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Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School Julia Sigalovsky, Executive Director Mikhail (Michael) Khmelnitskiy, Principal Anna Charny, David Foster, Sandra Witkos, Lance Benzley, Members of the Board of Trustees
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School • What is a Charter School? • AMSA Educational Model • AMSA Organizational Model • The School Culture • Enrollment Policy • Questions & Answers
What is a Charter School? • Charter SchoolsPublic schools • tuition-free, open for all students • under same laws and regulations as the district schools • Charter SchoolsIndependent schools • have their own educational models • control their own resources and staff • Charter Schools Accountability • performance-based, accountable to parents for results • under rigorous review by the Mass. Department of Education
What is a Charter School? History of Education Reform • National history • In 1991 Minnesota passed a charter school enabling law • In 2003: 37 states = 2,695 charter schools • Massachusetts history • 1993 – Mass. Education Reform Act • 1995 - First charter schools in Massachusetts • In 2004: 56 charter schools are open in Mass • 19,000 students enrolled in Mass. charter schools • 13,000 students waiting to enter charter schools • 3 charter schools will open in 2005 • 5 more proposed charter schools under final review
Academic Goals • Bring quality education typical for private or exam schools to public, tuition-free setting • Specific focus on Math and Science: critical thinking skills for a lifetime • Rich Humanity courses: broad knowledge of human culture in historical prospective • Tutoring and additional academic support and enrichment programs provided in school, no outside tutors needed • Celebration of knowledge • Broad range of after school activities
Academic Goals (cont.) • College-bound • Academic preparedness level sufficient for the best colleges • Every subject studied is “AP” level. AMSA students will be able to take and pass AP exams in all major subjects by the end of the 11th grade. • Preparation for SAT I and II (major subjects) • 12th grade work toward college, internships • Special college application services in 12th grade.
AMSA Teaching Concepts • “Differentiated” curriculum: discrete subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Literature, English Language, History, Geography. • Subjects taught across multiple years • Early challenge: High school level curriculum starting in Middle school • Highly structured, sequential curriculum, from simple to complex concepts Atom Structure for Scandium
AMSA Teaching Concepts (cont.) • Each subject centers on teaching theory and fundamental concepts • Two achievement levels in Math, Physics, Computer Science • The same 6-11-grade curriculum for all students • Three specialization options in 12th grade: Math/Physics/Computer Science, Bio/Chemistry, Humanities
AMSA Humanities • Chronologically synchronized 6-year-long World History, World Literature, and History of Art courses • Heavy emphasis on United States and local history, literature and art • English Language: rigorous grammar, spelling, vocabulary, essay writing • Choice of 7 foreign languages • Spanish, Portuguese, French, Latin, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew • Humanities specialization option: 12th grade
AMSA =Tradition + Innovation AMSA’s hybrid educational model • Based in part on the best of internationally-proven school models • Educational model structure • Based in part on the best from US education • Emphasis on American culture, history, geography and literature • Includes Core Knowledge Sequence • Includes and exceeds Mass. Curriculum Frameworks • Includes preparation for SAT I and II (major subjects) • Many original courses developed especially for AMSA: • Computer Science/Information Technology, World History, World Literature, Art and Art History; Geography/Geology
How do we hire teachers? • Requirements for the teachers’ qualification: • highly qualified professionals in the field • must love children, passionate about teaching • experienced teachers • 4 components of hiring process: • Interview (12 pts) • Technical knowledge test (10 pts) • Model lesson (10 pts) • Teaching credentials (12 pts)
Curri-culum ideas Academic/Educa-tional Experts Teachers Analysis and discussion, PD plan adjustment, curriculum improvement Lessons, field trips Classroom observations Students, parents School Administration Students’ performance, feedback Continuous Professional Development and Curriculum Improvement
Students & Teachers Organization • Students’ organization • Balanced classes of 22-24 students • Homeroom and Homeroom Teacher • Students stay in the Homeroom except for sciences and PE: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science taught in labs • Teachers’ organization • Teachers move between classrooms • Teachers organized by subjects (Departments and Sections) • Teachers remain with the same classes for a number of years
School Schedule • School year: 185-190 school days/year • Regular school Holidays and vacations • School week: 35 periods • School day: 7 x 50-min periods • four 5-min breaks • one 15-min snack break • one 30-min lunch break
Housekeeping Issues • Location • Negotiating lease in Marlborough • Transportation • For the residents of the town where the school is located - district buses • Optional buses for non-residents • Food • Hot lunches
Socio-Emotional Goals • Bring up responsible, productive and successful community members • Get kids excited about power of knowledge, intellectual curiosity, personal achievement, personal responsibility • Take kids away from: TV, violent computer games, malls, drugs, hours of brainless activity
How does AMSA accomplish the Goals? • AMSA believes that all children can learn • “Advanced” in the Academy’s name means every student becomes an advanced student • High standards and expectations for everyone • Learning is Celebrated • Competition teams, problems of the week, logic puzzles & brain teasers, weekly “effort and attitude” awards, peer tutoring • Discipline and positive working habits • School dress uniforms
How does AMSA accomplish the Goals? • Academic achievement is emphasized and celebrated: every child will be • Safe to learn • Proud to learn: it is “cool” to know a lot • Rewarded for learning • Leadership and organizational skills training • Prefects: organization of non-academic class activities. • Hall Duty: Students self-discipline • Helpers Crews: Serving lunch & cleaning
How does AMSA accomplish the Goals? • Socio-Emotional Skills Training during Weekly Homeclass hour • “Enter to learn, go forth to serve” to make contribution to community and the World • Discussion of moral and ethical issues • respect, integrity, honesty, and other moral virtues • bullying problem and how to fight it • Team work • Discussion of current events
Parent Involvement • Parent Support Group • Assist in the after school programs • Assist in fundraising for the school • Assist in organizing field trips • Involve parents in active support of their children’s education process • Collect parents’ feedback on school performance • Parent Education and Information • Regular parent information sessions, Newsletter • Web site database, Daily Record Books
Students-Parents-School Contract • School: • Provide rigorous, high-standard, dynamic instruction. Maintain high academic standards. Enforce all rules consistently, equally and justly. Communicate regularly and openly with parents. • Families and Students: • Support of AMSA’s rigorous academic program and promotion policy, homework policy, high behavioral standards, discipline policy, uniform code
After School Activities • Sports: team sports, cross-country skiing • Theater, newspaper, radio station • Field trips: museums, outbound trips • Clubs: a political debate club, a literature critics club, a chess club • Music, orchestra, Art Studio, set design • Extended day program • Future plans: summer and vacation camps
Enrollment Policy • 2005-06 school year: 6th and 7th grades, 6 classes per grade, 23 students per each class 276 seats • Deadline: December 31, 2004, 5 PM • Lottery: January 11th, 2005 • If the number of applications is smaller than the number of spaces - everyone is enrolled • Have received applications from 28 towns so far...
For More Information • Read detailed description of the school’s educational program at the AMSA Charter School web site: www.AMSAcs.org • Executive Director: Julia Sigalovsky Phone: 617-721-0610 j.sigalovsky@AMSAcs.org