(English Language Arts, Mathematics, the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences)
To develop a solid academic foundation, the Academy will offer a traditional education in English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies through implementation of the Kent County Collaborative Core Curriculum (“KC4”). The curriculum is housed within a dynamic, web-based structure referred to as the Curriculum Crafter®Tool (“CCT”). The CCT, including both the web structure and the embedded kindergarten-through-twelfth grade curriculum, are revised periodically to maintain a strategic alignment with Michigan Department of Education’s grade level and high school content expectations. Academy faculty will also be able to update, revise, and align curriculum tailored to the individual and group needs of the students.
Curriculum Crafter® instructional units are organized in a developmentally appropriate and purposeful sequence. Each instructional unit builds on the next for a smooth academic flow of content to put students in the best position for success. In addition, CCT ® provides an easy-to-use mapping function that will allow teachers to customize the sequence and duration of instructional units to fit the needs of the students. CCT® while currently aligned to Michigan’s content standards will be aligned to the upcoming National Standards, the Common Core State Standards, developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative for English Language Arts and Mathematics. (www.curriculumcrafter.org).
The Academy has adopted The Michigan Model for Health®, the highly-recognized, nationally-acclaimed school health education program. The Michigan Model for Health® curriculum facilitates skills-based learning through lessons that include a variety of teaching and learning techniques; skill development and practice; and building positive lifestyle behaviors in students and families. (http://www.emc.cmich.edu/mm)
The Academy has adopted the award-winning Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) for kindergarten through twelfth grades. EPEC is aligned to the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) standards for physical education. EPEC promotes the teaching of knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable children to be active for life. Unlike physical activity programs, EPEC is a true curriculum that provides step-by-step instruction enabling all students to be successful in the physical education classroom. Built around NASPE content standards and strong on assessment, EPEC is currently being used nationally by teachers to strengthen physical education, and its reputation, in their communities. (http://www.michiganfitness.org/EPEC).
The Academy has adopted the Character Education Curriculum K-6 as integrated throughout the Michigan Model for Health Curriculum®. The curriculum focuses on six core values:
- Justice & Fairness
- Civic Virtue & Citizenship
The Academy has also adopted the Michigan Model for Health® Modules for Character Education and one Service Learning Module for the middle and high school grades (6 through 12). The curriculum goals and objectives of these modules focus on:
- Choosing Who I Am – Choosing Who I Become
- Building Character in Ourselves and Our School
- Managing Life in a Less-Than-Perfect World
- Building Character Through Service-Learning
The Academy has developed and adopted a Visual Arts Curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grades, aligned to the Michigan Art Education Content Standards. The Visual Arts Curriculum targets instruction in performance, production/visual communications, art criticism, art history & aesthetics, and integration into other disciplines in the Academy’s curricula. The Academy’s visual arts program emphasizes the elements of art, the principles of design, and color theory. The art classes provide students the opportunity to use, combine, and discuss various types of media to create personal works of art as well as develop an appreciation of the arts. Students work individually and within small groups to produce productive works (sketches, models), keep journals, participate in research projects and art exhibitions, conduct peer critiques, and perform self-evaluations. Through art instruction, students learn how to classify works of art and identify artists.
The Academy has adopted the nationally known, research-based, scope and sequenced Krauss Music Curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grades. The curriculum is aligned to the Music Educators National Conference (“MENC”) National Music Standards of the National Association of Music Education. The Academy’s music program introduces and builds upon the elements of music including sounds, rhythms, tempos, and melodies through singing, chanting, listening, and performing. The program is designed to teach music in the manner that students learn music skills, concepts, and how to perform. Performances and studies are based upon several approaches including the Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroze processes. The curriculum is designed to challenge all students based upon their learning styles, and also includes remedial activities and enrichment activities. (www.classroom-music.info/index.htm)
The Academy has adopted the Rosetta Stone Classroom Curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grades. The Rosetta Stone Classroom Curriculum is aligned to the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (“ACTFL”) and the Michigan Department of Education’s World Language Standards. The curriculum incorporates listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing to assist in language development and acquisition. Academy students use innovative technology for speech recognition and for more accurate pronunciation. Through the Contextual Formation TM component of the program, interactive speaking activities immerse students in “real world” conversations and ensure students produce both spoken and written sentences. Further, the Academy utilizes the program’s adaptive recall to review materials, test student language knowledge, and to measure retention. (www.rosettastone.com)
The Academy has also adopted the Sonrisas Spanish School Elementary Curriculum for specific use in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. The curriculum is aligned to the national Foreign Language Standards, and combines pedagogic philosophy and curriculum implementation that includes Waldorf techniques and ESL best-practices. The curriculum uses stories, art, dance, and Spanish music that appeal to the various learning styles and multiple intelligences of students. (www.sonrisasspanishschool.com)
State of the art technology tools will be in every 21st century learning center and include computers and SMART boards. Student use of technology will be embedded into the core curriculum with technology competency being driven by content area learning opportunities. By theeighth grade, students will meet the Michigan Department of Education technology learning skill requirements. The Academy’s technology tools, such as Skype, provide staff and students the opportunity to interact with their international counterparts. Through both real-time interactions and participation in lessons, students will work collaboratively with other students from different cultural backgrounds; gain knowledge of global issues from different perspectives; and learn to evaluate and synthesize information concerning global issues.