Building a successful community of students, by providing a quality education.



Our Kindergarten program at Carl Sandburg is a balance of both academic and social goals that enable all children to grow emotionally and gain skills that lead them to be confident, successful, and independent learners.

The first few months of school are dedicated not only to learning the academic basics, but also to learning about our schedule and routine. Though your child may be used to something similar at home and/or preschool, in kindergarten, your child will learn to gain more independence and follow routines using a combination of visual and verbal prompts. Your child will be experiencing many different learning situations (classroom, playground, specialist classes). Within those learning environments, your child will learn how to seek support if a situation arises whereby they could use some additional guidance.Along with growing their brains, learning and using successful social skill tools/strategies allow all students to be successful and achieve.

Below you will find the 5 main subject areas that are taught in our Kindergarten program. Additional information regarding our curriculum will be shared during the Family Connections conference in September.

Language and Literacy: (Reading, Writing, Listening, Viewing, and Speaking)- McGraw-Hill WONDERS – This program is aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

  • Phonics/Phonemic Awareness
  • Print Awareness
  • Word Structures
  • Writing
  • Handwriting


  • Writing Forms:Narrative/Informative/Opinion
  • Journals
  • Introduction to letters and numerals
  • Directionality: left to right, top to bottom
  • Handwriting Program: Zaner-Bloser

Math: enVision Math

  • Number and Operations: Whole Number Concepts, Whole Number Addition/Subtraction
  • Algebra
  • Number Sentences/Equations
  • Measurement and Data: Describe and compare measurable attributes, Length and Width
  • Geometry:Plane and Solid Figures

Science: Amplify

  • Needs of Plants and Animals
  • Pushes and Pulls
  • Sunlight and Weather

Social Studies: Social Studies Alive! Me and My World

Students will learn and explore ways to get along with others and how to solve problems. They learn that people live differently in different places and that they can help care for the world. Students practice the lessons they learn in activities such as creating “Who Am I?” books and identifying ways to help reduce waste in the environment.

We look forward to working with each child in seeing them grow into confident and successful learners who develop a strong growth mind-set as readers, writers, and mathematical thinkers.

1st Grade

First grade is a year of wonderful transformations. Students get to further develop the social skills learned in preschool and kindergarten, and start to show the signs of independent learners. They begin to develop understanding of what letters and numbers really mean.

In language arts, first graders participate in daily learning activities to build a strong reading foundation. They start to become more fluent readers and readers who also comprehend the important details of a text. They discover sound patterns and learn to apply the same pattern to other words (If I know “at,” then I know cat, bat, and splat). As writers, first graders grow from writing simple sentences or drawing a picture with labels to writing elaborate stories with an introduction, multiple details, and a closure. They get to explore a variety of forms of writing, such as personal narratives, all about books, and opinion reviews. As they learn new sounds in reading, they apply them to “invented spelling” by stretching out the words and writing the sounds they hear.

In math, first grade students develop a deeper understanding of numbers through hands-on learning. They learn to skip count by 2s, 5s, and 10s; read, write, and represent numbers through 120; and add and subtract numbers more fluently. They also learn to tell time to the hour and half hour, measure objects using non-standard measurement, and work with 2- and 3-dimensional shapes.

Our science units are always fun and exciting for students! First graders are inquisitive by nature, and they get to find patterns in the world around them. The units include: Plant and Animal Defenses, Light and Sound, and Spinning Earth. 

2nd Grade

Second grade is such a fun year! Kids are becoming more independent allowing them to extend their learning in new and exciting ways. They will discover more about themselves as a learner and what makes them unique.

In language arts to best teach to the needs of each student there is a mixture of whole group and small group instruction. We will be focusing on reading comprehension by helping kids analyze literature looking for text evidence and being able to summarize a text in their own words. Second graders will also work on improving fluency with voice inflection and observation of punctuation.

Second graders we will focus on three types of writing; Informative, Opinion, and Narrative. During all these units students will be practicing the writing process (pre-write, draft, revise, edit, and publish).

In Social Studies we will learn all about communities from what is a community to how communities share and interact with one another.

In second grade, we will focus on three major units covering Earth Science, Physical Science, and Life Science. Throughout the units students will be graded on their observations, inquiry, and application of what they have learned in class. Science is an interesting and exciting subject where students will especially be working in partnerships and as groups to investigate and learn about our world. Our Three units are Plants and Animal Relationships, Property of Materials, and Changing Landforms.

3rd Grade

Third graders begin their transition from primary to intermediate as they open their minds and their hearts to build confidence and take on new challenges. They take joy in gaining independent ownership in learning new skills in every area of the curriculum.

Students apply their basic reading and writing skills learned in the primary grades to take on more complicated assignments. They become confident readers who transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. Students gather information through a variety of sources (online, articles, books, etc.) to organize information and create pieces of writing to convey their learning.

Students are introduced to multiplication and division of basic facts and learn multiple strategies to solve these types of problems. Later in the year, students learn about fractions, area, and perimeter. Dreambox is an online math program used by students to reinforce and support classroom learning at their own pace.

Student spend time each afternoon engaging in either scientific discovery or social studies explorations. Students practice thinking "like a scientist" as they advance their inquiry skills and tackle investigations and engineering challenges in the life, physical, and earth sciences. In social studies, students focus on the elements of culture as they explore Native American culture and later their own culture in a Country Celebration.

4th Grade

Fourth grade is a year of many changes in children. They are transitioning from the supportive environment of the primary years to becoming a more independent child. During this year, you will see an increase in responsibility for homework, confidence and independent problem solving, as well as self-sufficiency. A fourth grader also can lose some of their risk-taking personality as they see the world as a bigger place. As teachers, we love this age because of the wonderful growth and maturity that happens during this time.

In reading and writing, you will see a shift from the act of reading and writing to thinking like a reader and writer. The texts will become longer and more complex. Fourth graders become efficient writers of informational, persuasive and narrative text.

Through problem solving and accurate computation, students will apply their math fact knowledge to work with large numbers in all four math operations.Understanding fractions and decimals are also emphasized.

Fourth grade scientists use the scientific process to understand the systems of the water cycle, electrical circuits and ecosystems. In social studies, we dig into the history, geography and economics of our own state of Washington.

Math: Students investigate concepts through problem solving and accurate computation.Concepts emphasized are: fractions,decimals,large number multiplication and division , multiplication math facts, geometry,measurement, statistics and probability.

Science: Our units include: Energy Conservation, Vision and Light, Earth Features, and Waves, Energy, and Information. All science units will emphasize the scientific process. In the spring , we will be studying how to maintain environmental balance with some hands on experiences at Tiger Mountain.

Social Studies:The Pacific Northwest will be the source of studies in geography, and history of Washington. One of our favorite units of the year is the Oregon Trail simulation.

5th Grade

Fifth graders will be going to middle school next year. They are gaining independence this year and problem solving their own situations. They are able to focus more in the classroom for longer periods of time. The fifth graders use planners to organize their homework and to document future events. Fifth graders greatest influence is their peers. They seek approval and fairness from their friends.

Students are continuing to work on complicated math concepts. The continue to develop a strong sense of place value and number sense along with decimals, fractions, measurement, and multi-step word problems. Math is an important area for the fifth grade.

In fifth grade, students use fiction and non-fiction to answer questions using an ACE format. The students will do some novel studies as well as the curriculum provided. Student use magazines (Time for Kids and Super Science) to read about current events. Students gather information through a variety of sources (online, articles, books, etc.) to organize information and create pieces of writing to convey their learning.

Students spend the afternoon studying social studies and science. In social studies, students focus on history, civics, geography, and economics, as they write about explorers, events in history and the American Revolution. In Science we have Amplify kits: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Modeling Mater, The Earth System, and  Ecosystem Restoration. These kits are used in combination with STEM activities to further advance their scientific thinking. We stress procedure and conclusion writing so the students are comfortable with the SBAC science test in May.

Special Education

Special education is not a “place” rather, it is a set of services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal legislation that helps guide school teams and families in the development and implementation of Individualized Education Programs (IEP). LWSD has a continuum of services to meet the needs of our diverse student population.

Safety Net

Safety Net is an intervention program that supports students in areas they need additional assistance. Students are seen in a small group setting, providing strategic support, targeting reading. How do students qualify? Students qualify based on results from DIBELs and SBA scores.


The mission of the school library is to provide a nurturing environment that empowers students to explore their imaginations and expand their critical thinking skills to be life-long learners of information. Students are encouraged to pursue areas of personal interest through reading, and thereby develop a long-lasting appreciation of literature. Primary students explore book elements while reading Washington Children's Choice Nominees and by voting in April to choose the state winner. Older students primarily focus on using the 5 Star Research Method to find accurate information within databases and books. In addition to this, 4th and 5th grade students can join in on the annual the Global Reading Challenge for book trivia challenges (books are announced every fall).


Welcome to the Sandburg/DCS music program! The primary objective of the music program is to provide a diverse and positive exposure to music and the arts. Our students should leave elementary school with a love and appreciation for the arts so that they can enjoy and benefit from a life-long love of music, whether as a performer or an audience member. 

Because of the large population, there are two music teachers: me, Bryan Melerski, and an itinerant teacher from another school.

The curriculum is designed around the state’s standards; LWSD has new Power Standards as well. In music we use multiple modalities to discover musical content as well as incorporate a multi-arts approach that involves dance, drama, and visual arts. We also believe in the power of inter-disciplinary connections, so we often explore reading, writing, math, science, and social studies in our musical learning. While each grade focuses on specific musical concepts, units of study, and curricular goals, every student at Sandburg/DCS will have an opportunity to sing, play instruments, dance, and explore creative movement; they will also read and compose using musical notation, study multi-cultural music, composers, and music throughout history. In addition, students will practice music theory through a variety of activities. Students are assessed on the level of effort and participation they put forth in each class.

During their time at Sandburg/DCS, students have many opportunities to participate in fine arts-related activities outside of the regular school day. Students in Grades 4 and 5 can join Band or Orchestra and take part in the annual musical hosted by Studio East. All grade levels will participate in and perform at a variety of assemblies and special events throughout the school year. In addition, if your child shows an interest in learning an instrument, please search Kirkland and the surrounding area for music stores and/or teachers for more information.

Also, Specialists are more than happy to schedule volunteers who want to assist in music, PE, and/or the library. Having extra hands makes learning even more enjoyable for everyone.


“Our goal in elementary PE is to build fundamental movement skills. This is done through developmentally appropriate games, dance, sports, and fitness assessments. The PE setting will allow students to develop teamwork, cooperation, social skills, and the confidence to stay physically active.”


The Ready Start program offers a comprehensive early childhood learning experience. Classes include typically developing children from the community who attend Ready Start to receive a quality, general education preschool experience in preparation for kindergarten, as well as students receiving special education. Our excellent preschool education is now offered through a fee-based program. Students in the fee-based program are registered based on available space. Students qualifying for special education or students at risk based on income level do not pay a fee for attendance. At risk student selection is based on completion of Head Start application.

Ready Start Preschool Program Information:

  • Each classroom has three adult educators
    • One Special Education Teacher
    • One General Education Lead Teacher
    • One Para Educator
  • Additional staff serves classrooms based on individual student needs, including:
    • Occupational therapist
    • Speech and language pathologist
    • Physical therapist
    • Family support specialist
  • The staff works together to provide the best environment for learning for all of the children.

Instruction is taught from research-based general pre-K curriculum.

Ready Start Preschool hours*
Morning classes: 10 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
Afternoon classes: 1:30 – 4 p.m. *Times may vary slightly at individual schools

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