Specialist Classes

CDS’s specials classes — physical education, art, music, library, and Spanish — provide the same depth and breadth of premier, personalized learning opportunities and instruction that is evident in the balance of our program. Specials are a very important part of our curriculum, as they enable us to reach and inspire the whole child as they develop connections and grow their passions over time.

| Courses

Physical Education

CDS students attend physical education every day. The program stresses fitness, skill development, and sportsmanship. Students in Toddlers through First Grade engage in non-competitive athletic activities, and the degree to which students compete increases with age. No matter what the grade level, PE is about having fun, being a good sport, fostering wellness, and leading a healthy and active life. Our PE teacher, Coach Ryan Lancaster, was recently presented with the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.


CDS’s music program, like PE and art, engages our students on multiple levels. Jan Shaberg teaches students of every age not only how to listen to music but learn how to read it, create it, analyze it, and truly appreciate it in its different forms from around the world. As evidence of this holistic approach, every CDS student graduates knowing how to play an instrument and perform in front of an audience.


Our commitment to personalization continues in library, where our librarian Laurianne Zink crafts reading recommendations for every child in the building based on his or her interests and skill level. Ms. Zink knows each student in our program and therefore knows the books that fit them best and challenge them to grow as readers and learners. In addition, she’s a certified reading specialist — a layer of expertise that enhances our students’ library experience. Read more about Ms. Zink.


Art at CDS, taught by Ashley Carr, is a blend of both fine art creation and art history study. Kindergartners might handcraft glass art using our glass kiln or study and replicate the three-dimensional pencil drawings of Vincent Van Gogh. This hands-on, in-depth approach to art education continues through Sixth Grade. Projects from every grade level, like the Japanese printmaking by our Second Graders, are on display throughout our building and are often used as the cover of The Hoot, our online magazine.


Students graduate our program with an understanding of Latin American culture in particular — its food, music, art, authors, celebrations, and geography — instruction that is blended seamlessly into teachings of the Spanish language.

chesterfield elementary school core curriculum