Curriculum Overview

Click on the Curriculum Area to jump down to a description.


The Encounter Curriculum focuses on the truths of the Bible in all teaching units; therefore, the Bible serves as the textbook. All content relates to the Personhood of God—for Scripture testifies of Him. Acknowledging the importance of meaning and context in the learning process, all teaching units have a central biblical narrative focus and are thematically linked to help build students’ faith. The framework in the Encounter Curriculum includes eight phases that contribute important components to the growth of knowledge and holistic faith development. 


Every Monday morning, students worship as a school community by participating in a chapel service. Chapel involves singing praises, learning Biblical lessons, and may include interpretations of Bible stories through skits.


Twice a year, our school celebrates a Week of Prayer in which students attend daily chapel services and are paired with a prayer buddy for the week. Children continue to pray with their buddies throughout the year.



The Big Ideas Math: Modeling Real Life program uses a Universal Design for Learning to create an engaging and innovative program that uses hands-on activities and scaffolded instruction. The instructional design guides students through concepts from surface-level to deep-level learning and allows them to transfer these skills to new concepts in a complete and comprehensive way. This allows for balanced lessons with built-in differentiation that appeals to students and teachers alike. Learning targets and success criteria help to focus student learning and make learning visible to teachers and students. With a strong emphasis on problem-solving in the classroom, students can transfer their mathematical knowledge to new concepts and apply their understanding to real-life situations. Through in-class practice and activities, students become more comfortable with the problem-solving process to become strategic mathematical thinkers.

Language Arts

Reading and writing are foundational skills that impact the success of students throughout their academic life. As such, our curriculum and methodology seek to address the whole child in the area of literacy. Workshop models are used to provide explicit instruction, generous amounts of structured and independent practice, and set high goals that meet or exceed Common Core and Maryland State Standards. Small groups and individual conferencing help meet students at their current level and help them grow and develop their individual skills and exceed benchmark expectations.


The Units of Study for Teaching Reading encourages students to create rich and meaningful reading lives that they will carry throughout the rest of their lives. Students are provided with texts from a variety of genres that are on their individual reading levels and assessments are used to monitor student strengths, areas of growth, and to ensure students will meet or exceed benchmark expectations. Students are taught explicit strategies in the areas of phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Opportunities to respond orally and in writing are provided to ensure each student is a well-rounded and literate scholar.


In the Units of Study for Teaching Writing, students have opportunities to compose real-world texts that are important to them, including narrative, informational, opinion, and argumentative pieces. Students cycle through the writing process multiple times, allowing for growth and depth within each genre. Checklists and rubrics are used to help students create their own goals and receive frequent and regular feedback related to their individual goals. Growth is celebrated throughout and upon the completion of each unit. Students are also taught handwriting.


The Saxon Phonics and Spelling program provides the phonics curriculum used in kindergarten through second grade. This program is a success-oriented program that enables most children to develop a solid foundation in phonics and thus become successful readers and spellers. The program presents new learning in small increments that children review daily for the entire year. This method of reinforcement gives children the practice they need to achieve success. The goal of the program is for all students to be able to read not only assigned materials but anything else they might choose to read on their own once they experience the pleasure of success in reading.


Wordly Wise 3000, used in grades 3-8,  provides direct academic vocabulary instruction to develop the critical link between vocabulary and reading comprehension for students in grades 3-8. The robust activities, peer sharing, and differentiated instruction allow the flexibility to meet the needs of today’s varying student population. The chosen vocabulary words are commonly encountered in grade-level literature, textbooks, and state and national assessments. Word selection was based on word importance, usefulness, and/or difficulty. Knowledge of the selected words can greatly improve students’ reading comprehension, as well as standardized test results.

History & Social Sciences 


Social Studies Alive!, History Alive!, and Geography Alive! start with a big idea, the essential question, and incorporate graphic notetaking, group work, and step-by-step discovery. Students are the center of instruction that taps a variety of learning styles, allowing students of all abilities to learn and succeed. Teachers incorporate eight teaching strategies as they progress through lessons: visual discovery, skill builders, experiential exercises, writing for understanding, response groups, problem-solving group work, interactive student notebook, and assessment. 



By Design incorporates The Core of Adventist Education Curriculum framework. Applied to science, this framework, in addition to addressing the content and skills within the context of the Adventist worldview, acknowledges that science is a process of inquiry and discovery. Inquiry and discovery lead to a depth of understanding in the areas of life science, physical science, the human body, and Earth and space science. Understanding is fostered through the application of scientific and engineering practices, a variety of levels of questions, and science inquiry experiences involving different inquiry skills. Students compare and contrast different theories of the origin of the world in order to be knowledgeable and successful in any field of science.




It is our on-going goal to integrate technology into each student’s learning experience. Students are provided with the opportunity to use devices throughout the school day. Technology is not seen as a stand-alone curriculum, but instead enhances the learning process, increases student engagement, and allows for the differentiation of instructional and assessment strategies.


Art is taught as an integrated program supportive of the content areas of science, social studies, and music. Instruction is given one period a week and is taught by an art instructor. Concepts such as texture, color, perspective, and media experimentation are applied. Student work is displayed in classrooms and throughout the school. We are currently building an exciting revamped art curriculum that will include digital arts, such as website building, graphic design, and digital content creation.





We believe in the importance of children learning a second language from the earliest age. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade receive Spanish instruction on a weekly basis. Students in sixth through eighth grades receive Spanish instruction two class periods a week in small, individualized groups. The goal is to familiarize students with the Spanish culture, traditions, and language. Activities include vocabulary development, conversation, songs, and audio-visual material interaction. 


Music appreciation and instrument instruction is taught on a weekly basis for all grades. Nurturing a love and respect for music begins in the primary grades and is integrated into weekly instruction, which involves recognizing rhythms and instrumental sounds. Fifth- through eighth-grade students learn to read music and specialize in specific instruments. There are seasonal as well as church-related performances throughout the year, including a Christmas Program and a Spring Concert. 





Our school is unique in providing an etiquette program as part of a student’s learning experience. We believe children should be taught both in the home and at school the importance of good manners and respect for others. We believe in following Jesus’ example of treating others the way we would wish to be treated. 



Physical Education


Physical Education at Olney Prep provides activities and experiences that encourage students in the lifelong goal of being active. Students develop decision-making skills, effective motor skills, and movement concepts. They are challenged in the pursuit of individual excellence and cheered for achieving their best level of athletic performance. P.E. classes include learning and participating in sports such as swimming, gymnastics, soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball. 




Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.


Isaiah 40:30-31

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.