Academics » Programs


Calm Classroom

 There are so many things competing for our attention, stressing us out, taking away our focus, etc., etc. - we need to consciously learn skills that will help us create a calmer learning environment for both students and teachers!

At APMA, we use Calm Classroom to integrate mindfulness into our classroom culture.
Mindfulness is our ability to pay attention to our present moment experience with a kind and open attitude.
We empowered our educators and students to care for their mental and emotional health by practicing mindfulness-based techniques throughout the school day.
We also learn:
  • Self Awareness
    • This helps us to better understand how our thoughts and emotions influence our behavior so that we can make more conscious decisions.
  • Mental Focus
    • In a world filled with distractions, cultivating the skill of focused attention is more important than ever before.
  • Emotional Resilience
    • By learning effective emotional management strategies, students can self-regulate and achieve a state of calm in any moment.
Stress in the classroom affects everyone. By doing Calm Classroom three times a day (first thing in the morning, first thing back after lunch, and one hour before dismissal), we are taking a short break to relax and re-energize our bodies and minds.


 The Workshop Method aims to prepare our students for any reading and writing task they will face and to turn them into lifelong, confident readers and writers who display agency and independence. 

Our objective is to work together with our students toward these vitally important goals.

The Method recognizes that “one size fits all” does not match the realities of our classroom and school.
We want our APMA students to become flexible, resilient learners who read and write for pleasure as well as for academic purposes. We want them to have a toolkit of strategies for dealing with difficulty, and we want them to know when and how to use those strategies.
When you walk into our workshop classroom, you’ll see instruction that is designed to:
  • help teachers address every student's individual learning
  • explicitly teach strategies students will use not only the day they are taught, but whenever they need them
  • support small-group work and conferring, with multiple opportunities for personalized instruction
  • tap into the power of a learning community as a way to bring all learners along
  • build choice and assessment-based learning into the very design of the curriculum
  • help students work with engagement so that teachers are able to coach individuals and lead small groups
The routines and structures of reading and writing workshop are kept simple and predictable so that teachers can focus on the complex work of teaching in a responsive manner to accelerate achievement for all learners.


 In math classes at APMA, students are the creators of their own mathematical knowledge.

Using the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum and a variety of supplementary resources, math students at APMA persevere through difficult math tasks, collaborate on problem-solving strategies, and prepare for the more advanced math of high school.
Students learn by doing math, solving problems in mathematical and real-world contexts, and constructing arguments using precise language. 
It is designed to address content and practice standards to foster learning for all, preparing students to solve problems, reason, communicate, and think critically in the classroom and beyond.

​We also regularly use technology to support different levels of math learners and offer Algebra I to qualifying eighth graders.


 Amplify Science blends physical materials with a suite of digital tools, presenting students with the resources they need to investigate real-world problems, and empowering and supporting teachers as they lead instruction and gain insight into student growth and progress.

Each unit focuses on a specific learning goal in the form of an overarching unit question. Rather than following linear steps in an experiment, the program leaves room for students to make connections across concepts and make their own discoveries.
In this way, Amplify Science replicates the realities and ambiguities of scientific research and thinking.

Social & Emotional Learning

 Middle school is a time of change.
Our SEL program, Second Step, helps our students learn powerful skills and competencies - like handling strong emotions, setting and meeting goals, making good decisions, and forging positive relationships - in a safe, supported learning environment.
Decades of research show the positive effects of universal, classroom-based SEL programs for children.
There’s also broad recognition that benefits are even greater when children experience SEL throughout their day, across home, school, and out-of-school time environments, and throughout developmental stages.
When implemented holistically, with a coordinated, community-wide approach, SEL can build stronger communities and support inclusive, equitable learning.
We also use Success Bound to to redesign the middle school experience. This include explicit goals and skill-oriented student preparation for high school and beyond.
The Success Bound program emphasizes changes in schoolwide conditions for learning and adult support for student transitions across the whole school community.
This is done by placing greater value on counseling during the middle school years, strong adult-student relationships, and a collaborative approach to instruction between counselors and teachers..

Social Studies

 The goal of APMA's social studies instruction is to prepare students to embrace cultural diversity and to be knowledgeable, informed, and active citizens in an increasingly diverse community and nation so that they can be empowered to be global citizens and leaders.  

​We support a rigorous, meaningful curriculum that deepens students’ analytical skills, cultivates historical curiosity, and promotes informed citizenship.  
The Skyline social science courses encourage curiosity and criticality, inviting students to question and shape the world around them.
The curriculum offers UDL (universal design for learning) supports in every lesson, supporting the comprehension of historic, economic, civic, and geographic case studies while practicing the skills or standards through alternate processes.
Additionally, we partner with Facing History to help students prepare for civic life and to better understand themselves and the world.