Through rigorous academics, character development, and a joyful, achievement oriented school culture, College Bound Academy Charter School will equip every K-4 scholar with the freedom to succeed in middle school and high school, graduate from college and access the professional career of their choice.
College Bound Academy Charter School (“College Bound Academy”) is founded on three beliefs:
(1) Education is freedom.
(2) Demographics do not determine destiny.
(3) College starts in Kindergarten.
HOW WE ACCOMPLISH OUR MISSION
Our mission and vision will be accomplished by implementing five instructional and five cultural components.
1: Outstanding Teaching – We will recruit, hire, and develop a high capacity staff. We will provide 21 days of summer training, 11 professional development days during the school year, weekly three-hour professional development sessions, and an annual visit to the highest performing schools upon which College Bound Academy is designed. Teachers will be formally observed each week. Observations will result in immediate feedback with next steps for implementation, supporting a professional culture of continuous improvement and results. Consistency across classrooms will ensure that all scholars are receiving high quality instruction. Classroom instruction will be rooted in a gradual release model and teachers will use effective classroom practices such as small group rotations, chants/cheers, kinesthetic learning, repetition, call-and-response, and accountable reading.
2: More Time – To close the gap that has already formed between scholars in low-income areas and their more affluent peers by the time they enter Kindergarten, we will offer a longer school day (7:40 am to 4:00 pm) and school year (192 days), providing over 280 more instructional hours annually than a traditional school calendar, amounting to 39 additional instructional days each year. With this extra time, we will be able to extend the instructional time spent on literacy and math. Additional time also will be used to implement a character development curriculum and to provide a daily Achievement block for differentiated instruction and remediation interventions.
3: Literacy Focus – Scholars will receive 145 minutes of literacy instruction each day with an additional 45 daily minutes for writing. All reading instruction will have two teachers in the classroom, with a student to teacher ratio of 16:1 for reading comprehension and, with the inclusion of adaptive computer-based learning, a ratio of 8:1 for guided reading and phonics instruction. All College Bound Teachers are Literacy Teachers and it will be infused into all content areas.
4: Rigorous Curriculum – We will use the Oklahoma State and Common Core standards to develop a clear and ambitious scope and sequence aligned to rigorous daily objectives. All standards-based objectives, curriculum resources, and rigorous lessons will ensure that K-4 scholars can compete locally, state-wide, and nationally. Teachers will departmentalize by content areas, beginning in Kindergarten, so that teachers become masters of their content and students receive the same excellent instruction in every subject area.
5: Data-Driven Decisions – To ensure we are on track to reach growth and mastery goals, comprehensive assessments in literacy and math will be administered every eight to ten weeks. Staff will engage in data analysis after each assessment, with teachers adjusting units, lessons, and interventions, and leaders creating focused professional development training as needed.
1: Mission-Driven Culture – The college mission will be seen, heard and felt in every part of the school’s culture. Throughout the school, there will be banners and bulletin boards displaying college information. College will be heard in school chants, cheers, and school wide language. Scholars will experience the college mission through annual visits to colleges and universities with their families and their teachers, reciting the school creed daily with their classmates, and consistently analyzing their academic and character growth as part of the school community.
2: High Expectations with Joy – Finding joy in the hard work of learning is a key driver for a positive, high-achieving school and classroom. Members of College Bound Academy will hold high expectations for scholars within a warm and strict environment. The staff will be consistent and firm, and at the same time positive and enthusiastic, and we will consistently send the message that having high expectations is part of being a caring person.
3: Character Development – Values and College Bound mindsets will be taught. We will have a character curriculum and discipline system built around the core values of Grit, Curiosity, Social Intelligence, Optimism, Gratitude, Self-Control, and Zest, and each will support a culture of achievement and develop scholars’ ability to succeed inside and outside of the classroom.
4: Families as Partners – Parents and teachers will have complimentary high expectations for a student’s academic performance, so that students can meet and exceed expectations. We will be transparent with our college preparatory mission, outlining roles and responsibilities for home and school. Starting with annual Home Visits for all new families and annual Family Orientations for all returning families, we will engage families in conversations about ambitious learning goals for their scholars. Families will receive daily behavior reports, weekly syllabi and homework packets, frequent academic progress reports after each interim assessment, trimester report cards, and conferences with teachers three times per year.
5: Structure and Systems – To ensure instructional quality and cultural consistency, there will be structures and systems for every part of a College Bound Academy education. We will have consistent procedures and routines for scholars and staff to maximize learning time, give stability and clarity to all learners, and reinforce the urgent nature of our work. From common homework collection systems, to consistent signage in all classrooms, to a school-wide bathroom pass system for scholars, there will be a College Bound Academy way that informs all daily activities.