Curriculum & Instruction

Kuumba Academy Charter School (KACS) is a dynamic learning environment where teachers, families, students, and community partners work together. Our central focus is our children’s achievement, and we encourage excellence through an intense concentration on reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Kuumba Academy’s Beliefs about Teaching and Learning

As an EL Education school, Kuumba Academy believes that learning must be challenging, active, meaningful, collaborative and public.  We believe that all students can achieve at high levels if held to high expectations and supported properly. We believe that students perform best when their lessons are challenging, meaningful and authentic.  We believe that students learn more when they can talk, grapple, reflect and work with a variety of different peers and adults. We believe that students are capable of producing high-quality work that demonstrates academic, professional and artistic excellence.    

KACS learning provides:

  • An innovative combination of arts and academics, with an arts-integrated curriculum that follows the Common Core State Standards
  • High-quality, research-based instruction from teachers who participate in intensive professional development and use best practices to yield results
  • Extensive staff training in research on how children learn, using data to modify instruction to improve student outcomes, and the key elements of effective instruction

Learn what else a KACS education means for your child(ren) below.


More Time & Support 

KACS offers small class sizes to give each student the support and individualized attention they need. With a longer school day and full-day kindergarten, we also provide more time for instruction.

In addition to in-classroom coaching and workshops before and after school, our teachers work 199 days each year, an increase that allows for extensive professional development.


Continuous Assessment to Meet Individual Needs

The heart of high performance and continuous improvement is the regular and persistent review of data and results. KACS’ frequent assessments identify where intervention, support, and enrichment must guide instruction.

Kuumba Academy believes that teachers are the experts in analyzing and addressing student need and therefore, understand that adopted curricula can be adapted to meet individual student needs and interests.

We assess in grades K–8 through:

  • STEP Reading Assessment (K-4)
  • NWEA MAP’s assessment (at least three times per year for everyone and more frequently for students who are not at grade level)
  • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)
  • Ongoing curriculum assessments in reading, math, science, and social studies

Most importantly, a team of administrators, specialists, teachers, and parents make decisions throughout the school year based on this assessment data. We also use flexible grouping to ensure children are receiving appropriate levels of instruction.


A Strong Literacy Block

Through our balanced approach to ELA instruction, students build knowledge of concepts through reading various genres of texts. 

Kuumba Academy has adopted the use of EL Education ELA curriculum.  This curriculum has been approved by the state of Delaware Department of Education and when implemented with fidelity, addresses all of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for the given grade level in reading literature, reading informational, foundational skills, listening, and writing. The curriculum is written with intentional arts integration opportunities, which aligns with our school mission.

KACS students, staff, and faculty foster a love of reading by participating in school-wide DEAR (Drop Everything And Read). Poetry is also integrated into our ELA program every day to promote fluency, arts integration, and student confidence in reading. Families get involved in our poetry initiative by being rapt audiences for students’ poetry read-alouds at home.


A Rigorous Math Program 

Kuumba Academy has adopted the use of Eureka Math curriculum.  This curriculum has been approved by the state of Delaware Department of Education and when implemented with fidelity, addresses all of the CCSS for the given grade level. Teachers are expected to internalize lessons and customize them to meet individual student need.

Math RtI plans are developed by looking at the major work of the grade of the student, connecting this major work to standards from previous years that are foundational for a student's success in their current grade. This can be done using coherence standards in the Eureka curriculum, Connections and Exchanges, Do the Math materials, or teacher created & aligned material.


An Emphasis on The Arts

Kuumba Academy uses an arts integration model. This means that lesson plans in all content areas are designed to incorporate various art forms.  Equally important, performing and visual arts classes are taught by infusing all core content areas into the lesson. Collaboration between teaching artists and classroom teachers is key to a successful arts integration program.  Students have an opportunity to showcase their high-quality work products during several performances scheduled throughout the school year. Teaching artists use the Delaware State and National Core Arts Standards (Creating/Performing/Responding/Connecting) to guide the creation of their curriculum.

In partnership with the Christina Cultural Arts Center, KACS students study a variety of art forms including world languages, visual arts, and theater.

 Fun fact: KACS is the only school that offers an elementary dance curriculum.


Extensive Use of Technology

KACS educates every child about using current and emerging technologies and tools necessary for living, learning, and working in the 21st-Century, and we integrate technology into classrooms for instruction, data collection, and analysis. At KACS, every child has the chance to use technology tools while also being taught how to identify what is inaccurate or inappropriate and always to use technology and the Internet in ethical ways.

In grades K–2 we have one computer for every four students and one laptop for every two students in grades 3–8. This year, our fifth-grade students will have access to iPads through a grant with the University of Delaware.   


1200 North French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
P: 302.660.4750