dekalb academy of technology & environment charter schools, inc.

Curriculum

A STEAM Accredited Technology and Environmental Focused Academy

The Dekalb Academy of Technology and the Environment (DATE) curriculum is a hands-on, minds-on, problem-solving, inquiry-based, integrated curriculum which will provide students with a foundation for understanding the world and their place in it. The environment, both natural and built, is the context for this curriculum, and technology is the means by which students will come to know, understand, and care for the environment which sustains us all.

Our rigorous curriculum includes clear learning outcomes with matching assessments, engaging learning experiences, and instructional strategies, organized in sequenced units of study, that ensure that all students achieve the desired end: the mastery of the content standards and maximized personal growth and development as a 21st learner prepared for college and the workplace.

Classroom instruction is aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (www.georgiastandards.org)

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Curriculum Development

To be most engaging and effective, curriculum should be developed by the teachers who will implement. DATE teachers’ particular understanding of the students they will serve, the school itself (buildings and grounds), the surrounding environment (ecosystem and human community), and their own specialized areas of training and expertise enable them to craft a curriculum that will best meet the needs of their students. The DATE curriculum is based on and guided by the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS), which provide a clear content and skill set for each grade level. What will distinguish DATE as a charter school is how the mandated standards are met, how the DATE faculty creatively and collaboratively integrates the disciplines in the school’s project-based curriculum. With the guidance and support of a curriculum specialist and technology and environmental education professionals, the DATE faculty will create a dynamic curriculum for this K-8 school. The curriculum will be dynamic in that DATE’s educators will update and improve it continually over the coming years in response to changes in technology and the environment as well as in response to changes in education theory and practice and state performance standards. The three DATE grounding principles of place-based education, educating for sustainability, and making connections will not change; they will guide the evolution of the DATE curriculum on a steady course into the future. An integrated project example for each grade level is provided below. Each project example is designed to meet some GPS in at least three of the four core curriculum areas, and the specific standards for each project are noted. To provide more detail, the GPS for each project activity have been indicated for the kindergarten and grade six projects. The set of grade-level project examples include a variety of project types and lengths. The projects exemplify the type of integrated, interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum the DATE teaching staff will develop over the next six months.

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Instruction

The core instruction utilizes researched-based effective teaching strategies that are appropriate for the content area, utilizes engaging performance scenarios and encompasses 21st Century learning skills.

With the unique technology school focus, all students should have access to a computer and the internet at home.

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Assessment

Formative and Summative assessments are used to evaluate students’ performances on tasks toward mastery of the standards. Along with teacher made assessments, students are also assessed on the following District or State evaluative tools such as GA Milestones, MAP, GKIDS, and ACCESS

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Unique Offerings

Charter Focus: Environmental Sustainability and Technology Integration

STEM Certified (AdvancED)

Fully certified core teaching faculty

Gifted instruction is provided at every grade level (K – 8)

Early Intervention Program (EIP) services provided (K – 5)

Serve student with disabilities (K – 8)

Serve English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (K – 8)

Targeted Assistance (TA) for identified students ( K – 8)

Middle School Specials’ Pathway Program (5 – 8)

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Instructional Strategies

Instructional strategies include, but are not limited to:

-Generating and testing hypotheses

-Cues, questions and advanced organizers

-Flipped learning

-Project based learning

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21st Century Skills

21st Century learning skills include, but are not limited to:

-Innovation and creativity

-Effective oral and written communication

-Accessing and analyzing information