Why would students be better off at SCMSA than they would be with their other options (schools?)
At SCMSA the students will have a well-rounded education in all areas of academics and social emotional growth. The class sizes will be capped at 20 students per class. This is to increase each student's direct interaction time with their teacher. Parent and family involvement is also a very large part of SCMSA. The parents and families will have input in their child’s education and will participate in activities held throughout the year. The students will also have opportunities to explore academics through real-life activities such as field trips, technology, and science. At SCMSA the students will be learning in the classroom, assembly area, media and individual tech rooms, cafeteria and multi-purpose gym rooms.
How do we know what we have planned will be effective?
The board is made up of educators and others that have had experience from kindergarten to the university level. There have been many discussions and careful thought and preparation about what we want SCMSA to look like and what makes students successful. We have used research based curriculums and also have implemented them into modern day teaching. Parent involvement is a key that we are prepared to encourage and share as an important part of the students’ lives. Students learn by doing, not traditional lecture based learning. We will also use measurement tools from testing and the Minnesota State Standards.
How does our unique program align with the state standards?
The state standard will be our guide as we plan our lessons. We will use a standards based report card and plan step by step to ensure all of the standards are embedded in all lessons. Scaffolding will be used to ensure all students are learning at individual paces. If some students are behind the skills that will be taught will get them up to grade level and if they are advanced they will be continuously challenged.
What unique needs will the anticipated students need?
SCMSA serves a large ELL population. The ELL population is growing in our community and families and parents and looking for a new type of education. By having a cross curriculum and doing hands on projects the students will learn best. ELL students are highly visual learners so by having many opportunities for technology and hands-on minds-on learning will work best. Using a STEM approach in our school will motivate and encourage students to enjoy learning. This is a public school open to all students in the St. Cloud and surrounding areas. This school is something different than what is offered in the current district.
How will staff be specifically trained to address those needs?
There will be many opportunities for staff development in our school. The teachers will have opportunities to be creative with their lessons and also be directed through the administration that will ensure all needs of the students will be met. Collaboration will be encouraged between and among all leaders in the global community and to make professional development opportunities more available to K-12 in STEM and will be a major priority.
Professional development for the enhancement of teaching skills will be ongoing and workshops will be held monthly to enhance teaching of STEM and to broaden their perspectives of science in their classrooms in order to engage and build student excitement for STEM. The increasing awareness of professional development that provides teachers of STEM related courses on new classroom interaction strategies that focus on hands on methods to motivate and encourage students to choose to study STEM subjects. The teachers will also be educated in multi-cultural, diversity and character building workshops.
How will instructional approaches be specifically addressed to our student population?
All of the students will participate in core learning activities and if their needs exceed beyond the core RtI will be incorporated. These students will have an individual plan that requires the teachers to do the scaffolding approach. The students will participate in small groups or push-in extra services from paraprofessionals and other support staff. Parents will have a meeting with the teacher and administer to prepare and create a plan to reinforce the learning of their student. There may be an interpreter present to ensure all parents are understanding the academic needs of their students. There will also be interpreters/translators at SCMSA to guide teachers in areas of understanding diversity of their students and home life/culture. Interpreters/translators will also be participating in professional development along side of the teachers to ensure everyone is using instructional approaches that benefit the “whole child”. SCMSA will have its own school culture based on kindness, parent involvement, academics, and working together through all dimensions of cultural awareness.
Is what we aim to do possible in the time we have in our daily schedule/school year?
At SCMSA we plan to pack a lot into our day. Our teachers will be directed into time management and dedication to our mission and vision. We will be looking for caring, educated and dedicated teachers to make this happen. The teachers will work on teams and be guided how to meet all of the requirements that are asked of them.