Our students will be prepared for elite universities and a global 21st century. The small classroom environment offering includes STEAM, innovation, entrepreneurship, digital media and international study/service trips.
During the last 50 years, the world has changed dramatically. The classroom has not...
We have designed a student-centered curriculum based on advances in technology, evidence-based learning and the workplace. With their own individualized learning plan, students will be prepared for a global, technology-driven workplace. They will be ready to adapt and prosper in a constantly changing reality. The middle school is designed to imbue students' confidence and fluency in forward-thinking work environments.
Our goals are straightforward. We want to help our students:
- Develop their own learning system - their way of acquiring, processing and structuring information
- Be precise in thought and communication. Eliminate the noise and identify the signal
- Be confident in managing situations where there are lots of unknowns
- Be able to self-direct inquiry with an independent, entrepreneurial mindset
- Have execution skills and confidence to take initiative to get things done
Our curriculum is organized around five habits: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Self Learning and Grit. The content selection and structure will be made with these habits in mind.
Critical Thinking - Breakdown complex issues into smaller problems and establish their inter-relationships
Creativity - Identify patterns in any area, investigating the possibilities by asking "What if?" to create a solution & improve patterns
Collaboration - Work with others in different situations and status through modeled behavior
Self Learning - Create one's own learning system that is self-directed by the student. Be able to create structure in unstructured environments
Grit - Develop an effort-based mindset and using setbacks as opportunities to learn and overcome
Small-size, Blended Learning Environment - Maximize high quality, frequent teacher-student interactions by using self-paced online content. The class area is broken into 3 pods: self-directed online learning, small group session with the teacher and the group projects. The classroom will look similar to a flexible, coworking space where there are easily moveable tables, whiteboards and PostIt walls. Each student has an individualized learning plan. The curriculum includes online content - video, examples, quizzes - where the student can learn content at their own pace. Through online quizzes, progress is tracked and trouble spots are identified. Teachers work with students in small groups or individually to resolve any trouble spots. Through blended learning, teachers can pinpoint areas for improvement and focus on high value interactions. Teachers will have more time to design group-based projects to apply learned concepts.
Experiential Learning - Group projects where students learn by doing and interact with outside experts. Students will spend a great deal of time doing hands-on projects.
International Study - Help students develop context in seeing how other people live and do. For the international trips, students will research the locations and cultures in advance. Learning languages is particularly relevant. Special programming - visits to museums, historic sites, interaction with local folks - will supplement the student's normal cloud-based curriculum.
The curriculum is comprised of three types of subjects: Main, Communications and 21st Century. Depending on the subject and time of year, students will learn through blended learning, guest subject matter experts(SME) and field trips.
Main - The STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts, math - subjects are the primary focus, or approximately 2 hours daily. Science, Technology and Engineering will be learned through blended learning and often facilitated by a SME in a group environment. Arts will center around sketching, an essential skill in both aesthetics and business. Math will be supplemented with Bayesian Statistics so students have a fluency in Big Data. The curriculum will prepare students for the End of Grade (EOG) state tests.
Communication - These subjects will often work with outside SME in a group environment for ~ 1 hour daily. Writing is a key life tool with personal blogging used for self-directed learning. Improvising and storytelling are equally important in creating authentic relationships, entertaining and building brands. Our students will have a fluency in international current events and the history. Key languages - Spanish and Chinese - will prepare students for international trips and a global marketplace.
21st Century - During ~1 hour daily, these skills will be learned primarily online with peer-to-peer learning and with SME support. Most courses will be organized around group projects.
Students will typically have ~ 30 minutes evening study. This effort includes online learning modules, self-directed learning/blogging or preparing for a group project.
The school year starts on Monday August 22, 2016 and finishes on Thursday June 15, 2017. Soccer training is 9:15-10:45am where students meet at the field. Students take showers and have snacks during 10:45-11:15. 11:15 am-1:15pm study sessions are typically Social studies and Science while 2-4pm study sessions are English and Math. Special topics- coding, entrepreneurship and sports psychology -happen weekly. Students can be picked up for extracurricular activities upon request. Pickups for club practice and other activities are available starting at 4pm.
Sites are being considered at the Railhawks WakeMed sports complex in Cary. Students will learn in an environment which will likely be similar to what their future work environments will be. With multiple interactions with outside experts, students will develop context and and understanding of what the possibilities are.