Concept Schools (CS) Six Core Values
guide its interactions with all members of the school community:
- Respect – All members of the CS community (students, parents, and staff) have equal worth and should be treated with respect.
- Responsibility –Teachers, parents, and students should be responsible for their actions.
- Integrity – Belonging to a community requires a commitment to the common good.
- Courage – Having the courage to try new things expands minds and causes students and staff to reach beyond their own expectations.
- Curiosity – The ability to wonder and to create connections stimulates further learning.
- Effort – Success is accomplished when students, family, and staff are willing to do what it takes to accomplish their vision of the future.
Culture and Philosophy
The success of students, parents and staff that work hard and achieve success are recognized and celebrated!
The Core Features of CS Include:
- Personalized approach
- Continuous relationships
- High standards and performance-based assessments
- Adaptive pedagogy
- Multi-cultural teaching
- Knowledgeable and skilled teachers
- Collaborative planning and professional development
- Family and community connections
- Democratic decision-making
- Authentic curriculum
The CS is dedicated to providing a diverse population of students with an outstanding education focused on math, science and technology. The curriculum is designed to encourage 100% student proficiency on state standards in math, science and English Language Arts as well as a 100% graduation rate and acceptance into college. CS implements a standards-based, college-preparatory curriculum giving the staff flexibility to adapt instructional strategies in order to meet the needs of the students. All parts of the CS curriculum are fully aligned with State Learning Standards. Curriculum maps and unit plans provide the framework for the detailed weekly lesson plans that the teachers will complete with their grade-level partners. These plans will specify the daily activities and assessments that teachers will use to teach and measure progress and to ensure that all homework and class work are aligned to standards.
Middle School Curriculum –
Total weekly instructional time:
Minutes of Instruction
Mathematics 450 minutes a week (90 minutes a day)
English Language Arts 450 minutes a week (90 minutes a day)
Science 225 minutes a week (45 minutes a day)
Social Studies 225 minutes a week (45 minutes a day)
Computer 135 minutes a week (3 times a week of 45 minutes)
Physical Education/Health 135 minutes a week (3 times a week of 45 minutes)
High School Curriculum – High school graduation requirements exceed traditional public schools and include service learning and a senior thesis. In order to earn a diploma, each high school student must meet all of the following requirements. Only students earning a diploma are permitted to participate in graduation activities.
High School Graduation Requirements
|Criteria – Core Academic Program
Coursework-Completion of all required courses
Standardized Tests-Completion of Graduation requirement tests
College Portfolio and Applications-Completion of a college plan, resume, and necessary college applications
Service Learning-40 hours of service learning
Academic Graduation Requirements
|Mathematics||8 credits including Algebra I (may be taken in 8th grade), Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus|
|Science||8 credits including Physics, Chemistry, Biology|
|English||8 credits including World Literature, American Literature, British Literature|
|Social Studies||6 credits including World History, American History, Government and Economics|
|Computer Technology||2 credits|
|Fine Arts||2 credits|
|Physical Education||2 credits|
| 1 credit
4 credits of same type
11 credits, including 2 credits College & Career Composition
CS Elective Course Offerings
|Animation and Graphic Design||Microsoft Applications||College Readiness Reading|
|College & Career Composition||Speech & Debate||AP Spanish|
|Economics||AP American History||AP World History|
|College Readiness Math||Project Lead the Way||Research & Project Design|
Rather than adhering to a single teaching philosophy or instructional model, the design will draw on best practices from the field and research to define a set of core instructional practices. CS teachers will utilize a unique mix of the following research-based instructional strategies:
- Direct teaching
- Differentiated instruction
- Problem-based learning
- Project-based learning
- Collaborative learning
- Data-driven instruction
Transformational use of technology
Use of these techniques provides an engaging, dynamic learning environment for students to explore the questions they have about the world and ways to positively contribute to the world around them.
CS use a combination of diagnostic, authentic, state-mandated standardized tests, and nationally recognized norm-referenced assessments to compare students’ progress over time with the school’s goals. These assessments include:
- Northwest Education Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic progress (MAP)
- ACT/SAT/ PSAT
- State Standardized Tests
In addition, Concept Schools have designed and use interim assessments that are aligned with the Indiana standards and mirror the state tests. Within a few days of the test, data from the interim assessments will be analyzed and uploaded to the online database created by Concept Schools. Teams of CS teachers will review the analysis from the interim assessments and develop specific strategies to address the students’ learning deficiencies.
Remediation & Intervention
The students entering the school possess a wide range of skills. The extended day and school year, rigorous program of study, extra programming, and parental involvement will be critical if the students are to achieve all academic goals. The following academic support programs will be provided:
- After-school tutoring
- Pull-out programs
- Summer Academic Camps
- Peer tutoring
- Strategic Response to Intervention
CS uses a combination of the following tools to identify and assess accelerated students:
- Grade level diagnostic tests created by Concept Schools
- Past performance in standardized tests
- NWEA test
- Concept Schools Interim Assessment
- Teacher recommendation
- Any prior evaluation by professional organizations/individuals presented by parents
- Class Performance
CS teachers differentiate their instruction by content, process, and product in order to meet the needs of accelerated students. CS teachers receive training in differentiated instruction at the Summer Institute, Concept Schools’ annual conference, and professional development days. The assistant principal of academics monitors lesson plans and observes in the classroom to ensure that teachers differentiate instruction.
High school students requiring acceleration are enrolled in academically challenging Mathematics and English Language Arts classes. Students have the opportunity to take AP courses, dual-credit courses, and courses offered through the Virtual High School. Accelerated students may have the opportunity for early graduation.
Accelerated students have the opportunity to participate in special interest after-school programs. These programs have a project-based, challenging curriculum and provide students the opportunity to participate in local, national, and international competitions. Examples of programs/activities include Math Counts, Math League, robotics team, science fairs, Olympiads, Destination Imagination, and Word Masters. CS also organizes summer programs for accelerated students in order to meet their needs and challenge them to perform to their full potential.
Parental Involvement Plan
Parental or family involvement is essential to the school’s mission and student success. The following actions will contribute to an effective school-parent/family partnership:
- Teachers conduct home visits with parents to enhance parent education and build stronger relationships between students, parents and teachers.
- The school office is trained in customer service skills to ensure that they present a friendly and open environment. Parents/families are treated with respect and are not kept waiting unnecessarily.
- The school’s Web site provides clear and consistent communication. Parents/families access to daily homework assignments, grades, attendance, and other information via the school’s secure Web page.
- The school provides translated materials and/or in-person contact with parents whose primary language is not English. Translators are involved in all parent-teacher interactions as needed.
As a college preparatory school, the CS ensures that students gain the necessary skills not only for a successful college education, but also for a successful career; therefore, several components in the design integrate career education and exploration within the curriculum such as senior thesis, career and college fairs, college path courses, and other elective courses.
CS has a dedicated Technology person to assist faculty members at the school in enhancing learning through technology. Technology instruction at CS emphasizes content learning while strengthening technology skills of students, teachers and staff. Teachers use these methods and tools in order to enhance instruction in the content areas:
- Online Communication Tools, i.e. instant messaging, online conferencing, micro-blogging platforms, and online broadcasting
- Mobiles, graphing calculators, and laptops
- Cloud Computing, i.e. Google and YouTube, which are virtual servers available over the Internet
- Smart Objects, i.e. devices that use quick response codes and are connected to larger information sources or interactive books and maps
- Personalized Web pages, blogs, and blackboard-type online communication tools through which teachers can tag, categorize, publish, and review work online
- Collaborative Environments, i.e. social networking platforms, community Web sites, classroom management systems
Co-curricular programs play a significant role in the culture of the school. Students are engaged in projects and activities after school. CS students participate in five main categories of events – clubs, special interest groups, annual school-wide events, field trips, and sports.
School Culture and Climate
CS focuses on establishing a culture that values and celebrates success, teaches shared values, sets high expectations, builds pride, and fosters a sense of community and belonging. The culture and climate of the school incorporates five essential attributes:
- Focus on Student Achievement
- High Expectations
Serving Specialized Population
Special education programs and services at CS are provided in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations as well as the individual student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The CS faculty and administration work collaboratively with the district or other companies in providing high quality services to students with disabilities. A Special Education Coordinator is responsible for conducting IEP meetings to assess, review and revise IEP’s. Auxiliary and related services identified through the IEP (such as speech and language service or physical therapy for example) are provided by the District or special companies. Students with disabilities have an equal opportunity with students in the regular education program to participate in, and where appropriate, receive credit for non-academic, extracurricular and ancillary programs, services, and activities. Students with disabilities receive the same notices concerning school-sponsored programs, activities, and services as other students.
Students at the CS with limited proficiency in English achieve proficiency in the English language through the use of the school’s services and teaching methods. CS hires at least one certified ESL teacher and adapts staffing according to the student population. CS ensures that ELL (English Language Learner) students will not be excluded from curricular and extracurricular activities based on an inability to speak and understand the language of instruction. Parents whose English proficiency is limited receive notices and information from the school in their native language so that CS is able to encourage the participation of all parents in the CS community.