What Makes us Different
Personal Academic Plans: A Personal Academic Plan will be used by each student to enable them to continuously keep track of their progress empowering them to reach the high expectations they set for themselves. Students are encouraged to stretch their learning to reach achievable learning gains. Baseline achievement levels are incorporated into each student’s PAP as a starting point, and based on areas of mastery and deficiency students’ plans are modified. Goals are set with each student, skill areas are identified, and student grouping based upon academic needs is adjusted.
Portfolio Development: A portfolio provides each student an opportunity to develop his or her own collection of authentic work representing their own body of knowledge. Portfolio assessment is an innovative form of alternative assessment that allows teachers to see the academic progress and accomplishments made by a student over time. Portfolios also provide students with the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned over the course of a semester or a year. When used appropriately, portfolios can be an excellent component of an overall assessment plan.
Student Led Parent Conferencing: Students will be supported in the process of reporting on their progress and goals.
Management by Classroom Meetings: Students will be give the opportunity to have real input into their environment by being guided in the implementation of classroom meetings.
Strong Teacher/Staff Support: Our teachers will be given the freedom to expand and enhance the learning situations in the classrooms. The non essential tasks in the daily approach to teaching will be minimized. We will honor teachers/staff time and talent and in turn expect them to be key players in the success of Legacy Academy. The School will support its teachers through professional development and training intended to increase STEAM expertise, content knowledge, and improved instructional practices. Teachers will receive on-going support on how to design, implement, and evaluate instructional activities, which address diverse learning styles and needs, foster leadership, and promote the integration of STEAM across the curriculum.
Project Based Instruction: Although direct instruction is an indispensable teaching strategy, research indicates that another vital aspect of learning is through an interactive and active, hands-on process. Because students are naturally creative and curious, hands-on projects will be integrated throughout the curriculum to reinforce and enrich the students’ learning experiences. Individual teachers may employ simulations, independent study, projects and other approaches. Those teachers will emphasize learning activities that are long-term, student-centered and integrated with real world issues and practices.
Low Student-Adult Ratio: Class size will be limited to no more than 15 students in kindergarten and no more than 18 students in grades 1-6. Volunteers with diverse and expert skills will be used to assist in all facets of the school. Volunteer tutors will be recruited from parents, business partners and local high school and college programs. These adults will serve as mentors, role models, guest speakers and academic tutors to assure that each student has the needed individualized instruction, small group interaction, and whole class learning experiences for a successful learning experience.
Multiple Learning Styles: Using teaching methods that take into consideration the students’ learning styles can dramatically increase achievement. Research reports positive effects when instruction based on learning styles is used with special education, under-achieving and at-risk students. In essence, all students will benefit from this teaching method. One of the many definitions of learning styles or preferences is “the mental process and instructional settings a student uses most effectively while learning” (More, 1993). Learning styles are not static but may differ depending on the nature of the learning activity or may change with experience.
Brain-based Learning – Cognitive Sciences: Brain-based learning is an instructional strategy based on the structure and function of the brain. By using brain research, the staff will be able to make better decisions about teaching and learning. It is the goal of the staff to create “brain compatible” classrooms.
Assessments: must be varied beyond the standardized test to document progress and should always guide instruction.
Advanced Learners: By eliminating work on skills already mastered and progressing through the Reading curriculum at an accelerated pace, advanced students will generally excel. Incorporating rich inviting tasks that require spatial as well as analytical and abstract thinking; encouraging students to develop more complex, high level comprehension and reach advanced interpretations; promote student research using technology to generate original investigations and advanced products; and provide examples of superior work to challenge students to ever-increasing levels of excellence.
Legacy Academy Charter believes that all students are capable of achieving excellence when offered a variety of teaching strategies, resources, and meaningful assessments in an engaging and collaborative environment. The highest student achievement occurs when students are provided an environment in which they are:
· Given high expectations and opportunities for leadership
· Engaged in meaningful learning
· Immersed in a variety of active learning situations
· Provided with demonstrations
· Empowered to make responsible decisions
· Provided with time to practice
· Allowed to “fail” at a task and then guided to making improvements
· Provided frequent feedback
· Supported and feel intellectually and emotionally safe
An after-school tutorial program and week-end school program will also be established to reinforce learning and provide opportunities for extending learning through community based experiences and projects.