Sigsbee Charter School offers a differentiated educational program, designed to meet the unique needs of each student. At Sigsbee, rather than simply assessing at the end of an instructional period, assessments are embedded into a teacher’s practice and are used to drive daily instruction. Instruction and assessment occurs in various groupings: individually, in small group, and as a whole class. Teachers use a variety of materials and measures, and continually assess, to find out what their students already know, determine how and what they are learning, and establish what a student is ready to learn next.
The Standards for Mathematical Practice form the foundation for the mathematics program at SCS. The specific standards that SCS emphasizes support K–8 students as they:
1. Persevere in solving application, routine, and non-routine problems
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
4. Attend to precision of their mathematics and associated vocabulary
5. Look for and reason with generalizations
Our students engage in problem-solving tasks that involve multiple representations (diagrams, physical materials, tables, graphs, and symbols) that support robust development of concepts and skills. Unique features of the SCS mathematics program is the use of journal writing prompts, hands-on explorations, and conceptual tasks. Students expect to work in collaborative and cooperative groups as they solve significant mathematical problems. Multiple assessment approaches are used so that students have diverse ways of demonstrating their understanding.
In the spirit of Socrates’ statement, “Wisdom begins in wonder,” children at Sigsbee Charter School learn that inquiry is a cyclical process; it begins with questions and, after observing, hypothesizing, testing, and sharing knowledge gained, it continues with new questions to explore. Incorporating the inquiry process, students have multiple opportunities to explore the natural wonders of Key West.
Sigsbee Charter School is located on a Navy base, with ready access to many of these resources. The curriculum at Sigsbee Charter School capitalizes on the Keys’ riches to help our students to develop an appreciation of their environment and to assume their responsibility for conservation and preservation. The vision for Sigsbee Charter School includes environmental and marine science as the primary focus for integrating the curriculum. Hands-on experiments will help students understand cause-and-effect relationships and provide real-world applications of science. Ready access to aquatic waters will enrich and extend learning in all subject areas.
Sigsbee Charter School collaborates with local marine science and environmental resources to initiate partnerships and programs that define extraordinary opportunities for students.
Students will also demonstrate mastery of the technology skills that support learning, personal productivity, decision-making, and daily life. Students at Sigsbee Charter School will be equipped with the skills and dispositions to compete globally in a rapidly advancing technological age. Consistent with the National Science Teachers Association and International Society for Technology Education Standards, the school supports science & technology instruction as an essential part of the daily curriculum so that students can develop problem-solving skills that are necessary for participation in the rapidly advancing scientific and digital world.
STANDARDIZED TESTING & PROGRESS MONITORING
SCS follows all state assessment mandates. Students in grades 3-8 participate in Florida's FAST assessments, end-of-course exams and state science assessments. Information regarding testing can be found at the Florida Department of Education Accountability Webpage. Families will receive progress monitoring reports throughout the year to keep abreast of students' growth and progress toward grade-level standards.
Parent/teacher conferences are formally held twice a year in grades K-2, to inform and discuss students’ progress. In elementary school, parents are given information about their child's progress using the SCS Reading and Writing Continuums, progress monitoring documents and observational notes. Standards-based report cards are sent home at the semester and the end of the year in kindergarten through third grades. Parents/guardians are welcome to request additional conferences to discuss students' achievements at any time.
In grades 3-8, students receive quarterly report cards with letter grades. SCS uses the FOCUS student information system to monitor student work. Parents and students have access to this electronic grade book throughout the year. Parents are welcome to schedule conferences with teachers on an as-needed basis.
At SCS we teach reading and writing through explicit instruction in oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing. Educators use the Florida State Standards and student data to determine which focus lessons are needed. Literacy instruction is implemented through the Reading and Writing Workshop Model.
Lower elementary grades use the University of Florida Literacy Institue’s (UFLI) Foundations, an explicit and systematic program for teaching critical foundational skills needed for proficient reading. The goal of this instruction is for students to develop skills in a sequence designed to build confidence and automaticity in the skills being taught.
Breakdown of the Reading Block
30 min. Foundational skills (K-2), Word Study or intensive reading (3-5)
30-60 min. Differentiation including small focus groups, center activities, and enrichment.
30 min. Language and reading comprehension instruction
Break down of the Writing Block
Warm-up, 5 min. Students work in their writing notebooks cataloguing ideas for future writing pieces or participate in a quick write facilitated by the teacher.
30 - 40 min. Guided writing and independent writing.
5 min. Sharing of work.
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