These building blocks are the foundation of our top-ranked academic program:

  • Literacy and Communication Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Physical Education and Healthy Living
  • Music and Art
  • Curriculum development and teacher input

We believe our inquiry-based approach empowers students to explore content deeply, often in small groups or independently. They begin with a thorough knowledge of content and then have time to ask questions about that content, rethink it, problem-solve and work through mistakes—all of which help them excel and achieve their personal best.

Literacy and Communication Arts

At LPA, students experience a balanced-literacy approach to reading and writing. Each child is assessed through Fountas & Pinnel and iReady to determine areas of strength and growth. With students’ areas of strength and need for growth in mind, teachers create small group learning opportunities—including guided reading, reader’s workshop and writer’s workshop. Students work together to solve problems and build comprehension skills. Phonemic awareness and phonics instruction form the building blocks for our great readers. Programs such as Benchmark Phonics, Making Meaning and Handwriting without Tears support student learning.


The award-winning, highly rigorous math program Singapore Math is the core of our mathematics curriculum for students in elementary school. Math concepts are taught using a 3-step process: concrete, pictorial and abstract. With this process, students start with tangible information (a picture, for example) and learn to think abstractly about it. The approach is so successful that—by the end of kindergarten—students have the skills to do multiplication! Our middle school math students are more than ready by sixth grade to engage with the Open Up math program, which requires students to solve complex equations and relates to real-world experiences.


Our science curriculum is designed by our teachers and instructional coaches in partnership with Washington University’s MySci program. The program is project-oriented and in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. With our focus on inquiry learning, science is often our students’ favorite part of the day.

Social Studies

Like science, our social studies curriculum is designed in-house. Because LPA is a school with community at the core, our social studies program uses the National Themes of Social Studies. It begins in kindergarten with students learning about their classroom, families and school as communities. In first grade, students learn about St. Louis as a community past and present. Second graders learn about world communities. In third grade, they learn about ancient civilizations. Our fourth graders learn about regional and national government. Fifth graders study ancient civilizations and learn how communities were formed. Sixth and seventh graders examine U.S. history from different points of view and eight graders focus on civics.

Physical Education and Healthy Living

Maintaining a healthy mind and body is critical for every child’s success. Our students enjoy physical education for 30 to 60 minutes two to three times each week. Elementary students also have one or two recesses daily to play and run—as well as learn jumping and dribbling skills, practice teamwork and learn the value of good sportsmanship. Every spring, the entire LPA community engages with the Our Whole Lives curriculum to explore human development through the lens of changing bodies, growing up and sexual health.


Elementary students have music classes two to three times per week. Middle school students can take music as an elective and learn a variety of skills from choral singing to percussion. Perhaps most importantly, students use music to build connections with their peers and find ways to work as a team and support each other.


Students at LPA take art classes two to three times each week. Students learn many techniques celebrated throughout history and around the world—making connections between art and literacy and producing pieces for display each week.


Students take a technology-based Project Learning Course two to four times each week where they integrate their learning from each class to design a unique project. This program uses hands-on exploration and various forms of technology to directly tie grade-level content to the students’ interests. Projects such as circuit-building, bicycle design and computer coding are all part of this one-of-a-kind class.

Curriculum and Development

Please see our page on Teacher Development for more information.