guiding principles

accountability

UBA Regional Charter School will employ a no excuses model holding its board members, parents, faculty/staff and students accountable for high academic performance. All teachers will adopt high expectations for each of their students and reject any and all explanations for low achievement while working toward elevating competencies and eliminating impeding attitudes for each individual student.

Annually, our school leader and trustees will set and accomplish firm and tangible goals for our school, students, parents and staff.

partnership

UBA Regional Charter School will expect not only to partner with parents to ensure student success, but also with local and global corporations. The unique business and entrepreneurial focus of UBA Regional Charter School will require active input from partnering corporations which will work with students to equip them with real-world experiences that will teach them how to thrive in today’s globally-competitive environments.

In addition, we plan to partner with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business (Wharton) for assistance in curriculum design. Wharton is internationally recognized for its entrepreneurial Masters program and UBA Regional Charter School will benefit from their direction/guidance.

continuous improvement

To achieve the highest student performance levels, our school will engage in the rigorous instructional strategy of formative assessment, shown to give the highest possible return on student achievement scores. Evidence of the use of this instructional strategy has been shown to have an ‘effect size’(1)The effect size is the ratio of the average improvement in test scores achieved through the intervention in relation to the range of scores of typical groups of pupils on the same tests; Black and William recognize that standardized tests are very limited measures of learning. on standardized tests of between 0.4 and 0.7, which is larger than most known educational interventions.

Formative assessment is recognized as particularly effective for students who have not done well in school, thus narrowing the gap between low and high achievers while raising overall achievement.

The five instructional strategies used in formative assessment within the instructional delivery are:

  • Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success — helping the students fully understand what their classroom experience will be and how their success will be measured.
  • Engineering effective classroom discussions, activities and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning — developing effective instructional strategies in the classroom which provide for the measurement of success.
  • Providing feedback that moves learning forward — working with students to provide them with the information they need to better understand problems and solutions, thus aiding their progression.
  • Activating learners as instructional resources for one another — involving students in discussions and working in groups with one another, which can help improve student learning.
  • Activating learners as owners of their own learning — we believe that this form of instructional strategy and rigorous benchmark testing will ensure our students of success without relying on the common testing programs which can inhibit real classroom learning.

UBA Regional Charter School’s leadership and faculty will monitor each student’s performance on a number of assessments to include: teacher-developed formative and content assessments, school-developed performance assessments, nationally-normalized and required benchmark testing as well as the New Jersey State student assessments.

Our school’s daily and weekly schedule will support teachers as they build their capacity to work collaboratively through reviewing lesson designs and students’ work, both within and across subject areas. All faculty will be required to review student performance, learning achievements and challenges as well as provide strategies/interventions within the lesson designs to address knowledge and skill deficits.

individualized attention

Small class sizes will be used to characterize our school’s learning community. All students will receive appropriately-designed differentiated instruction. We know that some students will enter our school performing below grade level, while others will be accelerated learners. Our faculty will be held accountable to ensure students with knowledge and skill deficits demonstrate annual performance gains leading to higher grade level functioning.

All students will receive individualized assistance and instructional guidance, with some, depending on their need for additional support, using a push-in/pull-out model as specified by their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

The scaffolding of skills and content in the lesson design and the sequential application of those skills will ensure student success, while addressing all levels of needs. Similarly, learners who demonstrate above-grade or gifted performance levels will be afforded opportunities for accelerated learning including cross grade instruction and rigorous performance-based learning activities. This scaffolding strategy will ensure all students, regardless of their learning needs, will meet established content-skill and performance goals.

motivated faculty

UBA Regional Charter School will recruit and hire talented faculty with demonstrated success in achieving high performance goals and a willingness to expand their knowledge and grow professionally. All staff will be held to the highest standards and are expected to achieve excellence in their daily practice.

parent involvement

Parent involvement is central to student performance, and UBA Regional Charter School will allow no excuses for the lack of parental engagement. We understand that parents are busy with work, raising their children and attending to daily activities required to maintain efficient households while nurturing family relationships. However, we will require parents to monitor their youngsters’ school work. We will support and facilitate these efforts through parent education and multiple communication mediums respectively.

All parents new to UBA Regional Charter School will be oriented to our school’s policies, regulations and procedures; and receive information on family and pupil support services offered on site or through referral. Post enrollment and upon registration, parents will sign a memorandum of agreement indicating a commitment to support their children’s learning. We will require parents to participate in one school site activity per month.

The scaffolding of skills and content in the lesson design and the sequential application of those skills will ensure student success, while addressing all levels of needs. Similarly, learners who demonstrate above-grade or gifted performance levels will be afforded opportunities for accelerated learning including cross grade instruction and rigorous performance-based learning activities. This scaffolding strategy will ensure all students, regardless of their learning needs, will meet established content-skill and performance goals.

We will create a family-like culture among parents and between parents and the school. Our school will sponsor social opportunities for parents to meet and interact with each other, and schedule social events for key stakeholders including parents, school staff, trustees, funders and other partner organizations.

Our school social worker will support families undergoing hardships by working with them through referrals to human service agencies, counseling, parenting programs, health organizations, etc.

Lastly, our school will strive to become a true community partner with nearby organizations, institutions and agencies.