One of the goals of the Agricultural Science program is for students to understand the significance of creating a sustainable food system. What this means is they need to understand how everything we do as humans has an effect on the natural world; either positive or negative. It is important to know where our food comes from and how it is produced in order to grow up to become informed voters and wise consumers. It all comes down to the health of the soil, quality of air and water and the availability of natural resources. Our students learn that the quality of the food they put into their bodies is directly related to the quality of life they will live.
Agricultural science also plays a key role in building, sustaining and reinforcing our student's scientific thinking. The school gardens and farm provide a living laboratory for students to explore, perform experiments and foster a sense of wonder. It is real 'hands on science" every day. There are problems to solve and processes to think critically about. The garden has opportunities for learning earth sciences, chemistry, physics and engineering.
Students in kindergarten through 6th grade meet once a week for art enrichment at the Charter School of Morgan Hill. Our desire is for each and every student to experience success in creativity and different art techniques. Experiences in art are met through problem solving, group cooperation and following multistep directions. Students are exposed to famous artists by connecting art projects to core subjects such as social studies, language arts, and math. We believe that by exercising the right side of the brain through the arts, we provide our students with a whole brain education and balance at CSMH.
Every kindergarten through 6th grade student at Charter School of Morgan Hill receives music and/or drama instruction once a week. There is substantial evidence that music can boost children's academic performance. Every student participates in singing a variety of songs that often include simple choreographed movement. Different styles of music are introduced and children learn rhythm patterns by playing different percussion instruments. This encourages student growth in their ability to track sounds and also helps support language, reading and focus in the classroom. Basic music theory is taught and children begin to learn how to read music. Fourth graders learn how to play the recorder and all fourth grade students participate in a musical theatre production at the end of the year. Fifth and sixth graders participate in drama activities that teach them public speaking skills and build their confidence.
At Charter School of Morgan Hill, students learn the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Data supports the idea that a balanced education that includes regular physical activity correlates with positive school outcomes. Students receive physical education three times a week from a dedicated physical education teacher. This ensures that students actually participate in physical education each week. The teachers plan units and specific lessons that teach proper stretching, build competence in discrete skills, promote team building, encourage good sportsmanship, and foster an appreciation for an active lifestyle.
Research suggests that the best time for students to learn a second language is in the early years of childhood. At CSMH, our goal in the Spanish enrichment program is to provide students with meaningful and contextually rich opportunities within which to see, hear, and use Spanish. The gradual development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills begins in kindergarten and continues through the sixth grade. Students are then better prepared to pursue Spanish as a core subject in seventh and eighth grades.
In Nutrition class, students are given the resources to make healthy decisions for the rest of their lives. They learn about the six nutrients, nutrition related health conditions, the food guide pyramid, the dietary guidelines, and the nutrition food label. Additional topics that students cover during this year-long class taught to all sixth graders includes: nutrition myths, the importance of fruits and vegetables, organic and sustainable farming practices, food safety and sanitation, sports nutrition and dieting.