Description of Lower School Curriculum

THE CURRICULUM AT PHILIP’S ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL HAS BEEN DESIGNED IN HARMONY WITH THE SCHOOL’S MISSION TO PROVIDE AN OUTSTANDING, ALL AROUND EDUCATION FOR THE CHILDREN OF NEWARK AND ITS ENVIRONS. AT PHILIP’S ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT MORE THAN SCOPE AND SEQUENCE – WHAT IS TAUGHT AND WHEN. WE BELIEVE THAT AN AWARENESS OF OUR CHILDREN’S LIFE CONDITIONS, NEEDS, HOPES, AND DESIRES IS ESSENTIAL IN DECIDING UPON AND DELIVERING WHAT THEY SHOULD BE TAUGHT. EQUALLY IMPORTANT IS A CONSIDERATION OF HOW CHILDREN SHOULD BE TAUGHT. WE BELIEVE THAT LEARNING IS PREDICATED UPON NOT ONLY COURSE CONTENT, BUT ALSO METHODS OF TEACHING, STUDENT-TO-STUDENT AND STUDENT-TO-ADULT INTERACTIONS, ORGANIZATION OF THE SCHOOL DAY, CLASSROOM SETUP AND MORE.

CENTRAL TO OUR ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF CRITICAL THINKING, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND WRITING SKILLS. STUDENTS ARE TAUGHT AND ENCOURAGED TO REASON, INQUIRE, AND DISCOVER IN WAYS THAT HELP THEM DEVELOP A DISCIPLINED APPROACH TO THEIR STUDIES. EMPHASIS IS GIVEN TO PROVIDING STUDENTS WITH MOTIVATIONAL ENRICHMENT TO “BECOME AND BE” THEIR PERSONAL BEST IN ALL AREAS OF LEARNING. THE CURRICULUM IS PRESENTED TO STUDENTS BY SUBJECT MATTER THAT IS ON GRADE LEVEL AND THE GRADE LEVEL ABOVE. STUDENTS WHO DEMONSTRATE ACADEMIC ABILITY IN SPECIFIC AREAS ABOVE THOSE LEVELS WILL RECEIVE LESSONS THAT ARE AUGMENTED BY SUPPLEMENTAL CURRICULA TO MEET AND CHALLENGE THEIR NEEDS.

PHILIP’S ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL FOSTERS A NURTURING AND RESPECTFUL ENVIRONMENT WHERE UNIVERSAL VALUES, SUCH AS RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, COMPASSION, HONESTY AND INTEGRITY ARE UPHELD. THESE VALUES ARE DISCUSSED AND INTERNALIZED DURING CLASSROOM MEETINGS AND SCHOOL GATHERINGS. DURING CLASSROOM MEETINGS, IN ADDITION TO OTHER TOPICS AND DISCUSSIONS, STUDENTS ARE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO REFLECT ON ISSUES AND PROBLEMS IN THEIR CLASSROOM, SCHOOL, OR COMMUNITY, AND THINK OF BEST OPTIONS FOR HANDLING SITUATIONS OF CONFLICT. THESE CONVERSATIONS PREPARE STUDENTS TO THINK OF SITUATIONS BEFORE THEY ARISE, AND TO HELP THEM MAKE THOUGHTFUL AND ETHICAL DECISIONS. STUDENTS LEARN TO TREAT THEMSELVES AND OTHERS WITH RESPECT, TO BE RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS, AND CONTRIBUTORS TO THEIR COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS TO SHARE THEIR JOY AND TALENTS AND TO UNDERSTAND THE FULFILLMENT OF GIVING TO OTHERS.

Responsive Classroom

Our Classroom Philosophy

At Philip’s Academy Charter School we believe in educating students both academically and socially. A key component to character education is Responsive Classroom, which is an approach to teaching in the elementary grades developed by the Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (NEFC). The guiding principles of the program coincide with St. Philip’s Academy’s professional beliefs that how students learn is as important as what they learn, that teaching a social curriculum is as important as an academic curriculum, that social interaction plays an integral role in cognitive growth, and that knowing the children we teach– individually, culturally, and developmentally– is as important as knowing the content we are teaching them. By embracing the principles of Responsive Classsroom throughout the day our behavior management is seamlessly ingrained into our instructional practices.

You can learn more here: http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/faq#distinctive