Curriculum Overview

DEMS provides a full American Curriculum for its students. Much emphasis has been placed on moving away from the traditional model of teaching from a textbook and designing courses based from standards. The backwards model of course and unit design has brought many challenges for teachers but has shown to be more innovative in terms of moving to more student centered classrooms focused on learner agency. Coupled with this have been newly adopted standards that have been carefully implemented to maximize professional learning and support. 

Our continually updated curricular areas are designed with learner outcomes as our focus, and excellent text materials are used as primary sources of information. Teachers have multiple supplementary resources available to help them effectively address the outcomes, including our outstanding library.
 
Professional development of our teaching staff is one of our areas of emphasis at DEMS. Through a combination of on-campus workshops, in-service opportunities and teacher conferences such as "Teachers Of Young Children," "The Arabian Reading Association," "NESA, Fall Training Institute," and "Near East – South Asia" Teacher's Conference, our teachers extend their knowledge and remain current in educational practice. 

Subjects studied at DEMS
Math
Using the American Common Core State Standards, the mathematics program at DEMS challenges students to make meaning of mathematics using models, pictures, and clear explanations of their thinking. The program focuses on the "why" of mathematics not on memorization of procedures or algorithms. 

English Language Arts
Using the American Common Core State Standards, the language arts program at DEMS provides students the time and space to learn what savvy readers and writers do. Students engage in meaningful activities to practice skills they need to tackle a wide variety of text.  Students are immersed in the writing process and continuously work towards crafting pieces that have a clear purpose while understanding that they are writing for an audience.  Above all, the language arts program honors students as individuals. And so the classroom is a delicate balance of structure and choice, an orchestra of learning, exploring, taking risks, and trying again. 

Science
Using the NGSS Framework, science education at DEMS aims to challenge and inspire 21st century students to be scientifically literate. The framework adopts a three-dimensional approach to instruction: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts and Engineering. NGSS performance expectations do not involve rote memorization of content instead the focus is  upon cultivating student's natural curiosity and push their creative boundaries by engaging them in exploring connections across the four domains of science: physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering design. In addition, the NGSS standards are aligned to the Common Core Mathematics and Language Arts Standards. When students are learning about science, they are also enhancing their skills in reading, writing and math.

Social Studies
Using the C3 Framework, Social Studies at DEMS is focused as much on the future as it is on the past. Using the four dimensions of C3, students will learn applicable skills and do deep dives into relevant topics, using the historical content as a guide. Memorizing facts was a 20th century Social Studies framework. The C3 Framework focuses on making students responsible citizens of the 21st century, problem solvers of a new and rapidly changing world.

Physical Education
Using SHAPE (Society of Health And Physical Educators) America standards and guidelines, physical education provides students with a planned, sequential, K-12 standards-based program of curricula and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge and behaviors for active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy and emotional intelligence. SHAPE America believes every child in the United States and children in schools around the world, deserves both a quality physical education and physical activity program.

Music
Music Education at DEMS is delivered through the Core Arts Standards. The 3 main standards that we focus on are Creating, Performing and Responding. Students engage in Creating by completing and refining musical work such as compositions. In Performance, students present musical work through instrumental and vocal performance. Finally, students Respond to music by analyzing and interpreting the intent and meaning in that artistic work.

If a visitor were to walk into music class, they would see the students fully immersed and engaged in musical activities such as vocal and instrumental performance, digital composition and creating new musical ideas in small groups. 

Visual Arts
Using the Core Arts Standards, art education at DEMS compromises of 3 main standards: Creating, Producing, and Connecting. In Creating students refine and complete artistic work. In Producing students convey meaning through producing artistic work. In Connecting students relate artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context by the use of their personal experience and knowledge as well relating to social, cultural and historical context to better understanding.

Global Languages
Using the ACTFL Standards, global language education at DEMS will provide a framework for diverse students to learn reading, writing, and communicating using a foreign language in a safe, fun and responsive environment. Materials and activities are designed to promote openness, research, and curiosity. 

Technology
Our vision interprets technology as a natural and essential part of everyday school life for all members of our school community. Technology at DEMS is focused around an integrated learning approach. It is an instructional strategy that is embedded into the curriculum areas by our faculty. Technology empowers students to pursue purposeful learning experiences, and inspires students to develop critical thinking skills which supports continuous inquiry. 

Learning Support
Using the the WIDA and Common Core State Standards, the Learning Support team at DEMS creates learning opportunities for students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. The team provides individualized support to enable access to all academic content allowing children to reach their full potential.

Specialist Subjects
Elementary specialists include Art, Physical Education, General Music, Arabic, and Library Skills. 

Middle School students may select Art, Band, Choir, and other electives subjects based on the expertise and experience of our Middle School faculty.