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Goals of Education
The School Curriculum:

2. GOALS OF EDUCATION

2.1. Overarching Goals of Education for SVRCS
2.2. Tools for Learning
2.3. Education Goals/Expectations for Students
2.4. Non-Academic Goals


2.1. Overarching Goals of Education for SVRCS

The overall goal of SVRCS will be to establish a community of learners: teachers, students, parents and community who will support and celebrate each other's giftedness, creativity and strengths on a daily basis by striving to:

1. Ensure all students and parents realize the value of education and the importance of completing formal education;

2. Practice standards for excellence which will produce students who are able to demonstrate knowledge, skills and proficiency in academic and non-academic goals;

3. Enable students to meet challenges of a rapidly changing society grounded in an awareness of their own societal and cultural roots;

4. Maximize the greatest potential of each student in regard to personal and academic achievement;

5. Provide integrative, flexible delivery of services which meets the needs of the population served;

6. Provide students with course offerings needed to become well-educated, responsible members of their community;

7. Provide relevant assessment that supplies information for adaptation and modifications through holistic evaluation; and

8. Include the 9 goals of quality education as delineated by the state of Pennsylvania which address attainment of 53 learning outcomes.

 

2.2. Tools for Learning

2.2.1. Holistic Educational Learning Plan (HELP)

To help achieve the goals cited above, creation of a device referred to as HELP (Holistic Educational Learning Plan) will become the tool through which each student will be empowered to direct their own learning, refine their strengths, build weaknesses to a position of strength, define the individual's role in the learning process and facilitate and expand the role into broader spheres. This plan will be developed upon entrance to SVRCS, contain input from the individual, parents/care givers, teachers/staff and will be revised regularly. The plan will include, but not be limited to, student generated learning goals, interest areas, steps/objectives to achieve stated goals, input and facilitating roles of adults involved and, as appropriate, career/post-graduate aspirations and direction to bring aspirations and goals to fruition.

The HELP document will become a part of the portfolio and be used as a tool to assess learning growth and development as thoughtful practitioners. Students are challenged to utilize, refine and enhance skills and resources for cumulative growth. Documentation of MASH participation and projects will also become part of the portfolio and be used to determine progress and development of non-academic goals.

2.2.2. Knowledge Model (KWL + 1)

To exemplify the premises that students can monitor and direct their own learning and thought processes and to perpetuate the natural curiosity of young people, a model to be named KWL + 1 (What I know, what I need to know, what I have learned and how is this learning applicable and valuable), will be incorporated into the HELP document to aid in personal assessment and evaluation of thinking and learning processes.

2.2.3. Many Active School Helpers (MASH)

MASH will be the tool through which a learning community will be built supported by students, teachers, parents and community members. Through cooperative, interactive participation as learners together, MASH becomes the device which solidifies non-academic and academic goals which encourage responsibility and cooperation building through school and community projects.

2.2.4. Investigate, Explore, Study and Understand

Many of the standards and learning expectations for the Sugar Valley Rural Charter School contain the words "investigate", "explore", "study" or "understand". These words were chosen to convey the range of rigorous skills and knowledge levels embedded in each standard. Limiting a standard to one observable behavior such as "describe" or "explain" would narrow the interpretation of what is intended to be a rich, highly rigorous and inclusive content standard.

"Investigate", "explore", "study" and "understand" refer to a methodology and imply systematic use of the following inquiry skills:

· Observing
· Classifying and sequencing
· Communicating
· Measuring
· Predicting
· Hypothesizing
· Inferring
· Defining, controlling and manipulating variables in experimentation
· Designing, constructing and interpreting models
· Interpreting, analyzing and evaluating data

"Understand" refers to various levels of knowledge application. In the standards of learning, these knowledge levels include the ability to:

· Recall or recognize important information, key definitions, terminology and facts
· Explain the information in one's own words, comprehend how the information is related to other facts and suggest additional interpretations of its meaning or importance
· Apply the facts and principles to new problems or situations, recognizing what information is required for a particular situation, explaining new discoveries with the information and determining when there are exceptions
· Analyze the underlying details of important facts and principles, recognizing the key relations and patterns that are not always readily visible
· Arrange and combine important information, facts and principles to produce a new idea, plan, procedure or product
· Make judgments about information in terms of accuracy, precision, consistency, effectiveness, validity and reliability

As a result, the use of "investigate", "explore", "study" and "understand" allow each content standard to become a basis for a broad range of teaching objectives to meet the intent of the Standards of Learning.

 

2.3. Education Goals/Expectations for Students

These goals/expectations are expressed in four domains: Intellectual, Social, Personal and Creative.

2.3.1. Intellectual Expectations

2.3.1.1. Communications

Each student shall become proficient in reading, composition, listening, speech, understanding, interpreting, analyzing and synthesizing information.

Demonstrated by: Reading for information and can comprehend and interpret what is read

· Experience and respond to the literature of a variety of US and world cultures
· Read and respond to a prescribed number of books that present an increasing challenge to the learner

Writing Demonstration by: Effectively communicate through writing for a variety of purposes, including narrate, inform, persuade, letter and business writing including resumes employing appropriate conventions of language

· Understanding and using steps in the writing process

Listening/Speaking Demonstrated by: appropriate participation as both a speaker and a listener in daily events

· Compose and deliver a speech/oral presentation designed to persuade, inform or describe
· Listen to and understand complex oral messages and identify their purpose, structure and use
· Respond oral to and in writing to all forms of communication recognizing inconsistencies and judging the validity of evidence

2.3.1.2. Mathematics

The learning expectations for mathematics identify academic content for essential components of the mathematics curriculum at different cycles. Expectations are identified for each cycle and throughout a student's schooling, specific content strands or topics are included. These content strands are Number and Number Sense; and Computation and Estimation; Measurement; Geometry; Probability and Statistics; and Patterns, Functions, and Algebra. The expectations for each strand progress in complexity at each cycle and throughout other courses of study.

The standards of learning are not intended to encompass the entire curriculum for a given cycle or course or to prescribe how the content should be taught. Teachers are encouraged to go beyond the standards and to select instructional strategies and assessment methods appropriate for their students. Students are also encouraged to stretch their mathematical prowess.

Students today require stronger mathematical knowledge and skills to pursue higher education, to compete in a technologically oriented workforce, and to be informed citizens. Students must gain an understanding of fundamental ideas in arithmetic, measurement, geometry, probability, data analysis and statistics, and algebra and functions, and develop proficiency in mathematical skills. In addition, students must learn to use a variety of methods and tools to compute, including paper and pencil, mental arithmetic, estimation, and calculators. Graphing utilities, spreadsheets, calculators, computers, and other forms of electronic information technology are now standard tools for mathematical problem solving in science, engineering, business, and industry, government, and practical affairs. It is imperative that the use of technology must be an integral part of teaching and learning. However, the use of technology shall not be regarded as a substitute for a student's understanding of quantitative concepts and relationships or for proficiency in basic computations.

The content of the mathematics expectations is intended to support the following four goals for students:

1. Become mathematical problem solvers
2. Communicate mathematically
3. Reason mathematically
4. Make mathematical connections

· Students will apply mathematical concepts and skills and the relationships among them to solve problem situations of varying complexities. Students also will recognize and create problems from real-life data and situations within and outside mathematics and then apply appropriate strategies to find an acceptable solution. To accomplish this goal, students will need to develop a repertoire of skills and strategies for solving a variety of problem types. A major goal of the mathematics program is to help become competent mathematical problem solvers.

· Students will use the language of mathematics, including specialized vocabulary and symbols, to represent and describe mathematical ideas, generalizations, and relationships. Representing, discussing, reading, writing, and listening to mathematics will help students to clarify their thinking and deepen their understanding of the mathematics being studied.

· Students will learn and apply inductive and deductive reasoning skills to make, test, and evaluate mathematical statements and to justify steps in mathematical procedures. Students will use logical reasoning to analyze and argument and to determine whether conclusions are valid. In addition, students will learn to apply proportional and spatial reasoning from graphs.

· Students will relate concepts and procedures from different topics in mathematics to one another, using a variety of representations - graphical, numerical, algebraic, verbal, and physical. Through the application of content, students will make connections between different areas of mathematics and between mathematics and other disciplines, especially science.

Demonstrated by: Students use numbers, number systems and equivalent forms (including numbers, words, objects, and graphs) to represent theoretical and practical situations

· Use appropriate tools such as calculators and computers to solve theoretical and practical problems
· Apply math skills including proficiency in abilities to evaluate, infer, and draw conclusions from charts, tables and graphs, showing the relationships between data and real-world situations. Example: operations of SVRCS, living expenses, personal finances, etc.
· Understand statistics by creating a survey and presenting the results statistically
· Students make decisions and predictions based upon the collection, organization, analysis and interpretation of statistical data and the application of probability
· Understand and apply basic concepts of algebra, geometry, and probability and statistics to solve problems and communicate reasons for methods/processes used

2.3.1.3. Science

Understand the basic concepts of life, physical, and earth sciences and to become proficient in applying the processes of analysis, synthesis and evaluation to the solutions of scientific problems and inquiry.

Demonstrated by: Solving problems using the scientific method

· Explain how scientific principles of chemical, physical, and biological phenomena have developed and relate them to real/practical situations
· Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts and principles of physical, chemical, biological and earth sciences
· Develop and apply skills of observation, data collection, analysis, pattern recognition, prediction and scientific reasoning in designing and conducting experiments

2.3.1.4. Technology

Each student shall become proficient in understanding, applying, and discussing the many uses of computers and other technology, and how this technology impacts the individual, the community, and society

Demonstrated by: Explanation of relationships among science, technology and society

· Identification of the uses of technology in society
· Use and mastery of material, tools and processes of major technologies which are applied in economic and civic life
· Evaluation of advantages, disadvantages, and ethical implications associated with
the impact of science and technology on current and future life
· Demonstrate use of word processing and desktop publishing applications with a computer

2.3.1.5. Social Sciences

Each student shall understand local, State and United States history, geography, systems of government and economics and their relationship to the history, geography, systems of government and economics of other countries in the world.

Demonstrated by: Demonstrate a working knowledge of U.S. and world history, geography, sociology, philosophy, economics, anthropology, and psychology

· An understanding of major events, cultures, groups and individuals in the historical development of Pennsylvania, the U.S., and other nations and describe themes and patterns of historical development
· Understanding government at the local, state, and national levels
· Participate/contribute to local governance in SVRCS and community
· Practice principles of economics through SVRCS mini-economy
· Compare/contrast operations of economic, political, legal and governmental systems in the U.S. to those of other nations
· Examination and evaluation of problems facing citizens in their communities, state, nation and world by incorporating concepts and methods of inquiry of various social sciences

2.3.1.6. Medical Science/Health

Each student shall acquire and use the knowledge and skills necessary to promote individual and family health and wellness.

Demonstrated by: Identification and description of human body systems and functions, human needs, recognize healthy practices, and understand the impact of drugs, alcohol, stress and poor nutrition on the human body

2.3.2. Social Learning Goals and Expectations

2.3.2.1. Environmental Stewardship

Understand the environment and the individual's ecological relationship with it in order to recognize the importance of the quality of life in a healthy and balanced environment.

Demonstrated by: An understanding and ability to describe components of ecosystems and their components and functions

· Analyze the effect of social systems, behaviors, and technologies on ecological systems and environmental quality
· Critical thinking and generate potential solutions to environmental issues
· Understand individual impact on environment and create plan for improving the environment

2.3.2.2. Citizenship

Each student shall acquire and have opportunities to practice in the school and in the community, skills necessary for active, productive participation in civic life.

Demonstrated by: Use of skills that indicate abilities to work effectively with others

· Identify and use skills of communicating, negotiation and cooperating with others
· Employ several strategies for non-violent conflict resolution
· Discussion of rights as a minor in society
· Completed hours of community service agreed upon by student and advisor
· Understand the contributions of the diverse cultures comprising the community and discuss the influence of these cultures on local area, state, country
· Making a positive contribution to the community through participation in a community project and can explain the importance of the project
· Attending a community meeting and can discuss issues of importance to your community

2.3.2.3. Foreign Language

American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language (ACTFI) national standard will be implemented. Foreign language instruction may begin at any grade level, including the elementary grades, and shall be offered in a minimum 4-year sequence in the secondary program. Prior to graduation, every student shall demonstrate the ability to converse in at least one language in addition to English, including the student's native language if other than English.

Communicate in languages other than English:

· Students engage in conversations and/or provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions.
· Students understand and interpret written and(/or) spoken language on a variety of topics.
· Students present information, concepts and ideas to an audience of listeners and/or readers on a variety of topics.

Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures:

· Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the perspectives and practices of the cultures studied and use this knowledge to interact effectively in cultural contexts.
· Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the perspectives and products of the culture studied and use this knowledge to (enhance, facilitate)...

Connect with other disciplines and acquire information:

· Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
· Students acquire information and perspectives that are only available through the foreign language and within the culture.

Develop insight into own language and culture:

· Students recognize that different languages use different patterns to communicate and can apply this knowledge to their own language.
· Students recognize that cultures use different patterns of interaction and can apply this knowledge to their own culture.

Participate in multilingual communities and global societies:

· Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
· Students use the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.

2.3.3. Personal Learning Goals and Expectations

2.3.3.1. Active Participation in Learning

To help students develop capabilities, talents, self understanding and a feeling of self-worth and acknowledge students for effort, achievement, and growth. Encourages students to become independent life-long and to collaborate with others in developing knowledge, skills, and new ideas.

Demonstrated by: Regularly writing, updating, and fulfilling a personal learning plan or HELP

· Solicit the assistance of needed resources (teachers, parents, "experts") to develop and facilitate success with HELP
· Keeping a continuous journal during attendance at SVRCS
· Writing a realistic self-portfolio
· Goal-setting and realistic outline/objectives for attainment
· Identifying a problem or concern in your community and have had a personal impact on solving the problem or concern
· Functioning in a teaching situation in which the student interacts positively with younger students

2.3.3.2. Analytical Skills

Apply the KWL + 1 model to develop the skills necessary to locate and manage information from a multitude of resources, solve problems and make decisions, including the process of analysis, synthesis, creativity, and evaluation.

Demonstrated by: Use of strategies and skills for locating information

· Use of a dictionary, atlas, almanac, encyclopedia, electronic information systems (ERIC, VISTA, Internet), magazines, books, journals and personal interviews to gather needed information

2.3.3.3. Life/Family Skills

Prepare students to grow and develop in a world in which change is normal and constant. Students will learn the importance of making ethical judgments for the common good and will understand the need for honesty, integrity, individual responsibility and tolerance. These skills will be demonstrated in a triad: Individual, Family, and Community.

Demonstrated by: Behavior that reflects respect for life and property of the individual and others

· Developing a personal code of ethics and have explored own ethical judgment
· Developing habits such as punctuality and dependability that ensure success in the workplace
· Function as a productive member of household and can perform or assist with basic household and/or automotive tasks, repair and maintenance
· Understand personal finances and the obligations they entail
· Can define the elements of successful relationships
· Developing relationships that cross age, gender, ethnic and geographic boundaries
· Basic knowledge of child health and child care skills
· Knowledge of principles of consumer behavior as a foundation for managing available resources to provide for personal and family needs

2.3.3.4. Wellness/Fitness

Each student shall acquire and use knowledge and skills necessary to promote individual and family health and wellness.

Demonstrated by: Participation in recreational and physical fitness activities

· Creation and implementation of a plan for improving physical fitness and making appropriate leisure time choices.

2.3.3.5. Career Education

Each student shall explore varied career options and develop skills and work habits needed to be productive, contributing member of society and the understanding that life-long learning is
necessary to maintain those behaviors, skills, and attitudes.

Demonstrated by: Job shadowing

· School to work participation
· Making plans and/or informed decisions about life after SVRCS, including higher education, work, family, leisure, and personal growth
· Writing a resume and participating in a job interview in which strengths and skills are presented

2.3.3.6. Forestry

The forests of Pennsylvania are a significant contributing factor to the economy of the Commonwealth. With this in mind, the objectives of this course will be to prepare students to be skilled in many areas regarding the multiple uses of our forests.

Demonstrated by: Ability to apply forest management techniques.

· School to work participation
· Learn the marketable phases of wood.
· Understand woodlot management procedures.
· Study the principles of soil, air and water conservation.
· Learn the principles of food and over provisions for wildlife.
· Become knowledgeable of forest resource mechanics.
· Study the career opportunities in forestry and related fields.
· Learn how to communicate and live with fellow human beings.
· Study the opportunities for outdoor recreation and scenic beauty.
· Learn the sound business principles that govern forest business operation.
· Study fishery management and related career opportunities.
· Become knowledgeable of forest ecological systems.
· Learn forest insect, disease, and fire control procedures and methods.
· Learn hand surveying techniques.
· Learn how to properly apply and interview for a job.
· Learn tree regeneration and nursery management techniques.
· Be knowledgeable of opportunities for post-secondary forestry management education

2.3.3.7. Agriculture

The fields of Pennsylvania are a significant contributing factor to the economy of the Commonwealth. With this in mind, the objectives of this course will be to prepare students to be skilled in many areas regarding agricultural production.

Demonstrated by: Ability to apply agricultural production techniques.

· School to work participation
· Develop an awareness of agricultural career opportunities.
· Develop skills, competencies, and attitudes needed to enter agricultural production.
· Develop skills, competencies and attitudes needed by those entering non-production agricultural occupations.
· Develop of leadership, citizenship, and social qualities.
· Be knowledgeable of opportunities for post-secondary agricultural education

2.3.3.8. Business

Each student shall become proficient in understanding, applying, and discussing the many ways that business skills are necessary for successful entry into the work force

Demonstrated by: Ability to apply business principals to real-life situations

· School to work participation
· Demonstrate use of word processing and desktop publishing applications with a computer
· Demonstrate skills in office procedures
· Demonstrate skills in maintaining personal finance records
· Demonstrate the ability to apply business math to relevant applications

2.3.4. Creative Learning Goals and Expectations

Understand and appreciate the breadth of human accomplishment through the arts and humanities and shall have opportunities to practice creativity of thought and action and to demonstrate talent in the arts.

Demonstrated by: Describing the meanings found in various works from the visual and performing arts and literature on the basis of aesthetic understanding of the art form

· Relate various works from the visual and performing arts and literature to the historical and cultural context within which they were created
· Produce, perform or exhibit their work in the visual arts, music, dance or theater, and describe the meanings their work has for them
· Choose one of the above for an in-depth study including interviewing a practitioner, studying the history and contributions of diverse cultures to the art form, visiting places this form of art is displayed and creating a work of art using this form

 

2.4. Non-Academic Goals

2.4.1. Respect for Individuals, Families, and Cultures

Acknowledge the perspectives and opinions of others, celebrate the uniqueness and diversity inherent in each individual, family, and culture, and an awareness of one's own heritage and roots.

2.4.2. Character Development

To instill the qualities of integrity, civility, friendship, empathy, kindness, supportiveness, and personal, social and civic responsibility.

2.4.3. Community Building

To instill the merits of collaboration, cooperation, conflict resolution, and consensus decision-making as evidenced by the union of home, school, and community.

2.4.4. Adults as Models

All school staff, interns, and volunteers will uphold the highest expectations and standards for themselves and students, and value and provide the models for truth, justice, freedom, and personal, social, and civic responsibility through service.

 

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