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Paterson Collegiate Charter School Phase Two Application

Paterson Collegiate Charter School Phase Two Application

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Phase Two application
Phase Two application

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Paterson Collegiate Charter School, Section 1, Curriculum and Instructional Design
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 Educational Approach
The school’s pedagogy will be predominantly whole class, direct instruction. Teachers identify learningobjectives (the “points”) explicitly and follow a pedagogy known as “teach-practice-check.” The teacherpresents the skill explicitly and then generalizes it to other examples; students then work independentlyto practice the newly acquired skill. Academic prefects, selected from the class, check the work of theirpeers after the completion of the “check” to ensure that all students have mastered the point. Frequentelectronic assessment (weekly in grades 3 and higher) provides teachers with
immediate
feedback ontheir students’ mastery of what they have just taught—before learning gaps form that inhibit subsequentlearning. Tightly integrated “Intensives” classes in English and math provide smaller group, focusedinstruction for students who are at risk of falling behind in either or both subjects.The plan assumes four classes of 28 students each beyond kindergarten. Based on the efficacy of theSabis instructional model and the No Excuses school culture, the founders believe that such relativelylarge classes will function well in the context of the school design.Spanning kindergarten through grade 4, the lower school will establish a foundation of strong basicskills, intellectual stamina, and enthusiasm for learning. Students at schools in the Ascend network havearrived in kindergarten performing in the bottom quartile of their peers nationally; by the fourth grade,they have advanced to the top quartile. Because Paterson Collegiate Charter School is targeting similarlyeconomically disadvantaged minority students, it is expected the entering students will present similardeficits. Based on Ascend’s record, however, the founders are confident that the design will deliver anequally effective remedy.In the Sabis program, classrooms in kindergarten through grade 2 are self-contained, but classrooms ingrades 3 and 4 are organized around a teaching model in which teachers specialize in either (a) math andscience or (b) English language arts and social studies.
Curricular Choices
 
Paterson Collegiate Charter School, Section 1, Curriculum and Instructional Design
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The school shall use the Sabis curriculum for mathematics, English, world language (Spanish), science,and social studies. Ascend shall develop the curriculum for music, fine arts, and physical education, as ithas established at the three schools it currently serves challenging, age-appropriate programming inthese areas that meets the state standards.An overview of the subjects follows.
 English Language Arts
English proficiency (reading, comprehension, verbal and written communication) is the foundation forprogress in all academic subjects. Therefore, English courses will be required of all students every year.The study of English allows students to achieve basic proficiency, develop an appreciation of the variousaspects of the language, and recognize its importance for effective oral and written communication. Forall students, the Sabis English Language Arts program is designed to:
 
provide them the ability to read, comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and respond to written material;
 
expose them to various genres of significant world literature;
 
enable them to write in a grammatically acceptable, coherent, and well organized manner;
 
allow them to achieve effective speaking in formal and informal situations, to communicate ideasand information, and to ask and answer questions;
 
enable them to listen and express themselves critically and analytically; and
 
develop critical thinking skills through the study and use of the language and significant literature.In the lower grades (K-4), Sabis program focuses learning on the following components:
 
Decoding the language from printed form
 
Mastering oral fluency in reading
 
Comprehending what is read
 
Developing an ever-expanding vocabulary
 
Understanding the correct grammatical structure of the language
 
Knowing and producing correct speech
 
Producing legible penmanship
 
Expressing ideas and facts in proper written composition
 
Reading widely from the best available literature in all genresEnglish instruction engages children in the study of authentic and engaging texts; the literature serves asa powerful motivation for learning and connecting with phonics, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, writing,and for reading for understating. Classic and contemporary literature from worldwide cultures invitesstudents to explore topics from a variety of perspectives. The core components are as follows:1.
 
Literature Works, offers an integrated approach to reading, language arts, and spelling, published bySilver Burdett Ginn. This program builds a strong foundation in literacy through a wealth of high-quality fiction and non-fiction selections. The readings explore the intellectual, social, emotional,and physical opportunities and challenges that face students in today’s complex world.2.
 
Grammar and Writing, focuses on correct grammar, usage, mechanics, and composition skills.3.
 
Class Readers, include a range of literature from traditional fairy tales, such as
The Emperor’s NewClothes
, to historical readings. The primary purpose of these books is the development of vocabulary, oral reading fluency, and note-taking skills.
 
Paterson Collegiate Charter School, Section 1, Curriculum and Instructional Design
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4.
 
Handwriting, published by Zaner-Bloser, provides instruction in manuscript printing in grades 1 and2 and cursive handwriting in grades 2 through 4.The school will supplement the Sabis curriculum with a guided reading program to help scholars applytheir developing reading skills, to promote the specific development of reading comprehension skills,and to assist teachers in assessing their students’ mastery and tailoring their instruction to individualneeds. Variously defined by different educators, guided reading as applied in the Ascend design is abridge between shared reading and independent reading. Working with small groups, Ascend teachersguide their scholars as they read books that closely match the students’ needs, abilities, and interests. Inthis context, the teacher acts as a facilitator, using prompts and questioning strategies primarily to guidechildren to comprehension.Using a book introduction, the teacher sets the scene, arouses student interest, and engages them. Askilled guided reading teacher is constantly asking questions that gauge and stimulate the scholars'comprehension, for example: What do you think will happen next? Why do think the character thinksthat? How do you think the character is feeling? Inference and prediction skills, essential to the scholars’development of reading comprehension, are powerfully developed in this setting. Indeed, while manyphonics and other programs are effective at teaching decoding, comprehension has been much harder tofoster in the upper elementary grades, thus guided reading is a critical supplement.
 Mathematics
The Sabis approach in the teaching of mathematics goes far beyond application; students learn thetheory and logic of each mathematical concept. The Sabis mathematics program tackles three importantissues: (1) why each concept is true; (2) how each concept works; and (3) how each concept can be used.A key goal in the mathematics program is to place students in a course for which they have the requisiteknowledge to succeed and in which they will be challenged to use their minds fully.The Sabis mathematics philosophy is that all students can understand and use mathematics as long as thelearning process prevents “gaps” from forming. Using the Sabis Academic Monitoring System, theschool can detect and fill the gaps as soon as they develop and before they can interfere with subsequentlearning. As a result, students make steady progress in solving a variety of mathematical operations andapplying mathematics in their everyday lives.Mathematics will focus on essential concepts of arithmetic involving the four operations of addition,subtraction, multiplication, and division. Also, the program teaches topics such as place value, fractions,decimals, metric and standard measurement, money, time, and geography in a careful sequential mannerfrom one grade to the next. The result is a solid mathematical foundation. Mastery of computationalskills and problem-solving techniques enables students to understand abstract concepts of mathencountered in the middle and upper grades. The mathematics textbooks have been written andpublished by Sabis. The specific instructional objectives, or “points,” are identified throughout the texts.
Science
Teaching students “how to do science” is the ultimate goal of the Sabis science curriculum. Sabisscience courses at different levels provide a variety of ways for students to learn the material taught, aswell as the problem-solving skills and analytical thinking necessary to become scientifically literate.Students start to apply science in everyday life through real-life problems, in classroom exercises, onexaminations, and through laboratory work where they relate course material to actual data.The Sabis science program has the following student objectives:

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