COMMUNITY ROOTS ACADEMY
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
In our deliberate planning toward our pursuit of establishing CRA, we have made the
• 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
• 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.
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
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
Environmental Stewardship – CRA curriculum, policies and practices are designed to
promote environmental awareness and stewardship.
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
o All professional members of the Community Roots Academy (“CRA”)
learning community embrace and utilize these essential skills in their
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
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
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
• Teachers plan, create and implement curriculum to best meet the needs and
interests of students while exceeding California State curriculum and
• 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
“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
• 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.