Our leaders often say that we are “always under construction”; we are continually evaluating, modifying, and improving our academic program. Key components include:
Individualized, Data-Driven Academics
Instruction is data-driven; a range of assessments are made throughout the year and instruction is adjusted in response to the results.
Personal Education Goals identifying unique strengths and areas for support are developed for each student.
All English Language Learner (ELL) students are placed in general education classrooms and are the subject of a personalized Instructional Planning for English Language Learners document to specify instructional focus and how it will be carried out based on the student’s level of proficiency.
The regular school day is 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and the school offers extended year programs that allow students to receive additional academic support, accelerate or extend learning, or participate in an activity for enjoyment. Past subjects offered through the 21st Century Community Learning Center based in the building have included dance, boating, visual art, cooking and nutrition, outdoor education, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and other project-based learning. The Latchkey Enrichment Program also operates in the building, offering homework help and project-based learning throughout the year when school is not in session.
A model that includes two teachers in each classroom who provide direction for the whole team, including special needs and literacy support, is used. Teaching teams understand that individual learning plans are essential for children who struggle with skill development and comprehension and that children’s special needs cannot be an excuse for lack of academic achievement. Teachers work closely with the head of school to analyze student achievement data, develop and refine instructional plans, and assess the effectiveness of classroom teaching relative to specific learning goals. Teachers share best practices throughout the school and often assume leadership positions relative to specific areas of the curriculum. Curriculum study groups use research to develop and implement new, improved methods to support student learning.
The school actively fosters a culture of focused learning, respect, and personal responsibility. Parents are engaged in school life through involvement with parent groups, extensive communication with newsletters and notices, and school events held during the school day and outside school hours throughout the year.