IC Imagine Lower School Academic Program

At IC Imagine, we follow the Common Core State Standards, just like all other NC public schools. In addition to those standards, we “dive a little deeper” and add in additional topics through the use of the Core Knowledge Sequence.

We are passionate about us making the right instructional decisions– we have to. We care about each and every child in our building and it matters to us that they achieve the highest levels of learning they can while they are here with us.

Questions? Concerns? Feel free to email Ellen Girardi anytime!

Academics in the Lower School

In the Lower School, we utilize flexible grouping and collaborative planning to allow all us to meet learners where they are and take them as far as we can.

In our core academics, we utilize the following curriculum programs and resources alongside best practices and research-based instructional strategies:

  • Math
    • Kathy Richardson’s Developing Number Concepts (K-2)
    • Investigations (K-5)
  • English/ Language Arts
    • Readers Workshop
    • Guided Reading
    • Writers Workshop
    • Words Their Way
    • Wordly Wise (Vocabulary)
  • Science
    • Focus on Hands-on, inquiry based instruction
  • Social Studies
    • Inquiry based instruction with project based learning incorporated as possible

The Leader in Me

IC Imagine will provide a K-12 educational environment grounded in a comprehensive liberal arts program which includes an appreciation and demonstration of the relationship between expectation and excellence. Beginning in Kindergarten, students will develop an understanding of their role in their own education through the curriculum outlined in The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey. The entire school community will utilize this model to develop individual educational ownership and leadership by investing in each individual’s potential for greatness.

Mission Specific Goals
At IC Imagine, all students will:

  • Study Spanish in Grades K-12 in year round courses of study.
  • Receive instruction in the Fine Arts including Visual Arts, Choral Music, Band, or Theatre.
  • Participate in Physical Education and movement in Grades K-12 in year round courses of study.
  • Participate in community service.
  • Engage in leadership opportunities within the school and greater community.
  • Attend two (2) cultural or civic events, from a selection of offerings outlined and approved by school leadership, each academic year beginning in Grade 7.

Core Knowledge and NC Common Core Standards

The K-8 program includes the foundations of Core Knowledge as provided by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.’s theory of cultural intelligence. The entire K-8 community extends the North Carolina Essential Standards and the National Common Core Standards through integration of this course of study within the curriculum, as applicable. Core Knowledge is a sequenced curriculum based on a nationally researched core body of knowledge to provide students the opportunity to meet standards for cultural literacy. IC Imagine subscribes to the belief that as a community, we benefit from a shared body of knowledge which forms a framework for understanding, acceptance, and the expansion of learning. The Core Knowledge Foundation provides a well-defined training program for educators.


We integrate our Investment programming  into everything we do at IC Imagine. Spanish, Fine Arts (Music and Visual Arts) and Healthy Living curriculum are inter-woven into academic units. Investment Collegiate Leader’s collaborate with grade level Collegiate Leaders to provide this alignment.

In our Investment classes, we utilize the following curriculum programs and resources alongside best practices and research-based instructional strategies:

  • Spanish
    • Vocabulary Instruction
    • Leveled Spanish Baggie Books to build a home-to-school connection
  • Healthy Living/ PE
    • SPARK (Sports. Play, Active, Recreation for Kids)
    • Research-based program that promotes life-long wellness
    • SPARK research has shown that students who participate in essential exercise several times a week do as well or better than others in  an academic environment
    • Inclusive, fun, highly active activities that integrate academic and wellness concepts
    • Designed to develop students’ motor, cognitive and social skills
  • Music
  • Visual Arts