Adams Elementary

Adams Elementary School


Academics Overview

At Adams, we believe students learn best when:

  • Learning experiences are appropriately challenging and relevant to the learner.
  • Art is infused through the curriculum as a way to build connections, foster engagement, and promote creative and critical thought.
  • Students feel a strong sense of belonging to a learning community that is characterized by mutual respect, cooperation and responsibility.

Common Core State Standards provide the framework for our curriculum by articulating what students should know, understand and be able to do in academic areas at specific grade levels.

By providing high quality, standards-based, purposeful instruction, we strive to foster a love of learning while insuring that Adams students acquire the foundational skills needed for continued academic and social success.

English Language Arts

Language Arts instruction uses a balanced literacy approach to enable students to read, write, listen, speak and use language effectively in a variety of contexts. Instruction is based on a workshop model which supports teachers in addressing the needs of the whole group while also differentiating instruction for small groups and individuals.

Seattle Public Schools adopted English language arts instructional materials created by Center for the Collaborative Classroom for reading and writing instruction in grades K-5.


In order to develop the skills and understanding needed for success in school, college, and career, students need a strong foundation in mathematics that balances understanding of mathematical concepts, fluency in math facts, and the ability to apply mathematical understanding in solving problems.

At Adams, math instruction is differentiated through data driven instruction, with whole group and small group learning. Students are provided with the opportunity to solve “rea world” problems collaboratively to apply their learning.

Math in Focus was adopted as the SPS elementary textbook in 2014, and is based on the Singapore method. Teachers at Adams follow the district-provided scope and sequence for math instruction using the Math in Focus curriculum and supplement with games and hands-on learning materials that lay the foundation for powerful conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts.

Science and Social Studies

At Adams our teachers have been trained on and piloted the newly adopted curriculum, Amplify Science, during the 2019-2020 school year. Amplify Science curriculum is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that were adopted by Washington state in 2013. This shift in practice moves us toward a pedagogy that focuses on “figuring it out instead of telling about.” In order to do this, units are centered around puzzling scientific phenomena that are relevant to students’ lives. Students are then led through a series of activities that help them understand the science around the phenomenon.

In addition to the daily social emotional learning lessons and discussions, our social studies instruction fosters understanding of our democracy, respect for the cultural diversity of its citizens, and the relationships between and among people. In grade four, social studies instruction focuses specifically on Washington State history, and in grade five instruction focuses on early American history.

Student Support Services

There are a wide variety of programs and specialists to support a range of student needs.

  • English language instruction is available for students who are learning English as an additional language.
  • Our special education team provides specially designed instruction through our resource room and Focus service models. Specialists provide related services in speech, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
  • Our counselor is available on a part-time basis to support social skills development both within the classroom, and though small group support.
  • Our school nurse is available part-time to support the well-being and health education of our students.
  • Through LAP (Learning Assistance Program), qualifying students receive targeted instruction in literacy and/or mathematics.
  • Adams is a designated Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO) site providing an accelerated curriculum for students identified as either highly capable or advanced learning eligible.