UBA Regional Charter School will train and require teachers to heavily use inquiry-based performance task teaching methods. Thus, ELA classes will routinely involve collaborative discussions and oral presentations (often with multi-media such as MS PowerPoint or Apple Keynote) on grade-level topics and texts studied and discussed in the classroom. Students will be routinely challenged to express and defend their own ideas and understanding of the subject text openly, publicly and independently, as well as build on other student ideas, generated through collaborative learning exercises. Teachers will also ensure that students maintain a continuous and culminating project within each unit of the ELA curriculum and ensure that students demonstrate their knowledge gained at the close of each topic unit of instruction.
At UBA Regional Charter School, a culminating project that students maintain throughout the year will almost always be business and/or entrepreneurship-oriented. For example, in the sixth grade, the culminating project will consist of business plans for an authentic business the students create. At the close of each unit topic of study in their ELA classes, students will be required to demonstrate their comprehension of the subject matter as seen in its application and inclusion to their business plans.
Additionally, UBA Regional Charter School is aware that Common Core for ELA emphasizes student engagement into authentic complex grade level nonfiction and literary texts. This aspect is a perfect match for UBA Regional Charter School ELA objectives. To service this objective and meet the school’s mission, students will learn to do the work of writers by collecting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing well-crafted narrative and expository texts from business-oriented literary sources, such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise and Forbes Magazine. Students will also develop and hone oral communication skills through conversations with their peers in small and large group discussions. Students will frequently partake in oral presentations, multi-media presentations and presentations of research projects. When necessary, students will receive direct instruction in phonics, grammar, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.
UBA Regional Charter School will select a rigorous math curriculum that aligns to Common Core, such as “Connected Math”. This will require students to complete a variety of performance projects where they can present and demonstrate understanding of the subject matter in each topic of instruction per unit. Teachers will also ensure that students maintain a continuous and culminating project within each unit of the math curriculum and allow the student to demonstrate the knowledge gained at the close of each unit.
Students will learn problem solving and arithmetic exercises by being required to manage business operations budgets; they will be exposed to elements of accounting by using Microsoft Excel, as well as becoming familiar with creating related charts and graphs. Students will learn statistics by examining market sales, market share and consumer consumption projections in relation to their business. As with ELA, curriculum students will be required to provide oral presentations, multi-media presentations and presentations of research projects for each unit of study covered in math. The performance project approach to instruction in math will also simultaneously enhance the students’ literacy skills and allow students to apply the practical skills they have learned in real world contexts, while heightening their ability to solve problems.
UBA Regional Charter School will use interplay standards-based assessments and instructions, as well as authentic curriculum-based benchmark assessments to measure student growth. Differentiated data driven analysis instruction will enable UBA Regional Charter School to strengthen student weaknesses and reinforce their strengths. This will ensure that students are able to reason and communicate proficiently in ELA and mathematics, and define problems with reason, insight, creativity and proficiency.
UBA Regional Charter School’s Social Studies curriculum will be aligned with the Common Core Standards. Students will be required to read, digest, and write from contemporary complex information texts and from sources such as Bloomberg News, Time and Rolling Stone magazines. Students will also absorb history and culture, as studied through web quests, interactive games, online discussions, blogs and Skype applications with students across the nation and around the world. UBA Regional Charter School will leverage a variety of performance projects for students — including group projects and role-play — that expose students to the business and economic incentives that drove colonial expansion and colonization of the New World. As a supplement to the classroom experience, students will also undertake field trips to long-standing Fortune 500 businesses in New Jersey such as Johnson & Johnson and Campbell’s Soup. Students will also visit the New York Stock Exchange and farmlands in south New Jersey. UBA Regional Charter School will seek to use the Social Studies curriculum to supplement the ELA curriculum and to help students understand the world around them.
UBA Regional Charter School’s Science curriculum will also align to Core Common Standards for Science. However, the curriculum will also be primed to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards, if adopted by the New Jersey Department of Education. A critical aspect of the Next Generation standards is that the teaching of content is integrated with the actual practices of scientists and engineers.
Notably, these standards fit with the UBA Regional Charter School model of placing heavy emphasis on inquiry-based learning instruction methods, and using realworld contexts and makeshift business scenarios to deepen students’ understanding of science over time. The Science curriculum will seamlessly supplement instruction in ELA by incorporating oral presentations, multi-media presentations and presentations of science research projects as a routine part of the comprehension assessment for each unit of study covered in science.
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.
UBA Regional Charter School believes the experience of the student in Physical Education should contribute to health-related fitness and prepare the child to lead an active and healthy life while using leisure time purposefully. Ample opportunities to participate in activities that foster collaboration and teamwork, such as organized sports, will be available to students, as well as other mindful individual physical education exercises that enhance focus and concentration, such as yoga.