In Cluster Three, the sixth grade is taught mainly as a self-contained program for all core subjects, with the exception of math. Math is taught by a designated math teacher (or teachers) who individualize instruction based on student needs and to meet California standards. Seventh and eighth graders are combined in homogenous groups for the core subjects. Once core subjects are complete, the remainder of the day is spent with students changing classes for art, physical education, drama and electives. All classes are taught in their respective grade levels with the exception of electives, which incorporates students in all three grades.
The rigorous academic program in Cluster Three culminates with the 8th grade Exiting Project. This is thoroughly explained to students and parents throughout their Cluster Three experience. Without the successful completion of this project, students do not graduate from eighth grade.
Field trips and extended off-campus experiences are an integral part of the curriculum. Sixth grade attends Marin Headlands, the seventh Yosemite Institute and the eighth attends the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.
Each student is prepared for the next academic step, as demonstrated by:
- The successful completion of all academic units in the humanities, science, the fine and applied arts, drama, and physical education
- A review and selection of the best past work as a demonstration of skills gained
- Grades, conferences, and testing
The staff is committed to offering a program that includes:
- Students working in multi-aged groups
- Inter-dependent learning across the curriculum
- Students using learning as a tool
- Community and parental involvement in the classroom
- Students will leave Cluster Three with competency in language arts, science, history, social science, health/fitness, mathematics, technology, citizenship, and the creative arts
- They will be able to study independently, apply knowledge, and retain, recall, and locate information for application at higher levels