Physical Education and Challenges Outdoors Changes Kids (PEACOCK): Students at Bellevue-Santa Fe benefit from an established Physical Education Program with a certificated instructor, Jen Jarvis, two times per week. Our program, PEACOCK (Physical Education And Challenges Outdoors Changes Kids), is designed to empower students to be healthy individuals and to enjoy physical activity. Students participate in strength and skill-building activities along with traditional organized games.
Science: Bellevue-Santa Fe’s Science curriculum is a prime example of our school’s emphasis on project-based learning—and its success in provoking a child’s sense of wonder and natural curiosity. Students spend time each week exploring science through discovery and inquiry with our dedicated Science teacher, Christian Strauli. During Science classes, hands-on experiments and exploration help our students to develop critical problem-solving skills and foster a passion for the natural world. Utilizing the scientific method, students investigate subjects ranging from genetics and biology to earth science, physics, and all other areas of the adopted state standards for Science. In addition to weekly lab activities, students may read, research, and write about these topics in accordance with cross-curricular instruction.
Garden: All students come to the garden once a week in our Ag-Grow program which is headed by Christian Strauli. Students work hard to grow food that they subsequently eat with relish. Students also perform garden chores like raking leaves, turning compost, planting seeds, and transplanting starts. In addition to the hard work of running the garden, students learn about the ecology of the outside area and the importance of balance in the ecosystem. Depending on their grade level, students may learn about the ways honey bees communicate, how red wiggler worms compost our food scraps, or the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly. Finally, students learn simple recipes to prepare delicious, wholesome, and healthy food from what they grow in the garden.
Buddies: Bellevue-Santa Fe helps forge special relationships between students of different grades through our Buddy program. Kindergarteners are paired with 4th and 5th graders and special activities are planned for them throughout the year. Each year thereafter, students are matched with a new child from another grade in an effort to build a close-knit school community. Buddy Lunch is on the day before Thanksgiving Break.
All-School Assembly: Each morning at Bellevue-Santa Fe begins with an all-school assembly. This is an opportunity for our students and teachers to gather as a community before the day begins. Each assembly program is hosted by a staff member and differ accordingly: Monday may be a “reader’s theater” presentation by the 1st grade class, Tuesday might bring a visit from the Cal Poly Soccer team, Wednesday could be the Kindergarten’s theater presentation of “The Grumpy Bug,” Thursday might hold a special appearance by a children’s book author, and Friday might tie the week up with “cool kid tricks” by the 6th grade class. Our all-school assembly gives students a daily opportunity to become comfortable with speaking before a group and performing before an audience. These 21st Century skills that will prove invaluable long after they graduate. In addition, special assemblies featuring musicians, artists, performers and other educational programs are held throughout the year with the help of of VAPA Committee. Past assemblies have brought storyteller and musician Bill Harley, author and illustrator Ashley Wolff, a pro-cycling team, and even former Chicago Bull Horace Grant.
Field Trips: Field Trips at Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter are integrated into the fields of study throughout the grade levels. Students in Kindergarten through sixth grade explore resources in our state that support Common Core Standards and the project-based curriculum. Day trips have included visits to the local apple farmer, fire station, historic schoolhouse, Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, Santa Barbara Zoo, Hearst Castle, and shows at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Upper grade students participate in outdoor school experiences that enrich the curriculum and build individual and team skills. Fourth and fifth graders attend Coloma Outdoor School for a during the 4th Grade Cycle and Camp Ocean Pines during the 5th Grade Cycle. Students have also participated in Walk Through the American Revolution (in-school field trip) during the 5th Grade Cycle. Sixth graders participate in the Catalina Island Marine Institute program for five days in the spring each year.
Electives: In 2007, Bellevue-Santa Fe introduced its highly successful Electives Program. This program gives students the opportunity to explore extracurricular subjects. Taught by faculty, parents, and members of the community, these courses provide hands-on experience and expose students to new areas of study. Electives courses have included: Cooking/Baking, Animals, Ceramics, Architecture, Journalism, Gardening, Jewelry Making, Yoga, Mixed Media, Dance, Cosmetology, Drama, Spanish, Miniatures, Yearbook, Reading and Writing, Astronomy, Puzzles, Mandarin Chinese, and Inventions. Because Electives are taught in multi-age groups, these classes give children a chance to meet and form friendships with students of other grade levels, further strengthening our community as a whole.
PTO Supported Artists in Residence Program: Experts in the fields of visual art, music, and dance provide instruction and activities for students throughout the year.
SciTechatorium (SciTech): Imagine examining a 65 million-year-old dinosaur bone, holding a live leopard gecko, or even touching a piece of meteorite from outer space. These are the kinds of things students have the opportunity to do at Bellevue Santa-Fe’s SciTechatorium. Open during scheduled recess and lunch times, this on-campus museum offers kids a wide variety of unique science-based learning experiences. Developed through a partnership between UNOCAL and Chick Fedel, the original curator of the museum, our SciTech gives students access to everything from dinosaur bones to live tarantulas and snakes, “green screen” video technology, physics experiments, and much more. In 6th grade, Bellevue students are eligible to become docents in the museum and lead tour groups of students from all over the county. Volunteers from the parent community staff the SciTech during lunch and break times throughout the week so that students have the opportunity to explore science and test theories whenever the desire strikes. To learn more, visit the SciTech website: http://www.scitechatorium.org
PTO Supported Musical Theater: Musical Theater is by far our most popular after-school program. Over the past seven years, our students have been directed in fantastic all-school productions of well-loved musicals. Through this outstanding drama program, students of all grade levels—from Kindergarten to 6th grade—have been given a chance to perform at professional venues throughout the county. The Musical Theater program involves a separate fee and is held after school.
Dr. Chess: A countywide program developed to teach students of all ages chess strategy and gamesmanship during weekly workshops on campus. Activities include instruction, game time, and chess trivia.