Two elements define and distinguish teaching and learning at Orange Charter School: rigor and innovation.
We expect kids to perform at high levels and student engagement levels are atypically high due to our regular use of learning activities that are collaborative, interdisciplinary, hands-on, and multi-sensory in nature.
It is not uncommon to see students working in teams to solve academic and design challenges. Technology works behind the scenes to support our learning objectives.
A STEAM focus is taking our rigor and innovation to even greater heights. This model is being used to deliver the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Reading and Math, as required of all North Carolina public schools. Meanwhile, the NC Essential Standards guide our instruction in Social Studies and Science. The Common Core is known for its heightened expectations as well as clear articulation across grade levels. Teachers are provided with a variety of resources to meet these standards. You can find more information regarding the CCSS at http://www.corestandards.org/. Elementary-level teachers rely on a workshop approach for teaching Math, Reading, & Writing. This model fosters student independence and provides a structure that allows teachers to routinely work with individual and/or small groups of students on their biggest learning needs.
An innovative schedule supports our innovative curriculum. For students in Grades K-5, we offer twice-a-week Specials classes (Art, Music, Physical Education, & Spanish). Due to our extended school day (dismissal at 3 PM), middle schoolers are able to choose from a variety of arts-centered enrichment offerings: Band, String, Performing Arts Production, and Performing Arts Set Crew. We are gearing up for a production of the Wizard of Oz on April 10th & 11th. We have plans to expand our end-of-day middle school enrichment offerings in 2014-2015 to include computer programming, IT certification, and robotics/engineering. Our Middle School PE Teacher has begun integrating his CrossFit expertise into his work with students and will continue to build upon this. Our guidance counselor sees all kids on at least a bi-weekly basis for lessons in guidance, critical thinking/problem-solving, and keyboarding. Again, rigor and innovation are our trademarks!