Instructional Methods

Category: Academic

The School will look to create a culture of departure from the traditional stand and deliver methods used in many schools. Instruction will focus on inquiry-based, real-world learning. The following research-based instructional strategies will be utilized throughout the curriculum to maximize successful mastery of NGSSS and CCSS and demonstrate The School’s commitment to providing differentiation of instruction to benefit all students:

Direct Instruction: Explicit and systematic instruction through specific explanation and modeling that maintains standards as the focal point of learning. Instruction is structured and based on mastery.

Differentiated Instruction: Teachers adapt instruction to meet the varying levels and needs of students.

Scaffolding: Teachers provide support structures to advance student learning. Over time, structures are removed as students gain autonomy and are able to direct their own learning.

Cooperative Learning: Small groups are guided through purpose-driven learning sessions that increase communication and team-building skills.

Use of Advance Organizers and Graphic Organizers: Students learn to strategically organize, store, retrieve, and apply information through the use of anticipation guides, thinking maps, webs, and KWL and other charts.

Inquiry-Based Learning: This approach focuses on application of knowledge through real-world problem solving. The teacher becomes only a guide in the process of discovery as students engage in learning that promotes critical thinking and decisionmaking skills.

Project-Based Learning [PBL]: In addition to the aforementioned strategies, PBL

Curriculum Approach

Category: Academic

The curriculum approach for The School will focus on all students obtaining a high level of rigor and relevance across all content areas. One of the reasons for this particular focus is the State of Florida’s transition from using the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards Generation to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Assessment over the next 3-7 years will evolve to be more rigorous (i.e., require analysis,synthesis and evaluation as identified by the Knowledge Taxonomy of the Rigor/Relevance Framework®) and more real-world relevant (i.e., interdisciplinary, real-world predictable or unpredictable

situations as identified by the Application Model of the Rigor/Relevance Framework) (International Center for Leadership in Education, 2011).

lmPicture 036In order to elevate student learning to this level of rigor, The School will implement a studentfocused approach to instruction, also known as active learning. In this approach, students are actively engaged in problem solving, formulating questions, and debating and discussing. This type of learning enhances each student’s acquisition of critical thinking, in-depth understanding of course material, and confidence. This student-focused approach will be evident throughout this application, as it will be evident throughout The School’s classrooms.

Our Program

Category: Academic

As per Florida Statute, a minimum of 180 instructional days will be provided to students, following the annual calendar set forth by the Sponsor. The hours of instructional time will be aligned to state and district requirements.

 

The School’s instructional day will have a minimum of 360 minutes of instruction each day. The number of instructional days per year and hours per day, as well as the school calendar, will be consistent with the district for each year of the charter’s term.

 

The school day will include the time requirements for language arts, mathematics, science, history, social science and physical education as stipulated by M-DCPS for each grade level. These requirements will be evident and documented through published school schedules and teacher lesson plans. The following listing demonstrates the minimum amount of time that students will engage in effective instruction:

 

Grades K-5

Reading/Language Arts

  • 90 minutes of uninterrupted, consecutive instruction in reading
  • Additional 30 minutes of language arts instruction (grammar, spelling, etc.)

Mathematics

  • 60 minutes of uninterrupted, consecutive time

Science

  • 90 minutes per week for grades K-1
  • 150 minutes per week for grades 2-5

Social Studies

  • 90 minutes per week for grades K-1
  • 150 minutes per week for grades 2-5

Physical Education

  • 150 minutes per week

The Arts

  • 40 minutes per week in both music and art for grades K-1
  • 60 minutes per week in both music and art for grades 2-5

Grade 6

6 periods, with 55 minutes of instruction per period

5 minute breaks between periods

Course offerings documented in Sections 4 and 6 of this application