- Curriculum and Instruction:
There are several components that have allowed our school to be identified not only as a Reward School that is Highly Performing, but one that has been able to close the achievement gap between students. Our teachers use a direct systematic approach to teaching that is focused on a back to basic curriculum that incorporates the State Standards, and is data driven.
Every teacher at Learning Foundation has been trained in Spalding, which is our foundation for the Five Pillars of Literacy and is embedded in every grade level. The Spalding Method is utilized to develop a phonetic approach to reading. The Title 1 Reading Specialist/Coach works with highly qualified core academic teachers and highly qualified para-professional aides to ensure students develop a mastery of the Five Pillars of Literacy.
Saxon math, recognized as a standard of excellence in mathematics curricula for over thirty years of proven research has been implemented as our math curriculum. Highly qualified core teachers and para-professionals integrate this curriculum into the classroom setting as the cumulative mathematical “back to basic” approach.
Our teachers meet on a weekly basis to discuss important factors ranging from pooling their content knowledge, Arizona Standards, discussing the use of technology, and progress monitoring of their students. The outcomes of these meetings often result in an adjustment to the systematic and explicit approach teachers utilize and to fine tune to the effectiveness of interventions.
- Opportunities for all children to achieve:
The Learning Foundation “Back to Basic” elementary school has made great strides in student achievement. We were the proud recipients of the 2011 Lois Lenski Covey Foundation grant that helped provide our library with a variety of books that range from high interest/low readability, to bestsellers and new releases for all grade levels. Because of this, every student has the opportunity to check out books from our library.
Below are other successful programs that have been implemented to encourage students not only academically, but socially:
B.U.G.S, which stands for Bring Up your Grade. This program is designed to recognize students that bring up their academic grade in every core class.
The Principal’s A-List. This list is comprised of students that demonstrate being a positive role model in all three categories, Attendance, Academics and Attitudes.
“Caught You Being Good.” This award is given to students who exhibit positive character traits whether it is in the classroom, cafeteria, or playground.
Another key aspect to providing opportunities for all children to succeed is the use of technology in the classroom. Every teacher has an interactive whiteboard, which allows them to create interactive lessons that foster a sense of reality into the classroom by projecting visuals that connect concepts or skills to learning.
School training takes place on a variety of topics. One of the most important is the learning approaches that contribute to feedback associated with formative and summative assessments. This type of professional development allows teachers to obtain more valid and targeted measures of what students know and do not know so they can effectively use data to guide and help implement student learning. Teachers partake in trainings that are offered by the State, Ideal and local colleges.
- Greatest contributing factor to the school’s success
Although there are many factors that help the Learning Foundation “Back to Basic” elementary charter school be successful, the most important factor is the use of data to drive instruction, diagnose, predict, and monitor each student’s academic progress. Data- driven instruction identifies not only the academic deficiencies of a class, but can assign individualized instructional resources to address the targeted academic needs of every student in kindergarten through sixth grade. It also takes the “guess work” out of the classroom. Teachers are able to have high expectations that are realistic and attainable for not only their class as a whole, but every child.