At Meridian, our teachers don’t deliver lessons to be memorized. Here, learning is alive and led by students, who ask questions and drive the instructional time. Students work in small groups on projects that are connected to real life, not just theories on paper. Most assessments are project-based and hands-on.
Meridian has an inquiry-based and student-centered instruction model. Our curriculum is aligned to the Common Core, which are nationwide standards in mathematics and English language arts (ELA). These standards are uniform in order to set high expectations for each student and teacher throughout the educational system.
To translate knowledge and skills described in the standards into clear, specific guidance for teachers, Meridian has developed curriculum frameworks and maps that guide instruction. Our teachers build on these standards with innovative and age- appropriate lessons and projects that stimulate our students’ creativity and problem-solving skills.
Above all, our students are immersed in language. Their classrooms are joyous, text-rich environments with student work displayed, word walls, and classroom library centers. For grades PreK–8, classroom libraries strive to have leveled books, Caldecott and Newberry award-winning literature, multiple genres, and reference materials.
What is inquiry-based learning?
This model is a form of active instruction which involves posing a question that engage students and helps them form their own understanding of the lesson.
What is student-centered instruction?
This refers to various classroom activities that address their distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds. They empower children to take charge of their learning, show off what they know, and explain the skills being taught in their own words. This model promotes a sense of pride and accomplishment in our students.
Core to our mission is that each student, regardless of his or her academic level, finds joy in learning. Our model allows students more one-on-one time with instructors than a traditional structure. Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms have a lead teacher and access to an instructional assistant, who provide extra support and monitor progress. Our classrooms in grades 1–6 practice an inclusive model with substantial co-teaching with Student Support teams (SPED and ELL teachers).
Tracking academic progress is crucial to ensure our students are on and above grade level. We conduct regular assessment benchmarking using TS Gold in Pre-K and MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in grades K-8. These tools adapt to each student’s skill level in a particular area. The data helps our teachers measure individualized student progress and growth. K–8 students are also given unit assessments to assess mastery of standards taught throughout the year in math, English Language Arts (ELA), and science.
Near the end of the school year, grades 3–8 participate in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. The PARCC test measures students’ critical thinking, problem solving skills and progress toward the college and career-ready academic standards recently adopted by DC and other states. These standards are an effort to better prepare our children for the next steps in their education and in life and to bolster a competitive and thriving state economy.
Online programs used in the classroom and at home
Used during K–8 "Owl Hour" (intervention/remediation block) for practicing Math and ELA skills, the program provides immediate feedback with question-specific explanations for every incorrect answer. This structure makes it easy for each child to practice the material he or she needs to fill gaps in learning, keep up with the class, and even advance in topic areas of interest.
An extensive collection of leveled reading resources. With more than 2,000 books at 29 levels of reading difficulty to choose from, to easily put developmentally appropriate content into each student's hands. This program also includes corresponding resources to enhance instruction and strengthen students' reading skills, such as guided lesson plans, worksheets, assessments, and much more.
Used in the Fall, Winter, and Spring to assess student skills in mathematics and reading. Teachers use NWEA MAP to develop instructional plans for classes. Often used in conjunction with companion program MAP Skills, a skills mastery and progress monitoring assessment that helps teachers drill down to the specific skills each student needs to learn. Teachers see exactly what struggling students are missing and advanced students are ready to take on—then adjust instruction in the moment and monitor student progress.
Technology-focused Specials and Electives also use a variety of online programs like TypingClub and Code Monkey to learn age appropriate keyboarding and coding skills.