At the Core of Great Schools are Great Teachers. Outstanding classroom teachers are the key to student achievement. We recruit, train, support, and retain the most sought after, “game changing” teachers who will transform our students’ lives. Our teachers have 3 hours of professional development weekly, 1 day each month, and 4 weeks over the summer. Teachers receive individualized coaching on a daily and weekly basis.
We Cultivate a “Fiercely Positive” School Culture where students are joyful, safe, and fully engaged in their learning. Students learn to support one another, and work in collaborative teams. The school is a safe, positive place to learn and take academic risks as students work hard each day to learn and grow. We promote our BE GREAT core values in students and adults: Bravery, Endurance, Growth, Responsibility, Enthusiasm, Achievement, and Team.
College Success Begins in Kindergarten. From the moment students enter kindergarten, we offer multiple hours daily of literacy and mathematics instruction. We offer a balanced literacy program that delivers instruction in small dynamically grouped students for nearly 3 hours daily. These groups ensure individualized attention and on-level learning that maximizes growth. We offer a triple math block that includes calculation skills, problem solving, and online math concept building.
Every Minute Matters. Instructional time is sacred in our school. We meticulously plan and pace our lessons to maximize every minute. We also offer more instructional time on a daily and annual basis for students to be provided with 20% more instruction than a district CPS school. We also offer after school partnerships so that scholars can continue to learn and grow through fun extracurricular activities.
Smart Technology Use. We embrace technology not as a panacea, but as a tool to be more efficient and effective as we promote individualized, mastery-based skill acquisition by students. We have individualized computer rotations in our core subjects that promote the building of independent learning skills and the development of technology skills.
Data Drives Our Decisions. We know where each and every student’s academic skills are based upon daily, weekly and interim data collection and analysis. We use our data to provide daily individualized support for any students struggling with a subject or skill to ensure that no one is left behind, and all standards are mastered by all students as they prepare for high school and college success during our Bridge to Greatness class each afternoon.
Parent and Community Partnerships are Vital to Student Achievement. Family support is vital to student success. We communicate with families on a daily basis and provide multiple avenues through which we engage and develop strong partnerships with families including parent groups, monthly workshops, and an open door policy. We cultivate partnerships with community organizations to provide even more supports for our students and families, including enrichment opportunities and health services.
Strength of Character Drives Lifeline Success. Students who succeed develop more than just academic content and skill—they possess exceptional strength of character. We explicitly develop in our students both academic ability and the social emotional skills necessary for lifelong success and happiness. We offer a daily Character and Fitness PE class during which we explicitly teach social-emotional skills, our BE GREAT core values, and self awareness.