George Washington Academy Curriculum

George Washington Academy uses the research based, academically rigorous Core Knowledge Sequence ( to ensure that students meet and exceed the Utah State Core Curriculum. Core Knowledge is a solid, sequential, and specific curriculum, based on the principles of establishing a national cultural literacy, or broad common knowledge base. Our certified teachers receive extensive training in implementing Core Knowledge. To support Core Knowledge, we also use other curriculums, including: Saxon Math (, and Spalding Language Arts (

Core Knowledge is used to teach science, social studies, health, history, geography, music, and visual arts. Core Knowledge’s best attributes can be summed up in the three S’s: solid, sequential, and specific. Each academic year builds upon information attained during the previous years, avoiding heavy repetition and gaps. By clearly specifying important information in the core areas, teachers, parents, and students will have well defined academic goals for each grade level. Core Knowledge is research based and proven to be effective at meeting and exceeding Utah and National Standards.

To download the full Core Knowledge Sequence for grades K- 7, click here.

Interested parents are encouraged to read and own the following books on Curriculum and Core Knowledge:

  • Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
  • Books to Build On: A Grade-by-Grade Resource Guide by John Holden, and E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
  • What your Kindergartener Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. (available in K-7)
  • The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

George Washington Academy uses Saxon math, an accelerated math program that relies heavily on incremental learning. GWA students will work a minimum of one grade level ahead of traditional schools. Students systematically practice attained skills, through paper and pencil activities, as well as math games and the use of manipulatives. Daily practice continues until a skill is mastered and assessed, and then a greater incremental skill is introduced. On a typical day, students are instructed as a group, then guided through practice sessions, complete independent practice activities, and reinforce the lessons through appropriate homework, with assessment occurring formally and informally throughout the process.

Because Saxon Math is an accelerated program, we encourage families to prepare well for the academic rigor. We suggest that families download Saxon placement tests from Saxon publishers, to determine the actual level of student performance. Students should be able to complete tests with 85% accuracy. We suggest reading or purchasing Saxon math materials for your child to prepare them for the accelerated math pace. Saxon materials can be purchased through Saxon publishers.

George Washington Academy requires students to have specific instruction in reading, writing, spelling, and grammar to create a balanced and complete language arts approach. Spalding begins students with very specific and ordered phonemic instruction and progresses with high frequency words spelling and reading, English rules and concepts, composition writing, reasoning skills, and literary appreciation.

GWA uses the Core Knowledge reading program in conjunction with many other resources. If parents wish to prepare their children for enrollment in George Washington Academy , we suggest selecting from the following booklist, according to the PREVIOUS grade level of the student. The booklist is not comprehensive, but is helpful to acquaint families with appropriate reading expectations. We strongly advise that parents read with their student daily, and encourage him/her also to read independently.

1st Grade:

  • Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne

2nd Grade:

  • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  • Charlotte ‘s Web, E.B. White
  • Peter Pan, James M. Barrie

3rd grade:

  • Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
  • Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • The Wizard of Oz, Frank Baum

4th Grade:

  • Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
  • The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving
  • Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter
  • Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
  • Treasure Island , Robert Louis Stevenson

5th grade:

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  • Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Young People (ed. Diane Davis)

6th grade:

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell
  • Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes
  • Julius Caesar for Young People, (ed. Diane Davis)
  • The Secret Garden , Frances Hodgson Burnett

7th Grade:

  • The Call of the Wild, Jack London
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Short Stories:
    • "The Gift of the Magi", O. Henry
    • "The Necklace", Guy de Maupassant
    • "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", James Thurber
    • "The Tell-Tale Heart"; "the Purloined Letter", Edgar Allen Poe

8th Grade

  • Animal Farm, George Orwell
  • The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
  • Short Stories:
    • "The Bet", Anton Chekov
    • "Dr Heideggers Experiment", Nathanial Hawthorn
    • "God Sees the Truth but Waits", Leo Tolstoy
    • "An Honest Thief", Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • "The Open Boat", Stephen Crane

Citizenship, preparedness, participation, behavior, and attendance are very important at GWA and all students will receive grades in Social and Personal Responsibility.


Applications for the 2019-2020 school year are now available for students entering Kindergarten through 7th grade. These applications are valid for students turning 5 years old on or before September 1, 2019.

The lottery for the 2019-2020 school year will take place on February 1, 2019. All applications received after January 31st will be added to the waitlist and applicants will be contacted as open spots become available.

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are still available.