Parent Information Handout 2010


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Parent Information Handout 2010

  1. 1. COMMUNITY ROOTS ACADEMY Execution Timeline March-August of 2010 Gather petition signatures Establish community and corporate partnerships Initiate search for potential facility sites Pursue supplementary funding and resources May of 2010 Submit Charter Petition Submit Planning and Implementation Grant August-November of 2010Op Develop student recruitment and community outreach strategies Complete and implement student recruiting and community outreach strategies January of 2011 Complete facility site search Initiate teacher and staff recruiting Open houses for prospective students and families March of 2011 Purchase student texts and resources Initiate facility renovations April of 2011 Complete teacher and staff recruitment Open houses for prospective students and families May of 2011 Complete facilities renovations Purchase student/teacher supplies and equipment June of 2011 Complete student recruitment July of 2011 Complete academic year curriculum development August of 2011 School opens
  2. 2. Operating Assumptions In our deliberate planning toward our pursuit of establishing CRA, we have made the following assumptions: • CRA will serve preschool-8th Grade. • In 5 years from the opening of CRA we will have 60 preschoolers (3-4 year olds) and 350 K-8th graders. • In September 2011, we intend to open with between 100 - 140 students: 2 kindergarten classes, 2 first grade classes, 1 second grade class, and 1 sixth grade class. Due to what we know of the market, these are modest/conservative estimates. • Plan to increase a grade a year until we fill in the elementary school and middle school. In year two we intend to open our preschool. • K-8 we will maintain a student to teacher ratio below 25 to 1. • As a charter school, just like a public school we will receive state funding: Approximately $5,000 per child per year. • Our operating costs will be completely covered when we open with 140 students with the state funding per student. • CRA’s operating expenses will not exceed its revenue based on state money we receive of approx. $5,000 per student per year. • We intend to fundraise and write foundation grants to cover our start-up costs. Charter Market Similarities Compared To Traditional Public School • Charter Schools are like traditional public schools in that they receive state funding-parent pays no tuition • Charters are similar to public schools in that the school is accountable for students meeting grade level proficiency as demonstrated on the California Standards Test or STAR testing Community Roots Academy Differs From Traditional Public School • Higher adult to student ratio in both classroom and whole school • More innovative/creative in its instructional approach • More attention to individual students • Curricular flexibility to challenge all types of learners • Opportunity for parent involvement • Greater teacher investment in creating school curriculum and culture
  3. 3. Guiding Principles A Community Roots Academy (“CRA”) education builds the skills, knowledge and attitudes that empower individuals to thrive in their future. Values for Today and Tomorrow – CRA instills the skills for success in our global society: Mastery of fundamental academic skills in addition to problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, initiative, effective communication, adaptability and evaluating information and imagination. We teach and live these values in our philosophy, governance, curriculum and operation. Project-Based Curriculum – The CRA curriculum includes engaging learning experiences that involve students in complex real-world projects through which they develop and apply skills and knowledge. Project-based learning empowers students with the skills for success for today and tomorrow. Community Partnership – Community partnership is integral to effective education. Strong communities foster positive development in students. The CRA community includes students, parents, administration, teachers, community-based organizations, universities, and national and international educational institutions. Model Learning Community – At CRA, all members of our professional community continually seek learning and growth opportunities. Faculty and staff participate in an extensive professional development program and also partner with colleagues to foster a challenging academic environment for all. Highly qualified and motivated teachers collaborate in school governance and develop curriculum while guiding, supporting and evaluating students. Environmental Stewardship – CRA curriculum, policies and practices are designed to promote environmental awareness and stewardship.
  4. 4. Actualizing Our Guiding Principles 1. Values for Today and Tomorrow “We believe there are specific skills and attitudes that make individuals and organizations successful in today’s world.” • Mastery of fundamental academic skills (reading, writing and mathematics) is the foundations of an effective education. • Proficiency at problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, written and oral communication and evaluation are essential skills for success. • Adaptability, initiative and imagination are habits of mind that are critical to success. o All professional members of the Community Roots Academy (“CRA”) learning community embrace and utilize these essential skills in their practices. o CRA’s deliberate curriculum and framework enable students in the CRA learning community to develop these skills and habits. CRA’s learning environment nurtures close relationships among students and school professionals through modeling and experiential learning and intentional connections to meaningful world experiences. “We value individuals and their history.” • Teachers implement a multicultural curriculum through units of study that are designed to increase student awareness and appreciation of various world cultures. • CRA conducts regular Town Meetings where community members gather to learn about their similarities and differences through student work exhibitions and student-led presentations. • CRA students participate in and host exhibitions showing their work product and what they have learned with the school community and the general public 2. Project-Based Curriculum “We believe people learn best through collaboration and experiential learning both inside and outside the classroom.” • Teachers collaborate to create project-based curriculum. • Partnerships with community-based organizations provide students with opportunities to work together to create connections to the real world and to give back to their community while enhancing their curriculum-based learning. • The curriculum incorporates field trips and field study to enrich student and teacher learning experiences. • Teachers plan and examine student work in grade level teams. • Teachers share their expertise, set and maintain individual professional goals and improve their instructional practices in collaborative teams. “We teach students problem-solving and critical thinking skills, essential attributes to success in the global marketplace.” • Learning at CRA is based upon inquiry and guiding questions.
  5. 5. • Challenging and relevant texts are integrated into all grade level curricula. • Through modeling and instruction, students learn to respect and challenge intellectual ideas, to question responses and to form opinions in an environment free of judgment. • Students work in cooperative learning groups. • Through questioning, debate and expression, students examine their points of view, as well as the perspectives of others. • Students are exposed to a variety of cultures, races, religions, gender, health, political and other belief systems. Students learn to recognize and appreciate the differences and similarities between peoples. “We believe in authentic instruction and assessment that is adaptable to meet the needs of all learners.” • Students’ academic and social growth is measured through portfolio review, informal teacher assessment and analysis of goal setting, in addition to mandated state testing. • Assessment modifications are made to meet the needs of any individuals with learning differences. • Assessment is an integral part of the learning process, providing a valuable tool for reflection and growth. 3. Community Partnership “We believe strong communities foster positive development for students.” • Teachers and school leaders maintain close relationships with students and their families. • CRA maintains its small size (under 300 students) to help ensure strong relationships among students and teachers. • Students maintain positive relationships with all adults working at or in conjunction with CRA through community open work and student advisory. • The school establishes and maintains partnerships with community-based organizations and educational institutions to integrate expertise and real world connections into our students’ learning experiences. • CRA is committed to parent communication and involvement that is achieved, in part, by: o Establishing a parent/teacher organization; o Maintaining a weekly parent communication detailing upcoming events, educator profiles and student work; and o Keeping parents informed about curriculum and practices through electronic communications and through faculty-led workshops and programs for parents. “We value individuals and their history.” • Teachers implement a multicultural curriculum through units of study that are designed to increase student awareness and appreciation of various world cultures. • CRA conducts regular Town Meetings where community members gather to learn about their similarities and differences through student work exhibitions and student-led presentations. • CRA students participate in and host exhibitions showing their work product and what they have learned with the school community and the general public.
  6. 6. 4. Model Learning Community “We are a model learning community.” • CRA supports the professional development of teachers, administrators and school aides through weekly staff meetings, as well as workshops, retreats and learning institutes. • Teachers plan, create and implement curriculum to best meet the needs and interests of students while exceeding California State curriculum and performance standards. • Teachers also meet to participate in cross-grade planning; teachers and schools leaders examine and continuously re-evaluate the scope and sequence of the curriculum. • Teachers and administrators work collaboratively on school governance and curriculum review. “We hold students and staff to rigorous academic standards while developing social and emotional competence.” • Teachers design curriculum for social, emotional and academic competence, challenging students to work to their fullest potential. • Students, parents and teachers collaborate to create and work toward student goals. • Interdisciplinary instruction creates a framework where students can approach new and challenging content and real- life situations with confidence. • Students learn the skills of conflict resolution and participate in advisory groups to build social competency. 5. Environmental Stewardship “We believe developing an appreciation and responsibility for the natural environment enhances education and individuals lives.” • Students develop an appreciation for the environment through curricular, projects, guided outdoor experiences and overnight trips. • CRA maintains a Green Team, consisting of teachers, administrators, students, parents and community partners, to evaluate our environmental impact and help initiate changes that reduce our ecological footprint. • Students participate in on-going initiatives to promote conservation and reduce waste on campus.