NSA offers a rigorous educational program driven by high standards and a research-based curriculum.

Core Knowledge

The "Core Knowledge" (CK) movement is an educational reform based on the premise that a grade-by-grade core of common learning is necessary to ensure a sound and fair elementary education. The movement was started by Professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr., author of Cultural Literacy and The Schools We Need, and is based on a large body of research in cognitive psychology, as well as a careful examination of several of the world's fairest and most effective school systems. Dr. Hirsch has argued that, for the sake of academic excellence, greater fairness and higher literacy, early schooling should provide a solid, specific and shared core curriculum in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge. Students learn new knowledge by building upon what they already know.  The Core Knowledge Curriculum clearly defines the knowledge and skills students will master at each grade level and raises the bar for student accomplishment. 

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Open Court Reading

SRA/McGraw-Hill's Open Court Reading is a literature rich, reading and language arts program that instills passion in children for lifelong learning, and a love of reading. Open Court Reading includes phonics instruction which provides the building blocks for students to develop a solid reading foundation.  Research indicates that early, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and decoding is the key to reading success.

Over and over, the achievement of students taught with Open Court Reading has been exceptional on state-mandated tests, national standardized tests, district tests, and many other specific measures.

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Saxon (Math)

Saxon offers the nation's best selling and most thoroughly researched skills-based K-12 mathematics program. The Saxon approach involves teaching a new math concept every day while constantly reviewing previously taught concepts.  Saxon's unique pedagogical approach, based on instruction, practice and assessment distributed across the grade level, incorporates 20 years of research and classroom experience.

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Shurley English

Shurley English is the end result of 20 years of using actual classroom situations, and the learning needs of students to develop an exciting English curriculum. It provides students with two important ingredients for success: a love of the English language, and the ability to use the English language correctly, with ease and confidence.

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6+1 Traits (Writing)

The 6+1 Trait Writing framework is a powerful way to learn and use a common language to refer to characteristics of writing as well as create a common vision of what 'good' writing looks like. Teachers and students use the 6+1 Trait model to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness as they continue to focus on improved writing.

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Handwriting without Tears

The goal of Handwriting Without Tears® is to make legible and fluent handwriting an easy and automatic skill for all students.  The curriculum encourages teachers to use a variety of techniques to teach letter formation and handwriting to all students.

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Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader inspires and motivates students to read through the use of setting and achieving goals. Students are guided to appropriate books and curriculum within their reading level, and are given quizzes to measure comprehension.  This program will allow every student to be challenged without being frustrated.


NSA offers a K-6 content-based Spanish language program beginning in Kindergarten. When students study a language other than their own, they are initiating a learning journey which will provide them with many educational benefits, and will enrich and enlarge their appreciation and understanding of international cultures. Our program allows students to spend more time using and interacting with meaningful language, explore a larger range of topics, and make more connections between language and content.  NSA teachers are committed to working with our Foreign Language teacher to help our students achieve Spanish proficiency. 

Character Education

Through character education, our students will learn skills that will help them make responsible and intelligent choices. The five character traits that NSA will model and teach are: respect, integrity, excellence, responsibility, and citizenship. When children learn to make good choices, they are more committed to learning, and develop habits that make them life-long readers, and writers. Our teachers reinforce character traits within the content of our rich curriculum.

Service Learning

NSA's service learning program integrates curriculum with student participation in thoughtfully organized service that meets the needs of people outside the walls of our school.  The program provides a bridge between our students and their community, giving them a sense of purpose and promoting respect and appreciation for the people they serve.

For additional information about NSA's curriculum, email [email protected] .