programs that enhance learning


An Integrated Approach

The Specialists utilize the all-school theme to collaborate with one another as well as with classroom teachers throughout the school. This integrated approach provides students with an interconnected experience of different subject areas.


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Visual Arts

The UCDS Visual Arts program is designed to develop artistic literacy. Through a hands-on approach, students explore, invent and adapt their own artistic practice, with the use of fundamental concepts of design, materials, and tools. The UCDS Arts program builds students’ understanding of creative individuality through the visual expression of concepts and ideas. Our Art teacher creates unique projects each year that connect students to the school-wide theme, classroom curricula, and the greater arts community.
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The UCDS Music program empowers students to become musicians in a fun, hands-on, creative environment. Using an immersive, project-based approach, Music teachers build upon each student’s inherent musicality and explore the multitude of ways that humans can be musical. Students become creators, songwriters and musical thinkers, and develop an appreciation of music across cultures and genres. Classes cultivate a wide range of instrumental and vocal skills that are showcased through dynamic performances and recordings. Topics of study emerge each year from the school-wide theme, and are integrated with curricular explorations in other areas of the school program.
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Design & Technology

The UCDS Design and Technology program is created to guide students through collaborative, inquiry-based projects that enhance their understanding of engineering and design concepts. Students engage with their environment through software, computers, digital media, computer fabrication technologies, mobile devices, physical computing and mechanical principles. Our classrooms are set up as design labs, using a collaborative and iterative framework to develop new ideas and evolve engineering and design concepts.
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The Library program is designed to facilitate the joy of reading while cultivating skills and abilities for using a variety of library systems and resources. The goal of the Library program is to introduce fiction and nonfiction books, digital resources and bibliographical information in a supportive and creative setting. We incorporate storytelling, puppetry and music into our discussions and activities. Librarians connect with teaching teams and other Specialists to provide cross-curricular resources and literature book recommendations.
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The Science program at UCDS empowers students with the skills to imagine and create exciting scientific theories through investigation. UCDS Science teachers design hands-on experiments to develop and test hypotheses. Each class session is a visit to a working laboratory. Our process-based approach enables students to develop critical thinking skills that are essential for developing scientific thinkers. The UCDS Science program prepares students to analyze information, solve problems, and document their ideas. We use authentic scientific investigations, both in and out of the laboratory, to captivate and engage students.
Specialists Programs


The UCDS Spanish teachers introduce students to the Spanish language in an immersive, hands-on environment. The goal of the program is to teach students the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in Spanish and to deepen their understanding of the cultures of Spanish-speaking people. Teachers create a classroom environment that encourages a desire to continue learning foreign languages. Students are taught to develop their Spanish language skills while working individually, or with small groups, in a fun and engaging environment.
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Physical Education

The primary goal of the UCDS Physical Education program is to build skills and encourage lifelong participation in a myriad of physical activities. PE teachers create classes that develop movement concepts, motor skills and general physical fitness. These goals are achieved through individual, partner and group activities. Students also focus on sportsmanship, team building and cooperative skills while exploring a variety of sports, games and activities.