- The CS is dedicated to providing a diverse population of students with an outstanding education focused on math, science and technology. The curriculum is designed to ensure 100% student proficiency on state standards in math, science and English Language Arts as well as a 100% graduation rate and acceptance into college.
- CS implements a standards-based, college-preparatory curriculum giving the staff flexibility to adapt instructional strategies in order to meet the needs of the students. The curriculum is based on a model developed and successfully implemented by Concept Schools in 19 charter schools in 4 states (Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan). All parts of the CS curriculum is fully aligned with State Learning Standards.
- Curriculum maps and unit plans provide the framework for the detailed weekly lesson plans that the teachers will complete with their grade-level partners. A shared drive will make plans accessible for reference by students and staff. These plans will specify the daily activities and assessments that teachers will use to teach and measure progress and to ensure that all homework and class work are aligned to standards.
- Rather than adhering to a single teaching philosophy or instructional model, the design will draw on best practices from the field and research to define a set of core instructional practices. CS teachers will utilize a unique mix of the following research-based instructional strategies:
o Direct teaching
o Differentiated instruction
o Problem-based learning
o Project-based learning
o Collaborative learning
o Data-driven instruction
o Transformational use of technology
- Use of these techniques provides an engaging, dynamic learning environment for students to explore the questions they have about the world and ways to positively contribute to the world around them. CS will utilize a variety of instructional approaches to teach advanced concepts and thinking skills in mathematics and science, as well as other disciplines.
- CS use a combination of diagnostic, authentic, state-mandated standardized tests, and nationally recognized norm-referenced assessments to compare students’ progress over time with the school’s goals. These assessments include:
o iReady Assessments
o District Assessments
o State Standardized Tests
Remediation & Intervention
- Students entering the school possess a wide range of skills. The extended day and school year, rigorous program of study, extra programming, and parental involvement will be critical if the students are to achieve all academic goals.
- Once enrolled at CS, students will be required to take diagnostic tests focusing on mathematics and reading. The results of these tests will be analyzed by administration and staff to understand each student’s needs and to create a personalized education plan.
- Academic supports will be provided, as needed, in the form of pull-out/push-in support programs, peer tutoring, after-school tutoring, summer academic camp, lunch and recess learning programs, etc.
- CS uses a combination of the following tools to identify and assess accelerated students:
o Grade level diagnostic tests created by Concept Schools
o iReady Assessment Scores
o Concept Schools Interim Assessment
o Teacher recommendation
o Any prior evaluation by professional organizations/individuals presented by parents
o Class Performance
- CS teachers differentiate their instruction by content, process, and product in order to meet the needs of accelerated students. CS teachers receive training in differentiated instruction at the Summer Institute, Concept Schools’ annual conference, and professional development days. The Assistant Principal of academics monitors lesson plans and observes in the classroom to ensure that teachers differentiate instruction.
Parental Involvement Plan
- Parental or family involvement is essential to the school’s mission and student success. The following actions will contribute to an effective school-parent/family partnership:
o The school publishes a clear policy welcoming parental involvement and post opportunities to become involved in an obvious place in the school building and on the school’s Web site.
o Teachers conduct home visits with parents to enhance parent education and build stronger relationships between students, parents and teachers.
o The school provides parent/family education programs
o The school office is trained in customer service skills to ensure that they present a friendly and open environment. Parents/families are treated with respect and are not kept waiting unnecessarily.
o The school’s Web site provides clear and consistent communication. Parents/families access to daily homework assignments, grades, attendance, and other information via the school’s secure Web page.
o The school recognizes the contribution of parents in their children’s success by organizing events, such as the Honor Roll Parent Dinner.
o The school sets up a parent area in the school building, equipped with a comfortable seating area, a telephone, copy machine, computers, books on adolescents, etc.
o The school provides translated materials and/or in-person contact with parents whose primary language is not English. Translators are involved in all parent-teacher interactions as needed.
- CS has a dedicated Technology person to assist faculty members at the school in enhancing learning through technology. Technology instruction at CS emphasizes content learning while strengthening technology skills of students, teachers and staff. Teachers use these methods and tools in to order enhance instruction in the content areas:
o Collaborative Environments, i.e. social networking platforms, community Web sites, classroom management systems, multiplayer gaming environments, or virtual worlds
o Online Communication Tools, i.e. instant messaging, online conferencing, and online broadcasting
o Cloud Computing, i.e. Flicker, Google, and YouTube, which are virtual servers available over the Internet
o Smart Boards
o Smart Objects, i.e. devices that use quick response codes and are connected to larger information sources or interactive books and maps
o Personalized Web pages, blogs, and blackboard-type online communication tools through which teachers can tag, categorize, publish, and review work online
o Virtual learning
School Culture and Climate
- CS focuses on establishing a culture that values and celebrates success, teaches shared values, sets high expectations, builds pride, and fosters a sense of community and belonging. The culture and climate of the school incorporates five essential attributes:
o Focus on Student Achievement
o High Expectations
Serving Specialized Population
- Special education programs and services at CS are provided in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations as well as the individual student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The CS faculty and administration work collaboratively with the district or other companies in providing high quality services to students with disabilities. A Special Education Coordinator is responsible for conducting IEP meetings to assess, review and revise IEP’s. Auxiliary and related services identified through the IEP (such as speech and language service or physical therapy for example) are provided by the District or special companies.
- Students with disabilities have an equal opportunity with students in the regular education program to participate in, and where appropriate, receive credit for non-academic, extracurricular and ancillary programs, services, and activities. Students with disabilities receive the same notices concerning school-sponsored programs, activities, and services as other students.
- Providing a healthy culture that promotes safety, security, strong relationships, and a sense of belonging are some of the most critical components for providing a framework to support students with at-risk characteristics. Within this type of environment, students feel secure in approaching faculty and support staff for assistance.
- Students at CS with limited proficiency in English achieve proficiency in the English language through the use of the school’s services and teaching methods. CS hires at least one certified ESL teacher and adapts staffing according to the student population. CS ensures that ELL (English Language Learner) students will not be excluded from curricular and extracurricular activities based on an inability to speak and understand the language of instruction. Parents whose English proficiency is limited receive notices and information from the school in their native language so that CS is able to encourage the participation of all parents in the CS community.