Small classes give teachers the opportunity to be creative and plan activities that challenge, excite and engage students. Third grade students recently put on an “adjective fashion show” to further develop their understanding of the parts of speech, while fifth grade students built balsa wood gliders and used them to explore the scientific method- each student writing a hypothesis, conducting trials, analyzing data and evaluating their results to draw conclusions about flight duration and patterns.
Students enjoy frequent “Hallmarks”, like Kindergarten’s Fairy Tale Ball and fourth grade's Colonial Day. Other favorites are Kindertown, a model city staffed by parent doctors, bankers, construction workers and other community helpers; Egyptian Day; International Day; Spirit Week; and the Science Fair.
Teachers employ interactive SMART Boards, Flip camcorders, and computers in the classrooms. Third through fifth grade will use iPads to write, edit, and publish e-books this spring. This year our new Design and Technology initiative focuses on space exploration and rocketry to further incorporate principles of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Students observe real space shuttles, research rocket aeronautics, and design their own rockets, which are scheduled to launch later this year.
Students serve as a “Project Pal” to a younger student, serve on the Student Council (beginning in 2nd grade), and through Merritt’s unique Intergenerational Program, visit the residents of various assisted senior living communities to provide company, conversation and companionship while learning first-hand the values of patience, empathy, helpfulness and wisdom from their “grand-friends”.
Our curriculum draws inspiration from many different programs of study and offers our students a world-class education. Merritt updates the core subject curricula on a rotating cycle, so each curriculum stays relevant, current and pertinent to our changing world. Our core areas of curriculum are:
Specialty teachers integrate their lessons with classrooms lessons, such as creating a collage of the four stages of butterfly development in art class to enhance the classroom science lesson. Specialty subjects include:
Merritt Academy students travel all across the DC/Metro area, as well as to other nearby cities, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond. Whether exploring the hardships of daily life for the settlers in Jamestown, observing geological formations while hiking in Great Falls, or attending a theatrical performance at one of the many area theaters, Merritt Academy students are always on the go. Here are some recent field trips:
Life is filled with possibilities for our students. A Merritt Academy education provides a springboard for students, preparing them to continue their education at the most respected schools in and around the region.
The following is a partial list of schools where former Merritt Academy students have been accepted:
Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School
Flint Hill School
Paul VI Catholic High School
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, along with other local public schools (often placing into Advanced Placement (AP), Pre-International Baccalaureate (IB), and Honors classes)
Merritt Academy 3rd Grade Student
I hope there will be another awesome field trip like this in fourth grade and people who do it after us enjoy it as much as I did with my classmates.