Curriculum & Learning

Data-driven and standards-based instruction make up a key component of the curriculum at DCIS at Fairmont

Classroom Curriculum

DCIS at Fairmont uses rigorous content and language-based curricula to prepare students for success in their academics and in life. We believe that all students can succeed with data-driven and standards-based instruction.


Our concept and standards-based mathematics instruction is rigorous and balanced. Our curriculum emphasizes conceptual understanding, while building on mastery of basic skills. A rich hands-on, problem-solving approach is implemented with all mathematics standards. In ECE through fifth grade, teachers use resources with a strong cognitively guided approach including the Bridges curriculum. 


In both our English classes and our Dual Language Immersion program, there is a strong focus on oral language development as a precursor to text-based literacy. We align ourselves with the Science of Reading.  We know that brain scans prove that certain kinds of teaching can change the brain pathways and make reading easier.  and look to research to guide our approach..  Here is a simplified view or our approach to reading comprehension:

  1. Lay foundations with oral language, phonemic awareness and alphabetic principles
  2. Add word level decoing, sight words, word analysis and phonics
  3. Fluency work
  4. Deep reading comprehension!

Our literacy program is a workshop model and content-driven. Through our international model where students immerse themselves in themes that often lead to project-based learning and activism. 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)

Our approach to STEAM blends hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and argue like real scientists and engineers.  We believe all students – beginning at a young age – need access to real-world, applied learning experiences that empower them to gain the skills they need to thrive and become leaders in their community and their world.

Our two curricula partners for STEAM are Amplify Science and Project Lead the Way (PLTW).  Through these resources, students develop in-demand, transportable skills – such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication – that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. Each unit engages students in a relevant, real-world problem where they investigate scientific phenomena, engage in collaboration and discussion, and develop models or explanations in order to arrive at solutions.

Social Studies:

We use the four domains of global learning and grade level global themes/issues to infuse social studies into daily learning. Learn more about our Equity and Inclusion focused, International Studies based social studies work on our Global Learning page!

Four Domains of Global Learning

  1. Investigate the World: We explore the world by asking questions, gathering and examining evidence and using what we learned to draw conclusions.
  2. Communicate Ideas: We select and apply different ways to communicate our ideas and collaborate with the world.
  3. Recognize and Weigh Perspectives: We recognize and seek to understand different ways of thinking.
  4. Take Action: We translate our ideas, concerns, and findings into ways to improve the world.

Social & Emotional

Our SEL Mission: The DCIS at Fairmont community of educators, staff and families will have the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe, inclusive and equitable learning environment that supports the whole child and whole adult. 

At DCIS at Fairmont we believe that the whole child needs to be nurtured in a school setting to support students success in academics and in developing social emotional skills and supports to help them effectively navigate their world. We incorporate Morning Meetings, targeted SEL curriculum & lessons, mindfulness, restorative justice practices, movement, and healthy habits. We strive to give students experiences that increase their confidence, independence, critical thinking, and comfort in their own skin as individuals.

PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports): At DCIS at Fairmont we strive to recognize and celebrate students for making positive choices. Our mosaic is a large symbol of our PBIS system. A mosaic is not complete without every piece of its puzzle. Our PBIS Systems strive to build on the idea that as an individual I contribute to our classroom, and as a classroom we contribute to our school community. 

Breathing: We are a school focused on breathing and mindfulness, and talking about our emotions. Our very own Physical Education teacher published a book on Breathing, called Breathe With Me. We use this book school wide to incorporate breathing activities and mindful moments throughout the day and as a strategy for students to deal with emotions.