In kindergarten through 5th grade, we currently use an approach of Balanced Literacy to teach the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Language Arts, including Writer’s Workshop in all languages and Words their Way for word study. Our K-5 mathematics curriculum is called "Investigations," where students develop deep conceptual understanding of the CCSS and engage in the CCSS Mathematical Practices. Our transdisciplinary units of inquiry are designed around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the DC Standards of Teaching and Learning for Social Studies for K-5th grade.


Stokes School appreciates that some of the most memorable learning takes place beyond the classroom. Each trimester, every grade level travels on field trips that further enhance the class’s study of its unit of study. In addition to visiting local D.C. attractions, such as the National Zoo and Smithsonian Museums, certain grade levels go on annual trips to locations beyond D.C. Fourth grade scholars visit Hard Bargain Farm, where they have the opportunity to learn about farm life, see where their food comes from, and perform various farm chores, such as milking a cow.


All lessons have both content and language objectives. Scholars at Stokes School develop a balanced bilingual ability. The learning experiences are designed to develop: 

  • Communication skills: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.  

  • Intercultural communication skills: investigation and interaction 

At Stokes School, we have a diverse group of native target language teachers who bring their culture into the classroom. In 5th grade students have the opportunity to apply their communication skills while traveling to Panama or Martinique. 

For more information on these tours, visit our International Study Tour page. 


Scholars learn the value of community stewardship by identifying an issue or need from their trimester units of study and developing a solution. Scholars in each grade apply their classroom knowledge to real life problem solving. Past service learning projects include testing water for lead, establishing bird habitats, developing an erosion mitigation plan for the Stokes playground, and raising money for disaster relief.


In addition to the core curriculum subjects such as math, science, reading, and social studies, students in every grade level participate in Music and Art classes. 


Our Curriculum 

Our students learn the curriculum in two languages: English and Spanish, or English and French. Throughout the academic year, they spend approximately 50 percent of their time in English and 50 percent of their time in the target language.  


Through our program, students not only learn to speak an additional language, but they also learn how to successfully navigate change, develop the intercultural competence to easily flow between different cultures, and embrace perspectives other than their own. 


Using the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) as the framework for our curriculum, our teachers create learning tasks where students actively explore concepts and connections through the lens of different subject areas. Students are encouraged to question, to reflect and to take action on their learning. 


Through the PYP, students develop critical thinking and communication skills, confidence, self-management, social skills and other attitudes and skills needed to succeed as they move into Middle School. 




Stokes School became authorized to offer the Primary Years Program (PYP) in June 2020.

Language Approach

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Student Support

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Beyond the Classroom

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Program Partners