In addition to our core curriculum of Reading, Math, Writing, Science, and Social Science, DECS also provides comprehensive curriculum in specialist subjects including Spanish, Music, Art, and Physical Education for all grade levels.

Grades K-5 Early Exposure to Spanish

Beginning in kindergarten, students start to acquire the second language of Spanish through conversations and culture. The long-term goal of DECS is that they learn to communicate fluently in Spanish. Students are exposed to a variety of lessons that enhance their cultural awareness and sensitivity. Additionally, students become familiar with Spanish writing through grammar lessons and various other activities.

Grades 6-8 Spanish

Junior Academy Spanish focuses on four skills needed to obtain language acquisition including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Several forms of learning in which students acquire and use language are taught. In addition, supplemental materials, art projects, cultural studies and alternative assessments are employed in order to enhance learning and increase students’ excitement about learning Spanish. Most students leave our junior academy program with high school credit (if they move on to an ISD 709 Duluth high school) for their first year of Spanish.

Grades K-5 Creativity in Art

At the elementary level, students are taught to use a variety of creative tools and materials to express themselves through ideas and art concepts. Students also begin to learn about different cultures and artists and learn to respond to and describe individual and professional artwork. At the elementary level, DECS strives to include cross-cultural lessons which include math, technology, reading, writing, science and social studies.

Grades 6-8 Expressive Visual Arts

In the DECS middle school art program, students continue to further their art skills and knowledge about the elements and principles of art. Within our art classes, each student develops and creates their own art work utilizing a variety of tools, materials and media. Students identify, interpret, discuss and respond to both their art work, that of other classmates, and the work of professional artists. They develop an understanding of visual art as a medium for learning more about people and cultures while progressing throughout the course. Opportunity to work with and experience art creations and explorations are presented to each student in the form of art media, techniques and methods.

Grades K-5 Making Music

The experience of music through song, play, instruments, movement, creating, reading, notating, and listening culminates in kindergarten through fifth grades at DECS. With the use of many wonderful resources, including the Quaver online music program students learn the elements of music while connecting to style, culture and other disciplines.

Grades 6-8 Rewarding Music Program

In the DECS music program, students build upon the foundations they have already acquired in their K-5 years and are given a choice of band, choir or music appreciation courses.

 – Music Appreciation

In music appreciation, students are introduced to an array of musical experiences and receive explore to interesting topics in musical theory and history.

 – Band

Those who choose to participate in band play in a grade level band and take part in a weekly group lesson. Practice and performance are essential to band education. Theory and skills are key components to the band program. The DECS after-school jazz band allows students to make music an exciting extracurricular choice, and to further their musical talents!

 – Choir

Junior academy choir focuses on group singing, development of the adolescent changing singing voice, education in music literacy skills, and developing an appreciation for the communicative abilities of music. Class time is spent rehearsing and studying a variety of units to be knowledgeable singers: i.e.; pitch, rhythm, vocabulary, symbols, vocal production, and techniques. Choir students also participate in a weekly group lesson.

Grades K-5 Physical Education Enjoyment

In physical fitness, the emphasis at this level is to develop health related competence and self-responsiblelearners. Students learn to individualize and personalize their own active lifestyles. At DECS, students learn how to make informed decisions and how to evaluate ramifications regarding their health. Our nutrition program stresses healthy choices within the four food groups with special attention to heart-smart eating. We reinforce basic personal safety skills to help students stay safe in their environments. Our students have great opportunities to develop skills in sports and games, without an overemphasis on competitiveness. We believe that learning basic motor skills through various activities provides competence leading to confidence and the enjoyment of physical activity that will last a lifetime! Grades 6-8 Healthy Physical Education Environment When entering into the junior years, students experience significant changes physically, socially and emotionally. At DECS we assist students in their understanding of physical fitness and health during the challenging years of their mental and physical growth. We help them to understand the importance of physical fitness and health within all levels of student athletic abilities and maturities. Our physical fitness and health program stresses individual fitness goals. At DECS our program links the health, science, character and ethics which are involved in dealing with adolescence and the human reproduction system. Students are made to feel comfortable in discussing issues that are important to them during this crucial stage within each of their lives. We stress the benefits of continuing to work and to enjoy a healthy and physically fit lifestyle.