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Lower School

Preschool Art

PreK-3
​PreK-3 students enjoy making artwork that expresses their unique ideas and creativity. Exploring the properties of a variety of materials and tools inspires these young artists to invent, experiment, and manipulate their supplies according to their own creative directions in both two and three dimensions. Drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, collage, and constructing "beautiful junk" creations are some of the projects children eagerly pursue. Children are encouraged to identify elements of art both in their own works and in the works of famous artists.

PreK-4
PreK-4 students enjoy making artwork that expresses their unique ideas and creativity. Exploring the properties of a variety of materials and tools inspires these young artists to invent, experiment, and manipulate their supplies according to their own creative directions in both two and three dimensions. Drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, collage, and constructing "beautiful junk" creations are some of the projects children eagerly pursue. Children are encouraged to identify elements of art both in their own works and in the works of famous artists.


 

Preschool Social Studies/Science

PreK-3
The primary goal in PreK is developing a sense of wonder about the world in which we live. Life science topics include observing seasonal change weather, plants, animals, and insects. Building with blocks and experimenting with tools and simple machines allow children to discover physical science concepts. Social studies topics include building friendships, community helpers, and exploring cultures throughout the world. Manipulating real and make-believe tools along with real and imitation processes, and posing questions invite investigations about how things work. Child-initiated investigations are the most important method of exploration throughout the year.

PreK-4
The children's environment is the main focus of study, expanding upon what is already known about themselves, family, school, and the community at large as they learn about community helpers and traditions of children throughout the world. Children's minds are engaged through close observation of things they can see, touch, hear, smell or taste. Science includes a study of seasons, plants, insects, spiders, animals, oceans, and space. Children make predictions and hypotheses about what is observed then generate ideas for problem solving or evaluate results of their study. Children learn to think about their thinking, construct new knowledge, and apply their emerging skills. Children participate in discussions and investigations, conduct surveys, and ask questions to gather information.
 

Preschool Music

PreK-3
Musical growth is experienced by PreK-3 children as they sing and move. Experiences promote the singing voice and a sense of steady beat. A repeating core of songs and rhymes help facilitate their vocal development. Musical comparatives such as same/different, speech/song, high/low, fast/slow, short/long, and soft/loud are explored. Activities include play, stories, acting, dramatization, and music listening, where the children naturally take part, imitate, and improvise within a safe environment for singing and vocal expression.

PreK-4
​Using appropriate activities for the young child, PreK-4 music focuses on music listening and aural perception, the singing voice, and steady beat. The children learn a core of rhymes, folk songs, and games that cultivate melodic and rhythmic memory and complement the seasons and homeroom themes. They experience musical comparatives and explore, imitate, and express themselves with voices, instruments, and movement. They play and improvise in the piano lab. Their natural musical spontaneity is supported. Habits of willing, uninhibited singing and enjoyable participation are nurtured.

 

Preschool Movement

PreK-3 
​PreK-3 students enjoy moving with expression and imagination in a shared space. They explore simple locomotor steps at the signal of a drum such as skip, slide, walk, gallop, hop, and jump. They practice self-regulation as they move, stop, and freeze at a signal, and participate in group games with rules. Red Light, Green Light and Old Grey Cat are favorites. They feel and experience a marching beat, create and hold simple shapes, and use imagination in pretending scenes like forest, zoo, and toybox. Students are invited to stretch and relax, becoming aware of their heartbeats and breathing. Yoga poses of animals and elements in nature develop focus, balance and flexibility. Participating as an audience at school dance recitals adds wonder and appreciation for the joy of dance and movement.

PreK-4
PreK-4 students learn to move with expression and imagination in a shared space. They learn simple locomotor steps such as skip, slide, gallop, hop, and jump. They practice self-regulation as they move, stop, and freeze at a signal and participate in group games. They feel and experience a marching beat and create and hold simple shapes. Students become aware of their breathing while stretching and doing yoga.
 

Preschool Math

PreK-3
Hands-on experiences with manipulatives help children identify attributes, sort, match, and label groups for counting, graphing, and patterning. Numeracy concepts are presented and practiced during small group, whole group, and child-directed center time. Acting out favorite stories like the Three Billy Goats Gruff makes math language fun and relevant. Using math concepts during block building is especially rewarding. Children compare size, height, and length as well as symmetry, angles, and geometric shapes. Using timers, money, and measuring tools of daily life help children recognize the many ways math is used in problem solving and critical thinking.

PreK-4
Hands-on experiences with manipulatives help children identify attributes, sort, match, and label groups for counting, graphing, and patterning. Numeracy concepts and writing numerals are practiced during small group, whole group, and child-directed center time. Children apply math concepts to everyday life. Estimating quantities, adding and subtracting, measuring, using position words, and exploring symmetrical design are activities that engage children's minds as mathematical thinkers.
 

Preschool Literacy

PreK-3
The learning environment provides a balanced approach to literacy, which helps children see themselves as readers, writers, listeners and speakers. Rich literature, environmental print, oral language with explicit instruction focused on phonological and phonemic awareness skills, and opportunities to draw and write are implemented within the daily routines. PreK three children are introduced to all the capital letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Children are encouraged to learn many rhymes and chants through the nursery songs and rhymes developed by the Waterford Institute. Exploring thematic topics strengthens skills as the children listen attentively, share their ideas, learn how symbols are used as representations to communicate ideas, and strive to make sense of meaning and print in their environment. These experiences strengthen their understanding and love of language.

PreK-4
The goal of literacy in the PreK is to help children see themselves as readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Careful listening and taking turns to talk is the beginning. The balanced literacy program provides experiences for children to listen to interesting language, learn new vocabulary and print in context of thematic topics, and receive direct instruction of reading and writing in small groups. Quality children's literature, books, rhymes, chants, environmental print, and focused attention on phonological and phonemic awareness skills are implemented within the daily routines. PreK Four children are introduced to capital and lowercase letters and sounds of the alphabet. Additional alphabet and phonological skills are explicitly taught based on student readiness.
 

Preschool Computers

PreK-3
PreK-3 5 day students are invited to the computer lab during Spring Term. They work on the Waterford Early Learning program, which reinforces classroom learning and revisits familiar songs and rhymes.

PreK-4
Students spend time in the computer lab each week working on the Waterford Early Learning Program. Practice with early reading skills such as name recognition, letter name and sound recognition, and phonemic awareness games correlate with ongoing classroom experience.
 

Kindergarten Visual Art

During kindergarten, children continue to experiment and begin to formulate ideas in which they are able to define their world through different art media. The philosophies during this year are similar to that of PreK-4; however, greater emphasis on skills occurs during the latter part of the year. Creativity is the key.
 

Kindergarten Science

In Kindergarten science, students begin their year learning about what a scientist does. They study the lives of a few scientists and learn about their discoveries. The Metric System is their next area of study. This is the measurement system used throughout the year. Astronomy and learning the order of planets is always a favorite for the students. These lessons help the children understand the orbit of the planets around the sun. The slant of the earth and how it causes different seasons is discussed. Students also study the effects of the moon's orbit around the earth. As part of a Human Biology unit, students are introduced to the five senses and a few of the body systems, with a focus on hygiene and caring for their bodies. In the Zoology unit, children learn about vertebrates and some invertebrates, including spiders, insects, and worms. The final unit is a brief study of Botany, introducing students to the basics facts about plant life.
 

Kindergarten P.E.

Students demonstrate the mature form of certain locomotor skills (skipping, hopping, galloping) and manipulative skills (throwing, kicking, dribbling). Health enhancing activities are introduced. These activities focus on the following health components: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Teamwork, self-control, responsibility, and problem solving skills are taught. Students work to develop their skills in areas such as space awareness, transferring weight, chasing and fleeing, throwing and catching, kicking (soccer), dribbling (basketball), and striking with rackets, sticks (floor hockey), and bats.
 

Kindergarten Music

Waterford children develop a love for music in Kindergarten. The singing voice and good vocal production is promoted. Students sing foundation songs for later learning of rhythmic and melodic concepts. Activities include movement, instruments, and listening with classical music. Students begin to relate rhythm and melody to graphic notation and symbols. They experience steady beat, distinguish beat from rhythm, and read quarter-note and two-eighth-note rhythms. They also become familiar with the piano keyboard, improvise, and play rote pieces.
 

Kindergarten Math

The Kindergarten mathematics program relies on teaching, discussion, experimentation and application to teach fundamental mathematical concepts including counting, numeration, operations, geometry, measurement, time, money, graphing, problem-solving. Common life applications are embedded as children investigate math concepts using a variety of manipulatives and hands-on experiences.
 

Kindergarten Literacy

The Kindergarten Literacy program is designed to help the children realize that they are readers and writers. The focus is to instill a love for fine literature. The children are involved in reading instruction which is literature based with an emphasis on phonics and phonemic awareness. Beginning with familiar nursery rhymes, stories, poems, and songs, the children are immersed in a print-rich environment. They participate in independent reading and writing activities, lively unison readings, and creative writing. Small and whole group instruction includes phonics, decoding skills, and penmanship. The children are introduced to prominent authors of children's literature. They read a variety of books by each author.

The D'Nealian method is used for handwriting instruction, focusing on consistent size, form, slant and spacing. The students participate in daily journal writing. As their writing skills develop, they begin to write complete sentences.
 

Kindergarten History

The children learn to value the unique differences in each other. The children study their surroundings of home, neighborhood, school and community before broadening the scope to include other people, places, and events. Special events in history, notable Americans, and American holidays are explored.
 

Kindergarten Dance

Kindergarten students are able to perform the eight basic locomotor steps going forward and in other directions. They respond to changes in tempo and start to understand note value. They make shapes alone and with partners using levels, focus, prepositional words, and directions. They understand energy qualities such as percussive and sustained, collapse and explode. They are demonstrate the partner skills of copying, leading, following, and mirroring. They dance in response to books, poems, music, and with a variety of props. They learn a few simple folk dances and learn about Isadora Duncan and her contribution to dance. The basic positions from first to third are also practiced.
 

Kindergarten Computers

Reading skills are practiced on the computers. The Waterford Early Reading Program consists of practicing sound patterns and sight words and reading stories for comprehension. The Early Math and Science program consists of practicing concepts such as numbers, counting, calendar activities, addition, and subtraction. The children study science topics such as animals, plants, weather, and seasons on the computers as well.

Class V Visual Art

The student in Class V has matured physically to take on more ambitious skills and be introduced to new media this year. Portrayal of realism continues in a more advanced setting. The use of light through shading creates illusions of realism. Students design landscapes and simple architectural renderings using two-point perspective. Finally, students learn to create wood sculpture reliefs. As always, creativity and imagination are encouraged as well as expected. In addition, basic color theory is emphasized in order for students to develop more expressive pieces of work. Aesthetic goals are integrated with the Class V goals.

Class V Science

Class V students use all of the techniques and tools they've learned in Lower School Science as they delve into an intense year of scientific study. They continue using the scientific method and dig in with hands-on experiences. Students begin the year studying the changing Earth, including plate tectonics, mid-ocean ridges, and the forces driving these changes. Students also learn about climate change and natural disasters. In the Matter unit, students learn about atoms, elements, and the Periodic Table. In the Biology unit, they focus on heredity and the physiology of the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems. The Energy unit is always popular. Students study forces and motion as they learn about rocket science.
 

Class V P.E.

Class V students engage in a variety of team and individual sports and participate in many different competitive and cooperative activities. These experiences allow them to concentrate on the basic movements, skills, and rules which pertain to each unit of study, and encourage a focus on sportsmanship, cooperation, and better personal fitness habits. Students take part in several units: soccer, football skills, volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, team handball, ultimate frisbee, baseball and softball skills, paddle and racket sports, orienteering, lacrosse, and many other non- traditional sports, games, and activities.
 

Class V Music

Class V students add to the concepts learned from Class IV. They experience rhythmic and melodic concepts by listening, reading, writing, singing, moving, and playing instruments. Students are given the opportunity to develop their musical skills while having fun. They explore rhythms using dotted eighth with sixteenth notes. Melodically they learn solfege such as ti and low ti. Concepts such as harmony, intervals, and chords are studied. Part-singing is expanded beyond two parts. Class V students prepare two concerts a year. During that preparation, singing skills are developed such as free and relaxed tone production, breath support, and intonation. Students gain the experience of ensemble and concert etiquette.

Class V students continue their study of introductory strings as well as participate in an exploratory winds program where students experience playing the flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone.
 

Class V Math

The math curriculum is designed around the core objectives of multiplication and division of decimals and whole numbers, addition, subtraction, and multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers, conversion of percents, decimals, and fractions, and geometry. Students also study factors, multiples and powers, data and graphs, and algebra and functions. The curriculum is divided into units which include direct instruction and interactive lessons. Much attention is given to mental math, i.e. using number properties to solve difficult computations mentally. This requires automatic recall of all facts. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning, and generalization. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented.
 

Class V History

In Class V, students study United States history beginning with the first inhabitants of the American Continent and their lasting influences. Students then journey through the thirteen colonies and discover how the present form of government evolved. Next, students study the causes and effects of the American Revolution and learn about the new republic from the Articles of Confederation through the ratification of the United States Constitution. Famous Americans are brought to life during Winter Term as students research individuals who have made lasting impressions on the country. Study then shifts to the Westward expansion followed by the conflicts and events that led to the Civil War, along with the war itself.
 

Class V English

Organizational skills are emphasized as students are led into higher-level thinking activities within the curriculum. They are taught to extract important information, both from written materials and from lectures, to help them distinguish between main ideas and supporting ideas.

Class V reading material consists of historical and fictional novels as well as non-fictional works related to history . Many of the selected novels correspond with United States history. The main goal of the program is to create a love and excitement for reading, and to have the child learn that reading is a door into a larger world. Comprehension, higher level thinking, and inferring are components of our reading skill study.

Learning to communicate with ideas that are clear and concise is the main goal of writing in Class V. Writing consists of research, reports, poetry, stories, essays, journal entries, and other expository and narrative writing. Work in vocabulary, grammar, and usage is related to literature. This also serves as a valuable tool to improve listening skills. Students also expand their English vocabulary and spelling skills by learning prefixes, suffixes, roots, and parts of speech. Grammar instruction focuses on analyzing sentences by parts of speech and their functions.
 

Class V Dance

Class V is a blend of Modern Dance, African Dance, and Ballet Dance techniques. Students learn more advanced combinations in all three techniques and compare and contrast through contextual research, embodying, and their own creative compositions. Use of Anatomical language will be advanced for understanding the alignment of the body and individual parts of the body that make up the whole instrument. Physical and written expression facilitate the students' understanding of both the elements of dance and their own creative voice. Grammar and the elements of dance are combined to explore the quality of dance forms, such as verbs, adverbs, and adjectives relating to time, space, shape, and energy. Many concepts used to accomplish the above goals are: noticing deeply, making connections, embodying through art making, and recognizing patterns.
 

Class V Computers

Work in the computer lab serves as a reinforcement of classroom learning in all areas of the curriculum. In the lab, instruction is tailored to each student's needs and individual progress is closely monitored. Keyboarding is taught and practiced throughout the year. Students continue working in Google Docs and Pages, and complete several classroom writing assignments in the lab. Coding instruction continues.
 

Class IV Visual Art

Students in Class IV gain the skills to create realistic renderings by using and understanding the concepts of proportion and relationships. Their understanding of light is enhanced in order to capture the subtleties of realism. Color continues to play an important part in personal expression. They draw in two-point perspective. In 3-D art, students are introduced to additive techniques of slipping and scoring clay. Students integrate Class IV history study of the Middle Ages into their projects.
 

Class IV Science

Class IV students actively study the world around them using scientific instruments and techniques. Lessons are hands-on, and the scientific method is always used. Students begin the year with a unit on Plants, including classification of local plants and trees. During the Weather unit, students collect data, study clouds, and learn about forecasting. Matter is always an exciting unit! Students learn about physical and chemical changes to matter as they learn about mixtures, elements, and phases of matter. During the Astronomy unit, students study the solar system and links between Earth's movements and the seasons. Students become biologists during the Physiology unit, with focus on the skeletal-muscular and the nervous systems.
 

Class IV P.E.

Class IV students receive instruction to help them obtain a better appreciation for physical fitness, sports, and working together as a team. During the year, different team and individual sports are explored. With this exploration, students not only concentrate on the basic movements, skills, and rules which pertain to each unit of study, but also strongly emphasize sportsmanship and building better personal fitness habits. Students take part in several units: soccer, football skills, volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, team handball, baseball and softball skills, paddle and racket sports, orienteering, lacrosse, and many other non-traditional sports, games, and activities.
 

Class IV Math

Curriculum is designed around the core objectives of place value through trillions, multiplication and division of larger numbers, addition and subtraction of decimals to hundredths, fractions, and geometry. Students also work with measurement, data and graphs, and probability. This program emphasizes thinking and problem solving as well as computation. Math facts are memorized and become computational tools. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning and generalization. Activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life events. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.
 

Class IV History

During Fall Term, Class IV studies Utah history. Students learn about Utah geography, prehistoric cultures in Utah, the different Indian tribes, Utah's early explorers and settlers, and westward movement. Winter and Spring Terms are spent studying the history of Western Civilization, focusing on the Middle Ages. This course of study includes Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire: Vikings, feudalism, manorialism, knighthood, monasteries, and crusades. Students study world geography with an emphasis on Europe. Students participate in simulations to experience what it was like to live in a medieval world.
 

Class IV English

Literature provides the foundation for the English curriculum. The reading program provides the children with quality literature selections and rewarding content from selected poetry, anthologies, and historical fiction. The home reading program provides additional titles for individual reading and small group activities.

Students also expand their English vocabulary by learning Latin word roots as well as the prefixes and suffixes from which those roots come into the English language. The skills of vocabulary, comprehension, oral reading, usage, grammar, and writing mechanics grow out of, and are embedded in, the literature and the children's writing. Spelling lists combine syllable types and the study of word origins or etymology.

Class IV students are involved in a variety of oral and written experiences. They conduct research and write reports, essays, summaries, and poetry. Throughout these experiences, the focus is on analyzing content, attending to models, editing, rewriting, and publishing. Oral activities include discussions, oral reports, identifying and defending points of view, and dramatization. Grammar instruction focuses on analyzing sentences by parts of speech and their functions.
 

Class IV Dance

Class IV Dance combines Jazz Dance and Ballet techniques to further the student's understanding of different dance techniques. Different mechanisms are used to explore the connection between these dance forms: embodying, comparing, and contrasting. Anatomy and kinesiology basics are used to understand both dance techniques and the human body in motion. Students complete the term with their own compositions that combine creativity, originality, and reflections of the two dance techniques.
 

Class IV Computers

Work in the computer lab serves as a reinforcement of classroom learning in all areas of the curriculum. In the lab, instruction is tailored to each student's needs and individual progress is closely monitored. Keyboarding is taught and practiced throughout the year. Students continue working in Google Docs and Pages, and complete several classroom writing assignments in the lab. Classroom assignments are also completed using Keynote and Garageband. Coding instruction continues.
 

Class III Visual Art

In Class III, students understand basic human proportions and portray basic characteristics to convey emotion. Students use shapes and colors to understand contrast, space, and value. Students are introduced to one-point perspective. Students are introduced to water-based clay and create specific forms and animals.
 

Class III Science

In Class III, students investigate many areas of science with hands-on learning while using the scientific method. They begin the year with a unit on the Water Cycle. During the Astronomy unit, they learn about Earth's Moon and Earth-Moon relationships. During the Earth unit, students become geologists, focusing on weathering, erosion, geologic time, and fossils. In the Energy unit, students use many tools to study forces, gravity, magnetism, and electricity. Students round out the year with an Ecology unit.
 

Class III P.E.

Class III students receive instruction to help them obtain a better appreciation for physical fitness, sports, and working together as a team. During the year, different team and individual sports are explored. With this exploration, they not only concentrate on the basic movements, skills, and rules which pertain to each unit of study, but also strongly emphasize sportsmanship, cooperation, and problem solving skills. Students take part in several units of study: soccer, football skills, volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, team handball, baseball and softball skills, paddle and racket sports, orienteering, lacrosse, and many other non-traditional sports, games, and activities.
 

Class III Music

Class III students add to the concepts learned from Class II. They experience rhythmic and melodic concepts by listening, reading, writing, singing, moving, and playing instruments. Students are given the opportunity to develop their musical skills while having fun. They explore rhythms such as combinations of eighth, sixteenth, and whole notes. Melodically, they continue to study the pentatonic solfege adding low lah and low sol. Concepts such as meter, repeat, bordune, melody, ostinato and improvisation are studied. Recorder is introduced as well as further experience on glockenspiel, xylophone, metallophone and various un-pitched percussion instruments. Class III students prepare two concerts a year. During that preparation, singing skills are developed such as free and relaxed tone production, proper breath support, and intonation. Students gain the experience of ensemble and concert etiquette.
 

Class III Math

Curriculum is based on the core objectives of place value up to 10,000, addition and subtraction of larger numbers, memorization of all multiplication and division facts, multiplying and dividing numbers, and working with fractions. Mini units include measurement, time, money, and graphs. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning and generalization. Simulation activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life events. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.
 

Class III History

Class III explores the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. History is brought to life through hands-on experiences, helping students understand how the discoveries and contributions made by these ancient civilizations affect our lives today. Emphasis is on learning about the geography, important events, lifestyles, inventions, and artistic contributions of these civilizations.
 

Class III English

Instruction provides specific skills and strategies as students learn to read and write with confidence and quality. Students read a variety of literature books. Specific reading skills related to the literature books are taught weekly. Through immersion in reading experiences, students build their reading vocabulary. As part of the word study curriculum, students explore why words are spelled the way they are, not just how to spell words, in order to successfully apply skills to unfamiliar reading and writing contexts. Vocabulary is studied through literature. The Class III literature program emphasizes comprehension development through a variety of activities focused on character, plot, and theme. Students are given time to read self-selected books, fostering a love for reading as they are exposed to many genres and authors.

Grammar concepts include capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, and word usage. Lessons are related to work in reading and writing. Students learn D'Nealian cursive and quality penmanship is emphasized. Writing includes exercises related to literature books and history curriculum, journal writing, letter writing, fictional stories, interviews, poetry, myths, and a biographical research project. Throughout the year, students work on the processes of revising and editing.

Class III Dance

Class III Dance is a continuation of Modern Dance, and an introduction to Ballet dance techniques. Students learn the basics of both techniques and compare and contrast them through contextual research, embodying, and their own creative compositions. Anatomy will be reviewed for the alignment of the body and understanding the body as an instrument.
 

Class III Computers

Work in the computer lab serves as a reinforcement of classroom learning in all areas of the curriculum. In the lab, instruction is tailored to each student's needs and individual progress is closely monitored. Keyboarding is taught and practiced throughout the year. Students are introduced to Google Docs and Pages, and complete several classroom writing assignments in the lab. Coding is introduced.

Class II Visual Art

Students in Class II art continue their foundation studies in the elements and principles of design. Line, color, shape, texture, and value are elements that are applied to student artwork. Students learn vocabulary specific to visual art. They expand their drawing skills with an emphasis on observation and detail. Many different types of materials are explored. Individual creativity is emphasized. Students expand their understanding of historical art movements and master artists. They are introduced to contemporary art trends and current artists working today.
 

Class II Science

Class II science students begin their year by reinforcing their knowledge of the Metric System. Estimating and converting measurements is a focus for the students. Botany is always a favorite unit of study. The students learn about classifying monocots and dicots and collecting seeds. All the parts of the plant are discussed as students learn the job performed by each part of the plant. In the Human Biology unit, children learn about the various body systems. Zoology is the next area of study, with many hands-on activities and research dealing with the various phyla of invertebrates. Meteorology is exciting because it is always changing. The children predict upcoming weather by using weather instruments and observing what is currently happening in the weather.
 

Class II P.E.

Class II students continue to work on developing their locomotor skills (skipping, hopping, galloping) and manipulative skills (throwing, kicking, dribbling). Opportunities for both cooperative and competitive game play situations are increased. Students learn the basic movements, skills, and rules pertaining to each unit of study. Sportsmanship, cooperation, and problem solving skills are taught and practiced. Students work to develop their skills in areas such as space awareness, transferring weight, chasing and fleeing, throwing and catching, kicking (soccer), dribbling (basketball), and striking with rackets, sticks (floor hockey), and bats.
 

Class II Music

Objectives of Class II music include sound-to-symbol familiarity with pillar pentatonic intervals, an increase of the student's singing range and skills with consistent pitch matching, elementary piano keyboard fluency, and the musical independence of each learner. Students sing folk songs and games, and perform holiday and spring concerts as a choir. They learn to conduct four-meter time and stepping and skipping rhythms. They perform, improvise, and compose. Use of the piano lab enriches their musical literacy. They read absolute pitch in treble and bass staves, learn keyboard/staff relationships, and develop proper technique. Activities focus on classical music
 

Class II Math

Class II is the time to solidify a strong foundation in basic addition and subtraction fact memorization and immediate recall. The math curriculum is based on the core objectives of place value to 1,000; addition and subtraction with regrouping; multiplication and division concepts and memorization of the multiplication tables of 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10; and geometry. Mini units include measurement, time, money, and patterning. Problem solving strategies are taught and practiced regularly. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning and generalization. Enrichment activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.
 

Class II Literacy

The Waterford reading model teaches children specifically at their instructional reading level. Comprehension and fluency skills are taught and reinforced in small reading groups through the use of quality children's literature. Spelling and writing skills are strengthened in small group phonics instruction. Both reading and phonics instruction employ hands-on, high student involvement activities. Teachers and reading assistants collaborate to instruct students in small groups. Oral home reading to an adult is required. A weekly spelling list is comprised of sight words and other words used frequently in Class II curriculum.

Students write extensively, using the D'Nealian style of script. Students develop sentence-writing skills with letters, poems, narrative and expository pieces. Students participate in the writing process from prewriting to final draft. The students' writing improves as self-editing and teacher editing are implemented. Grammar topics include nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

Class II History

The history focus in Class II is world geography, beginning with mapping skills and introducing the students to the continents, oceans, and major land and water forms of the world. The remainder of the year is spent in concentrated studies of each continent, focusing on its landforms, environments, people, customs, animals, and some aspects of history. Mapping skills and the use of an atlas are reinforced throughout each continent study.

Class II Dance

At the end of the school year, the Class II students are able to do all eight locomotor steps plus variations and combinations of these steps. They identify meters (duple, triple) and continue with note value. They learn the muscles and bones of the body that are important to dance and the alignment of the body. They learn the difference between positive and negative space as it relates to creation, shape, and choreographic choices. They experiment with improvisation and modern dance technique while being aware of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Poetry deepens their understanding of the quality of their movement. They perform in front of peers solo, with a partner, and in small groups.
 

Class II Computers

Class II students work on the Waterford Early Learning Program in the computer lab where classroom skills are reinforced. Beginning keyboarding skills are taught.

Class I Visual Art

Class I begins the foundation of a vertical art curriculum which moves through Class V and on to Middle and Upper Schools. Components of this course include the figure, drawing from nature, and three-dimensional art. Students in Class I are introduced to design elements and principles in an organized manner which emphasizes their personal creativity. Students begin to explore historical art movements and well known master artists.
 

Class I Science

Class I science students begin the year by reviewing and using the Metric System. This is the measuring system used throughout the year. As students study Astronomy, they research the sun, various planets, and dwarf planets. They also learn about other celestial bodies such as meteors, comets, and asteroids. Students study the five senses in depth in the area of Human Biology. Vertebrate Zoology is the next unit of study, followed by a brief study of Meteorology and Geology.
 

Class I P.E.

Students demonstrate the mature form of certain locomotor skills (skipping, hopping, galloping) and manipulative skills (throwing, kicking, dribbling). Health enhancing activities are introduced. These activities focus on the following health components: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Teamwork, self-control, responsibility, and problem solving skills are taught. Students work to develop their skills in areas such as space awareness, transferring weight, chasing and fleeing, throwing and catching, kicking (soccer), dribbling (basketball), and striking with rackets, sticks (floor hockey), and bats.
 

Class I Music

The aim of Class I music is a transfer of the students' thought from sound to symbol in basic rhythm, meter, solfege, and staff notational issues, with a focus on music reading and writing using mi, sol, and la pitches. The singing voice is nurtured. Students sing folk song games and sing as a choir in holiday and spring concerts. They read musical symbols including the tie, half note, whole note, and nine basic rhythmic patterns, and conduct two-meter time. Piano playing skills are developed, including reading absolute pitches on the treble staff. Students also listen to works by important classical composers and become familiar with instruments of the orchestra.
 

Class I Math

The curriculum is designed around the core objectives of place value to 100, addition and subtraction facts, adding and subtracting, writing and solving number sentences, word problems, and patterns. These objectives are taught to mastery. Mini units include time, money, and geometry. Students are given a wide variety of hands-on experiences and exercises in practical computation. Automaticity of the basic addition and subtraction facts is important. Students work on critical thinking through problem solving, reasoning and generalization. Simulation activities coincide with specific math units to connect application of knowledge to real life events. Cooperative learning and varied small group interactive activities support the concepts presented. Mathematical ideas are related to other areas of the curriculum so that students acquire broader notions about the interconnectedness to other fields.
 

Class I Literacy

Through an abundance of selected literature, the children develop greater fluency and comprehension. They are engaged in silent reading, partner reading, group reading, reading along with recordings, comprehension activities, and vocabulary building. Students master the skills of phonics and phonemic awareness. Both reading and phonics instruction employ hands-on, high student involvement activities. Teachers and reading assistants collaborate to instruct students in small groups. Oral home reading to an adult is required.

To accompany and complement this program, the children are involved in daily writing. Spelling list words are taken from the phonics program. Handwriting is based on D'Nealian style of script. Students learn lower and upper case manuscript. Emphasis is on correct letter formation, word and letter spacing, alignment, and neatness.
 

Class I History

Students in Class I study mapping skills as they identify their place in their surroundings of home, neighborhood, school, community, city, state, country, and world.
 

Class I Dance

At the end of the school year, the Class I students are able to do all eight locomotor steps plus several variations of these. They perform combinations of locomotor steps and start to understand accents and duple and triple meters. They continue to work on note value. They expand on floor patterns and relationships in space with people and objects. Their work on energy qualities, adding swing and vibration, leads to simple choreography that has a beginning, middle, and end. They study Doris Humphrey and Isadora Duncan and their contributions to modern dance.
 

Class I Computers

Students work daily on the Waterford Early Learning Program in the computer lab. This use of technology opens avenues for problem solving and new ways to discover solutions. Students master a variety of software that reinforces and enhances the reading, math, and writing they are taught in the classroom.
 

Preschool Social Studies/Science

PreK-3
The primary goal in PreK-3 is developing a sense of wonder about the world in which we live. Life science topics include observing seasonal change weather, plants, animals, and insects. Building with blocks and experimenting with tools and simple machines allow children to discover physical science concepts. Social studies topics include building friendships, community helpers, and exploring cultures throughout the world. Manipulating real and make-believe tools along with real and imitation processes, and posing questions invite investigations about how things work. Child-initiated investigations are the most important method of exploration throughout the year.

PreK-4
The children's environment is the main focus of study, expanding upon what is already known about themselves, family, school, and the community at large as they learn about community helpers and traditions of children throughout the world. Children's minds are engaged through close observation of things they can see, touch, hear, smell or taste. Science includes a study of seasons, plants, insects, spiders, animals, oceans, and space. Children make predictions and hypotheses about what is observed then generate ideas for problem solving or evaluate results of their study. Children learn to think about their thinking, construct new knowledge, and apply their emerging skills. Children participate in discussions and investigations, conduct surveys, and ask questions to gather information.

Directory

Lower School

Melanie Battistone's picture

Melanie Battistone

Lower School Head
melaniebattistone@waterfordschool.org
Teri Andrach ’90's picture

Teri Andrach ’90

Lower School Curriculum Specialist
B.S. Brigham Young University
teriandrach@waterfordschool.org
Teri Andrach ’90's picture

Teri Andrach ’90

Lower School Curriculum Specialist
B.S. Brigham Young University
teriandrach@waterfordschool.org
Teri Andrach is the Lower School Curriculum Director at the Waterford School. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She began her career at Waterford in October 1995 as a Lower School Computer Lab Manager. The following school year she became a Class III teacher and continued in that position until transitioning into her current position in 2014. Teri is proud to call herself a Waterford Original. She was a Waterford student when the school opened its doors in Provo, Utah in 1981. She also has two sons who are Waterford graduates, having attended Waterford beginning in the PreK-3 Program, as well as a stepson in the Class of 2018. She has a unique perspective of having experienced Waterford as student, parent, and faculty member. While teaching Class III, Teri was Lead Teacher for Classes III-V for seven years. She also served on several curriculum committees and summer curriculum development projects. She was awarded the Waterford Educator Prize in 2007. Teri defines herself as a life-long learner, particularly fascinated by how children learn and how new research affects current teaching practices.
Madison Horne Anderson ’07's picture

Madison Horne Anderson ’07

PreK-4
B.A. Brigham Young University
madisonanderson@waterfordschool.org
Madison Horne Anderson ’07's picture

Madison Horne Anderson ’07

PreK-4
B.A. Brigham Young University
madisonanderson@waterfordschool.org
Madi Anderson, a Waterford alum, is a PreK-4 AM and PM lead teacher. Madi is a graduate of Brigham Young University where she earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). Prior to teaching at Waterford, she taught at Alianza Academy and Lakeview Academy. Madi started her Waterford career in 2013 in Class III, where she taught for two years. Because of her Early Childhood accreditation, she moved to PreK in 2015 and absolutely loves it. Madi most enjoys working with preschool-aged students, guiding them through a variety of emotions transitioning from home to school, supporting them when learning to create friendships and socialize with their peers, and experiencing with them as they make new discoveries about the world around them. Madi and her husband, Nathan, who is also a Waterford alum, live by the University of Utah, where they enjoy exploring the city, taking their dog to local parks, and hiking up the canyon. Her husband is finishing up his PharmD at the University of Utah.
Melissa V. Armenta's picture

Melissa V. Armenta

Kindergarten
B.A. Hood College
melissaarmenta@waterfordschool.org
Melissa V. Armenta's picture

Melissa V. Armenta

Kindergarten
B.A. Hood College
melissaarmenta@waterfordschool.org
Melissa Armenta grew up just outside of Washington, DC (Go Redskins!) and graduated with honors from Hood College in Maryland with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2006. After a couple years of student teaching, her career started at S. Christa McAulliffe Elementary where she taught kindergarten for two years. In the process, Melissa got married and followed her husband to Utah where he was in the midst of finishing his graduate school education. Melissa's first teaching job in Utah was at the Waterford School and she taught PreK 4's in 2008. After acquiring an ELL certification for the state of Utah, her career path led her to help open a charter school in Park City, where she taught for 6 years. She helped develop and implement the second grade curriculum. Melissa was also the team lead for first and second grade teachers as well as the ELL Director at Weilenmann. For her efforts, Melissa was awarded 2014 Teacher of the Year for the Weilenmann School of Discovery. Last year, she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Waterford School community again. Melissa has currently been teaching full day Kindergarten at the Waterford School from September 2015 to the present and can't wait to share her passion for elementary education with you and your child! Outside the classroom, Melissa enjoys shopping, skiing, running, relaxing on the beach and spending time with her family. She and her husband recently celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary. They have one boy that is ready to jump into PreK 4's and a dog named Abby. Melissa feels that every child is an individual of great value, and she has high expectations for each student. She will do her best to meet the needs of every individual child in her classroom and is looking forward to having a great year here at Waterford!
Susan Banks's picture

Susan Banks

Kindergarten
B.A. Utah State University
susanbanks@waterfordschool.org
Susan Banks's picture

Susan Banks

Kindergarten
B.A. Utah State University
susanbanks@waterfordschool.org
Susan Banks, Kindergarten teacher and Pre-K and Kindergarten lead teacher, is a graduate of Utah State University where she earned a BS in Early Childhood Education with a minor in music. While doing graduate study at Utah State University in Family Human Development, Susan was a head teacher in the Adele & Dale Young Child Development Lab for three years. Her responsibilities included supervising and working closely with student teachers and practicum students who were majoring in early childhood education, as well as teaching 4-5 year old children and working with their parents. Susan also taught undergraduate early childhood development courses for USU at their Logan campus and at the Salt Lake's Regional campus. Susan began teaching PreK 3's and PreK 4's at The Waterford School in 1994. In 2010 she joined the Kindergarten team. Susan was recognized with the Waterford Educator Prize in 2015. Susan enjoys cooking, photography, and spending time with family, particularly on the family ranch in Idaho.
Dana Carlson's picture

Dana Carlson

Class II
B.S. Indiana University
danacarlson@waterfordschool.org
Dana Carlson's picture

Dana Carlson

Class II
B.S. Indiana University
danacarlson@waterfordschool.org
Dana Carlson, Class II teacher, graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career in the Texas public school system where she taught second grade and was a Reading Support teacher. During her career in the public schools, she served on a variety of district-wide curriculum committees and was selected to present at the Texas State Reading Conference. After five years in the public schools, Dana began teaching second grade at The Hockaday School, an all girls independent school in Dallas.  This teaching experience helped her realize the value of a liberal arts education and is the reason why her own daughter has attended independent schools. She believes they offer the best in education and challenge their students to be lifelong learners. Dana was the recipient of the 2003 Freedom Foundation’s Leavey Award for excellence in teaching students about entrepreneurship.

Dana has been married to her husband, Eric, for twenty years and they have one daughter, Avery, who is a student at Waterford. The Carlsons enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends and the beauty of the Wasatch mountains.
Michelle Curtis's picture

Michelle Curtis

Class V
B.S. University of Utah
michellecurtis@waterfordschool.org
Michelle Curtis's picture

Michelle Curtis

Class V
B.S. University of Utah
michellecurtis@waterfordschool.org
Michelle Curtis has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Utah with emphases in Psychology and English. Her undergraduate study also included language study in Latin. Michelle is a licensed Social Service Worker (SSW) with significant experience in mental health therapy, social work practice, social welfare policy, and human growth development. Her social service has included crisis and hospital intervention at the Rape Crisis Center in Salt Lake City, and counseling, advocacy, and long-term support for rape victims and their families. In her capacity as a Social Worker, Michelle has helped assess foster care visits, foster hearings, investigations, custody evaluations, home studies, and handicapped visits. On behalf of individuals and families, she has also attended hearings on case reviews and evaluations and has completed home studies for interstate compact custody evaluations. Michelle’s initial experience as a teacher bridged her work in education with her experience in social work.

She began her teaching career as a teacher of Intervention Drug Courses at Jordan School District (for which she also wrote the curriculum). Michelle taught parents and students in courses required as a result of students’ drug use, possession of drug paraphernalia, and/or distribution of drugs. Topics covered included drug education for parents, penalties and the law, self-respect, self-control, personal responsibility, and the physiological effects of drugs on individual perspective and choice.

Since 1996, Michelle has been a teacher at the Waterford School where she initially taught Latin in 4th- 6th grades and American History for 7th grade. Michelle also taught English as Independent Study courses to Middle and Upper School students in need of Special Topics and/or remedial support in that subject. In Waterford’s early years, Michelle served as a long-term substitute counselor in the Counseling Department. She has also been recommended as a math tutor to Middle and Upper School students who have needed support and remediation. For the last 12 years, Michelle has been a Class V Lower School teacher. In that capacity, she has developed advanced curriculum in Writing, English, and Mathematics, as well as curriculum in character education and study skills. Michelle has collaborated on the development of Waterford’s fifth-grade-level grammar units and has worked yearly on the development of standards that enable the smooth transition of Lower School students into Middle School, especially in math. Michelle loves to read fiction and history, and her hobbies include running, hiking, playing the cello, and participating in soccer and kick-ball leagues. She is known for her championship trophies in kick-ball, her Ninja videos, and her fantastic desserts and rolls.
Suzanne Dahl's picture

Suzanne Dahl

Class I
B.S. Brigham Young University
suzannedahl@waterfordschool.org
Suzanne Dahl's picture

Suzanne Dahl

Class I
B.S. Brigham Young University
suzannedahl@waterfordschool.org
Suzanne Dahl, Class I teacher, graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Music. She began teaching in the Pre-K program at Waterford in 2002 and moved to Class I in 2015. Prior to teaching at Waterford, she taught Kindergarten and First Grade for 6 years at an independent school in Salt Lake. Suzanne and her husband are the parents of three Waterford graduates. In her spare time she enjoys running, biking, and hiking.
Juli R. Dalton's picture

Juli R. Dalton

PreK-4
julidalton@waterfordschool.org
Juli R. Dalton's picture

Juli R. Dalton

PreK-4
julidalton@waterfordschool.org
Juli Dalton, PreK-3 teacher, has completed four years of undergraduate study with a focus in early childhood development at the University of Utah. Prior to her arrival at Waterford, Mrs. Dalton enjoyed tutoring math and teaching various children’s classes for Granite School District’s Continuing Education program while starting her family. Mrs. Dalton also taught and designed curriculum for 3 years at WhisperCreek Preschool. In 2005, Juli began assisting in the Kindergarten reading program at Waterford, then added math and reading tutoring to her responsibilities a few years later. In addition to tutoring during summer term, Mrs. Dalton teaches two camps for students at Waterford: ABC camp and Books and Cooks camp. In 2012, Mrs. Dalton was asked to create and teach the enrichment afternoon class for the full-day Pre-K students and continues to do this. Mrs. Dalton involves herself with family, enjoying hiking, skiing and other community activities. Her personal hobbies include gardening and cooking. Mrs. Dalton has and currently serves in church administrative and teaching responsibilities.
Paula Getz's picture

Paula Getz

Class V
M.Ed. Northern Arizona University
paulagetz@waterfordschool.org
Paula Getz's picture

Paula Getz

Class V
M.Ed. Northern Arizona University
paulagetz@waterfordschool.org
Paula Getz, Lower School homeroom teacher, has been a teacher at the Waterford School since 2001 and has over 25 years of classroom teaching experience. Paula has experience teaching grades four through eight in numerous states across the country, but for the past 15 years she has been employed as a Class V teacher at Waterford. In 2011, Paula was awarded Waterford’s Educator Prize. Paula enjoys being a student as much as she enjoys being a teacher. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh and Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University. In December of 2017, Ms. Getz graduated from Arizona State University with a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Gifted Education. Paula places strong emphasis on the development of a “growth mindset” in her students and has a particular interest in the utilization of “brain-based” teaching practices. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Paula serves as a mentor to new teachers and coaches the Class V Robotics team.
Katherine Hoke's picture

Katherine Hoke

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
katherinehoke@waterfordschool.org
Katherine Hoke's picture

Katherine Hoke

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
katherinehoke@waterfordschool.org
Katherine Hoke, Class III teacher, moved to Salt Lake City in 2016 with her husband, Ben, who is Waterford’s Director of Advancement. Katherine graduated from St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY) with a B.S. in Psychology, earning a Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, attending James Cook University (Townsville, Australia) for a semester abroad, working in the IT (Information Technology) office, and earning membership in the English and Greek honoraries: Irving Bacheller Society and Gamma Sigma Alpha, respectively. Following a year-long internship at The Fessenden School in West Newton, MA, Katherine earned an M.Ed. at Lesley University in Moderate Disabilities preK-8, with a concentration in language-based learning disabilities. Through this program, she also earned her Massachusetts State Licensure. Following this formal training, Katherine also received Responsive Classroom training and taught at Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, MA for three years as a 4th Grade Humanities and Co-Homeroom Teacher. During this time, she was trained as a Critical Friends Group (CFG) facilitator and participated in the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) program. Over three consecutive summers in MA, she also worked as a camp counselor and then Upper Camp Division Coordinator at Summer Fenn Day Camp (Concord, MA).

Following the call of a lifelong traveling dream and wanting to explore more of the places where her mother was raised in Europe, Katherine moved to London, England in 2007, where she worked as the Grade 5 Learning Specialist at The American School in London for 2 years. There, she also served on the Educational Excellence Committee.  Following her return to the U.S. in 2009, Katherine taught 5th Grade at Ethical Culture School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, serving on the Diversity Committee. Most recently, she taught at The Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, CT as a 4th Grade Teacher and Co-Coordinator of Middle School Diversity (Gr. 4-6). Over the course of her time at GCDS, she was trained in Singapore Math, SEED facilitation, Google Apps, and Reader’s Workshop (through Columbia University’s Teacher’s College). Her additional workshop experiences included the NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) for People of Color and their allies, Harvard’s Think Tank on Global Education, and Harvard’s Universal Design for Learning, among others. She also served for 1-yr. stints on the GCDS Education Committee of the Board of Trustees and the Building Committee for the Middle School.  

Having visited Park City with her family since an early age, Katherine was thrilled to join the Waterford community and to have the chance to hike, bike, and ski the slopes of her childhood with Ben. Together, they enjoy staying physically active, reading, FaceTiming with family on the East Coast, traveling, attending speakers’ series and concerts, and exploring new restaurants.  
Susan Johnsen's picture

Susan Johnsen

Kindergarten
B.S. Utah State University
susanjohnsen@waterfordschool.org
Susan Johnsen's picture

Susan Johnsen

Kindergarten
B.S. Utah State University
susanjohnsen@waterfordschool.org
Susan B. Johnsen, is a graduate of Utah State University where she earned a B.A. She majored in Early Childhood Education and minored in Children’s Literature. While at USU she was awarded the coveted Greeves Memorial Scholarship. Susan loves to dance and was a performer in the USU dance company while also performing in community theater in her home town. Susan began her teaching career with a move to Connecticut so her husband, Ken Johnsen, could attend Yale Law School. Her first teaching job was at Gan Hayeled Nursery School of B’Nai Jacob Synagogue in Woodbridge, CT (1983 – 1985). In the afternoons, she worked as an Extended Day teacher at St. Thomas More, a private elementary school in Hamden, CT. Her next move was to San Francisco, CA for Ken’s judicial clerkship. Susan earned a teaching appointment at The Laurel School, a private elementary school that specialized in educating children with learning disabilities (1985-1986). The following year the Johnsens moved back to Utah, and Susan began teaching for the Waterford School in the preschool program during the first two years of the Sandy City Waterford campus (1986 – 1988). Susan then switched roles and became a Waterford parent for ten years. She returned to Waterford as a Class IV teacher in 2000. Prior re-entering the classroom, Susan served as Lower School Director, she was a Class IV teacher (2000 – 2012), Lead Teacher for Classes III – IV (2009 – 2012), Lower School Community Service Coordinator (2006 – 2009), and a preschool teacher (1986 – 1988). Susan received the Waterford Educator Prize in 2011. Susan’s three children are all Waterford graduates. She is extremely appreciative of the lasting impact their Waterford education continues to have on the their lives. She enjoys hiking, snow skiing, water skiing, reading, teaching, and traveling.
Mike Johnson ’88's picture

Mike Johnson ’88

Class V
B.S. Brigham Young University
mikejohnson@waterfordschool.org
Erin Knight's picture

Erin Knight

PreK-4
B.A. University of Utah
erinknight@waterfordschool.org
Erin Knight's picture

Erin Knight

PreK-4
B.A. University of Utah
erinknight@waterfordschool.org
Erin Knight, PreK-4 teacher, is a graduate of the University of Utah where she earned a B.A. in Political Science. She studied French and Art History at the American College in Paris. She has also done post-graduate work in early childhood education at Stanford University Bing Nursery School. She began her teaching career as a substitute teacher at The Waterford School in 1990. This launched her teaching career. She has taught Class III, PreK-3, and PreK-4 at Waterford. She has been teaching preschool since 2002. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Erin has run the Lower and Middle School Ski and Ride program, as well as coached the Waterford Mighty Mite Ski Team. An avid skier, she spent her high school years ski racing with the Rowmark Ski Academy. Erin lives in Sandy with her husband and three children. She loves to cook, travel to Turks and Caicos, and collect children's books. Two of her children are Waterford graduates and are attending college, the third will graduate from Waterford in 2018.
Sheriann Kovacs's picture

Sheriann Kovacs

Class II
B.S. Brigham Young University
sherikovacs@waterfordschool.org
Sheriann Kovacs's picture

Sheriann Kovacs

Class II
B.S. Brigham Young University
sherikovacs@waterfordschool.org
Sheri Kovacs wanted to be a teacher from the time she was a young girl. With the help of a scholarship and a part-time job, she entered Brigham Young University, completing her bachelor’s degree in three years, proud to be the first college graduate in her family. She married shortly after graduation, and began her first teaching contract on her twenty-first birthday. Following two years of teaching first grade in Alpine School District, Sheri retired and moved with her husband to California, where their first son was born. Shortly afterward, they returned to Utah, and Sheri to teaching, this time in third grade in Alpine School District. Following the birth of her second son, she co-wrote the proposal for and was a part of the pilot program for job-sharing in second grade in the Alpine District. When the Kovacs family moved to Sandy, Sheri was employed in the Jordan School District, teaching first grade for one year, and then third grade for seven years. Her career at Waterford began in the school year of 1998-1999, and she has enjoyed teaching Class II since that time. She loves Class II students and their parents, the Class II curriculum, and interacting with her colleagues. She has served as a Lead Teacher and was the recipient of the Waterford Educator Prize in 2012. In the course of her career, Sheri has taught more than 800 students. If asked, she will tell you that she plans to teach until she is 94. Sheri has enjoyed attending conferences, with special interest in math, reading and phonics, and learning about the brain. In her out of school hours, she is involved in her church, volunteered in an addiction recovery program, and loves to read, bake, and play with her grandchildren. During the summer, she enjoys going to the neighborhood pool daily and going to the beach as often as the opportunity presents itself. Currently, Sheri resides in South Jordan with her husband. Their family includes their two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren. Sheri considers her family to be her most important accomplishment.
Cami LaForge's picture

Cami LaForge

Class II
B.S. North Central University
camilaforge@waterfordschool.org
Cami LaForge's picture

Cami LaForge

Class II
B.S. North Central University
camilaforge@waterfordschool.org
Cami LaForge, Class II Teacher and Lead Teacher for Class I-II, is a graduate of North Central University in Minneapolis, MN where she earned a B.S. in Elementary Education (1st-8th grade) with a Kindergarten Endorsement. Before arriving at Waterford School in 1997, Cami taught full day kindergarten for two years at St. Sebastian School in Akron, OH and while taking graduate classes at Notre Dame of Cleveland and Malone College. From 1997 to 2000, Cami served as Class V teacher at Waterford School. She took a short leave from the classroom to care for her young children from 2000-2005. During that time, she privately tutored at the secondary level and maintained her Utah teacher’s license with graduate coursework at the University of Utah. 11 years ago, she returned as Class II teacher. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Cami has been Lead Teacher at Waterford School for 6 years. A devoted mother, she spends most of her time with her family. When she is not reading, cooking, or watching baseball, she works on puzzles, dines with friends, or plays with her dogs. As a parent who adopted out of foster care, she has a special place in her heart for those in need of a family. Cami lives with her husband, three teenagers, and two beloved dogs.
Betty Neal's picture

Betty Neal

Class I
B.S. University of Utah
bettyneal@waterfordschool.org
Kristie Rasmussen's picture

Kristie Rasmussen

PreK-3
M.Ed. Brigham Young University
kristierasmussen@waterfordschool.org
Jen Rudd's picture

Jen Rudd

PreK-3
B.S. Brigham Young University
jenniferrudd@waterfordschool.org
Jen Rudd's picture

Jen Rudd

PreK-3
B.S. Brigham Young University
jenniferrudd@waterfordschool.org
Jen grew up in Holladay, but has lived outside of Utah for the last twenty-five years. Jen and her husband planned to return to Utah after he graduated from law school in Boston, but a career in government took them all over the world. Jen’s passion for teaching began as a volunteer English teacher in Guatemala. Since then, she has taught in a variety of settings, including homeschool co-ops in New York and Virginia, a language institute in Korea, a neighborhood preschool in Japan, a Catholic girls’ school in Hong Kong, and most recently a private international school in Hong Kong. Jen also taught with Head Start for a few months in between moves.

She obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University and completed a teaching certification program (with an emphasis on early childhood education) through the University of West Florida. She is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Studies with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

During her time living in Asia, Jen became fascinated with Eastern contemplative studies. She has participated in numerous meditation retreats in China, Hong Kong, India, and the U.S., and has reaped the benefits of bringing such practices into daily life. Jen loves short hikes and long road trips, but her favorite way to pass a day is out on a lake watching her five sons wakeboard. (Every now and then she may even get out there herself!) She is happy to be back home in Utah, and she is extremely excited to be teaching at Waterford. Jen considers it a dream job to spend her days with our youngest learners!
Brittany Smith's picture

Brittany Smith

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
brittanysmith@waterfordschool.org
Brittany Smith's picture

Brittany Smith

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
brittanysmith@waterfordschool.org
Brittany Smith, Class IV Teacher, graduated with her B.S. in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University and M.Ed. from Utah State University. She taught grades 1, 2, 4, and 6 in Utah’s public school system then moved to California and taught grade 5 for 7 years in San Jose. She has been teaching Class IV at Waterford since the fall of 2010. Brittany really enjoyed teaching from the “Step Up to Writing” program in San Jose and was able to share this writing structure with Waterford. She attended a “Step Up to Writing” conference in Texas. Upon returning, she trained administrators and Kindergarten through 5th grade teachers in this program. She currently organizes Waterford’s Early Morning Service Program which provides an opportunity for students in Classes IV and V to serve in many areas around the school each morning. Brittany loves to learn, serve, and travel. Some highlights for her were traveling to Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, and China to do humanitarian work. She enjoys American history and has traveled to many significant U.S. sites. Brittany plays the piano and relishes reading historical fiction books. She has loved learning more about the Middle Ages since teaching Class IV and was able to visit Ireland recently, learning more about castles and life on a manor.
Jenny Sorenson's picture

Jenny Sorenson

Class III
B.S. University of Utah
jennysorenson@waterfordschool.org
Jenny Sorenson's picture

Jenny Sorenson

Class III
B.S. University of Utah
jennysorenson@waterfordschool.org
Jenny Sorenson received a Bachelors of Science degree, with a focus on Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a Early Childhood Education certification from the University of Utah in 2001. During her college years, she taught preschool with Granite School District and earned other real-world experience working in the fields of banking, dining service, floral design, and pet care. She also worked several years for the postal service. Upon graduation, she worked for the Jordan School District for 5 years as a classroom teacher and reading specialist in Herriman and South Jordan, Utah. Wanting to spend more time with her family, she ran an independent tutoring service, Yearning For Learning, from 2005 to 2009. Efforts to find more effective strategies to meet the needs of students with Dyslexia led Jenny to Waterford, a pioneer in Utah for the Wilson and Fundations programs for reading and spelling interventions. She began her journey with Waterford in 2009 in the tutoring program, where she tutored middle school students in English, history, and study skills. In 2010, she transitioned back into the classroom and has been teaching in Class III ever since. Jenny is proud to be teaching at The Waterford School, where the liberal arts program aligns well with her philosophies of teaching and living. She grew up in Sandy, Utah, just a few blocks away from the campus, where her parents continue to reside. Her husband and two daughters are also proud to be a part of the Waterford community. Jenny prides herself on being a life-long learner and is currently studying mindfulness and the positive effects of this practice, especially as it relates to the classroom environment. She enjoys learning through travel opportunities and drawing parallels between the ancient cultures explored in the Class III curriculum and other ancient cultures. Most recently, she visited Machu Picchu on a faculty trip to Peru in 2015 and Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan peninsula, in 2016. She also enjoys making jewelry, singing with her “family band,” and the beauty of nature in all of its forms. She looks forward to the adventures ahead.
Colleen Thompson's picture

Colleen Thompson

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
colleenthompson@waterfordschool.org
Colleen Thompson's picture

Colleen Thompson

Class III
M.Ed. Lesley University
colleenthompson@waterfordschool.org
Colleen Thompson is currently a Class III teacher and the Lower Schools Outdoor Coordinator. She received her B.A. in Human Development from Colby College in Waterville, ME. Subsequently, she completed a year-long Master's program at Lesley University where she focused her efforts on elementary education. Colleen began her teaching career at Wildwood School in Los Angeles, CA, as a fourth grade teacher. While at Wildwood, she also served as a Division Coordinator and spent two years on the Multicultural Leadership Team. She has training as a Critical Friends Group coach and in VISIONS multicultural work. Colleen also attended Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Project. After seven years in the busy city, Colleen and her husband relocated to Salt Lake City where she promptly began teaching at Waterford. In addition to her enthusiasm for education, Colleen is thrilled to be living at the base of the Wasatch Mountains and can typically be found on a trail hiking, jogging, or biking with her dog. She is also an avid reader who is always eager to share book titles.
Akiva Toren's picture

Akiva Toren

Class IV
M.A. University of Portland
akivatoren@waterfordschool.org
Akiva Toren's picture

Akiva Toren

Class IV
M.A. University of Portland
akivatoren@waterfordschool.org
Akiva Toren entered education following his B.A. in philosophy and music from McGill University in Montreal, QC. He spent a year working with first graders and kindergarteners before and after school in the Seattle Public Schools system. Following that, he received his M.A. in teaching from University of Portland through their P.A.C.E program, a teaching fellowship that places its teachers in schools throughout the west. The P.A.C.E. program placed him in Kearns, UT, and he taught fourth grade there for four years. In 2017, Akiva joined the Waterford team to teach Class IV.

Akiva's interests vary widely, as he has studied music, philosophy, ancient languages, and even received honors in Hebrew. He has lived in many countries, from Israel to Scotland, and loves to share his love of languages, cultures, and history with his students. Utah, with its varying mountains, deserts, forests, and snow, has captured his heart. He enjoys the outdoors by hiking and running, and loves the arts Salt Lake City offers, such as the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, and the many festivals that take place in and around the valley. 
Deanna Williams's picture

Deanna Williams

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
deannawilliams@waterfordschool.org
Deanna Williams's picture

Deanna Williams

Class IV
B.S. Brigham Young University
deannawilliams@waterfordschool.org
Deanna Williams began her career in 1986 with Granite School District, located in Salt Lake City, after completing her B.S. degree at Brigham Young University. She worked for six years in public school teaching second, fifth, and sixth grades. She looks at this experience with fondness, as she was given many opportunities to mentor colleagues in special education practices and reading instruction. In 1992, Deanna joined the Waterford School. While working at Waterford, she has been a Lead Teacher for Classes III - V, mentored and hired new LS teachers, and served in the capacity as Lower School Director for three years. She is an advocate for the School and counts teaching at Waterford as a “dream come true.” Her interests and passions vary, but she loves to teach first and foremost. Her weekends are spent with her three children and their spouses and ten grandchildren, ranging from three months to twelve years. A lover of art and art history, Deanna loves to travel and read. She loves to learn anything new, having attended many educational conferences throughout her career. Spending time in the great museums of the world, especially the Hermitage, viewing the ballet of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, and attending a Rachmaninoff concert in the Herodes Atticus on Athens Hill have been her traveling gems.