As an Oakland public school, Peralta’s curriculum framework is based on state standards and district-wide core programs — which our talented and creative teachers adapt to the needs of their students. As an Alameda County Arts Anchor School, Peralta’s teachers and specialists strive to integrate the arts into all aspects of the curriculum. Peralta also pioneered Second Step, a social skills and conflict resolution program now required at all Oakland public schools.
Parents and staff also supplement the curriculum with a range of enrichment programs, including art, Spanish, music, and physical education. These supplemental programs are offered in class during school hours and would not be possible without the generous support of donors to the annual Peralta Fund and other fundraising activities.
Like other Oakland public schools, Peralta uses Open Court Reading, a reading and writing curriculum based on phonemic awareness with coordinated exercises that become more inquiry-based as children advance.Â This is supplemented by journal writing, author workshops and other programs.
For science instruction, Peralta students benefit from the Lawrence Hall of Science’s FOSS (Full Option Science System), a hands-on, research-based approach to science education. In recent years Peralta has implemented the award-winning MARE (Marine Activities, Resources and Education also from U.C. Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. This whole-school program allows students to immerse themselves in an an intensive week-long, multi-disciplinary study of the ocean.
Central to Peralta’s curriculum is the Second Step social skills program. Peralta was an early adopter of this program, which is now ingrained in our school culture. Kindergartners through fifth graders all have class time dedicated to Second Step, which teaches all children to solve social problems, get along well with each other, and take responsibility for keeping our campus peaceful and respectful. Second Step lessons cover three main areas: Empathy, anger management, and impulse control.