Enrichment classes are a core component of the educational experience at Cliff Valley; they are a part of the comprehensive experience we offer students. While many schools are reducing or eliminating enrichments, we continue to find ways to strengthen and enhance students' learning with these programs.
Taught by a professional artist and educator, formal art instruction begins in kindergarten and progresses through 8th grade. Students learn essential elements of art, such as line, color, shapes, and techniques, as they experience and create original pieces through drawing, painting, sculpting, carving, and other media. In addition, many art projects are directly connected to the classroom curricula, allowing students to make connections between art, science, and social studies. Explorations in the arts encourage self-expression through projects that strengthen conceptual development. The art program emphasizes a variety of art genres, skills, techniques, and media.
While many schools are reducing or eliminating enrichments, we continue to find ways to strengthen and enhance students' learning with these programs.
Staffed by professional librarians, with over 8,000 volumes available plus resources for research, the library is a hub at Cliff Valley. All students in grades K-8 visit the school library at least once a week for focused instruction. The library serves all Cliff Valley students and their families and is open for browsing Monday through Friday.
Music instruction is provided to all Cliff Valley students. Younger students experience and create sounds as well as learn songs and dances, all of which is designed to develop students' music and movement skills. For elementary students, there is specific instruction in skills and techniques related to singing, playing instruments, and movement. Music connections to classroom curricula allow for a rich, deep, and memorable learning experience for students. Students have the opportunity to participate in the World Music Ensemble, a percussion-based performing group. Students participate in general music elements including vocal, instrumental, notation, and composition with a focus on creative process and performance. An ensemble approach allows students to pursue a variety of styles of music, learn to play instruments, and create and perform original music.
The Outdoor Classroom is a hallmark of Cliff Valley – and a trendsetter in Atlanta education. Every classroom has its own dedicated outdoor learning space for planting and exploration. Our building was constructed with a custom-designed, open-air, environmental education classroom for teaching, learning – and getting dirty. Led by an environmental education specialist, the program integrates cross-curricular learning with involvement in conservation issues. Students enrich their studies of science and experience hands-on environmental education through the Outdoor Classroom.
P.E. focuses on the acquisition and application of motor and athletic skills in a variety of activities, games, and sports. Particular emphasis is placed on cooperation, teamwork, and sportsmanship as students learn to work with others and become positive contributing members of a team. In addition, students receive instruction in physical fitness and health and are encouraged to develop and practice healthy habits. Our physical education curriculum combines cooperative games, movement, sports and fitness activities into a program in which all children develop competencies, skills, and positive attitudes about their bodies and health.
Beginning in preschool, students experience a fun, communicative approach that helps them acquire listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students also experience Hispanic culture through cooking, music and drama and they even write and perform their own plays in Spanish. Students learn about Spanish-speaking countries and cultures as they expand their ability to speak, read and write the Spanish language. The goal is oral and listening fluency for 8th grade graduates.
Students in grades 6-8 have laptops to integrate technology throughout their learning experiences. The goal is fluency with technology, the ability to apply hardware and software for problem solving and data collection and presentation, and good digital citizenship. At each grade level, students use technology to support learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.