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Legacy Preparatory Academy

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LPA Charter

Below you will find important excerpts from the LPA Charter. To download the full charter, see the link to the right.
 
Legacy Preparatory Academy builds the foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills
necessary for children to become independent learners for life.

Our mission is to:
  • Provide a classically-based curriculum that is thorough and challenging
  • Integrate fine arts to enhance learning
  • Teach the value of public virtue to promote respect
  • Engage parents as real partners to share in enriching student education
  • Honor each child as an individual and foster their innate curiosity and desire to learn
Title 53A-1a-503 statutorily defines seven purposes for charter schools. Please provide a detailed description of how your school will meet these defined purposes. You may attach sample lesson plans and other information that demonstrates a fulfillment of a stated purpose. If a purpose does not apply to your proposed school, please so indicate.

1. Continue to improve student learning:
  • LPA will assess all students in reading and math. This will be done through a pre-assessment after admission, as well as by regular assessments throughout the year, which include state-wide assessment and curriculum based assessments. According to the results of the assessments and the teachers’ input, students will be placed in smaller achievement-level groups for the purpose of mastering the basics in language arts and math.
  • Ongoing assessments from the designated curricula as well as continuous formative assessments will be administered to determine literacy and math competencies. Groups will be moved as needed at intervals that are conducive to the learning environment and students’ individual learning demands.
  • Data from the K-3 DRA, ITBS, CRT and the State Writing Assessment will be used to determine students’ proficiency levels and for developing, aligning and enhancing curriculum for the purpose of improving student learning.
  • Teachers will be assigned "coaches" for the purpose of refining professional skills and for support in monitoring assessment of student progress.
  • Teacher in-service meetings will be held regularly to review student progress and performance.
 
2. Encourage use of different and innovative teaching methods:
  • Teachers will be trained in direct instruction teaching methods for the basic skill development or grammar stage of classical education. This stage generally includes grades K-4.
  • Teachers of grades 5-8 will be trained in the "logic stage" of classical education using the multiintelligence model and become proficient in tutoring, coaching, evaluation, etc., while teachers for 9th grade will be trained in the rhetoric stage.
  • Teachers will be trained and competent in teaching the Core Knowledge curriculum.
  • Teachers will be trained in the CHAMPS method (and/or other method) of classroom management. This will ensure that every student knows how to behave appropriately according to the situation, thus reducing the probability of discipline related off-task time.

3. Create new professional opportunities for educators that allow them to participate in designing and implementing the learning program:
  • LPA’s goal is to have a full staff for summer trainings. This will provide an opportunity for a faculty retreat wherein teachers may be trained in school curricula and teaching methods. They will also meet regularly as grade level teams to refine lesson plans, timelines and class schedules.
  • In-service days will be included before the school year begins and planned throughout each school year for additional implementation needs (e.g. Core Knowledge Conference, Charter SchoolConference, Direct Instruction, etc.).
  • Teachers will participate in data based decision making for ongoing alignment of curriculum and training before the next school year.

4. Increase choice of learning opportunities for students:
  • LPA will ultimately offer a comprehensive fine arts program that will include music, art, dance, drama. These programs will follow the Core Knowledge Sequence to interrelate these subjects as well as core subjects. Students will participate in fine arts that range from the ancient to the modern. K-4 will be general music and art classes that correspond to core subjects, while the upper grades will have an opportunity to take dance, drama, music and art and other extra-curricular classes as desired and needed.
  • Assemblies will give the students opportunities to showcase their learning.
  • LPA will utilize direct instruction, unlike many local schools.
  • LPA will use Core Knowledge Sequence, while local schools use only portions of this program.

5. Establish new school models and forms of accountability that emphasize measurement of learning outcomes and create innovative measurement tools:
  • In addition to the State’s measurements and assessments for learning outcomes such as the DRA, the ITBS, the State Writing Assessment and the CRT for grades K-9 and the designated curricula assessments. LPA will develop measurement tools that will be used to monitor skill level mastery in the basic subjects. These monitoring tools will be used on a frequent basis and assessed regularly for achievement group accuracy.
  • Each year a school improvement plan is developed which will include results from parent and faculty surveys, and state and school testing data.

6. Provide greater opportunities for parental involvement in management decisions at the school level: (See also 53A-1a-508 (3)(h))
  • The Founding Council consists of a number of parents whose children will attend LPA. They have been involved in decision making from the onset.
  • Parents can serve on auxiliary committees of the Governing Board.
  • Parents will be strongly encouraged to provide 20 hours of service, per parent, to the school in areas of their choosing. This may include classroom volunteer, activity and/or club advisor, tutor/mentor, and/or additional school support (see Parent Involvement Document in Public Policy section).

7. Expand public school choice in areas where schools have been identified for improvement, corrective action or restructuring under the No Child Left Behind Act:
  • A large portion of schools in the Davis School District do not meet AYP in one general area,students with disabilities. LPA’s teaching strategy, Direct Instruction, is not only highly effective in teaching non special education students but also those with disabilities. We will use inclusion and achievement-based grouping to address this issue.
  • We will use the medium of Spanish radio and Spanish print ads to allow equal opportunities for all students. We will promote a multicultural atmosphere.
  • We will use data-driven teaching tools, continually assess learning, enact school and student improvement plans and work closely with parents and teachers to ensure that no child is left behind.

Comprehensive Program of Instruction
Curricular Emphasis

Mission
Legacy Preparatory Academy builds the foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for children to become independent learners for life.

Our mission is to:
  • Provide a classically-based curriculum that is thorough and challenging
  • Integrate fine arts to enhance learning
  • Teach the value of public virtue to promote respect
  • Engage parents as real partners to share in enriching student education
  • Honor each child as an individual and foster their innate curiosity and desire to learn

Motto
Learning the Past, Creating the Future

Philosophy
Legacy: a gift from the past
Education gives children the opportunity to learn from great minds of the past (e.g. Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Galileo, and others). When understood, this gift allows them to create a better future for themselves and the world they live in.

Quality education should embrace and magnify a child’s innate curiosity to learn. LPA will strive to provide a strong foundation of knowledge and learning skills to support the educational path a student may choose to pursue. Classical education constructs this foundation by giving priority to mastery of mathematics and language arts. Emphasizing fine arts will strengthen the learning process and develop a creative and  reasoning mind.

Parental involvement is crucial to a child’s academic success. LPA will do all in its power to encourage meaningful parental participation. Collaboration among the student, parent, and educator is also an essential component for success. School hours, methods of communication, and homework schedules are designed to recognize the importance of family time and support.

Character education is imperative to the creation of a responsible and contributing member of society. LPA’s educational environment will support the development of positive character traits such as respect, integrity, and hard work. The fusion of intellect and character will enable the student to become a productive, conscientious citizen.

Methods of Instruction (K-9)
Curricula (K-8)
The following curricula are examples of research-based, data-driven teaching tools that will be implemented by LPA:
 
  • The Core Knowledge Sequence is a detailed outline of specific content to be taught in language arts, geography, history, science and the fine arts. It is based on the belief that students should have a collective, shared body of knowledge with which they may form the foundation for solid, higher-order thinking and life success. World History, from ancient to modern, provides the outline for the curriculum sequence.
  • Direct Instruction will be used to teach math, reading and spelling in grades K-4. This method, pioneered by Siegfried Engelmann, is an explicit teacher-directed approach for information dissemination. It teaches mastery of individual skills before introducing new building block skills..
  • Saxon Math provides ―systematically distributed instruction, practice and assessment throughout the academic year (Dempster & Farris, 1990).‖ Incremental instruction and practice are distributed across the level, thereby leading students to a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Assessments are frequent and cumulative to maintain skills and increase retention.
  • Reading Mastery Classic teaches beginning readers to read quickly and efficiently. Research has shown that phonemic awareness and the decoding skills of the program are essential to produce effective readers. Throughout programs I, II, and Fastcycle, these skills are employed and students begin to reason, make inferences and draw conclusions as a part of their education. This then allows them to answer interpretive comprehension questions related to their reading material.
  • Shurley English is a proven method that does not teach concepts in isolation. It reaches ESL and academically challenged students, it utilizes multiple learning styles and engages students and teachers simultaneously. This English program promotes mastery and excellence in writing and grammar while promoting higher-order thinking skills.

Curricula (9)
The following curricula are examples of research-based, data-driven teaching tools that will be implemented by LPA in the rhetoric stage of grade 9:
 
  • The Core Knowledge Sequence is a detailed outline of specific content to be taught in language arts, geography, history, science and the fine arts. It is based on the belief that students should have a collective, shared body of knowledge with which they may form the foundation for solid, higher-order thinking and life success. World History, from ancient to modern, provides the outline for the curriculum sequence.
  • Saxon Math provides ―systematically distributed instruction, practice and assessment throughout the academic year (Dempster & Farris, 1990).‖ Incremental instruction and practice are distributed across the level, thereby leading students to a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Assessments are frequent and cumulative to maintain skills and increase retention. .
  • Shurley English is a proven method that does not teach concepts in isolation. It reaches ESL and academically challenged students, it utilizes multiple learning styles and engages students and teachers simultaneously. This English program promotes mastery and excellence in writing and grammar while promoting higher-order thinking skills.
 
Portfolios and Projects (K-9)
LPA will use portfolios and projects as needed. Certain subjects, such as science, art, history and geography naturally lend themselves to portfolios and projects. It is our vision to have students compile portfolios over time that can be reviewed and enjoyed as progress and performance increases. As the Core Knowledge Sequence is based on the organizing outline of history and geography, student work samples can serve as a review of previous material and be used as an ongoing project from grades K-4 then 5-9.

Achievement Grouping (K-6)
LPA will implement ―fluid‖ learning groups to enhance mastery of core subjects, specifically mathematics and language arts. Students may progress at rates that are self-dictating according to their mastery and ability.

Grading, Promotion and Remediation (K-9)
Grading will be done quarterly using traditional letter grades as assigned by teachers according to student progress and performance. The school and all pertinent staff will make instructional adjustments according to each student’s needs.

CHAMPs (K-9)
In addition to a sound academic program, LPA will offer its students excellent training and instruction in citizenship through its character education and leadership education programs. The CHAMPs program of classroom management, as well as the Character and Competence program of character development will be utilized at LPA. These programs will enable LPA to set high expectations in citizenship. Our programs will allow our students to learn in an environment based on positive reinforcement, respect, and high expectations for behavior as well as academic effort.

Ongoing Professional Development
It is our vision that teachers and staff demonstrate a love of learning. As such LPA will provide opportunities for staff to attend professional development conferences and workshops, as well as allow them to interact and make strategic plans for student success. These opportunities will be incorporated into the school calendar.

Special Emphasis (K-9)
LPA is devoted to using the classical model of education, including the Trivium as a means for information dissemination. We will use research-based methods, like Direct Instruction, to enhance a child’s natural learning capability. We further recognize that music education and the arts in general, are research-based methods that enhance learning and can improve a student’s ability to create, think and reason (1). Studies have also shown that music enhances the "hardware" or neural pathways in the brain that control spatial-temporal reasoning.

Yehudi Mehunin, a famous conductor and musician said, "Music creates order out of chaos; for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous."

According to the M.I.N.D. Institute in Southern California at the University of California at Irvine, studies based on a mathematical model of the cortex predicted that early music training would enhance spatial-temporal reasoning. A 1997 study indicated that pre-school children given six months of piano keyboard lessons improved dramatically on such reasoning (2). There are two types of reasoning: spatial-temporal (S.T.) and language-analytic (L.A.). Both types of reasoning are crucial to how we think, create and reason. Our brain often goes back and forth between the two types. L.A. for example, often would be more involved as we solve equations and come to some sort of quantitative answer. S.T. is used, for example, in chess, when we have to think several moves ahead. Some key reasoning features in S.T. are:
  1. The transformation and relating of mental images in space and time,
  2. Symmetries of the inherent cortical firing patterns used to compare physical and mental images, and
  3. Natural temporal sequences of those cortical patterns (1).
Therefore it is shown that S.T. thinking is crucial in math and other problem solving situations (such as understanding action and consequence) that have been typically difficult to teach using the typical L.A. methods. Music once again, can do much to mature a child’s mind to be able to grasp such difficult concepts at a young age. Time and time again studies show that strategic neural pathways are created that "build-in" the ability of the brain to form these S.T. reasoning centers and therefore enhance a child’s brainpower. Some studies indicate even an increase of 40 points on standardized exams, which is more than the increase seen with computer-enhanced training (3).

Dr. Gordon Shaw, Professor Emeritus of Physics at UCI and co-founder of the M.I.N.D. Institute said, "Music will not only help us understand how we think, reason and create, but will enable us to learn how to bring each child’s potential to its highest level."

It is therefore our duty to ensure that every child not only learns, but learns at their highest level, feeling successful, accomplished and proud of their mastery. Music, direct instruction, and other research based models for learning are to be employed by LPA to their highest degree. We envision our students taking music and art classes in grades K-4 that may include rhythm training, movement, singing, small instruments, drawing, painting, and sculpting. We want to integrate these lessons with history and geography to paint a beautiful picture of a global world and the enjoyment of cultural differences. We plan for students in grades 5-9 to specialize by taking a semester of dance, drama, music and art. Children will be exposed to folk dances, ancient pottery, Greek plays and the like. Their study will also mimic their history and geography lessons as far as chronology and sequence. During the last two years we hope to provide additional art and music forms such as photography, specific instruments, in depth drawing and painting, and so forth that will allow each child the pleasure of pursuing an art form in more depth and perhaps become a student of it for life.
1. Grandin T, Peterson M, Shaw GL. Spatial-temporal versus language-analytic reasoning: the role of music training. Arts Education Policy Review, 1998; 99:11.
2. Graziano, A., Peterson, M., Shaw, G., Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training. Neurological Research, 1999; 21:139-152.
3. Green, M., 1999, President National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Grammy Awards Speech.

Monitoring Program of Instruction

Distribution of Information Regarding Student Progress in State Standards
Grading will be according to traditional letter grades as assigned by teachers on a quarterly basis. Parents will receive these grades in the form of report cards. All student-testing results from standardized tests will be placed in each student’s file as well as all pertinent grades, classes and credits. A copy of the testing results will also be given to the parents or guardians of each child. All aggregated data will be accessible on both the LPA website and the USOE website.

Monitoring Teacher Integration of State Standards into Instruction
LPA will be using the Core Knowledge Sequence. This Sequence contains detailed information to ensure that teacher’s know by grade and content level what must be taught and when. Furthermore, The Core Knowledge Sequence has been mapped an aligned with State Core Standards. All other curricular programs have been reviewed and found to meet or exceed state standards. Additionally, the Director will hold responsibility for the alignment of the school’s curriculum and state standards through observation, curriculum assessment and staff development meetings.

Recognizing the importance of students becoming proficient in reading, writing and math skills, assessments will be woven into each subject matter on a regular basis. Pre-assessments are a vital component of measuring individual student growth. In addition to the pre-assessment tool, the Saxon math program has weekly assessments that identify collective and individual skill level mastery as well as end-of-unit and summative assessments at the end of the year.

A benchmark tool will be used as an accurate indicator of skill level proficiency for aiding in placing students in their ―fluid‖ groups and for assisting the teacher in determining areas of emphasis in instruction for the classroom. Progress monitoring tools will be used three times a year as a means of monitoring student achievement in reading. This will be reviewed and recorded in each student’s file and database for future progress and student improvement plans.

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. They are designed to be short fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills. This method has been approved and found effective in monitoring student development and will be used as a monitoring tool at LPA.

Third and fifth grade students at LPA will participate in the ITBS testing in the fall, the sixth and ninth grade students will participate in the State Writing Assessment in the early spring, and all grades will participate in the State CRT in language arts, math, science, and history (as it is developed). Baseline data will be compiled and disaggregated and compared with LPA goals as well as State baseline goals for the 2007 school year. Strands of strengths and weakness in addressing the State Standards will be determined and results will be used on an ongoing basis to align and strengthen curriculum and focus on explicit skill level concerns.

Teachers will be provided with a packet containing curricular emphasis and effectiveness goals. Training will be given to ensure understanding.

Administrator Oversight of State Standard Integration

Administrator will observe classroom time, utilize staff meetings, and review testing through program monitoring tools to ensure state standard alignment. Furthermore test results from standardized testing may be used as an appropriate indicator of alignment and knowledge obtained.


School Calendar

We plan to open in the Fall of 2006 and follow a standard school year using quarters, which will include 180 days and a minimum of 990 instructional hours as outlined in R277-419. We plan to provide a complete calendar before July 11, 2006.


Special Education

Legacy Preparatory Academy is committed to empower students with disabilities to learn and achieve at their highest capabilities in the least restrictive environment. LPA has budgeted for a certified special education teacher responsible for:
  • Training teachers to identify and refer students
  • Providing assessments
  • Writing and managing IEPs in coordination with parents, teachers, and other
    service providers as needed by the child
  • Advising regular education teachers how to adapt lesson plans and help all students be
    successful in the least restrictive environment possible.
 
Additionally, LPA will seek required services (e.g. Speech, Occupational Therapy) through job share and othercontractual arrangements. LPA will provide all services required by a student’s IEP.

Legacy Preparatory Academy will comply with all federal special education laws as referenced in IDEA 97.
LPA will also follow all state requirements as found in the USOE Special Education Rules, The Golden Rules.
Download the LPA Charter here: