Setting K-3 Up for Lifelong Success

At Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy), the first day of kindergarten is the day we begin teaching our young scholars all the ways to be their best- academically, socially, and emotionally. Just like learning a new language or musical instrument, we believe the younger you start building good study habits and self-reflection behaviors, the better.  At our K-8 tuition-free school in Southfield, Michigan, we take the truly transformational years of kindergarten through third grade -where so much amazing growth happens- and develop a solid foundation.
Two PACE Academy students pose upside down on playground equipment outside.


The Golden Age of Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic

At PACE Academy, we believe in strong academics and this is especially true with the essentials of reading, writing, and arithmetic. In fact, these are so important, we dedicate our entire Wednesday to them as part of our Wildly Important Goals (WIGs).

You may know about Michigan’s “Read By Grade 3” (RBG3) law, which mandates that every student must read at grade level before advancing to fourth grade. We take reading very seriously not only because it’s the law, but also because strong reading is necessary to succeed in upper grades. Reading is across all content areas.  We want scholars to learn how to read in the primary grades and successfully transition to reading to learn throughout their educational journey. 

We assess our scholars regularly in a variety of formats starting in kindergarten so there are no surprises later on. While our paraprofessionals assist in the classroom by facilitating small groups of readers or evaluating scholars, if additional reading support is needed, our specialists can help and we involve families as well. 

We use four different programs to teach reading concepts: 

Our reading block is chock-full of different symbolic play activities like singing, dancing, talking, and playing that help support content learning and even social-emotional development.

Together, with regular monitoring, a variety of approaches to learning (let’s not forget that writing goes hand-in-hand with reading), and a mighty team of help, our scholars become successful readers.

Speaking of approaches to learning, we apply a variety of strategies for math too. We learn our numbers by reciting them, reading them, writing them, and using sensory activities, like Play-doh! We also include ways to make a game out of learning, such as finding hidden partners with linking cubes.

Art, STEM, Music, & PE Make School Special

Not only do we take the basics seriously from the start, we start with enrichment activities we call “Specials” in kindergarten. These include:

  • Art
  • Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) education
  • Physical Education (PE)
  • Strings program

Every day our young scholars have an hour of a special - and nothing breaks the ice of “what did you do at school today?” like, “tell me about your special”- this is a treasured time.


ABC’s + SEL’s = The Whole Child

Learning how to be a good friend, scholar, and leader starts on Day One at our close-knit public elementary school. PACE Academy is a Leader in Me school which is a social emotional learning (SEL) program based on the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. 

We begin every day with thirty minutes of SEL, where we might concentrate on a particular habit (Be proactive and response-able), our Social Excellence Protocol, our TRIBEs Advisory, or a little of each! After the turbulent pandemic years, we hired an additional counselor just for our K-4 scholars, making sure that they are getting the mental health support they deserve.

We look for ways to recognize the positive ways our scholars interact and participate. Even our littlest scholars can challenge themselves to reach perfect attendance, actively demonstrate tenets from the Seven Habits of Effective people or demonstrate our school-wide expectations - we see and celebrate you! 

We love setting our youngest scholars up for success - join our PACE Academy Warrior family and enroll today!

About PACE Academy 

Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy) is a tuition-free public charter school serving kindergarten through eighth graders in Southfield, Michigan. At PACE Academy, we empower our scholars to realize their fullest potential through meaningful educational opportunities. We partner with our families and community in preparing our scholars to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century by celebrating the importance of collaboration and accountability in all we do. Join our growing school, enroll today!