Creative, athletic, information literacy, and foreign language pursuits are an integral component of our well-rounded, whole-child approach. NPES students are given the opportunity to explore their passions, find new interests, and both literally and figuratively exercise different muscles in their co-curricular courses.
With a full time dedicated preschool art teacher and a robust K-8 program, the fine arts classes nurture innovation and encourage problem-solving and creativity as students experiment and explore different techniques based on a yearly theme. Students engage fully in the artistic process and gain skills and confidence by working in two- and three-dimensional mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, collage, fiber, computer arts, and mixed media. Additionally, the varied and rich artistic contributions of diverse artists from around the world are emphasized. Read more about our fine arts programming here.
Music is a part of our daily lives and an important aspect of heritage. At NPES we not only learn music to appreciate what others have created but to encourage students to share and shape their own unique identity through performance opportunities such as a yearly Winter Showcase. In the early years, the music program focuses on singing, playing instruments, moving/dancing, and creating—all through the Orff Schulwerk Method, which allows for imitation, experimentation, and personal expression. Middle school music is closely connected to the social studies content and asks students to critically examine the history of music and its development over time while ensuring that marginalized stories are elevated. Students in 4th through 8th grade have the opportunity to join the beginner, intermediate or symphonic band. Elective options include rock band and chamber ensemble.
In creative drama, students are empowered to believe in themselves and to discover and express their individual voices with confidence. The program is designed to expand self-awareness, develop imagination, improve communication skills, express a healthy release of emotions, and build compassion and empathy. The emphasis is on experiential activities, including dramatic play and movement, story enactment, theater games, character development, improvisation, and creation and interpretation of scripted material. A variety of after school programs are also offered, including a major musical theater production and a theater showcase.
The physical education program at NPES promotes favorable attitudes for active lifestyles, physical fitness, and safety through teaching the fundamentals of lifetime and leisure sports. Instruction focuses on instilling a positive self-image, teaching appropriate social behavior, promoting sportsmanship, and helping students learn how their bodies can perform more efficiently. Physical education provides students with multiple opportunities to assess fitness levels and to engage in activities that will strengthen already developing gross and fine motor skills. Students develop life skills that enable them to lead full and productive lives both in and out of school—an active body for an active mind.
Students further deepen their appreciation and love for reading through their weekly visit to the vibrant and welcoming NPES library. Our carefully curated collection of books provides identity windows and mirrors and students learn to choose books that spark their imaginations and tap into their interests. In the early years, students listen to books read aloud, practice checking out “just right” books, and learn how to navigate a library setting. Middle school students complete various projects in conjunction with the language arts program that include an oral interpretation unit, independent book reviews, and age-appropriate reading competitions.
Beginning in preschool and building to 8th grade, our Spanish program promotes a lasting enthusiasm for the Spanish language and an appreciation of the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and people. As students learn to listen, read, speak, and write in Spanish, they develop foundational skills vital to acquiring a second language, while also exploring cultural traditions. The rich curriculum, built upon the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language Standards, teaches effective communication and cultural competence in an authentic, sequential, and developmentally appropriate way. Collaborative activities, such as songs, dances, skits, games, and projects, encourage students to take risks and discover creative ways to express themselves in a second language.
See the NPES Curriculum Overview for more information.
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