Union Street Charter has a rich and diverse curriculum. Our highly qualified and inspired teachers emphasize an interactive approach to language arts, social studies, science, and math. In addition, talented and experienced, art, music and Spanish teachers lead twice weekly classes in all grades. Physical education, computer literacy, drama, camping, backpacking, developing positive social skills, and cultural events, supplement the core curriculum throughout the school year.

Language Arts:

  • Phonics and whole language reading in K – 2nd grades
  • Literature based reading program 3rd – 5th grades
  • Writing emphasized
  • Meaningful assignments based on Lucy Calkins
  • Annual yearbook publication of student writing
  • Class student author celebrations and presentations


  • Experiment Based: Making Observations, Recording Results, Testing Hypothesis
  • Units include: Bees & Ladybugs, Light and Sound, Habitats, Soil Science, Watersheds/Salmon, Animal Adaptation, Energy & Engineering, Human Growth, and Planets
  • Amplify Seeds of Science & Roots of Reading – proven to increase reading skills


  • University of Chicago Everyday Math
  • Hands on games and projects to build conceptual foundations
  • Balance of CA standards & developmental needs

Social Studies: 

Our goal is to foster an expanding awareness of the world around us and our place in it by learning about the human experience and studying a variety of peoples’ history and culture.

  • Humboldt county history
  • The globe and geography
  • Native American culture
  • Diversity and equity
  • Family history
  • Global citizens 
  • Taiwan sister school

Physical Education:

  • Emphasize games: soccer, basketball, 4 square, tetherball, kickball, and tag games
  • Emphasize skills for playing these games & skills-based P.E. lessons
  • Encourage positive attitude toward competition
  • Encourage cooperation and caring

The Arts:

  • Spanish, music and art in all grades twice per week
  • Yearly classroom plays or poetry performance
  • Large drama production for 4th & 5th grade at the Arcata Playhouse
  • Guest artists visit the school: Musicians, storytellers, Quack and Wabbit, art docents, and Authors in the Schools

Sustainability: Each grade emphasizes a different aspect of sustainability

  • Sorting food scraps, garbage and recyclables
  • Composting and soil
  • Recycling
  • Energy conservation
  • Environmental education

 Camping Trips and Field Trips:

  • Fall day trip and spring camping trip in K & 1st grades
  • Twice yearly camping trips in 2nd – 5th grades
  • Field trips to Cal Poly Humboldt or Arcata Playhouse performances
  • Service project-Ivy pull at Sunny Brae Park
  • Surfing with Center Activities – 4th grade
  • Wolf Creek Science Camp – 5th grade
  • Ashland Shakespeare Festival – 5th grade