top of page

Instructional Programs


  • The District has adopted Pearson’s Math Investigations across all the elementary schools, a Common Core-aligned curriculum, and staff will continue to collaborate and plan district-wide at professional development sessions throughout the year.

  • In addition, we have teachers implementing various research-based methods for both teaching and assessing math, including Cognitively Guided Instruction, and the Silicon Valley Math Initiative’s Problems of the Month and Performance Tasks.

  • A game-based digital supplement has been added to all K – 2 classes in the form of ST Math, a language-free program that encourages students to solve problems that teach them mathematical concepts in a language-free environment. Grades 3 – 5 use IXL Math, a standards-based personal learning supplement to support their individual mastery of grade level standards.  TK students utilize an engaging digital early math and literacy program called Starfall.

  • Each year we enter a 5th grade team in the County Math Competition.

English Language Arts

  • Side by side with the adopted Houghton Mifflin reading curriculum, our teachers are implementing Lucy Calkins’ Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop.

  • All teachers also implement Accelerated Reader as their independent reading motivator. This program awards points based on an individual reading goal for each student, and we host awards assemblies every 6 weeks to celebrate the love of reading

  • County Spelling Bee – each year our 3 – 5th graders participate in a school-based spelling bee, and our top two spellers from 4th and 4th grade get to compete in the County Spelling competition.

  • Student Author Fair – every year our students’ best writing is showcased at a public writing celebration held at Capitola Mall in the Spring. We believe that writing should be published and read, and this event gives our students the opportunity to have an authentic author experience

  • Mock Trial: Fifth graders take part in a real trial experience at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse in the Spring, taking on the roles of judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, jury and more – not only experiencing the public performance with its recitation and acting opportunity, but also getting a taste of the way the US legal system operates. We are thrilled to offer this experience to our students.

PE/Life skills/Positive Behavior Support

  • SCG has adopted a Mindfulness program in place in all classrooms, T-K through 5.

  • “Simon’s Hook” is our school-wide positive behavior program – teaching students to avoid “biting the hook” of teasing, and to learn strategies to disarm and distract.

  • “Conflict Managers” is a new program to SCG, successfully piloted in 2015-16. Our upper grade students are trained to assist on the primary playground during recess to help role model and faciliate conflict resolution for our younger students.

  • The “Solutions Circle” Conflict Management system is in place for our T-K students at Opal Cliffs – a visual, physical approach to practicing various alternatives to conflict, like “talking it out,” or “walking away”.

  • Lifeskills, physical fitness and positive play is the focus of our  TK-5 PE/Lifeskills enrichment program, generously supported by our Home & School Club

  • Our HSC partners with Project Fit, a community group that supports youth fitness, and with the help of parent volunteers we have a running club after school – details to be announced shortly.

  • Social Skills groups for conflict management, peer relationships, anger management and other positive skills development are delivered by our counselor and counseling intern.


  • Science instruction is a core element of SCG’s rigorous instructional program, and we will continue to align resources and curriculum towards the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

  • With the enthusiastic support of our parents, we have established a Life Lab program to include all classes K – 5, with each class involved in a life science curriculum through the garden project at UCSC that focuses on sustainable agriculture and raising “food gardens”.

  • All  5th grade students, along with any interested 4th graders, take part in a school-based Science and Engineering Fair, and winners go on to compete at County level.

  • 5th Graders attend a 4-day overnight Outdoor School in March, with a focus on environmental science.

  • Our H&S Club sponsors a popular “Stargazing Night” each Spring, in partnership with the Astronomy Club of Santa Cruz.

Educational Technology

  • All teachers received iPads and Apple TV from the Home & School Club for wireless portability of screen-based learning opportunities.

  • We have a fully stocked Mac lab utilized by our primary grades several times a week, with a part-time tech support person providing support.

  • We also have four 32-piece portable Chromebook Carts that are shared among our upper grade team, offering opportunities for teachers to bring the engagement of a tech-infused curriculum directly to the classroom.

  • Teachers receive continuing EdTech training throughout the year, and a number of our teachers are implementing Google Classroom with their students

Music — Art — Dance — Enrichment

  • All grade levels T-K through 5 receive a 40 minute general music class per week, through the generous support of our Home & School Club

  • This year we will be continuing an after-school choir/instrumental group for interested students – to be announced shortly

  • Community connections with non-profits – Kids on Broadway (2 musical theater performances per year); Science with Irving Lindsey (2 six-week sessions per year)

  • Our Home & School Club sponsors three 6-week Wednesday after-school classes each year offering all sorts of interesting courses – e.g. Survival skills, yoga, soccer clinic, clay art, hip hop dancing, Lego engineering and martial arts

  • This year we are excited to continue the successfully piloted Art Docent program at SCG, led by a committed group of creative parents. We are excited to continue this amazing program, which gives students an 8-week course in a specific medium, studying a particular master artist and generating art that is derivative of the master’s style.

  • The Home & School Club also sponsors two enormously popular Dance experiences – a 6-week folk dancing experience for 4 / 5 grades and an African Dance experience for K – 3.

bottom of page