers and writers in the Early Childhood Center (ECC) and Lower School. We’ve previously concentrated on writers workshops, a research-based practice assessing and providing personalized instruction. The current focus involves assessing each student’s literacy level, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, and vocabulary; recognizing literacy’s foundational role in long-term success.

2. Student-Led Conferences in Middle School: Middle School maintains a focus on the Student-Led Conference, where students present portfolios, share strengths and areas for improvement, and engage in Q&A sessions. This approach builds students’ agency and sets the stage for their transition to Upper School, where a clear understanding of strengths and self-advocacy contributes to their success during their high school years.

3. World Language Department in Upper School: Our Upper School world language department emphasizes cultural competence, personal growth and intellectual exploration. Language classes serve as a prime example of applying strong literacy foundations. Upper School students actively apply language skills through immersive experiences, real-world interactions, and engagement with authentic materials; fostering critical thinking skills and enriching their overall education.

These examples showcase the transformative impact of a La Jolla Country Day School education on our students, shaping them into global citizens prepared for today and tomorrow. 

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

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