Grades and Classes
PHS is part of the Federal School Lunch Program. This program provides a morning breakfast and lunch daily at no charge to all of our students, K3 through grade 12.
Preschool Program: K3 and K4
PHS’s preschool program is a full-day program that runs on the same schedule as the rest of the school.
The preschool class is open to three and four-year-old children, who have turned three or four by August 31st of the new school year. Proof of birth date is required for enrollment. The class emphasis is on age-appropriate curriculum in pre-reading, writing, and numbers. The curriculum focuses on readiness skills and relies heavily on positive reinforcement. Children are not pushed into learning, but are encouraged to learn through a variety of fun, hands-on activities. Discovery learning is at the heart of the preschool, where students learn through all of their five senses. Art and music are an important part of this process. Student evaluation at this level combines portfolio assessment with a checklist evaluation four times a year.
Elementary Program: Grades K-5
The Elementary School is made up of three mixed-age classes. Each class is self-contained and has its own teacher. Although the classes are self-contained, the teachers may choose to combine classes occasionally when they deem it helpful or productive. The reading program used in the kindergarten through 5th grade is the Rigby Literacy program (Harcourt). This program uses a combination of whole language and phonics instruction to teach students to read. Vocabulary development, spelling, and writing are emphasized across the curriculum. Elementary students read quality short stories and novels that complement the thematic units that they are studying. Spelling and vocabulary words come out of these books and from the units being studied. Student evaluation is prepared four times a year. Traditional letter grades are not given. Students in these classes are evaluated based on grade level standards, personal effort, and achievement. Each evaluation includes a written comment. Conferences for grades K-12 are scheduled in October and March of the school year. Of course, parents may request a teacher conference any time. Student Writing Portfolios are kept as an ongoing evaluation tool throughout the school year.
Secondary Program: Grades 6-12
The secondary program consists of Middle School (6-8) and High School (9-12). Student evaluation is done four times a year. Students earn letter grades ranging from “A” to “F”. It is the goal of PHS to provide the same high quality program at the secondary level that is provided at the elementary level. This is done through the small class sizes and qualified teachers that are also available in the lower grades. PHS high school students and graduates receive credits and school transcripts comparable to stateside high schools. Previous PHS high school graduates have been accepted at major and some at elite universities in the US. If you are interested in more information about the high school and earning a high school diploma, please follow the high school tab at the top of the page.
Small Class Sizes
Classes are kept small at PHS to allow for a more individualized approach to instruction, particularly in the areas of language arts and math. At Pacific Horizons School every effort is made to meet the individual needs of students and this can only be accomplished in a class where the teacher-to-student ratio is kept small. Class size is usually limited to 16 students at all levels.
Grade Placement of Students: Grades 1 through 8
Students must be five years old by August 31st in order to enroll in kindergarten. New kindergarten-aged students will undergo an assessment upon admission, but this assessment is given only to inform the teacher and parent. New students enrolling at PHS will be placed in kindergarten based strictly on their age. All students enrolling in grades 1 through 8 will take a placement test to determine grade placement. The school aims to place students in classes based on their age as this typically places students at their correct level for social adjustment, and usually results in academic success. However, a student who tests significantly below grade level may be placed at a lower grade. Please be advised the US schools follow a different calendar and use a different system of grade levels than schools in many other countries. The school director makes the final decision as to grade placement.
Admission Testing: Grades 9 through 12
All students enrolling in grades 9 through 12 will take a placement test to determine whether they will be accepted for enrollment at the high school level. The school director will make the final decision as to acceptance into PHS’s high school.