In addition to Core Instruction in Math and Language Arts, students at Central School have the opportunity to learn the following Essential Skills from experts in each field.

The Every Student Succeeds Act calls for a “well-rounded education” and further defines it to explicitly include technology, computer science, music, arts, health, physical education… with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.”

Now, we’re accustomed to calling these areas ‘specials.’ So why does Central call them Essentials? Specials is derived from the fact that the teachers are ‘specialists’. Yes, we specialized in our field in college and even graduate school. But specials is a teacher-centered term. Essentials is student-centered. These skills should not be ‘special’ for our kids.


Library Skills

  • Information retrieval and evaluation
  • Information and technological literacy
  • Respect for copyright and intellectual property
  • Celebrating reading with new ideas and perspectives


  • Audiation
  • Music literacy
  • Artistic Expression
  • Working in an ensemble

Physical Education

  • Following directions (rules of the game)
  • Safety and space awareness
  • Team building/cooperation

Social Skills

  • Identifying and managing feelings
  • Being a respectful learner
  • Empathy
  • Problem-solving