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Executive Summary
JSMA proposes to open a charter middle and high school in Polk County. It will be grounded in the
values and principles of the JROTC program throughout grades 6-12. A number of high schools in
the state currently offer JROTC programs as elective courses within the regular high school
program. Cadets at JSMA, however, will benefit from a comprehensive, school-wide JROTC
experience as a core component of the entire school culture and operations.
The proposed Joint Services Military Academy (JSMA) will be modeled on the success of the
growing number of public High School military academies throughout the country, but will place
greater emphasis on the use of technology and career exploration in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Research on JROTC has shown positive results in overall
student academic success (Hanser and Robyn, RAND 2000). JSMA will expand this successful
concept from the traditional school JROTC unit to a full STEM school, dedicated to promoting
careers related to STEM and the military.
Unique to JSMA is the idea that JROTC participation is mandatory for enrollment. The School will
be configured in a cadet regiment consisting of US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps
and US Coast Guard as established battalions. Each battalion will consist of 100 to 300 students.
The School will have areas/hallways dedicated and maintained by a specific service. This is to
promote pride, branch cohesion and define additional duties. The mission and goals of the JROTC
and STEM programs are aligned and complementary, and reinforce the common threads of rigor,
respect, leadership, and discipline.
To that end, the Board’s vision for the school is to provide each cadet with:
 Engaging learning experiences and activities that will result in improved academic
performance;
 A safe, disciplined, orderly, and structured environment conducive to academic excellence;
 An environment that emphasizes the understanding that honor is the keystone of all worthy
endeavors and fosters the development of self-respect, integrity and trust;
 Additional meaningful educational experiences through field trips and other events that will
maximize community involvement and support;
 A program designed to develop leadership qualities;
 Parent involvement that will enhance the educational experience;
 A full range of extra-curricular opportunities; and
 A successful entry into adult life after graduation.
Table of Contents
I. EDUCATIONAL PLAN
Section 1: Mission, Guiding Principles and Purpose
Section 2: Target Population and Student Body
Section 3: Educational Program Design
Section 4: Curriculum Plan
Section 5: Student Performance, Assessment and Evaluation
Section 6: Exceptional Students
Section 7: English Language Learners
Section 8: School Climate and Discipline
II. ORGANIZATIONAL PLAN
Section 9: Governance
Section 10: Management
Section 11: Education Service Providers
Section 12: Human Resources and Employment
Section 13: Student Recruitment and Enrollment
III. BUSINESS PLAN
Section 14: Facilities
Section 15: Transportation Service
Section 16: Food Service
Section 17: Budget
Section18: Financial Management and Oversight
Section 19 Action Plan:
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534
STATEMENT OF ASSURANCES
Tab A
Articles of Incorporation,
Tab B
Applicant History Worksheet
Tab C
Character Education Plan
Tab D
Course Offerings
Tab E
Job Descriptions
Tab F
Teacher Salary Matrix
Tab G
Course Descriptions
Tab H
Curriculum Scope, Sequence and Pacing Guides
Tab I
Developer Commitment Letter
Tab J
Financial Details
Tab K
Needs Assessment
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I. EDUCATIONAL PLAN
Section 1: Mission, Guiding Principles and Purpose
A. Provide the mission statement for the proposed charter school.
The mission statement should, in a few concise sentences, indicate what the school intends to do, for
whom and to what degree. A school’s mission statement provides the foundation for the entire
application.
B. Describe how the school will utilize the guiding principles found in section 1002.33(2)(a), F.S.
In accordance with the law, charter schools shall be guided by the following principles:
- Meet high standards of student achievement while providing parents flexibility to choose among
diverse educational opportunities within the state’s public school system.
- Promote enhanced academic success and financial efficiency by aligning responsibility and
accountability.
- Provide parents with sufficient information on whether their child is reading at grade level and
whether the child gains at least a year’s worth of learning for every year spent in the charter school.
C. Describe how the school will meet the prescribed purposes for charter schools found in section
1002.33(2)(b), F.S. In accordance with the law, charter schools shall fulfill the following purposes:
- Improve student learning and academic achievement.
- Increase learning opportunities for all students, with a special emphasis on low-performing students
and reading.
- Encourage the use of innovative learning methods.
- Require the measurement of learning outcomes.
D. Describe how the charter school will fulfill, the optional purposes of charter schools found in section
1002.33(2)(c), F.S. This section is optional. In accordance with the law, charter schools may fulfill the
following purposes:
- Create innovative measurement tools.
- Provide rigorous competition within the public school district to stimulate continual improvement in
all public schools.
- Expand the capacity of the public school system.
- Mitigate the educational impact created by the development of new residential dwelling units.
- Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including ownership of the learning program at
the school site.
A. Provide the mission statement for the proposed charter school.
The mission statement should, in a few concise sentences, indicate what the school
intends to do, for whom and to what degree. A school’s mission statement provides
the foundation for the entire application.
Mission and Vision
The Mission of Joint Services Military Academy (JSMA) is to provide an educational
experience that focuses on developing the intellectual, physical and emotional growth of
our Students in grades 6 through 12. Through an environment of academic rigor, military
discipline, citizenship, leadership and the application of strong moral values within a STEM3
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based curriculum using engineering, science and energy concept within a project based
living laboratory.
Students are given the opportunity to work in a hands-on learning environment and become
self-reliant, logical thinkers who can carry these skills into the real world. JSMA will host a
unique ethics-based social consciousness focusing on environmental sustainability and
care for the planet. Graduates will develop respect for themselves, those on whom they
depend, and those that depend on them, ensuring successful entry into adult life.
JSMA proposes to open a charter middle and high school in Polk County. It will be
grounded in the values and principles of the JROTC program throughout grades 6-12. A
number of high schools in the state currently offer JROTC programs as elective courses
within the regular high school program. Students at JSMA, however, will benefit from a
comprehensive, school-wide JROTC experience as a core component of the entire school
culture and operations.
B. Describe how the school will utilize the guiding principles found in section
1002.33(2)(a), F.S.
In accordance with the law, charter schools shall be guided by the following principles:
- Meet high Standards of student achievement while providing parents flexibility to choose
among diverse educational opportunities within the state’s public school system.
- Promote enhanced academic success and financial efficiency by aligning responsibility and
accountability.
- Provide parents with sufficient information on whether their child is reading at grade level and
whether the child gains at least a year’s worth of learning for every year spent in the charter
school.
The proposed Joint Services Military Academy (JSMA) will be modeled on the success of
the growing number of public High School military academies throughout the country, but
will place greater emphasis on the use of technology and career exploration in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Research on JROTC has shown
positive results in overall student academic success (Hanser and Robyn, RAND 2000).
JSMA will expand this successful concept from the traditional school JROTC unit to a full
STEM school, dedicated to promoting careers related to STEM and the military.
Unique to JSMA is the idea that JROTC participation is mandatory for enrollment. The
School will be configured in a student regiment consisting of US Army, US Navy, US Air
Force, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard as established battalions. Each battalion will
consist of 100 to 200 students. The School will have areas/hallways dedicated and
maintained by a specific service. This is to promote pride, branch cohesion and define
additional duties. For parade and drill purposes, the middle school will be integrated within
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the JROTC battalions. The middle school students will participate in character building
programs including Sea Scouts, Young Marines, Civil Air Patrol and Army Middle School
Leadership. To unify the School, all students will be issued an “all white” generic student
uniform with round cap. Officers will have a red sash. This uniform will be worn for school
wide parades. Specific branch unique uniforms will be issued to those students
participating in a specific high school based program.
The academic rigor of JSMA will be enhanced with the incorporation of the New Tech
Network (NTN) instructional design for the academic components of the school. The
combination of the NTN instructional design with the precision, values, and principles of the
JROTC school model and STEM will offer a unique and exceptional high school option for
students in the District.
The mission and goals of the JROTC and NTN programs are aligned and complementary,
and reinforce the common threads of rigor, respect, leadership, and discipline. Following
approval of the school’s charter, the JSMA board intends to submit an application to all
services JROTC. The focus of JROTC is reflected in its mission, “To motivate young people
to be better citizens.” JROTC accomplishes this mission by providing exceptional
educational opportunities and lifelong skills to America’s youth. The JROTC program builds
character through supporting less violence; higher self-esteem; less absenteeism; higher
achievement scores and stronger academic performance; and more connectedness to
school, engagement in lessons, and commitment to success.
To that end, the Board’s vision for the school is to provide each student with:
 Engaging learning experiences and activities that will result in improved academic
performance;
 A safe, disciplined, orderly, and structured environment conducive to academic
excellence;
 An environment that emphasizes the understanding that honor is the keystone of all
worthy endeavors and fosters the development of self-respect, integrity and trust;
 Additional meaningful educational experiences through field trips and other events
that will maximize community involvement and support;
 A program designed to develop leadership qualities;
 Parent involvement that will enhance the educational experience;
 A full range of extra-curricular opportunities; and
 A successful entry into adult life after graduation.
We consider our school to be a STEM specialty school. The entire school’s focus is on
STEM and every student participates in a curriculum of science, technology, engineering,
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and mathematics innovatively taught and delivered. Coupled with the school-wide JROTC
leader and character development component, we find this STEM model to be unique
within the United States, Florida and the county. What is unique is the School’s ability to
cultivate student’s individuality and personal interests within a STEM environment. This
School will be the only school that offers full immersion STEM along with a total integration
of a 1:1 student to computer ratio high technology environment.
To take advantage of students’ innate curiosities and develop these curiosities in to
concrete concepts and knowledge of real-world applications needed for advanced learning
and career opportunities, JSMA will gear its educational program towards STEM. Not only
will this focus bring deeper meaning to topics learned throughout the grade levels, it will
also prepare students to be competitive in the 21st century world and workplace. In
conjunction with this, students will also be taught to rules and skills of Logic.
JSMA will achieve the school’s mission by ensuring students acquire the knowledge
required by Florida's Standards, particularly Language Arts/Reading (LAFS) and
Mathematics (MAFS), and the skills of analysis, problem-solving, communications, and
global responsibility while incorporating the principles of leadership, self-discipline, honor,
and academic excellence in a high technology and highly personal school environment.
JSMA will be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and
all other operations. The School will not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate against
any student on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, ability, or disability.
JSMA will be a school that creates opportunity, breaks down stereotypes, and provides the
tools necessary for all who attend to excel in high school and college, regardless of socioeconomic background, primary language, family support, race, creed, or religion.
First and foremost, JSMA is an academic institution. Consistent with its mission, the School
will prepare graduates for successful matriculation at competitive universities and/or career
readiness. Evidence of our success at preparing academically skilled students for college
will be seen in our college acceptance rates. Our goal for four-year university acceptances
is 90%.
The School prescribes to Five Core Beliefs:
 STEM competencies and scientific values are necessary for success in the 21st
century workforce.
 Socioeconomic status does not determine access to or achievement in STEM fields.
 Citizens who understand Florida’s STEM challenges will invest in solving them.
 Integrated, meaningful educational experiences result in deeper learning.
 JROTC will provide character and Leadership development.
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From the Core Beliefs, the School recognizes that STEM competencies and scientific
values are necessary for success in the 21st century workforce. The School understands
that not every student will want to become a scientist, an engineer, a mathematician or a
computer programmer. However, the scientific process of asking questions and creating
new knowledge in the process of answering those questions is a highly social endeavor,
which transcends into all arenas of life. Scientific values push society to question its beliefs
and continually improve its understanding of the world. In preparation for the 21st century
workforce, STEM competencies comprise what workers need while scientific values
describe how they achieve. Both components are intimately connected and must be taught
in conjunction.
From our Core Beliefs, the School will subscribe to the following Core Values:
 Logical Thinking – Think in a clear and consistent manner.
 Precision – Strive for accuracy in word and action.
 Open-mindedness – Entertain new ideas.
 Objectivity – Pursue truth without prejudice.
 Skepticism – Question accepted beliefs.
 Honesty – Represent the truth free of deceit.
The School also believes that socioeconomic status does not determine access to or
achievement in STEM fields. Due to the increasing need for a STEM workforce, all students
can and should be prepared to enter STEM careers after graduating high school. Yet, most
students in low-income, minority neighborhoods do not have access to the high quality
education they need to enter our country’s increasingly STEM dependent workforce.
The Gates Foundation (2011) asserts that STEM disciplines pose some of the highest
barriers to college readiness for students, especially students from disadvantaged and
underserved backgrounds. And yet STEM study, when taught well, can be powerfully
motivating for students, engaging and nurturing their natural curiosity about how their world
works.
The School is committed to providing an environment of academic rigor and relevance that
advances high standards of student achievement. At the forefront of this environment will
be our administrators and teachers. Our administrators will serve as true instructional
leaders and balance the needs of all stakeholders. Our teachers will be highly qualified to
deliver instruction founded on research and best practices. Teachers will be provided
relevant and meaningful professional development throughout their careers at the School
and will be guided by the principles of collaboration, reflection, and ongoing professional
development. The School will actively pursue teaching candidates with experience or
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interest in promoting a STEM initiative to promote fidelity to the core academic program
and purposefully designed elective offerings.
Through implementation of the strategies described in this application, the School will meet
or exceed high standards of student achievement and provide parents and students with a
unique educational option, by providing a fully integrated STEM program for all students:
 Provide curricular and extra-curricular programs that infuse the arts, culture, science
and technology in order to increase academic performance and student innovation
 Provide all students with access to technology based instruction, the engineering
process and project-based learning opportunities in science and mathematics
 Partner with private businesses and community agencies to enhance the
opportunities available for students to work on service learning projects that are
meaningful to the community and that provide real life applications to classroom
instruction
 Implement an iLab where students will use project based learning, inquiry based
learning, and integrated lessons to drive their own learning, engage in critical
thinking skills and be offered a variety of education experiences
 Partner with parents to support the STEM initiative by educating and encouraging
them to participate in school based academic events
SCHOOL-WIDE INITIATIVES
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Implement a research based, comprehensive Reading Plan commensurate with the
District’s Comprehensive Reading Plan
Implement the Florida Continuous Improvement Model (“FCIM”) which is based on
the idea that student and teacher success must be a continuous effort
Implement a school-wide Progress Monitoring Plan that teachers and leaders will
use to identify students in need of more intensive instructional support, and hold the
School accountable to provide support through multi-tiered interventions, and
monitor the student’s response to implemented instruction and interventions
Create an annual School Improvement Plan (SIP)
Deliver a dynamic school curriculum, including emphasis on student-centered
instruction assuring student mastery of the Florida Standards/(LAFS) and (MAFS)
Provide a highly rigorous curriculum delivered through effective and research based
teaching and learning strategies;
Provide opportunities for active and genuine involvement of students, families, and
community partners in the School development process to create a richer, more
nurturing educational experience for all stakeholders;
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Work toward AdvancED Accreditation by committing to a continuous process of
improvement, strict global standards for excellence in education, and quality
assurance.
The School will make use of a multi-faceted marketing campaign to inform parents in the
community of the myriad of educational opportunities available for their children, through an
effective, non-discriminatory marketing plan. Working alongside neighborhood partners
and community members, the School will offer parents an additional choice within the
County’s excellent public school System. The School will be intimately accountable to
students, parents, and community members, who will be encouraged to participate in all
aspects of the educational process.
The School is designed to provide all students the substantial support necessary to prepare
them for the high quality, high skill STEM jobs of the future through quality instruction and
individualized intervention programs.
1. Meet high Standards of student achievement while providing parents flexibility
to choose among diverse educational opportunities within the state’s public
school system.
The School will be accountable to its students, their families, and other stakeholders, by
providing a quality education in a responsible, cost-efficient manner. In order to align the
plan for academic success with financial efficacy, the School will collect pertinent data
relative to its student body in order to set goals targeting student performance and
achievement. The School is responsible for its students’ success and thus, must determine
and meet each child’s individualized educational needs.
The STEM initiative has been thoughtfully selected as the best program to increase student
engagement, thereby increasing student achievement. This model allows the School to
take advantage of previously designed publications as well as volume based discounts on
a very specific STEM focused teaching materials.
The School is committed to providing an environment of academic rigor and relevance that
advances high Standards of student achievement. At the forefront of this environment will
be our administrators and teachers. Our administrators will take the lead and address the
needs of all stakeholders. Our teachers will be highly qualified to deliver instruction founded
on research and best practices. Teachers will be provided relevant and meaningful
professional development throughout their careers at the School and will be guided by the
principles of collaboration, reflection, and ongoing professional development.
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Through implementation of the strategies described in this application, the School will meet
and exceed requirements by:
 Delivering a dynamic school curriculum, including emphasis on student-centered
instruction assuring student mastery of the Florida Standards;
 Providing a highly rigorous curriculum infused with effective and proven teaching
and learning strategies;
 Implementing mechanisms to continuously monitor, assess, and improve both the
structure of the curriculum and the methods used in its delivery to achieve
continuous student improvement from year to year;
 Providing opportunities for active and genuine involvement of students, families, and
community partners in the School development process to create a richer, more
nurturing educational experience for stakeholders;
 Complementing and enhancing classroom studies through premium curricular and
arts extra-curricular programs; and
 Providing involvement opportunities for student and families to develop deep roots
with community partners through a school advisory committee.
a. High Standards of Achievement
In our School learning is what really matters most. The School proposes to meet high
Standards of student achievement by aligning its curriculum with the Math and Language
Arts Florida Standards and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, and the
educational requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
We believe in quality schools. Our parents will be afforded every opportunity to choose
among the school district’s outstanding and diverse educational programs. The School
proposes to meet high Standards of student achievement by aligning its curriculum with the
Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) State Standards (as defined by Senate Bill
1076), and the educational requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This
combination is designed to meet high academic Standards, which coupled with a high
degree of local parental choice and community involvement, provides for the Standards,
flexibility, and diversity envisaged by JSMA.
We hold to the belief that "every child can learn" given appropriate learning tools,
measurable progress supported by consistent data, and a variety of teaching strategies
that are used to match a student's learning style. The School will be founded upon
traditional educational methodologies and current research within the framework of the
works of Gagne and Marzano. Integrated, meaningful educational experiences result in
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deeper learning. The School educational approach is founded on the belief that an
integrated, relevant instructional model results in deeper learning. Through the context of
real-world problems, which are naturally integrated and interdisciplinary, students learn to
apply all of their skills and knowledge to create innovative solutions. These learning
experiences are more meaningful because they reflect how authentic learning occurs in the
workplace and community.
Researchers Geoffrey and Renate Caine, Mind/Brain Learning Principles (1998), explain
how rich interdisciplinary learning experiences actually reinforce how the brain naturally
learns. “Rather than separating knowledge into discrete partitions, the brain creates a
complex web of information that recognizes patterns” (p. 412). In short, integrated learning
is about connections. The more connections students forge, the deeper the learning
experience and the higher the level of mastery. The School will design curriculum and
develop instructional methodologies through an integrated model that optimizes
opportunities for students to connect learning across content areas.
The School will meet high levels of academic achievement by aligning its curriculum with
the FL Standards. The School will enhance the curriculum with the rigor and relevance of
an internationally-minded curriculum framework. This combination is designed to challenge
students with the highest academic Standards while connecting these Standards to
engaging, real-world topics of interest.
A vital aspect of the School's approach to meeting high Standards of student achievement
will be through the empowerment and continuous professional development of highlyqualified teachers. Teachers will be challenged to evaluate their performance and adjust
their practices based on student achievement data. Differentiated Instruction and the
Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model will serve as the foundation of researchbased teacher best practices. Critical, reflective, intercultural-minded thinking will be
infused into every learning experience and high-Standards for behavior and respect will
create an environment that promotes student achievement.
Prior to enrollment, parents and students will have a clear understanding of its unique
program and behavioral expectations of the School. Information will be shared through the
school website, open houses, printed media, community events, and student ambassadors.
Families will also have the opportunity to meet with faculty membership to determine if the
programs and structure of the School align with the needs and interests of the prospective
student. The School commits to consistent, continuous and informative community
communications to ensure that parents are given the opportunity to choose among diverse
educational opportunities within the county public school system.
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Students will participate in small and cooperative group instruction in all subject areas that
will include age-appropriate topics and contexts in which students will want and need to talk
to one another. Students will be taught skills in all subject areas and learn to work
independently, applying their language and conceptual learning in problem solving and
writing. We will incorporate multiple approaches in its teaching to include all students,
including English Language Learners, Special Education and at-risk students, in active,
meaningful ways.
All students can and will be challenged to learn. Education and academic achievement are
our chief priorities and we believe that we are a responsible party in the academic success
of our students. We accept that responsibility and expect to be held accountable for our
efforts. We recognize that the student is the actual agent of change and that we are right in
the middle of his or her educational growth and development. We hold to the belief that
"every child can learn" given appropriate learning tools, measurable progress supported by
consistent Data, and a variety of teaching strategies that can be used to match a student's
learning style.
The School’s program centers around the belief that learning should be differentiated to
meet the individual needs and readiness level of the learner, since individuals develop at
different rates and have varying strengths and aptitudes. We also believe that academics
are only one component of education, and that self-discipline and leadership skills are other
aspects of a well-rounded education.
JSMA believes that the purpose of education is primarily the development of skills,
concepts, knowledge, processes, and attitudes necessary for students to become
responsible, productive citizens. The School also recognizes the characteristics that are
unique to each individual and will provide a process for development and expression of
each student's innate potential and talents. Using FL DOE’s Standards-based curriculum in
a managed model shall ensure that the School’s graduates have had the learning
experiences necessary to develop the skills, concepts, knowledge, processes and attitudes
that are essential to success in higher education and in the work place.
JSMA’s Standards-based model will be based on the following perspectives:
 All students are capable of achieving at higher levels in learning core academic
knowledge provided by formal schooling.
 The School, in partnership with parents and the community, has the responsibility to
control the conditions of success.
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The School will maximize the learning environment for all students through explicit
and clear objectives, high expectations for all students, and a continuous, balanced
assessment of student learning.
The Instructional process can be adapted to improve learning.
Successful student learning must be based on providing meaningful experiences to
insure maximum student achievement.
After enrollment and the start of School, parents will continue to have flexibility to monitor
their student's progress online and/or through parent conferences. We will follow a
continuous improvement model which will allow parents to have real time access to their
child's progress. We will host an online access to inform them about their child's class work,
test grades, and weekly progress of the FL Standards. Parents will also have significant
information provided to them to schedule a conference, ask questions, and be aware of
their child's academic achievement. Again, our parents will have the flexibility to choose
among the diverse educational opportunities within the public school system throughout the
school year.
Parental involvement is essential to the learning process and complements our efforts to
share in the responsibility to provide successful learning environment. We recognize that
each student should be treated respectfully as a valued individual. We acknowledge that
everyone learns differently and will promote a learning environment that allows for learning
as an individual process. To that end, we seek to promote those best practices which
positively impact the immediate classroom environment, student emotionality, student
sociological needs, and student physical needs with regard to intake, time, and mobility.
The School will provide a unique choice for parents within the school district, giving
students access to a comprehensive educational program that emphasizes a strong college
preparatory education devoted to traditional learning and developing personal character.
The school will be a safe, student-centered environment where parents and teachers
collaborate to ensure that all students discover their inherent potential and exhibit
continuous personal and academic growth.
The School will pursue and obtain accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI) AdvancEd.
The accreditation process is rigorous and will provide additional confirmation of curriculum
effectiveness and improve the school program as a whole.
b. STEM
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The heavy inclusion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
classes will allow for hands-on project based learning and real-world application of skills
learned in core courses. The students in elementary classes will have a strong and
thorough introduction to STEM as it relates to the curriculum they are learning. A strong
foundation in math, science and art will be formed to ensure each student’s future
continued success in their STEM coursework.
An interdisciplinary, project-based STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math)
curriculum with be the focus of the instructional program. The curriculum will be integrated,
so that all subject areas will be connected, rather than artificially separated into discrete
disciplines. Authentic project-based, inquiry-based learning will enable students to see the
connections between subjects, and the connections between what they are learning and
the world around them.
Although a STEM school, we realize that strong reading, writing, and comprehension skills
are the gateway to other disciplines, and these skills will be incorporated into all project
requirements. The educational philosophy of the School is that of a learning laboratory
incorporating inquiry-based and project-based learning experiences, which include all
subject areas and place a strong emphasis on the processes of science. Students will be
engaged in real world problem solving. The School will use project- based learning to
engage students and require them to use Bloom’s higher order thinking skills to create a
response. Teamwork and technology are important elements of project-based learning,
with an emphasis on STEM disciplines for science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics. The School will prepare students to become productive and successful
citizens. Popular culture, misconceptions, and peer pressure begin to exert their strong
influence early in a student’s cognitive and social development. It is critical to provide
engaging hands-on education to students in order to open their minds to future career
choices, including those in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) areas.
Teachers will work to develop a strong foundational understanding of STEM. This process
will allow students to experience greater depth, and have an emphasis on problem solving,
multi-step problems, mental solutions, and higher levels of expectation in their instruction.
Students will be introduced to the each of the 4 strands of STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics) during their middle school years. Each nine-week period,
students will take a course in one of the four branches of STEM. By the end of middle
school, students will have been introduced to three sub-sets of each branch of STEM and
have completed over 500 hours of STEM course work. The high school STEM program
allows for:
 STEM focus with specialization opportunities in fields like cyber security
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Technology integrated and data-driven differentiated instruction in all core areas
Self-paced year-long STEM project studies.
Hands-on computer training targeting advanced IT certifications
Rigorous language arts program with an opportunity to learn critical languages
Strong social studies program with a focus on civic education and citizenship
Advanced placement and dual-enrollment courses at high school grades
STEM competencies do not exist in isolation from each other, and, as such, are most
effectively learned through an interdisciplinary approach. The core of the School’s
educational approach is founded on the belief that an integrated, relevant instructional
model results in deeper, more meaningful learning. Through a Problem-Based Learning
(PBL) pedagogical approach, students develop the skills to tackle the robust problems
characteristic of the real world. As active agents in the learning process, students pursue
and use knowledge to negotiate their learning in peer groups and present solutions to
authentic audiences. Every component of the School’s STEM method and our academic
program reflects this commitment to integrated learning. Courses are designed to ensure
coursework is connected within subjects and to the outside world. As well, the Common
Core English Language Arts Standards will be incorporated across all content areas.
Summary of the School’s academic structure:
 Integrated Core Courses: These instructional blocks will use best practices in
Problem-Based Learning to emphasize interdisciplinary connections. English
Language Arts Common Core Standards are embedded in the context of Social
Studies Standards. Similarly, Math Common Core State Standards and the Next
Generation Science Standards are combined in an integrated curriculum.
 STEM in Action: These thematic courses driven by the State Science Standards will
highlight the connection between STEM ideas and everyday activities. A servicelearning component will call upon the full repertoire of students’ knowledge and skills
to create solutions to real world problems posed by STEM industry and community
partners. Students will become adept at recognizing how their learning serves an
important function in the improvement of their local community.
 Problem-Based Learning: Problem-Based Learning is the culmination of
interconnected learning, incorporating Standards in a holistic way to motivate
mastery of various content Standards through the lens of a novel, ill-defined
problem. A problem is ill-defined when not all the information necessary to solve the
problem is given, which requires students to consider the application of knowledge
before its acquisition. This sequence infuses the learning experience with purpose
and motivates students to conduct research and discover new knowledge to actively
solve robust problems.
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Learning Cycle: The learning cycle rests on constructivism as its theoretical
foundation. Constructivism is a dynamic and interactive model of how humans learn.
A constructivist perspective assumes students must be actively involved in their
learning and concepts are not transmitted from teacher to student but constructed by
the student. Teachers make learning meaningful when they employ activities that
call on students to use their prior knowledge and experiences to construct their own
frames of thought. Through such inquiry learning approaches, students are put into
situations that demand critical thinking and encouraged to internalize major
concepts. Inquiry activities also give students the opportunity to express, confront,
and analyze preconceptions and misconceptions in an active, nonthreatening way.
Hands-On Learning: Hands-on learning is learning by doing. Through the use of
manipulatives and interactive technologies, students conduct investigations in which
they directly observe and test their ideas. The learning experience enhances
students’ ability to think critically and learn what, how, when, and why concepts
interact.
Cooperative Learning: A cooperative setting capitalizes on the collective knowledge
and skills of peer groups. This group interaction supports the development of strong
critical thinking skills as team members brainstorm, develop action steps, posit
questions for discussion, and evaluate each other’s ideas.
Cognitive Coaching: Cognitive Coaching strategies help students reflect on their
thinking processes. Cognitive Coaching is a facilitative process in which the coach
guides students towards the solution to a problem rather than providing direct
instruction on concepts. This instructional method fosters the development of key
PBL competencies.
JSMA proposes to implement high-quality, research-based curriculum that is differentiated
to meet the individual needs and readiness level of the learner, since individuals develop at
different rates and have varying strengths and aptitudes. STEM Academy’s curriculum and
pedagogy will be founded upon traditional educational methodologies and current research
within the framework of the works of Gagne and Marzano.
Students will participate in small and cooperative group instruction in all subject areas that
will include age-appropriate topics and contexts in which students will want and need to talk
to one another. Students will be taught skills in all subject areas and learn to work
independently, applying their language and conceptual learning in problem solving and
writing. We will incorporate multiple instructional approaches to include all students,
including English Language Learners, students with disabilities, and at-risk students, in
active, meaningful ways.
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Our primary intent is to support high student achievement; however, we will also be
deliberate as we teach our students to become exemplary citizens, enjoy learning, engage
in critical thinking, and demonstrate mastery of educational building blocks to ultimately
become successful, productive and contributing high school graduates, college and career
ready. Through exemplary teaching methods, small classes, academic support, innovative
use of technology and leadership opportunities for all, we seek to enable our students to
become successful. We believe that academics are only one component of education, and
those other skills, including self-discipline and leadership, are aspects of a well-rounded
education.
Parental involvement is essential to the learning process and complements our efforts to
share in the responsibility to provide successful learning environments. We recognize that
each student should be treated respectfully as a valued individual. We acknowledge that
everyone learns differently and will promote a learning environment that allows for learning
as an individual process. To that end, we seek to promote those best practices which
positively impact the immediate classroom environment, student emotionality, student
sociological needs, and student physical needs with regard to intake, time, and mobility.
The establishment of the School will provide parents flexibility to choose among diverse
educational opportunities within the public school system. Through an assertive,
nondiscriminatory marketing plan, as detailed in this application, the School will make
certain to inform parents in the community of the myriad educational opportunities available
for their children. Working alongside neighborhood partners and community members, the
School will offer parents additional choices within the state’s public school system.
Curricular and extra-curricular programs that infuse the arts, character, leadership and
technology opportunities will enhance core curriculum studies. This will complement the
vigorous educational program and dynamic school environment to be established at the
School. Through its website and marketing strategies, the School will provide reliable and
systematic communication with parents and the community regarding the educational
opportunities available to students.
2. Promote enhanced academic success and financial efficiency by aligning
responsibility and accountability
The School will be accountable to its students, their families, and other stakeholders, by
providing a quality education in a responsible, cost-efficient manner. In order to align the
plan for academic success with financial efficiency, the School will gather pertinent Data
relative to its student body in order to set goals targeting student performance and
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achievement. The School is responsible for its students’ success and thus, must determine
and meet each student’s individualized educational needs.
The School will use Annual Accountability Reports to self-monitor and evaluate to
continually improve curriculum, instruction, resource allocation, and fiscal responsibility.
The School is committed to providing for the needs of its students and will use all available
Data sources to drive school improvement towards further student achievement, as
indicated in the School Improvement Plan (SIP). The establishment of educational goals
and allocation of School resources will be strategically aligned to promote effectiveness,
efficiency, and success. In the spirit of transparency, the SIP will promote academic
success through accountability to all stakeholders and promote meaningful collaboration to
further student achievement.
The SIP will drive how the school provides for students, seeking to improve how student
needs are met. The establishment of clear educational goals and allocation of school
resources will be strategically aligned to promote effectiveness, efficiency, and success.
The purpose of the SIP is to promote academic success through accountability to all
stakeholders and facilitate meaningful collaboration to further student achievement. The
outcome of the work of the inaugural year will dictate the development of a School
Improvement Plan (SIP) for the subsequent school years. We will voluntarily participate in
the SIP process, even if we are graded as an “A” rated school.
The School will be accountable to students, parents, and community members, who will be
encouraged to participate in all aspects of the educational process. The School will pursue
and obtain accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on
Accreditation and School Improvement and AdvacEd (SACS/CASI). The accreditation
process is rigorous, thus providing an additional method for evaluating curriculum
effectiveness and improving the school program as a whole.
JSMA will:
 Utilize the research-based Florida Continuous Improvement Model (FCIM) and the
FOCUS process will overlay the entire organizational structure of the school to
guarantee academic success and financial efficiencies. The six steps to
implementation include: faculty FCIM training; development of an implementation
timeline; Data disaggregation; development of an Instructional Focus Calendar;
communication to all stakeholders regarding the importance of staying focused daily
on the FL Standards and scheduled communication (focus groups) with all
stakeholders. The outcome of this year’s work will dictate the development of an
improvement plan for the subsequent school year.
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Use FOCUS, a Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) website offering online
mini-assessments for reading, math, and science. For each focus in reading and
each benchmark in math and science, FOCUS offers a 5-item test and a 5-item
retest. Currently mini-assessments are available for 5th, 7th, 8th, and 11th grade
science and for all math benchmarks (grades 3 through 9, Algebra I, and Geometry)
and reading foci (grades 3 through 10).
The School will immediately pursue and obtain accreditation from the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School
Improvement (SACS/CASI) AdvancEd. The accreditation process is rigorous and will
provide additional confirmation of curriculum effectiveness and improve the school
program as a whole. The School will ensure this process occurs prior to its first
graduation class.
Offer all services Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) component is
elemental to the realization of our vision. The JROTC mission is “To motivate young
people to become better citizens,” which is accomplished through promoting
citizenship, developing leadership, communicating effectively, strengthening selfesteem, providing the incentive to live drug free, improving physical fitness,
promoting graduation from high school, and working as team members. Established
by the National Defense Act of 1916 and expanded by Congress in 1964, the
JROTC program operates within a military framework to train student students in
leadership and motivational skills that will serve them during their school years as
well as throughout their lives. JSMA will sponsor a Student Regiment consisting of
five (5) battalions representing each service: US Army (Army JROTC), US Navy
(Navy JROTC), US Air Force (Air Force JROTC), US Marine Corps (Marine JROTC)
and US Coast Guard (Coast Guard JROTC). As such, JSMA envisions that each
battalion will consist of 100 to 300 students, based upon interest.
Achieve annual performance gains in the student’s reading, writing, mathematics,
and science levels.
Show a safe school environment and program satisfaction as indicated in results
from student, teacher and parent surveys.
Use site-based management to insure that funds spent by the School and
apportionment and allocation of resources shall be aligned with our vision to help
students and ensure their academic achievement. Funds will be spent for the of
students, in accordance with the mission, goals and objectives.
Ensure that all teachers have the necessary instructional materials, on-going
professional development and supplies to ensure mastery of the FL Standards, as
well as the school’s mission, goals and objectives.
Reward and award administration, teachers and staff for their performance.
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All decisions and finances will be open, available, and audited annually. Strict fiscal
accountability with the best internal controls will be stressed.
Conduct audits performed by a Certified Public Accountant.
House students in a safe facility that will be AJSMA compliant and meet the state of
Florida Fire Prevention Code, district fire code, and health and safety requirements.
The proposed educational facilities will comply with the Florida Building Code
pursuant to chapter 553 and the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s.
633.025, F.S. We will work closely with local officials and district personnel to ensure
that the School is in complete compliance with all zoning regulations, building and
renovation permits, safety codes, traffic studies, occupancy permits, and all other
federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The facility will comply with the
provisions of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and the LEA
Asbestos Management Plan (AMP).
JSMA will analyze Data derived from annual State Accountability Reports in order to
determine its level of success toward meeting student needs. The results of this analysis
will be used to inform stakeholders and for the development of the School Improvement
Plan (SIP). The SIP will serve as a means of accountability that can be reviewed by all
stakeholders over time. The goals and objectives outlined in the plan will be supported
through necessary financial allocations.
The School will use Annual Accountability Reports to self-monitor, evaluate and continually
improve curriculum, instruction, resource allocation, and fiscal responsibility. The School is
dedicated to providing for the needs of its students and will continually use all available
Data sources to drive school improvement towards further student achievement, as will be
documented in the SIP. This document will serve to continually evolve the way the School
provides for students, constantly improving the way student needs are met.
School faculty and administration will use student Data to impact everyday teaching and
learning practices to refine and improve instruction. The School will follow the Florida
Continuous Improvement Model (FCIM) to undergird the organizational structure of the
school and guarantee academic success and financial efficiency. Some important elements
of this process include:
 Development of an implementation timeline
 Disaggregation of student Data
 Development, implementation, and monitoring of an Instructional Focus Calendar
 Implementation of the FL Standards
 Implementation of ongoing assessment to monitor the teaching and learning process
 Schedule communication and collaboration (focus groups) with all stakeholders
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Implementation of ongoing maintenance, remediation, and/or enrichment activities
based on FL Standards and results of FL Standards Assessments.
The School will promote academic success and financial efficiency by aligning
responsibility with accountability via the following:
 FL Standards
 School Improvement Plan (SIP)
 Title I
 Florida Continuous Improvement Model (FCIM)
 FL Standards Assessments
 Governing Board
 National Career Academy Coalition.
 JROTC
All require rigorous accounting with regard to student academic achievement, career
academy success, quality and integrated instruction aligned with Standards, allocation of
human and material resources, policies and procedures, and administrative monitoring.
The Governing Board of JSMA will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that the School
has the resources it needs to meet high Standards of academic achievement as outlined in
the SIP. Using the SIP as a guide, the School will annually prepare an operating budget
that must be approved by the Governing Board at a scheduled and open for public board
meeting. School specific control of the operating budget will allow JSMA use funds in way
that aligns with the mission of the school. This will include hiring of highly-qualified
teachers, ample professional development for all staff, technology that promotes student
engagement, and safe, inviting facilities. The operating budget will be evaluated each year
based on the student achievement trends at JSMA. Continuous action research with
applicable Data will allow the School to identify the specific expenditures that are
contributing to high student achievement. The Governing Board will rely heavily on this
Data when reviewing the operating budget each year.
By accepting public funds for our services, we expect to be held accountable to appropriate
and acceptable Standards of financial efficiency and responsibility. JSMA aims to serve
middle and high school students within the District. All apportionment and allocation of
resources (people and fiscal) shall be aligned with our vision to help students and to
continually improve our School and services. Our decisions and finances will be open,
available, and audited annually. Strict fiscal accountability with the best internal controls will
be stressed.
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The Governing Board will have strict control over the budget and approval of expenditures,
and will be ultimately responsible for the results produced in JSMA as defined by the
Charter Contract and Application. The Governing Board will delegate Day-to-Day
responsibilities to the Executive Director, who will be responsible for controlling
expenditures according to the budget and for producing academic results according to the
Governing Board’s directives. The Board will ensure accountability and responsibility by
continuously monitoring results and finances.
The School will have a clear budget and the Board will monitor expenditures to ensure all is
consistent with the budget. The Executive Director will review routine expenditures and
purchase orders to ensure financial compliance. The Director will be supported by a
bookkeeper. The Governing Board will receive and review monthly financial statements and
academic progress reports to ensure that expenditures and academic results are consistent
with the school goals and the charter contract.
3. Provide parents with sufficient information on whether their child is reading at
grade level and whether the child gains at least a year’s worth of learning for
every year spent in the charter school
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (34 CFR § 99.31(a)(8) gives
parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. As such, our:
 Parents will be invited to review their student’s academic progress and assessment
results and to discuss specific academic strengths and weaknesses. All testing
results will be available on-line and sent home.
 Students will participate in developing an ongoing Individual Academic Plan (IAP),
representative of his/her progress which will be monitored through teacher-led
conferencing and Data chats.
 Parents will be involved in all stages of documenting and updating Individual
Education Plans (IEPs) and English Language Learner Plans as applicable. 14 Form
Number: IEPC-M1 Rule Number: 6A-6.0786 May 2012.
The FCIM will provide for the ongoing evaluation of student progress. In combination with
FCIM, there will be quarterly and separate parent and student focus groups. These groups
will allow stakeholder feedback of programs that they would like to continue, change or
added. Results from these focus groups will be transcribed and delivered to school families
in a timely manner. This combined with disaggregated Data on each student will ensure
that parents and other stakeholders have access to ongoing analysis of individual student
gains and school-wide progress.
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The School will ensure parental awareness of student academic goals, successes and
challenges. The School will have access to the district’s student information System. The
School leadership team will utilize student performance data to assess each student’s
current level of performance and proficiency. The School will implement both proprietary,
District, and State assessments to measure student learning. Parents will receive ongoing
communication regarding student progress through the following methods:
 Mid-quarter progress reports;
 Quarterly report cards;
 Parent conferences, and parental involvement workshops,
 In addition to other forms of written and oral communication, e.g., email, and
personal notes.
The School will also host quarterly student led conferences to hold students accountable
for their learning and to include them in the process towards improvement. As part of the
STEM initiative and project-based delivery model, students will be required to present and
share their projects which will help drive and demonstrate learning. All parents will be
involved in the documenting and updating of Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Gifted
Educational Plans (EPs) and English Language Learner Plans (ELPs), whenever
appropriate.
In addition to the proficiency status on the Florida Assessments in Reading and other
Florida Assessments or End of Course Exams, student learning will be measured by
learning gains from year to year. It is equally important for high performing students to
continue to grow as it is for low performing students to continue to make gains. Learning
gains will be the primary focus for assessing the overall success of the program and as
students make gains, the overall performance proficiency will naturally increase. Upon the
disaggregation of academic performance data, the school will identify students not making
adequate progress towards the Florida Standards in Reading (and all tested subjects) and
institute appropriate measures for improvement.
The School will implement a Multi-Tiered System of Supports to determine the cause of the
deficiency and implement a course of action for improvement for students identified as
performing below grade level. Students identified at-risk will have additional instructional
time as well as intervention support through a protected block in the Master Schedule
designed to provide Tier I, II and III levels of Reading support. This information will be
shared with parents in a timely manner to provide ongoing communication with the parents
and to partner with them to support our students.
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Initial assessments used to measure a student’s current level of performance in Reading
and ongoing progress will include: FLKRS, FAIR, ongoing progress monitoring through the
FCRR, SAT in the grade levels offered through the district and other proprietary
assessments used by the School. The School will secure additional benchmarking and
diagnostic tools to support the Reading program through programs in Edmentum and
multiple forms of Diagnostic Reading Assessments and Running Records.
The School will ensure parental awareness of student academic goals, successes and
challenges. Parents will receive ongoing communication regarding student progress
through the following methods: mid-quarter progress reports; quarterly report cards, parent
conferences, and parental involvement workshops, in addition to other forms of written and
oral communication, e.g., email and personal notes. Parents will be involved in the
documenting and updating of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and English Language
Learner Plans, if applicable. Upon the disaggregation of academic performance Data, the
school will identify students not making adequate progress towards the NGSSS and
institute appropriate measures for improvement. The School will determine the cause of the
deficiency and apply a course of action for improvement for students identified as reading
below grade level. This information will be communicated to parents on a timely manner.
The School will provide parents with assessment results on a yearly basis, as indicated in
the Just Read, Florida initiative. This report will also provide information about a student’s
academic level and whether he/she has gained a year’s worth of learning for every year of
instruction at the School. The School will additionally seek to educate parents on the
meaning, purpose, and impact of this information. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports
will also be disseminated to parents.
Through detailed assessment of academic performance using standardized test scores and
other appropriate assessment instruments and tools, the School will:
 Identify students who are below, on, or above grade level and communicate the
information to parents;
 Identify students not making adequate progress on FL Standards and institute
applicable measures for improvement;
 Communicate to stakeholders the baseline, intervention strategies, and efficacy of
the interventions (as identified in this charter school application); and
 Report student progress throughout the academic school year via a Standardsbased means of grade assignation for report cards using FL Standards.
As previously stated, ongoing communication regarding the child’s progress will occur
between the School and the parents. Examples of such methods include discussing
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student needs through the respective documentation and communication processes for
development and update of Educational Plans (EPs), Individual Education Plans (IEPs),
and English Language Learner Plans (ELLP), as applicable. The School will maintain an
open channel of communication with parents and other stakeholders at all times.
Parents will be provided a password to the School’s student management system (parent
and student portal) which will provide them access to student grades, assignments,
attendance and incremental progress. Computers will be made available at the School for
use by those parents who do not have ready internet access. The School’s portals will also
be available as an application for use with parent and student Smart Phones.
Open and continuous communications will occur to ensure that school remediation plans
are understood and agreed upon. Clear communications, via verbal/phone, written letter,
and/or email, will notify parents of their student’s grade level of reading and the annual
gains made while in attendance
The School will provide parents with notification of student progress through report cards at
the nine week period, interim reports at the four and one half week period, and parentteacher conferences as requested by teachers and/or parents.
The School will analyze students’ Data and results from diagnostic assessments to
determine whether or not a child gains a year’s worth of learning as defined by the FL State
Standards and the Florida Standards Assessments. These assessments will provide
parents, teachers, policy makers and the general public with information regarding how well
students are learning the Florida Standards.
The School will provide remedial classes and tutorials to students based on their
baseline/diagnostic test scores and FL Standards Assessments’ results. The school will
also provide advanced classes to students requiring an accelerated curriculum. JSMA will
also employ two different techniques for collecting relevant and accurate Data for every
student. The School will assess a student’s base knowledge, known as formative
assessments and will assess what the student has learned, known as summative
assessments. The combination of these two assessments will provide a detailed and
comprehensive view of student knowledge. Through this process, teachers and educational
staff can better provide strategies that will improve the student’s individual progress.
The School will participate in all State and District mandated testing. Further, the School
will use curriculum-based testing such as Chapter, Section and Unit quizzes and tests.
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Teachers will also use classwork and homework as an indicator of student knowledge.
Again, all testing and work evaluation will be available to parents and students.
Student baseline assessment will be conducted at the beginning of each school year to
determine student reading levels and whether or not they are reading on grade-level.
Baseline assessment will provide the School with the information needed to identify student
strengths and weaknesses and to effectively target instruction. JSMA will follow FL
Standards for Grades 6-12.
Baseline assessments will include, but are not limited to previous Florida Standards
Assessments, Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR), End of Course (EOC)
Exams, and NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). We will measure, using
MAP, at the beginning of the year, mid-year, and at the end of the year. The FL Standards
Assessments and FAIR will be administered per the State schedule. The School will
comply with the administration of any new assessments introduced from FLDOE.
Once enrolled at JSMA, students will be required to take diagnostic tests focusing on
mathematics and reading. Northwest Education Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic
progress (MAP) will be used to establish a fall baseline assessment for all our students and
new students as they arrive in the School. The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test
(PERT) will be administered to students in 11th grade in accordance with Rule 6A610.0315, Florida Administrative Code (FAC).
The results of these tests will be analyzed by administration and staff to understand each
student’s needs and to create an individual personalized education plan. We will use a
combination of diagnostic, authentic, state‐mandated standardized tests, and nationally
recognized norm‐referenced assessments to compare students’ progress over time with
the School’s goals.
C. Describe how the school will meet the prescribed purposes for charter
schools found in section 1002.33(2)(b), F.S.
In accordance with the law, charter schools shall fulfill the following purposes:
- Improve student learning and academic achievement.
- Increase learning opportunities for all students, with a special emphasis on
low-performing students and reading.
- Encourage the use of innovative learning methods.
- Require the measurement of learning outcomes.
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JSMA will provide innovative instruction and learning opportunities for all students,
especially low-performing students, via the STEM program and an intense reading focus
identified in the proposed Curriculum Plan. With a strong focus on the integration of
science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the School will employ a
schedule that supports collaborative teacher planning in order to drive the natural
correlation of these key content areas throughout the academic year. This approach will be
reinforced through the use of Project Based Learning (PBL) as means for students to
actively apply the knowledge gleaned from classroom instruction. Through an integrated
approach to STEM education focused on real-world, authentic problems, students learn to
reflect on the problem-solving process, which is a key concept for entering the work force
or in life.
For low-performing students, including those functioning at a FL Standards Assessments
Level 1 or 2, JSMA will also implement: structured independent reading time designed to
foster technical vocabulary and fluency development, reciprocal teaching, CRISS (Creating
Independence through Student-owned Strategies), cooperative strategies, graphic
organizers, marginal note-taking, and will include reading strategies as an integral part of
professional development; and encourage family literacy practices. Reading classes will be
structured to meet the varied needs of all learners.
JSMA encourages teachers to use innovative instructional approaches by providing regular
and frequent professional development opportunities. Teachers will take part in weekly, onsite learning team meetings, which are at the heart of any successful school
implementation. The team analyzes the latest student achievement Data, develops
interdisciplinary units aligned to STEM and develops lessons that build reading fluency and
technical reading skills. Teachers will be provided compensation (if outside the duty Day) or
substitutes for training in instructional strategies related to skills in Reading, Writing, STEM,
Questioning Techniques, Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies
(CRISS), PBL and Clinical Education.
1. Improve student learning and academic achievement.
The purpose of JSMA, in keeping with §1002.33(3)(b), F.S., is to produce high academic
achievement for all learners, and thereby meet the statutory requirement of improving
student learning and academic achievement. High academic achievement will be attained
through a curriculum rooted in solid educational research aligned to the FL State
Standards, continuous assessment of Data related to student performance, analysis of
student learning gains and a faculty and staff that understands that without student
engagement, learning is not successful.
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The School will implement a well-rounded educational program that holds the School and
its students accountable for meeting self-determined goals and standards, as well as those
required by the State of Florida and the District. The educational philosophy of the School
is geared at increasing, promoting and facilitating improved academic achievement by
providing a wide array of learning opportunities and increasing the engagement of its
students through a focused STEM initiative in a military school setting. The School is
designed to improve student learning and academic achievement and to prepare our
students for college and careers. In effort to improve student learning and academic
achievement, the School will:
 Deliver learning opportunities for students that provide an innovative, creative, and
challenging curriculum within a collaborative classroom setting;
 Integrate a strong STEM based curriculum;
 Implement a continuous improvement program where student assessment results
drive differentiated and targeted instruction tailored to students’ individual needs;
 Promote high expectations for all students and provide the means for all students to
achieve their highest academic potential in Reading and in the core subjects of
science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics;
 Increase the integration of JROTC within the daily curricular program, thereby
increasing the likelihood of success in STEM subjects;
 Surpass the average student academic performance of the local district in all
required public accountability tests; and
 Provide students the opportunity to grow and increase their individual and collective
achievements in STEM measured by standardized and authentic assessments that
measure student mastery of content;
 Seek, establish, and maintain mutually-beneficial partnerships with local education
and civic institutions to provide a wide array of educational experiences for students
to enjoy continued learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
The School will prepare all students to reach their maximum potential in all subjects with a
special emphasis on reading, mathematics and writing using research-based exemplary
curricula/program enhancements (described later). The School will use a month by-month
scope and sequence calendars aligned to the FL Standards (Attached). To ensure student
achievement the School will assure the following:
 The instructional content considered essential for all students to learn versus the
content considered supplemental will be identified and communicated to teachers.
 The amount of essential instructional content that has been identified can be
addressed during the time available to teachers.
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

The essential instructional content is organized and sequenced in a way that
students have ample opportunity to learn it and demonstrate mastery.
Minimize interruptions and use proactive scheduling of non-instructional activities
during the school Day to protect the instructional time available to teachers.
Closely monitored and assessed, all students will be observed to ensure adequate
progress on the FL Standards. All students will benefit from various forms of assessment
including, but not limited to, state accountability tools, district required assessments,
school interim assessments, academic progress reports in core content areas, verbal
assessments, group activities and cross-curricular activities and projects that will provide
insight to student progress. Assessment activities will take place in the classroom, alone
and in small groups while also providing students with hands-on activities to implement
learning practices that are relevant and real-world.
Low performing students will benefit from intervention programs designed to remediate
achievement progress, such as small group instruction, interventions and after school
tutoring. The school will implement the Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, an
initiative to provide opportunities for students to show progress in reading, writing and
communication skills.
All students will maintain an Individual Academic Plan (IAP) empowering them to track their
own academic progress. The IAP will include Data Chats initiated from baseline
achievement levels to determine future rates of academic progress. Student goals are set
for each student, skill/gap areas are identified and student grouping is adjusted.
Throughout the year, the IAP will be updated and students are expected, at a minimum, to
achieve mastery of each of the required FL Standards for the grade level.
Programs designed with strong parent involvement, produce students who perform better
than in programs that do not involve parents at all. Parent participation is integral to the
success of the School and through the School Improvement Planning process; parents will
be solicited for the development of future goals and objectives. Parents will be asked to
participate in the Parent/Teacher/Student Organization (PTO) and to serve on the School
Advisory Committee.
Data will be used to identify student progress toward mastery of required FL Standards to
implement individualized strategies to improve outcomes. The school will analyze Data
reports by age groups, class groups, grade levels, subgroups, attendance and other
aspects of the student population that will enhance the schools’ knowledge of student
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July 2015
learning styles and individual needs. Differentiated instructional strategies will be utilized to
meet each student’s individual academic needs and learning styles.
All students who are English Language Learners (ELL) will participate in programs
designed to enable those students to communicate and function successfully in English in
an academic environment. This is in addition to participation in the regular classroom for
core content instruction.
A variety of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities
will be offered. The instructional program for students with disabilities will be aligned to the
FL Standards and the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) thus providing ample opportunities
for the student to learn and achieve individual outcomes. Instruction with accommodations
supports the pathways described in the IEP.
Methods utilized by the School will include but not be limited to:
 Pre-assessment, interim assessment and screening designed to ensure that all
students are at their appropriate instructional level in reading and math; and if not,
then by prescribing a specific learning plan to enable the student to reach grade
level expectations.
 Expand mastery-based learning through use of such methods as Direct Instruction
and Brain-based learning in all course instruction to meet the FL Standards and
incorporating the NCLB Act to ensure a year's worth of learning;
 Utilize the Florida Continuous Improvement Model (FCIM) as a model for focusing
on high student achievement. Each student's progress will be continuously
monitored by such methods as on-going assessments, class analysis charts and
Data chats.
 Establish a comprehensive program to recognize and reward students for
measurable achievement of academic gains and character development.
The School will implement a well-rounded educational program that holds the School and
its students accountable for meeting self-determined goals and Standards, as well as those
required by the State of Florida and the Sponsor. The educational philosophy of the School
is geared at increasing, promoting and facilitating a wide array of learning opportunities and
raising the academic achievement of its students. To meet this goal, the school commits to:
 Delivering learning opportunities for students that provide an innovative, creative,
and challenging curriculum within a collaborative classroom setting;
 Implementing a continuous improvement program where student assessment results
delineate differentiated and targeted instruction tailored to students’ individual
needs;
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


Promoting the expectation and providing the means for all students to achieve their
highest academic potential, especially in the core subjects of language arts,
mathematics, science and social studies;
Matching or surpassing the average student academic performance of the local
district in all required public accountability tests; and
Seeking, establishing, and maintaining sound, mutually-beneficial partnerships with
local education and civic institutions to provide a wide array of educational
experiences for students to enjoy continued learning opportunities beyond the
classroom.
The School’s educational program is aligned to specific innovative teaching and learning
methods and strategies - with emphasis on low-performing students and reading - that
have proven successful in raising achievement. These include but are not limited to:
 A Standards-based curriculum infusing a thematic approach to integrate core areas
of study such as mathematics, reading, language arts, writing, science, and social
studies;
 Appropriate assessments for evaluation (screening, progress monitoring, and
diagnostic);
 Data-driven, high-quality differentiated instruction;
 Supplemental programs for student advancement and remediation;
 Support for teachers and ongoing professional development.
The educational philosophy of the School is rooted in the development of the whole child
through learning opportunities that are not limited to academic areas. The School will
provide a challenging curriculum and set high expectations for students, while meeting their
needs and supporting their dreams and goals. To this end, the School is dedicated to the
following:
 Instruction focused on mastery of FL Standards;
 Curriculum that encourages innovative and creative teaching and learning
processes;
 Learning plans developed and implemented for students at different levels of
achievement;
 Progress monitored through ongoing assessments;
 Differentiated instruction tailored to student needs as determined by Data results
and analysis;
 Curriculum evaluated in relation to student Data and modified as needed to ensure
appropriate and effective instruction;
 College-readiness at the forefront of instruction;
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
Real-world connections beyond school through meaningful interactions with local
organizations, civic institutions, colleges and universities.
2. Increase learning opportunities for all students, with a special emphasis on
low-performing students and reading.
The School will follow the State supported initiative, Response to Intervention (RtI), in order
to accelerate and maximize student academic and social-emotional outcomes through the
application of Data-based problem solving at all levels of the educational system. Through
its implementation, the School will identify students at risk, monitor student progress,
provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those
interventions depending on student responsiveness. Early intervention is crucial to keeping
students from developing further deficiencies. This is particularly true of reading acquisition
and proficiency. Reading proficiency is among the highest priorities of the School.
The purpose of JSMA, in keeping with §1002.33(3)(b), F.S., is to produce high academic
achievement for all learners, and thereby meet the statutory requirement of improving
student learning and academic achievement. High academic achievement will be attained
through a curriculum rooted in solid educational research aligned to the FL State
Standards, continuous assessment of Data related to student performance, analysis of
student learning gains and a faculty and staff that understands that without student
engagement, learning is not successful.
The School will implement a well-rounded educational program that holds the School and
its students accountable for meeting self-determined goals and standards, as well as those
required by the State of Florida and the Polk County Public Schools. The educational
philosophy of the School is geared at increasing, promoting and facilitating improved
academic achievement by providing a wide array of learning opportunities and increasing
the engagement of its students through a focused STEM initiative. Students who study the
arts are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more
likely to be recognized for attendance. The School is designed to improve student learning
and academic achievement and to prepare our students for High School and beyond.
Research has shown that students who study the Arts score 98 points higher on the SAT.
Our goal is to help students improve their academic performance and to expose them to a
focused and thoughtful arts program to expose and encourage them in these subject areas
in order to help benefit their education as they matriculate into high school and college
programs. From a global perspective, the focus of an arts education in schools is designed
to improve student performance and appreciation in cultural heritage, cultural diversity,
creativity, critical appreciation, individual expression. These traits are aligned with the
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fundamental key to innovation and understanding in Science and Math.
(http://elearninginfographics.com/steam-not-just-stem-educationinfographic/#.VVzsqBh1Pe0.twitter)
In effort to improve student learning and academic achievement, the School will:








Deliver learning opportunities for students that provide an innovative, creative, and
challenging curriculum within a collaborative classroom setting;
Integrate a strong Arts program tied to and included in the STEM based curriculum;
Implement a continuous improvement program where student assessment results
drive differentiated and targeted instruction tailored to students’ individual needs;
Promote high expectations for all students and provide the means for all students to
achieve their highest academic potential in Reading and in the core subjects of
science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics;
Increase the integration of the Arts within the daily curricular program, thereby
increasing the likelihood of success in STEM subjects;
Surpass the average student academic performance of the local district in all
required public accountability tests; and
Provide students the opportunity to grow and increase their individual and collective
achievements in STEM measured by standardized and authentic assessments that
measure student mastery of content;
Seek, establish, and maintain mutually-beneficial partnerships with local education
and civic institutions to provide a wide array of educational experiences for students
to enjoy continued learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
The School’s educational program is aligned to specific innovative teaching and learning
methods and strategies - with emphasis on low-performing students and reading - that
have proven successful in raising achievement. These include but are not limited to:
 A FL Standards-based curriculum infusing a PBL approach to integrate core areas of
study such as mathematics, reading, language arts, writing, science, social studies
with a purposeful inclusion of engineering;
 A State adopted Core Reading Program that is aligned to current standards in
reading and provide appropriate PD to build professional capacity
 Appropriate assessments for evaluation (screening, progress monitoring, and
diagnostic);
 Data-driven, differentiated instruction;
 An intentional delivery model that supports the art of “teaching reading” throughout
the day and the instructional staff understanding that “All teachers are reading
teachers”;
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


Supplemental programs for student advancement and remediation;
After school tutoring for at-risk students
Support for teachers through ongoing, targeted professional development.
The School will implemented a focused and thoughtful, data driven Response to
Intervention (RtI) program, in order to accelerate and maximize student academic and
social-emotional outcomes through the application of data-based problem solving at all
levels of the educational system. Through its implementation, the School will identify
students at risk, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust
the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on student responsiveness. Early
intervention is crucial to keeping students from developing further deficiencies. This is
particularly true of reading acquisition and proficiency.
Reading proficiency is among the highest priorities of the School. Teachers and staff will
be trained and have access to a wide variety of instructional materials that instruct and
reinforce language arts skills. Examples include Structured Independent Reading,
Reciprocal Teaching, Writing in response to Reading, Vocabulary Development, Scholastic
Reading Inventory, Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies (CRISS),
Cooperative Groups (Think/Pair/Share, Turn and Talk), and Graphic Organizers.
The School’s curriculum will serve students of all ability levels in accordance with the
Florida Department of Education’s FL Standards. Using data from published FSA/EOC
reports, and standardized assessments, the School will measure its own progress towards
meeting the academic performance of its student population. The School will develop
annual measureable learning objectives (AMO) in the major subject areas, targeting
student learning and development needs, as delineated in its annual SIP.
FL Standards objectives that are not mastered will be identified, and appropriate measures
for remediation will be instituted for individual students. Remedial students and students
with special learning needs will have access to supervised study time and tutoring after
school and on Saturdays to accelerate their progress. In addition, students performing at
or above grade level will be offered opportunities to maximize potential and advance
progress through acceleration and enrichments.
The Educational Plan encompasses all content areas with a foundational focus on all of the
reading competencies as well as increased learning opportunities for all students in
accordance with the prescribed purposes of a charter school found within F.S.
1002.33(2)(b)(c). The reading ability of each student will be a priority for all school staff.
All subject area teachers will have the knowledge and instructional capacity to incorporate
34
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July 2015
a literacy focus into their specialty. Explicit and systematic instruction of reading
comprehension will be emphasized. Teachers will be expected to provide direct
comprehension instruction, teaching students to understand the written text and application
in its relation to existing knowledge and the outside world. Students will also develop a
solid link between reading and writing through anchor text, high-interest text materials,
thinking maps, graphic organizers, research opportunities, and authentic cooperative
learning experiences. Teachers will utilize blocks of instructional time to provide direct and
explicit instruction, followed by group and peer activities for practice, individual practice with
scaffolding and support and closing activities to check for understanding. Teachers will
document time spent with individual and small groups of students for interventions based
upon deficiencies identified through data driven decisions.
The School will prepare all students to reach their maximum potential in all subjects with a
special emphasis on reading, mathematics and writing using research-based exemplary
curricula/program enhancements. The School will use a month by-month scope and
sequence calendars aligned to the FL Standards (Attached). To ensure student
achievement the School will assure the following:
 The instructional content considered essential for all students to learn versus the
content considered supplemental will be identified and communicated to teachers.
 The amount of essential instructional content that has been identified can be
addressed during the time available to teachers.
 The essential instructional content is organized and sequenced in a way that
students have ample opportunity to learn it and demonstrate mastery.
 Minimize interruptions and use proactive scheduling of non-instructional activities
during the school Day to protect the instructional time available to teachers.
The School has adopted the use of the Sponsor’s K-12 Comprehensive Research-Based
Reading Plan. This plan will define the School's comprehensive intervention reading
programs (CIRP), supplemental intervention reading programs (SIRP), educational
technology needs, assessments, reading minutes per Day, cap size for intervention groups,
minutes per intervention group, and number of Days per week for the intervention group
Teachers and staff will be trained and have access to a wide variety of instructional
materials that instruct and reinforce language arts skills. Examples include Structured
Independent Reading, Reciprocal Teaching, Read and Retell Learning to Write – Writing to
Learn, Vocabulary Development, Accelerated Reader Program, Creating Independence
through Student-owned Strategies (CRISS), Book Sharing, Cooperative Groups, and
Graphic Organizers.
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Pearson’s Common Core ELA Curriculum is selected as the instructional framework to be
adopted (as in use by the District) to increase rigor and relevance, in alignment with
College and Career Readiness/FL Standards to be used within our ELA classes. Its
curriculum is carefully scaffolded from level to level and unit to unit. Rigor is carefully
infused in each activity through the use of higher-order questions and tasks. In terms of
relevance, Pearson incorporates the “new literacies,” an expectation of Common Core,
such as visual texts in video clips, photos, PowerPoint’s and websites.
The School’s curriculum will serve students of all ability levels in accordance with the
Florida Standards. Using Data from published FCAT reports, standardized assessments,
and when applicable, respective end-of-course exam results, the School will measure its
own progress towards meeting the academic performance of its student population. The
School will annually develop measureable learning objectives in the major subject areas,
targeting student learning and development needs, as delineated in its annual SIP.
FL Standards that are not mastered will be identified, and appropriate measures for
remediation will be instituted for individual students. Remedial students and students with
special learning needs will have access to supervised study time and tutoring after school
and on Saturdays (as needed and within budget) to accelerate their progress. In addition,
students performing at grade level will be offered similar opportunities in order to maximize
potential and advance progress.
The Educational Plan encompasses all content areas with a foundational focus on the
different reading competencies as well as increasing learning opportunities for all students
in accordance with the prescribed purposes of a charter school found within F.S.
1002.33(2)(b)(c). The reading ability of each student will be of a priority for all school staff.
Subject area teachers will have the knowledge and instructional prowess to incorporate a
literacy focus into their specialty. Explicit and systematic instruction of reading
comprehension will be emphasized.
Teachers will be expected to provide direct comprehension instruction, teaching students to
understand the written text and its relation to existing knowledge and the outside world.
Students will also develop a solid link between reading and writing through engaging
materials, thinking maps and graphic organizers, research opportunities, and authentic
cooperative learning experiences.
Additional support using homework and classwork assistance will be offered during specific
hours throughout the week for students in need of extra practice and support. Teachers will
be available during times outside of instructional blocks. This additional contact with
36
Form Number: IEPC-M1
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July 2015
students is critical for those who need a structured practice environment, as well as
continuous feedback throughout the learning process both at home and in school.
Initiating and strengthening collaboration between school, home, and community, provides
the basis for support and reinforcement of student learning. Involving parents and students,
and engaging them is critical to successful implementation of the educational program. This
plan for creating a support system for remedial students will involve the consistent
collaboration between stakeholders.
Tutoring will be available for students not making adequate progress. For students that
require additional intervention, tutoring will also be available at the School. These sessions
are derived from the operating budget and are applied to those students requiring extra
intervention to close the achievement gap between present levels and expected learning
outcomes. Teachers will use a supplemental curriculum in small group settings, targeted to
student skill deficiencies, as determined by diagnostic and formative Data.
Closely monitored and assessed, all students will be observed to ensure adequate
progress on the FL State Standards. All students will benefit from various forms of
assessment including, but not limited to, state accountability tools, district required
assessments, school interim assessments, academic progress reports in core content
areas, verbal assessments, group activities and cross-curricular activities and projects that
will provide insight to student progress. Assessment activities will take place in the
classroom, alone and in small groups while also providing students with hands-on activities
to implement learning practices that are relevant and real-world.
Low performing students will benefit from intervention programs designed to remediate
achievement progress, such as small group instruction, interventions and after school
tutoring. The school will implement the Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, an
initiative to provide opportunities for students to show progress in reading, writing and
communication skills.
All students will maintain an Individual Academic Plan (IAP) empowering them to track their
own academic progress. The IAP will include Data Chats initiated from baseline
achievement levels to determine future rates of academic progress. Student goals are set
for each student, skill/gap areas are identified and student grouping is adjusted.
Throughout the year, the IAP will be updated and students are expected, at a minimum, to
achieve mastery of each of the required FL Standards for the grade level.
Programs designed with strong parent involvement, produce students who perform better
than in programs that do not involve parents at all. Parent participation is integral to the
37
Form Number: IEPC-M1
Rule Number: 6A-6.0786
July 2015
success of the School and through the School Improvement Planning process; parents will
be solicited for the development of future goals and objectives. Parents will be asked to
participate in the Parent/Teacher/Student Organization (PTO) and to serve on the School
Advisory Committee.
Data will be used to identify student progress toward mastery of required FL State
Standards to implement individualized strategies to improve outcomes. The school will
analyze Data reports by age groups, class groups, grade levels, subgroups, attendance
and other aspects of the student population that will enhance the schools’ knowledge of
student learning styles and individual needs. Differentiated instructional strategies will be
utilized to meet each student’s individual academic needs and learning styles.
All students who are English Language Learners (ELL) will participate in programs
designed to enable those students to communicate and function successfully in English in
an academic environment. This is in addition to participation in the regular classroom for
core content instruction.
A variety of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities
will be offered. The instructional program for students with disabilities will be aligned to the
FL Standards and the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) thus providing ample opportunities
for the student to learn and achieve individual outcomes. Instruction with accommodations
supports the pathways described in the IEP.
Methods utilized by the School will include but not be limited to:
 Pre-assessment, interim assessment and screening designed to ensure that all
students are at their appropriate instructional level in reading and math; and if not,
then by prescribing a specific learning plan to enable the student to reach grade
level expectations.
 Expand mastery-based learning through use of such methods as Direct Instruction
and Brain-based learning in all course instruction to meet the FL State Standards
and incorporating the NCLB Act to ensure a year's worth of learning;
 Utilize the Florida Continuous Improvement Model (FCIM) as a model for focusing
on high student achievement. Each student's progress will be continuously
monitored by such methods as on-going assessments, class analysis charts and
Data chats.
 Establish a comprehensive program to recognize and reward students for
measurable achievement of academic gains and character development.
38
Form Number: IEPC-M1
Rule Number: 6A-6.0786
July 2015
The School places a primary focus on reading as well as increasing learning opportunities
for all students in accordance with the prescribed purposes of a charter school found within
§1002.33(2)(b)(c), FS. The School’s desire is to teach children to understand what they
read, through systematic, direct instruction of the FL State Standards which are aligned to
the six components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary,
comprehension and oral language. In order to make reading a primary focus, all objectives
from Florida’s Reading Program Specifications will be implemented at the School.




Specification 1: Professional Development
1.1 Comprehensive Initial Professional Development
1.2 Professional Development for Everyone
1.3 Frequent and Continuous Professional Development
1.4 Professional Development to Impact Change
1.5 Professional Development Lead by School-site Expertise
Specification 2: Administrative Practices in Support of Reading
2.1 Reading as a School-wide Priority
2.2 In-service and Evaluation Processes Focused on Reading
2.3 Resource Focus on Reading Achievement
Specification 3: High Quality Reading Instruction is a Dynamic System
3.1 Propels Student Learning in Essential Reading Components
3.2 Expends Efficient Use of Instructional Time
3.3 Contains Systematic Set of Assessment Practices
3.4 Differentiated Instruction
Specification 4: Reading Text Materials and Resources
4.1 Materials Align with Student Reading Levels
4.2 Comprehensive Instructional Materials
4.3 Wide Assortment of Diverse Text
4.4 Flexible Use of Text
4.5 Appropriate Use of Technology
JSMA will focus on reading achievement with the goal to prepare all students beyond
minimal definitions of proficiency, while recognizing that many students will require
additional academic and environmental support. The need for differentiated instruction,
especially for elementary grade students, is well established. JSMA is committed to
meeting the instructional needs of each student. Our teachers will develop and deliver
instructional strategies that will incorporate small groups, peer tutoring, inquiry-based
learning, and computer-based instructional programs.
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The research-based instructional method at JSMA will be centered on Differentiated
Instruction through the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) instructional model. The
School will ensure that all teachers have ample and continuous training in these areas, and
reading instruction will be infused into all core subjects and exploratory studies. Students
will feel this continuity of instructional methods across all classrooms and subject areas,
allowing them to gain the most benefit from each learning opportunity. Differentiated
Instruction through GRR was selected because of its effectiveness with students of all
achievement levels. Low-performing students can flourish in this environment, while not
feeling excluded or overly pressured.
The goal of guided instruction in the gradual release of responsibility model is to guide
students toward using different skills, strategies and procedures independently. The
student will assume more responsibility with less support from the teacher. Lessons are
created as to ensure student success. When students are struggling with a concept in the
classroom, they do not need more teacher modelling, what they really need is guidance
and support to meet high expectations. Teachers meet with needs based groups which are
created based on the feedback from formative assessment with the aim for students to
progress in completing a skill independently.
Low performing students will also be identified through the use of diagnostic assessments.
Students who score below grade level will be given extra support to reach grade level.
JSMA will continually access new information and research from the Florida Center for
Reading Research (FCRR) and Just Read Florida! to fortify and enhance a research40
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based reading curriculum. All students in grades 6th to 10th and those who have not
passed the reading portion of the FL Standards Assessments will participate in a year-long
reading class whether it is a remedial reading class for struggling students or a literature
class for more advanced students.
Homework and class-work help will be offered during specific office hours throughout the
week to assist students in need of extra practice. Teachers make themselves available
during a time that is outside of the instructional block. This additional contact with the
student is critical for those who need a structured practice environment, as well as
continuous feedback throughout the learning process both at home and in school.
Initiating and strengthening collaboration between school, home, and communities,
provides the basis for support and reinforcement of student learning. Involving parents and
students, and engaging them in a collaborative manner are critical to successful
implementation. This plan for assisting remedial students involves continuous collaboration
between all stakeholders.
When learning gains are not progressing at an agreed upon rate for all stakeholders, there
will be additional resources available. For students that require additional intervention,
tutoring will also be available at the School. These sessions will be derived from our
operating budget and are applied to those students requiring extra intervention to bring
them up to grade level expectations. Teachers use a set curriculum in small group setting,
targeted to students’ skill deficiencies, as determined by diagnostic and formative Data.
Classroom teachers remain in continual contact with all stakeholders by updating the
Individual Academic Plans, using Data derived from FAIR, ongoing progress monitoring,
formative assessments and Report Cards or Progress Reports.
The Florida Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) describes an evidence-based model
of schooling that uses Data-based problem solving to integrate academic and behavioral
instruction and intervention. The integrated academic and behavioral supports are
delivered to students at varying intensities (multiple tiers) based on student need. “Needdriven” decision making seeks to ensure that the District and School’s resources reach the
appropriate students at the appropriate levels to accelerate the performance of all students
to achieve and/or exceed proficiency for college and career readiness.
Response to Intervention (RtI) has consistently been defined in Florida as the practice of
providing high-quality instruction and intervention matched to student needs using learning
rate over time and level of performance to make important instructional decisions. MTSS
involves the systematic use of assessment Data to most efficiently allocate resources in
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order to improve learning for all students. To ensure efficient use of resources, schools
begin with the identification of trends and patterns using school-wide and grade-level Data.
Students who need instructional intervention beyond what is provided universally for
positive behavior or academic content areas are provided with targeted, supplemental
interventions delivered individually or in small groups at increasing levels of intensity.
Within a multi-tiered system, all school-based efforts such as lesson study, universal design
for learning, and continuous school improvement are unified and accelerated by
collaborative teaming to result in increased student achievement.
The School will adopt Florida’s four-step problem solving MTSS/RtI process designed to
revise instruction and intervention. The steps include:
 Problem Identification entails accurately identifying the problem and the desired
behavior for the student(s) experiencing academic or behavioral difficulty.
 Problem Analysis, involves analyzing why the problem is occurring by collecting
Data to determine possible causes of the identified problem.
 During Intervention Design & Implementation, evidence-based interventions based
upon Data collected previously are selected or developed, then implemented.
 Lastly, evaluating the effectiveness of interventions utilized is paramount in a
problem-solving process. This fourth step is termed Response-to-Intervention. It is in
this fourth step that a student’s or group of students’ response to the implemented
intervention is evaluated so that the effectiveness of instructional efforts is
measured.
The MTSS/RtI framework is characterized by a fluid continuum of academic and behavior
instructional supports. Three tiers are used to describe the level and intensity of the
instruction/interventions as they are provided across the continuum as follows:
 Tier 1: Core, Universal Instruction & Supports - General academic and behavior
instruction and support provided to all students in all settings.
 Tier 2: Targeted, Supplemental Interventions & Supports - More targeted
instruction/intervention and supplemental support in addition to and aligned with the
core academic and behavior curriculum.
 Tier 3: Intensive, Individualized Interventions & Supports - The most intense
(increased time, narrowed focus, reduced group size) instruction and intervention
based upon individual student need provided in addition to and aligned with Tier 1 &
2 academic and behavior instruction and supports.
MTSS/RtI is a Data-based framework for instructional delivery that uses a multi-tiered
approach to provide high- quality instruction and intervention matched to student needs and
utilizes learning rates across time to inform important instructional decisions. It follows the
premise that all students need to progress at a rate that corresponds to at least one year’s
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growth for every year of instruction. Therefore, an indicator of high-quality instruction would
be equivalent to most of the students in the school progressing at that rate without need for
additional intervention. In MTSS/RtI this level of support is described as “Core Instruction”
or Tier 1, and includes the use of the Instructional Focus Calendar and small-group
differentiated instruction to meet students’ varied needs.
For those students who begin a school year already behind in key academic areas such as
reading or language, and who require additional (supplemental) intervention to achieve
catch up growth, it is imperative to provide that support as early as possible. Tier 2 includes
intervention, usually delivered in small groups, outside of core instruction, that provides
additional time engaged in mastering specific skills. Successful Tier 2 interventions should
allow most students (approximately 70% of students receiving Tier 2 support) to progress
at a rate that allows for catch up growth.
For a small number of students, in which effective Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports are insufficient
to allow them to catch up and meet expectations. For those students, intensive,
individualized intervention plans are developed, implemented, monitored, and revised as
needed. Because there are many reasons why students might fail to respond to Tier 2
interventions, the level of problem solving needed to determine the particular barrier to the
child being successful may be rigorous.
For some students receiving Tier 3 interventions, the process of developing and monitoring
intervention might lead to a determination that they require special education. For all
students that require Tier 3 intervention, the MTSS/RtI process of monitoring and revising
intervention as needed, continues until it is no longer needed.
JSMA will implement a gifted education program to serve eligible students. This program
will provide a qualitatively different program designed to meet the needs of gifted students.
A gifted student is defined by State Board Education rule 6A-6.03019 as one who has
superior intellectual development and is capable of high performance. Eligibility under State
Board Rule includes a documented need for the program, a majority of gifted
characteristics, and an intelligence quotient in the superior range. Additional eligibility
criteria are available for limited English proficient students and students from low socioeconomic status families.
The School’s advanced academic programs will provide curriculum that is tailored to
students’ cognitive and affective needs and promotes experiences that intensify learning to
better prepare students for the workplace while providing equity and access to all students.
Advanced learners will flourish because teachers support high expectations with a rigorous
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curriculum. Students will learn through open-ended assignments, flexible grouping,
differentiated instruction, challenging instructional materials, and enrichment opportunities.
Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment courses will be available to all
students meeting entrance criteria. These courses will be accelerated from the regular
school curriculum, and provide additional critical-thinking skills to students. For the middle
school, the only subjects available at the Honors Level are foreign language, mathematics,
and science. Middle school students may enroll in selected senior high school courses for
the purposes of pursuing a more challenging program of study. Up to six high school
credits may be earned in middle school.
Homework and class-work help is offered after school throughout the week by classroom
teachers to assist students in need of extra practice. This additional contact with the
student is critical for those who need a structured practice environment, as well as
continuous feedback throughout the learning process.
When learning gains are not progressing, there are additional resources available. For
students requiring additional intervention, after school tutoring will be available at the
School. These sessions are designed to provide extra interventions for students to bring
them up to grade level expectations.
The School will also use the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of
Academic Progress (MAP) assessment tool or similar, which is a state-aligned computerbased testing system that adapts to the child in real-time as the test progresses for a
pinpoint picture of learning achievement and readiness. NWEA’s MAP is fully correlated to
the FL Standards.
Involving parents and students, and engaging them in a collaborative manner, is critical to
successful implementation of the tutoring program. Initiating and strengthening
collaboration between school and home provides the basis for support and reinforcement of
students’ learning as well as continuous monitoring of progress throughout the learning
process.
Formative assessments are planned in accordance with specific outcomes, which make it
easier for teachers to group students. Groups may change frequently and are not static
groups for the entire school year. Student groups change throughout the year based on
assessed performance and not on teacher perceived ability. Each group has a purpose and
the teacher plans instructional lessons based on the common needs of the group.
Guided instruction gives the teacher an opportunity to differentiated small group instruction,
vary the level of prompting and also vary the end product. The teacher must be flexible
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since the instructional goal of the group may change throughout the sessions. In a
classroom there may be many different guided instruction groups. Each group may be
working on a different skill or at a different level. Fisher's model recommends meeting with
groups 1-3 times per week, with some groups meeting more frequently and other stronger
groups meeting less often. The size of the groups will also vary depending on how much
face time is required for the particular skill. It is a common misconception that guided
instruction is only for struggling students. This is an opportunity for teachers to provide
enrichment for strong students. Guided instruction is based on the pedagogical principles of
scaffolding
All students will be pre-tested within the first three (3) weeks of school to provide
information about skill levels in reading and math. The pretest scores showing students’
strengths and weaknesses will be analyzed and teachers given test results to plan and
modify their approaches to facilitate student learning. Measures of Academic Progress
(MAP) will be our primary vehicle to access reading and math levels. We will also use the
Scholastic Reading Inventory, or similar instrument, which will measure and report
students’ reading growth in Lexiles. Lexiles can help to assign reading that is within the
student’s current capability. These results will be shared with parents.
Students who are identified as reading below grade level will:
 Be placed in an intensive reading class
 Be matched with text
 Monitored on the individual, classroom, and school level.
JSMA’s reading program is designed to address all levels of reading ability. It will assist our
teachers to develop student reading skills through modeled and repeated oral reading with
self-monitoring and informational feedback. Students identified as needing additional
assistance in any academic area will be supported by our Reading Coach or an assigned
classroom teacher in an after school enrichment program.
Our School will host a fifty (50) minute reading period with differentiated instruction for
specific student learning needs, timely and specific feedback, and high student
engagement to ensure the greatest impact of a full instructional period. Another fifty (50)
minute period will be used for language arts instruction, which will include spelling, writing,
speaking, listening, and further vocabulary development.
Low reading performing students will also be identified through the use of our assessment
and diagnostic tools. Students who score below grade level will be given extra support to
reach grade level FL State Standards within the classroom, such as small group setting
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and differentiated instruction, as well as pull out instruction. These students will be
scheduled for an additional sequential 50 minute reading period (100 minutes total).
Homework and class-work help will be offered during specific open hours throughout the
week to assist students in need of extra practice. Teachers will make themselves available
during a time that is outside of the instructional block. This additional contact with the
student can help provide structured practice environment and further feedback.
When learning gains are not progressing at an appropriate rate, we will provide for tutoring.
These sessions are programmed within our operating budget and will be applied to those
students requiring extra intervention to bring them up to grade level expectations. Teachers
will use a set curriculum in small group settings, targeted to students’ skill deficiencies, as
determined by our diagnostic and formative data.
Classroom teachers will remain in continual contact with all stakeholders by updating each
student’s individual personalized education plan, using data derived from FAIR ongoing
progress monitoring, report cards, and our MAP testing results.
3. Encourage the use of innovative learning methods
The School will encourage and challenge its teachers to use innovative learning methods
by providing a teaching and learning environment that promotes sharing and implementing
of best practices and proven research-based methodologies. Professional development will
be provided on an on-going basis to ensure that teachers are equipped with the most
current information to successfully support student learning. Instruction at the School will be
founded on innovative research-based practices to provide the best teaching and learning
opportunities for students. Highlighted below are a few examples of innovative techniques
that will ascend the School’s students to new heights of success.
In considering a “Pedagogy of Confidence,” students will be provided instruction that
builds upon their sense of personal identity, abilities, and self-worth (Jackson, 2005). The
instructional tools utilized by this method of instruction have been proven highly effective in
improving achievement levels of students in urban settings. Students learn to enhance their
strengths rather than focus on weaknesses and develop a sense of self that allows them to
overcome obstacles to learning.
It is confirmed that “knowledge is learned when students are engaged”. (Dewey 1933)
Motivation is an equally important catalyst for learning. The catalyst for motivation is
engagement. Practices that stimulate motivation in response to instruction include
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engagement, challenge and feedback. The educational plan and model at the School is
predicated upon providing students with a curriculum plan that is engaging, that integrates
all core content areas of study and the incorporation of technology as a tool as well as area
of study. Students will be challenged to achieve improved and increased levels of
performance and will be supported along the way as needed. The project based learning
provides additional opportunities for students to demonstrate learning and mastery in
addition to standardized assessments and the courses in technology, robotics, and the arts
will provide them multiple forms of organic feedback.
The School will encourage teachers to utilize their unique talents, temperaments, and
creativity to inspire and implement innovation in the delivery of the coursework to promote
student mastery of the FL Standards. The School will also provide students with varied and
multiple opportunities to achieve academic goals; methods include differentiated
instruction, hands-on inquiry-based learning, and technology-rich classrooms. Furthermore,
the School is designed to offer a disciplined, balanced and enriched education of the
highest quality, and to prepare students for college and careers.
The School will also encourage teachers to use innovative instructional approaches by
providing regular and frequent professional development opportunities. Teachers take part
in weekly, on-site learning team meetings, which are at the heart of any successful school
implementation. The team analyzes the latest student achievement Data, develops
interdisciplinary units aligned to STEM and develops lessons that build reading fluency and
technical reading skills. Teachers are provided compensation (if outside the duty Day) or
substitutes (documented with Temporary Duty Elsewhere—TDEs) for training in
instructional strategies related to skills in Reading, Writing, STEM, Questioning
Techniques, Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies (CRISS), PBL and
Clinical Education.
JSMA will use a variety of instructional methods to deliver its comprehensive curricula. The
School is committed to employing research-based methods that encourage the use of
innovative learning strategies. Common planning time focused professional development,
School-wide thematic readings, and faculty empowerment will encourage teachers to
explore and implement various learning methods. Teachers will be expected to participate
in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and encouraged to glean from the expertise
of their colleagues.
After gaining knowledge through engaging, effective lessons, students will be expected to
internalize this knowledge through authentic extension activities. Individual student inquiry,
rather than teacher directive, will drive projects and research. Students will be expected to
answer genuine questions and make meaningful contributions through their work. Through
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its encouragement of authentic inquiry and research, the School aims to instill a feeling of
value and purpose in each of its students.
The School will use innovative instructional strategies, delivered by caring and passionate
teachers, to provide increased learning opportunities for all students. Instruction will be
enhanced in all disciplines by effectively executing the following instructional approaches:
 Exemplary computer-enhanced instruction
 1:1 computer learning
 Contextual learning (real-life context)
 Self-directed learning
 Supporting and stimulating student comprehension
 Small, cooperative groups
 Differentiated Instruction
We will implement other research-based educational strategies to ensure the rigor,
relevance, and effectiveness of the curriculum. JSMA will incorporate and rely upon the
following research-based practices in the design and delivery of instruction:
 Deep Curriculum Alignment;
 Meaningful Engaged Learning (MEL)-the North Central Regional Educational
Laboratory (NCREL) model;
 Direct Instruction;
 Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) including Response to Intervention (Rtl) and
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS); and
 Family Involvement in Education.
All instructional approaches will be employed in a context of Professional Learning
Communities, where interdisciplinary teams of teachers are responsible for the academic
growth of particular cohorts of students. The school will expose students to a wide variety
of challenging text that will be incorporated into social studies, science, math, reading,
language arts and any middle school elective classes. Students will be presented with
challenging comprehension activities that require students to not only read, but to also
deliberately re-read text multiple times with the intention of pondering and answering higher
order questions resulting in engaging and productive discourse.
These instructional strategies require high levels of content application that enables
students to transfer their skills into reading across all content areas. When students re-read
complex text multiple times they begin to develop a careful understanding of what they read
before engaging their opinions, appraisals or interpretations. In turn, writing is also
inextricably linked to the reading process and will be incorporated across the curriculum as
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an aid to comprehension. Students will participate in extensive written reader response
activities such as Before Reading activities, During Reading activities and After Reading
activities. Students are required to use evidence from the story or passage to support their
written answer.
As a Florida public charter school, JSMA will offer a curriculum aligned with the FL
Standards. Our students will receive instruction in core subjects (mathematics, English
language arts, science, and social studies) and in art, music, health, and physical
education. Students will also study foreign languages and culture. The School will follow
state statute requirements to administer FL Assessments.
We will implement a challenging, Standards-based curriculum that will provide our students
with opportunities to make connections to their community and their world. The curriculum
will be structured to meet or exceed the Florida Standards. JSMA will offer its students the
most advanced and innovative curriculum in the nation. Using the most up-to date
textbooks clearly aligned with the Florida Standards, students will achieve academic
excellence through a developmentally rigorous, innovative, challenging, college preparatory
curriculum in a warm, nurturing environment.
The School will meet the needs of every student and encourage lifelong learning, with a
focus on strong leadership skills. Students will gain knowledge of meaningful careers
flourishing in our community, such as engineering, science, medicine, technology and
teaching, and acquire hands-on experience from experts in the field. We will prepare
students to have a sincere responsibility to give back to the community.
Students will be involved in all aspects of the curriculum during prescribed project
opportunities (e.g., reading, researching, computing, solving problems, designing, drawing,
writing, and collaborating with peers and teachers through volunteering and mentoring.
Every classroom will have SmartBoard technology and all students will be issued a school
provided laptop computer or iPad device with connections to the Internet available to help
students naturally involve technology in their overall education and their daily schoolwork.
Most projects will be accomplished through small, cooperative groups, and personal
learning styles will be taken into account.
The center of our curriculum is our emphasis on STEM. JSMA will focus heavily on
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM education seeks to create
21st century learning skills for students. STEM is a national initiative at the high school
level and a unique initiative at the middle school level. The School’s unique implementation
combines Expeditionary Learning, as well as STEM curriculum based learning.
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We will provide rigorous, authentic integrated instruction in science, technology,
engineering, and math in order to build student understanding and competence in these
areas and prepare students for advanced studies in STEM. Students will be exposed to
current technology and engaged in the curriculum through appropriate applications of
technology. They will meet and exceed state Standards in Math and Science by applying
these concepts.
While we believe one of the most critical skills in the global marketplace of the 21st century
is the ability to tackle problems in a small-group setting, JSMA will be strongly committed to
developing students who will be able to work effectively and productively in teams and
become leaders.
Character education will play a critical component of our program. We will base our
character leadership instructional model from the text “Role Models: Examples of Character
and Leadership” by Dr. Joe Hoedel. This is a highly research based program that
highlights 17 individuals who exemplify the different character traits covered in the
curriculum. The text and daily discussion offers a mix of historical figures who have stood
the test of time like Amelia Earhart, Booker T. Washington and Helen Keller, as well as
contemporary figures who are worthy of our admiration, such as, Pat Tillman and Oprah
Winfrey.
Quizzes and vocabulary lists accompany each chapter. A consistent weekly format utilizing
ethical dilemmas, lectures, character movie segments, current events, role model readings,
basic skills and expository writing assignments is implemented to provide a framework for
stable learning. Each lesson plan focuses on varying learning styles, i.e. small and large
group discussion, lecture format, visual learning, reading, peer learning and written work.
This research-based curriculum is designed to improve the character and leadership traits
among high school and middle school students. We will integrate it into other courses as
the basis for a home-room or advisory concept.
It is not a curriculum or add-on, but a powerful means to advance curricular and behavioral
goals. Character education programs work. Research shows that schools across the
country that have adopted strong character education program report better student
performance, fewer discipline problems, and increased student involvement within the
community. We will integrate this course in our home room/study hall sessions. It is
composed of a consistent weekly format utilizing ethical dilemmas, lectures, character
movie segments, current events, role model readings, basic skills and expository writing
assignments is implemented to provide a framework for stable learning. Each lesson plan
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ties into a specific learning style, i.e. small and large group discussion, lecture format,
visual learning, reading, peer learning and written work. We will conduct a survey of
participating students at the beginning of this course work and at the end to determine
attitudes and opinions.
Thayer Method:
At the center of JSMA learning is the Thayer method. Under Major Silvanus Thayer, the
foundations of what is now called the Thayer method were founded at West Point in 1833.
It is still in use at the United States Military Academy today. Elements of this approach are
still used at West Point, they include:
 Students attended mathematics class up to three hours a day, six days a week.
 Classes are small - ten to fifteen students.
 Students were expected to come to class prepared to recite on the topic of
instruction for that day. For the first hour of class, the students would prepare their
work at the boards while two students at a time 'recited' or presented to the
instructor the lesson they had prepared the night before. The instructor would ask
questions of these two to test their knowledge of the material. This became known
as recitation.
 Emphasis was placed on detailed and accurate explanations of concepts as well as
on the methods used in the solution.
 For the remainder of the class, students would work new problems at the
chalkboard. The amount of actually teaching was (as now) teacher dependent;
however, the recitation system and amount of board work left little time for lecturing.
It was clearly problem based learning. The first systematic use of chalkboards in the
nation was at West Point.
At JSMA, we will modify the Thayer method:
 The chalkboard method can be simplified with presentations via SmartBoard
projection of student solutions. Our intent is to have students present their work to
the rest of the class. Called 'briefing' their solutions, presentations will be in the style
of a military briefing, giving complete details and using exact scholarly language and
military bearing (giving a military briefing is an integral part of a military officer's job).
 Students will be expected to come to class prepared to recite on the topic of
instruction for that Day.
 Emphasis will be placed on detailed and accurate explanations of concepts as well
as on the methods used in the solution.
Finally, the Thayer method involves all modes of learning: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic,
which makes for more efficient and lasting learning.
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Universal Design for Learning (UDL):
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) pedagogical methodologies will be actualized in our
instructional methods, incorporating multiple intelligences and varied assessments utilized
throughout our school in order to provide an inclusive and integrative learning process.
The core principle of UDL is to be appropriate, accessible, and authentically dedicated to
student success, a school curriculum must incorporate alternatives that address the range
and depth of need of their students, who bring to widely varied learning contexts and
classrooms their own different backgrounds, diverse learning styles, abilities and
disabilities.
Rather than suggesting that all learning is the same, the UDL pedagogical model stresses
the universal need to create learning opportunities that best fit each learner and that
support each learner’s progress. Using the tenets of learning as applied to neuroscience,
this methodology finds that students engage all three recognition, strategic and affective
brain networks while learning. Using the recognition neural network, students recognize
essential cues and patterns that support learning of content. Tapping the strategic neural
network, students master skillful strategies for expression or action in the learning of
content.
Finally, drawing from the affective neural network, students engage with learning. It is
recognized in research that not all students use all three of these networks effectively or
consistently. This may be due to the student’s own unique learning strengths, weaknesses,
and preferences; it may be also due to barriers in the curriculum that prevent learning in
one or more of these processes; and/or instructional strategies that “teach to ” rather than
involve students in learning may frustrate and impede learning across all three of these
neural domains.
To eliminate these barriers as much as possible and to also leverage and structure learning
scaffolds between all three neural arenas, the combination of curriculum and instructional
strategies we employ will provide a flexible framework that allows students multiple points
of access, and which facilitates differentiated instruction. Specifically, we will apply UDL’s
three principal operations: (1) multiple, flexible methods of presentation, to support
recognition learning; (2) multiple, flexible methods of expression and apprenticeship to
support strategic learning; and (3) multiple, flexible options for engagement, to support
affective learning. These three UDL operational principals will be aligned from top to
bottom, bottom to top, across and within our curriculum and applied to classroom
instructional strategies so that students maximize their learning experience at JSMA.
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Understanding by Design (UbD):
UbD is a framework for improving student achievement. Emphasizing the teacher's critical
role as a designer of student learning, UbD works within the Standards-driven curriculum to
help teachers clarify learning goals, devise revealing assessments of student
understanding, and craft effective and engaging learning activities.
Coupled to our implementation of Understanding by Design (UbD) and the college
preparatory model, our curriculum framework provides an integrative and comprehensive
design across subject areas. It will provide inclusion and adaptation for multiple levels of
learning; instill key principles that shape and support the whole learner; and offer continuity
in our programs.
UbD is based on the following key ideas:
 A primary goal of education should be the development and deepening of student
understanding.
 Students reveal their understanding most effectively when they are provided with
complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective,
empathize, and self-assess. When applied to complex tasks, these "six facets"
provide a conceptual lens through which teachers can better assess student
understanding.
 Effective curriculum development reflects a three-stage design process called
"backward design" that delays the planning of classroom activities until goals have
been clarified and assessments designed. This process helps to avoid the twin
problems of "textbook coverage" and "activity-oriented" teaching, in which no clear
priorities and purposes are apparent.
 Student and school performance gains are achieved through regular reviews of
results (achievement Data and student work) followed by targeted adjustments to
curriculum and instruction. Teachers become most effective when they seek
feedback from students and their peers and use that feedback to adjust approaches
to design and teaching.
 Teachers and schools benefit by "working smarter" through the collaborative design,
sharing, and peer review of units of study.
Differentiated Instruction:
In differentiated classrooms, teachers begin where students are, not the front of a
curriculum guide. Because each student is unique when it comes to learning profile,
teachers will provide differentiated instruction that takes into account many factors. Among
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these are varying the modes of curriculum delivery, offering students choices in materials,
and allowing a variety of styles of demonstration of knowledge.
Students will be given information about various learning and teaching styles, multiple
intelligences, and cultural styles. They will be helped to create a learning profile for
themselves. Although instruction will be differentiated to allow students to master core
content and skills, as they progress, students will be expected to challenge themselves to
stretch beyond their most comfortable modalities, so that they are prepared for what they
may encounter in college and/or careers.
Inquiry-Based Learning:
The internal questions, interests, and career goals that each student holds are the most
powerful motivators to want to learn. Although all students must master the common core
of skills and cognate knowledge, this core can be mastered and expressed in a variety of
unique ways. Students “come alive” when they are trained to be researchers in search of
answers to their driving questions. Our curriculum will have the additional intent of teaching
such research stances and approaches so that students can become lifelong pursuers of
knowledge that has a meaningful place in their lives.
Theme and Project-Based Learning:
Students will be exposed to thematic units that are approached from a multi-disciplinary
perspective; faculty will collaborate in developing several thematic units per grade/per year
to help students recognize the ways in which different disciplinary lenses can be brought to
bear on a single question under inquiry. Similarly, students will have the opportunity to
develop projects that relate to interests and demonstrate mastery of content and skills;
such projects may at times be conducted in collaboration with others. As the School strives
to develop students’ 21st-century skills it will be important to coach students in how to work
productively on teams and use interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving.
A meaningful project-based learning curriculum does the following:
 Addresses real-life issues: A key to successful project-based learning is to assign
projects that connect to real-life scenarios or relevant student topics. As a result,
students are more engaged and motivated as they approach and solve tasks to
which they can relate.
 Emphasizes problem-solving skills: Students are presented with a question or
problem and are then asked to analyze, synthesize, comprehend, and evaluate it.
Some of the skills picked up through project-based learning include collaboration,
leadership, and problem solving.
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



Motivates students: The opportunities and freedom in project-based learning let
students explore issues in more depth, satisfying their innate curiosity in a way that
traditional learning does not. When students are interested in what they are doing,
they are often capable of performing at higher levels. When students have more
freedom to define the scope of their projects, they often set the bar higher for their
achievement.
Encourages advanced thinking skills: Traditional methods of teaching do not always
address advanced thinking skills. Students often just rehash information that they
have read or come across online. With project-based learning, students explore
issues, solve problems, and collaborate with their peers. Many of the skills that
students sharpen, through project- based learning, are exactly those that today’s
employers want.
Promotes collaboration: Students learn how to collaborate with their classmates,
with students in other classrooms, or with students halfway around the world. They
can also contact experts by using e-mail, the Internet, and video conferencing.
Teamwork and cooperation are keys to success in today’s information-rich, highly
technical work force.
Teaches the latest technologies: Project-based learning activities provide the
framework for students to tap into their creativity while technology provides them
with a means to develop solutions. Computers, the Internet, and a diverse range of
software programs can help students conduct research and produce their final
products. Students also become more prepared to deal with the ever-increasing
technological demands of their world.
Technologically-based Learning:
In preparation both for full participation in our global society and for access to online
materials, students will take part in learning and demonstrating knowledge through
technologically enhanced means and communicating through multiple media.
Community-Centered Learning:
Whenever possible, students will be exposed to community sites and resources as learning
experiences. Those might include inviting local entrepreneurs and leaders to school or
visiting historic sites.
Each of the strategies are appropriate for all students and will lead to higher levels of
academic achievement for the ''whole school" population, with specific applicability and
effectiveness for students in need of remediation and otherwise "at risk" as well as "special
populations" students (i.e., Special Education, 504 accommodations, English Language
Learners). Research on all of these strategies has been conducted in heterogeneous
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environments-spanning regular education classes, remedial classes, and special education
classes. These scientifically researched instructional models will address and enhance
every student’s achievement level, regardless of age or exceptionality.
STEM Education:
FL Governor Rick Scott is using the numbers to continue his push for more STEM degrees.
In March 2014, he announced that job openings in science and technology fields had
increased by nearly fourteen percent (14%) since the previous year and continue to grow.
Governor Scott stated, “We have to ensure we make STEM education a priority for Florida
children so that more Florida families have the tools they need to pursue the American
Dream." Scott further said, “Florida has a highly skilled workforce that is uniquely prepared
to fill these positions and meet the demands of the 21st century economy.”
According to Kenzi (2008), the Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report for
Congress, March 21 2008 presented by Jeffrey Kenzi, Specialist in Education Policy,
When compared to other nations, the math and science achievement of U.S. pupils and the
rate of STEM degree attainment appear inconsistent with a nation considered the world
leader in scientific innovation. In a recent international assessment of 15-year-old students,
the U.S. ranked 28th in math literacy and 24th in science literacy (p. 231).
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is not a separate subject.
STEM programs have lessons and projects that connect all subjects. One way to think
about STEM is in the context of desirable learning strategies that require the teacher and
students to take the time to go deeper into the content. STEM provides in-depth
experiences that students share and can therefore discuss and explain.
A STEM unit often starts off with a science activity that introduces the concept and leads to
the initial research. Besides library books and internet searches, communicating with
experts and collaborating with peers via email, blogs, chats, video-conferencing and other
social networking tools and strategies, add to the learning by involving advisors and
collaborators. This teaches the student how being connected can be part of his/her learning
process.
A true STEM experience involves the “E” - Engineering. This has students building
something or improving a design. Solving a problem through building and improving
involves trials and testing things out. Collecting Data, the “M” or math component of STEM
involves analyzing performance Data so students can make adjustments to their design to
quantify what is really best or most efficient. Students working in small groups will learn as
they note differences in design and efficiency between their creation and those of other
groups.
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As the overall project continues, the connections afford many opportunities to vocalize and
clarify thinking. The writing and communications work can involve creative writing and
sharing experiences through stories, poetry, music, video and art of various kinds. Blending
STEM with “connected classroom” strategies is a powerful learning model and a highly
active learning model.
The Science curricula will be integrated throughout the curriculum to the greatest extent
possible. This will be accomplished via thematic units, class projects and other activities
that lend themselves to this integration. Students will participate in weekly lab assignments;
keep a Science journal, beginning in Kindergarten, to include field study assignments,
activities, etc. They will also go on grade specific field studies and interact with members
from the community associated with the field of Science. The school will provide
opportunities for students and teachers to interact with experts in different scientific fields
through webinars, videos, lesson plans and other activities that will make Science exciting
for students.
The National Research Council has presented a new framework for K-12 Science
education that identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by
the end of high school. The framework will serve as the foundation for new K-12 science
education Standards, to replace those issued more than a decade ago. The National
Research Council is the operating arm of the National School of Sciences and National
School of Engineering; all three are independent, nongovernmental organizations.
Currently, science education in the U.S. lacks a common vision of what students should
know and be able to do by the end of high school, curricula too often emphasize breadth
over depth, and students are rarely given the opportunity to experience how science is
actually done,” said Helen Quinn, committee chair and professor emerita of physics at
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Stanford, Calif. “The new framework is designed
to address and overcome these weaknesses. It builds on what is known to work best in
science education, based on research and classroom experience both in the U.S. and
around the world. It provides a blueprint that will guide improvements in science education
over many years.” (National Research Council, July 19, 2011).
The School will use resources found at the National Science Foundation. The Foundation
provides a diverse collection of lessons and web resources for classroom teachers, their
students, and students' families. Materials are arranged by subject area to enable teachers
to quickly find resources in the interest area, and then use them to create lesson plans or
at-home activities. Most of the resources come from the National Science Digital Library
(NSDL). NSDL is the National Science Foundation's online library of resources for science,
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technology, engineering, and mathematics education. It was established by the National
Science Foundation to capture improvements in science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics education and organize them into one point of online access. Collaborating
partner institutions such as universities, museums, professional organizations, government
agencies, research laboratories and publishers create the materials.
Technology use will be the primary signature of the School. Technology will be
simultaneously incorporated in teaching and curriculum as the integration of technology will
serve for inquiry, communication, construction and expression. In addition, it will be used
for assessment. Full technology immersion will be discussed later.
Engineering at the School will be accomplished within classroom projects and through an
engineering enrichment class. This class will help students to be exposed to the
engineering design process. The engineering design process includes the following steps:
Identify the problem; Identify criteria and constraints; Brainstorm solutions;
Generate ideas; Explore possibilities; Select an approach; Build a model; and
Refine the design. Students will utilize the engineering design process to collaborate, draw
and create projections and isometric drawings to scale, build, and refine.
The problem-solving and critical thinking that must be accomplished to successfully
complete a project is a benefit for all students. Students will be provided with the tools
necessary to design and build their products. These products could include robots, minor
machines, electronics and small-scale models of buildings/communities. Students will
utilize engineering design programs such as Google SketchUp and smallblueprinter.com.
Numerous engineering firms are located within the area and can provide resources for the
community. These resources include guest speakers, curricular connections, and guest
judges/graders for engineering design projects.
The mathematics curriculum will be integrated throughout the entire curriculum to the
greatest extent possible. Teachers will focus instruction on the development of essential
mathematical ideas as outlined in the Florida Standards. New concepts and skills will be
developed through real-world problem solving opportunities. Cooperative learning provides
students, in small groups, the opportunity to discuss, explore, discover, conjecture, and use
appropriate technology to develop conceptual meaning. Whole group instruction followed
by discussion of the specific concepts, connections, and predictions provides for interaction
by students as a class. Students will be engaged in problem solving and teachers will focus
on the thinking process to assist students in understanding concepts. Assessments for
math will occur every Day as an integral part of instruction.
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Teachers will require students to justify, explain and reach higher cognitive levels rather
than just recall. As students develop skills and understanding of concepts, they become
more confident and motivated in the expression of their mathematical ability. The School
will adopt a proven method for implementing Mathematics instruction and in addition to
other supplements the school will have the advantage of a complete mathematics
curriculum that helps students develop understanding of important concepts, skills,
procedures, and ways of thinking and reasoning through numbers, geometry, measurement
and algebra.
4. Require the measurement of learning outcomes
JSMA requires measurement of learning outcomes, in accordance with the State of Florida.
As required by Florida Statute, the School will implement all state and district requirements
for assessment. Using Data from assessment reports as well as End-of-Course (EOC)
exams, faculty and administration will identify the learning needs of students and develop
measurable objectives to target in the annual SIP. Students not making adequate progress
toward mastery of the FL Standards will be identified and appropriate measures for
remediation will be instituted.
The School will participate in all applicable components of the Florida State Accountability
System; as well as any other age-appropriate research-based assessments. Using Data
from assessment reports to measure progress in meeting the needs of student population,
the School will:
 Identify students not making adequate progress towards mastery of the FL
Standards (with emphasis on low-performing students and students exhibiting
reading deficiencies);
 Annually develop measurable learning objectives in the major subject areas to target
student learning and development needs;
 Implement the Sponsor’s CRRP; and
 Institute and monitor appropriate measures for students requiring remediation in
reading and other prescribed subjects.
Learning outcomes will also be measured through the student’s IAP as part of the student’s
academic, career and social-emotional-ethical development. In addition, the school
community will annually develop a SIP and report progress on goals, student learning
outcomes, and other pertinent school wide Data through the state issued Annual
Accountability Report.
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Rather than serving solely as a means to judge an end product, assessment of student
performance will be an integral component of measuring learning outcomes. Students will
learn to understand that assessment is a part of the process of continuous improvement
and critical to student achievement.
In addition to full participation in all state-mandated testing and accountability requirements,
the School will conduct further analyses of student achievement through other proven
assessment tools deemed appropriate and necessary. Data analysis will be used to identify
students who are not making adequate progress toward annual learning gains in reading,
mathematics, writing and science. The School will seek to view accountability reports from
various perspectives to target specific areas of weakness. This process may include
viewing Data grouped by grade level, teacher, gender, socio-economic background,
attendance, parental involvement, learning style, or any other aspect of the student
population that will enhance understanding of student needs.
A key attribute of the School’s data-driven instructional process will be its communication of
learning measurements to all stakeholders. To promote such communication, the School
will ensure that the state-issued Annual Accountability Report and the School Improvement
Plan are made readily available to all stakeholders. These documents will provide results
regarding learning outcomes and progress toward learning goals. Instructional practices will
be reevaluated on an annual basis to allow for adjustment of techniques, strategies, and
curricula with the intention of more significantly affecting learning outcomes. Such
adjustments will be incorporated into the SIP and will ultimately provide a vehicle for
continuous, reflective improvement and overall academic success.
Continuous assessment of student performance is an integral component of the individual's
learning. Individual student, grade-level, and whole-school achievement goals in reading,
mathematics, and other areas will be established at the start of each academic year from
the Data obtained by creating each student's individual personalized education plan and
portfolio. These goals will reflect individual, grade-level, and whole school improvements on
various assessments, including the FL Assessments (including EOC’s), FL Standards,
FAIR assessments, MAP or similar, running records, and formative and summative tests.
Our assessment methods will be based upon:
 A variety of assessments. In order to have a complete picture of a student's
achievement, different types of assessments must be used. Assessments for
individual students should focus on a student's progress towards a proficiency
standard rather than comparing student's performance against other students.
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

Desired student outcomes. There should be a close relationship between a desired
student outcome and the means used to assess it.
Use of knowledge. Assessing what students do with knowledge is as important as
assessing what knowledge they have. Assessment should promote and support
reflection and self-evaluation on the part of the students, staff and parents.
Our classroom assessments will fall into three categories:
 Diagnostic assessments, pre-assessments, will precede instruction-to check
students' prior knowledge and skill levels, identify student misconceptions, profile
learners' interests, and reveal learning-style preferences. Diagnostic assessments
will provide information to assist teacher planning and guide differentiated
instruction. Examples of diagnostic assessments include prior knowledge and skill
checks and interest or learning preference surveys. Because pre-assessments serve
diagnostic purposes, teachers will likely not grade the results. The baseline
assessment provides the information needed to identify students’ strengths and
weaknesses, to effectively target instruction, and to set school-level, classroom
level, and individual student-level goals.
 Formative/interim assessments will occur concurrently with instruction. These
ongoing assessments will provide specific feedback to teachers and students for the
purpose of guiding teaching to improve learning. Formative assessments include
both formal and Informal methods, such as ungraded quizzes, oral questioning,
teacher observations, draft work, think-aloud, student-constructed concept maps,
learning logs, and portfolio reviews. Although teachers may record the results of
formative assessments, they will likely not factor these results into summative
evaluation and grading.
 Summative assessments to summarize what students have learned at the
conclusion of an instructional segment. Teachers will report the results of these
assessments as a grade. Familiar examples of summative assessments include
tests, projects, performance tasks, final exams, culminating projects, and work
portfolios.
Once enrolled at JSMA, students will be required to take baseline diagnostic tests focusing
on mathematics and reading. Northwest Education Association (NWEA) Measure of
Academic progress (MAP), or similar assessment, will be used to gain a baseline
assessment for all our students in August and new students as they arrive in our School.
Interim assessments (MAP) that are aligned with the FL Standards will also be
administered regularly. The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) multiple-choice
assessment will help our teachers find out what our students know and are able to do. It will
provide valid and reliable objective measurement of achievement. We will obtain reliable
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Data to evaluate progress toward meeting the challenges set forth by national and state
Standards and high expectations. We will be able to identify and help children who are at
risk of being left behind. It can help us focus efforts and remediation. Parents will be able to
understand what their children know and can do and how they can help.
Using data to create a richer educational experience for each student will be part of the
culture at our School, and teachers will track student progress throughout the school year.
Students will also be given FL Standards tests every two to three weeks to track how they
are doing on specific grade-level Standards and assessment priority Standards. These
formative assessments will provide Data. Using the Data from each test, specific students
will be monitored as well as classes on the Standards that have been taught and how
accurately students understand the material. The School’s selected program allows
teachers to customize analysis of students to easily identify what information students are
struggling with the most so instruction can be supplement or adapted.
The School will analyze baseline data and provide targeted professional development to
support teachers’ regarding the best instructional strategies that best meet the needs of
each student. Teachers will adjust instructional focus, regroup students as needed and
provide other differentiated instructional strategies, to ensure that each student is making
progress towards mastery of specific skills and content. Using this innovative approach of
Data-driven instruction and ongoing teacher support, through collaboration ensures a
culture of continuous improvement and increased student achievement.
As required by s. 1008, 22, Florida Statute, the School will fully comply with the Florida
assessment program and will follow all state and district requirements for assessment.
Using Data from state assessments (old FCAT and/or FL Assessments) reports as well as
End of Course exams (if required for some students), faculty and administration will
collaborate to determine the most current learning needs of students and develop
measurable objectives to target in the annual School Improvement Plan. Students not
making adequate progress toward mastery of the FL Standards will be identified, and
appropriate measures for remediation will be instituted.
Students in the high school will also take additional assessments such as the PERT, PSAT,
ACT, and SAT. We aim for average scores on each assessment to surpass national
averages. Our ultimate goal is for students in the 12th grade will take the Advanced
Placement exams in one to four subjects. With permission from students and their families,
these data will be reported to colleges of the student’s choice.
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The American College Testing Assessment Educational Planning Assessment System®
(ACT EPAS®) , will be used, or an equivalent, which provides a longitudinal, systematic
approach to educational and career planning, assessment, instructional support, and
evaluation. The system focuses on the integrated higher-order thinking skills students
develop in grades K-12 that are important for success both during and after high school.
EPAS® focuses on a number of key transition points that young people face:
 8th/9th grade-Prepping for high school studies
 10th grade-Planning and prepping for college and the workplace
 11th/12th grade-Being ready for life after high school
EPAS® is unique in that its programs can be mixed and matched in ways that meet the
needs of individual schools, districts or states. The program includes the four components
that form the foundation of EPAS:
 Student Planning-Process through which students can identify career and
educational goals early and then pursue those goals.
 Instructional Support-Support materials and services to help classroom teachers
prepare their students for the coming transitions. This component reinforces the
direct link between the content and skills measured in the EPAS® programs and
those that are taught in classrooms
 Assessment-Student achievement is assessed at three key transition points in
EPAS®-8th, 9th , 10th , and 11th /12th grades-so that academic progress can be
monitored to ensure that each student is prepared to reach his/her post-high school
goals.
 Evaluation-An academic information monitoring service provides teachers and
administrators with a comprehensive analysis of academic growth between EPAS®
levels.
 Standards-based instruction is dependent upon Data to chart academic progress,
plan and execute Instructional interventions and report results used to inform future
curricular decision-making.
Pearson’s ePATs will also be used to support and enhance student preparation for FL
Assessments. The ePAT is an electronic, self-scoring bank of practice assessments which
include FL Standards, SAT, ACT, SAT-10 and EOCs. It contains items that are
representative of the content and skills assessed on the FL Assessments and other testing.
This information will be used to help teachers drive instruction.
The results of these tests will be analyzed by administrators and staff to understand each
student’s needs and to create an individual personalized education plan. The Instructional
Leadership Teams (ILT) will analyze results from interim assessments and provide
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feedback to teachers highlighting trends which, if good will be replicated and, bad, will be
corrected. Our ILTs will be formal, collaborative teams of faculty and administrators who
meet regularly to review academic trends within the School. During the first two years of
operation, the ILT will be composed of the Executive Director, Principal, Counselor, all core
academic regular education lead teachers, ELL and ESE Coordinators. It will grow in
following years.
The School’s formative assessments will provide a systematic and regular measurement of
students’ progress in the classroom, and are the processes used to drive instructional
practice. Timely and specific feedback, based upon formative assessments of student
performance on grade level Standards is given to establish individualized goals for all
students (Marzano, 2003). Additionally, student performance will be assessed using Data
collected from interim benchmark assessments, school and teacher made assessments,
Edmentum, and State and District mandated assessments.
Edmentum Assessments, or similar, will offer a full range of assessment solutions,
including diagnostic and formative assessments designed to help our teachers understand
each student’s unique needs to more effectively guide instruction. The assessment
solutions accurately evaluate learners and prepare them through a personalized learning
path. This allows students to bypass objectives they have already mastered, gain
confidence, and focus on topics that challenge them for a more relevant and satisfying
learning experience. Edmentum Assessments, Pearson’s SchoolNet or similar will provide
the School with valuable assessment tools that integrates with the curriculum, monitor
student progress, and engage students through a personalized and effective learning
environment.
Both Edmentum and Pearson’s SuccessMaker use proven test preparation programs to
provide Common Core Standards-based instruction, assessment, and support for success
on state tests and national exams. This will help the School to gain meaningful Standards
Data and assessment results that will help teachers pinpoint academic strengths and
weaknesses, differentiate their instruction, and target individual student needs to ensure
success on high-stakes testing. The test preparation programs are uniquely designed to
provide focused instruction and support and raise student achievement. Data is correlated
to the FL Standards and displayed in a format that is easily utilized by teachers and
administrative staff.
A combination of diagnostic, authentic, state‐mandated standardized tests, and nationally
recognized norm‐referenced assessments will be used to compare students’ progress over
time with the School’s goals. These assessments will include (or be a combination of):
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









Northwest Education Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic progress (MAP) or
ACT
FAIR
PowerSchool Standards assessments
Previous FCAT 2.0 and FL Assessments, grades 6 to 10
PERT, grade 11
End of Course Exams (as required)
PSAT, ACT and SAT as needed for college acceptance
Edmentum
EPAS
SuccessMaker
Administer frequent assessments - Frequent assessments help us check for
understanding, provide data for analysis and helps us to track student progress. With data
we are able to administer early interventions and to adjust teaching methods to meet the
needs of the students.
Types of Assessments
Measures of Academic Progress
(MAP) or SAT-10
MAP or SAT-10
Florida Assessment for Instruction
in Reading (FAIR)
PSAT
SAT/ACT
FL Assessments
EOCs
PERT
CELLA
Informal classroom assessments
that may include, but are not
limited to running records, teacher
constructed tests, classroom
assignments, observations and
Purpose (s)
Baseline
Grades
6-12
Frequency
Fall
Progress
Monitoring
Summative
Diagnostic
Monitoring
Summative
Formative
Summative
Summative
Summative
Summative
Monitoring
6-12
Winter
Spring
6-12
Fall
Winter
Spring
Fall
Spring
Spring
Spring
Spring
Spring
Formative and
Summative
8-10
11-12
6-10
7-12
11
6-12 ELL
students
6-12
On-going
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rating of performance, portfolios of
student work, and computerassisted assessments.
The process of data-driven instruction, assessment, grading and reporting of a particular
standard follows the FCIM. Teachers and administrators will make the decisions, based on
the data, to either move on to a new standard and begin with a baseline assessment, or
revisit the same standard through data-driven instruction, reaching students who need
remediation or acceleration through differentiated instruction.
The School’s common lesson plan template will use Marzano and Danielson’s researchbased Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAP) to assist in planning and executing
educationally sound and effective lessons across all disciplines. Lesson plans will require
teachers to input research based instructional strategies to use in the classroom, and
provide learning strategies for students based on the content segment being taught.
Teachers also input homework for students based on the lesson. Homework will be
populated to EdLine, Pearson’s PowerSchool/PowerTeacher or similar program, onto the
parent information screen. Students may complete the assignment on-line; the assignment
is graded and goes directly to the teacher’s grade book via the program’s Interactive
Classroom. The School will provide a school-wide file where teachers can share lessons
with other teachers allowing teachers to collaborate regarding subject area lesson plans.
Teachers monitor student’s academic progress throughout the grading quarter. Using the
Standards based curriculum, as well as content and concept-based assessments, teachers
will reflect on the assessments given to individualize student needs, by looking at mastery
to see where students are, and to make comparisons in order to get a more in-depth
understanding of how each student is progressing.
From our assessment analysis, we will know the needs of students and use linked
instruction that will be assigned to students individually or as a group. Our assessments will
lead directly to appropriate instruction with instructional components that are closely
coupled with assessment data to help deliver targeted, personalized instruction by skill or
standard. This instruction will be designed to engage students and provide extra practice
and intervention in time to make a difference. As such, the assessment system will:
 Include embedded instructional intervention resources aligned to assessment results
and FL Standards.
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

Enable teachers to search for all instructional resources mapped to a particular
standard and assign any of those resources to an individual student or group of
students.
Provide instruction delivered online and/or in paper-and-pencil formats.
Assessment practice at JSMA is best encapsulated by the following quotation,
“The best teachers recognize the importance of ongoing assessments and continual
adjustments on the part of both teacher and student as the means to achieve
maximum performance. Unlike the external standardized tests that feature so
prominently on the school landscape these Days, well-designed classroom
assessment and grading practices can provide the kind of specific, personalized,
and timely Information needed to guide both learning and teaching.” (McTighe and
O'Connor, 2006, p. 213).
D. Describe how the charter school will fulfill, the optional purposes of charter
schools found in section 1002.33(2)(c), F.S. This section is optional.
In accordance with the law, charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
- Create innovative measurement tools.
- Provide rigorous competition within the public school district to stimulate
continual improvement in all public schools.
- Expand the capacity of the public school system.
- Mitigate the educational impact created by the development of new residential
dwelling units.
- Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including ownership of the
learning program at the school site.
1. Create innovative measurement tools.
The primary goal of the School, as stated in its Mission statement, will be to identify and
address the needs of its students. As such, the instructional staff will collaborate in creating
and/or utilizing teacher-developed measurement tools to assess and monitor student
development, learning, and social-emotional-ethical skills and behaviors. This assessment
process will be incorporated as an integral part of the implementation of professional
learning communities. Teachers, administrators, and other school personnel will collaborate
to design and implement measures that will give educators a clearer picture of student
learning, both at an individual and collective level. The use of professional learning
communities to accomplish this goal ensures accountability for quality and effectiveness, as
well as the sharing of new and innovative measurements and cohesiveness within the
educational program. School climates surveys from parents, students, and teachers will
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evaluate the teaching and learning processes, and data gathered will be utilized to improve
school climate, culture, and environment.
We are committed to using research-based methods that encourage the use of innovative
strategies and measurement tools. Individual student, grade-level, and whole-school
achievement goals in reading, mathematics, and other areas will be established at the start
of each academic year from the metrics obtained from state, district and individual
formative and summative data. Our primary goal is to respond to the needs of all of our
students. As such, the instructional staff will use all means at their disposal to understand
what is needed for their students to succeed.
The creation of innovative measurement tools will be encouraged as a collaborative
process designed to meet a specific need. This process will be incorporated into the
implementation of our Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Teachers will
collaborate with each other, administrators, and other school personnel to design and
implement new measurement tools that will give us a clearer picture of student learning.
The use of Professional Learning Communities to accomplish this goal ensures
accountability for quality and effectiveness, as well as the sharing of new creations and
cohesiveness within the educational program.
Continuous assessment of student performance is an integral component of the individual's
learning. JSMA will develop and maintain a comprehensive, whole-person profile for each
student. This profile, incorporating academic, behavioral, service learning and wellness will
be created at the School. Each student record from previous schools will be secured and
reviewed for baseline data. Each student's cumulative records from the previously attended
school will be examined by the teacher to determine the strengths and opportunities for
improvement. The academic component will include baseline Data on each student from
standardized test scores, previous FCAT scores, performance records, grade reports,
alternative assessments, pre and post-testing, FL Assessment scores and results,
attendance, and behavioral records. From these baseline data, quarterly and annual goals
for each student in language arts including reading and writing), mathematics, science, and
history will be established.
Our educational environment will be constructed in a manner that instills in the students the
belief that learning is continuous and we will use testing as a check point to show the way
toward continuous improvement. Classroom assessments will include, but are not limited
to, teacher constructed tests, completed assignments, observations and rating of
performance, portfolios of student work, text-based assessments, computer-assisted
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assessments, FAIR, FL Assessments and older FCAT 2.0 results, norm and criterion
referenced tests, and other methods appropriate for the Standards assessments.
Additionally, school climate surveys from parents, students, and teachers will be used to
evaluate teaching and learning processes. Data gathered from these will be used to
improve the school environment on a consistent basis.
JSMA will participate in:
 FSA – Florida Standards Assessments: Students in grades 6-11 will take the English
Language Arts FSA; students in grades 6-8 will take the Mathematics FSA (Bureau
of K-12 Student Assessment)
 FCAT 2.0 – Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test 2.0: Students in grades 8 will
take FCAT 2.0 Science; students with the requirement to pass FCAT 2.0 Grade 10
Reading for graduation will take FCAT 2.0 Reading Retake (Bureau of K-12 Student
Assessment)
 End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments: Students in any grade completing courses in
Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Biology 1, U.S. History, or Civics (or their
equivalent courses) (Bureau of K-12 Student Assessment)
 CELLA – Comprehensive English Language Learners Assessment: Students in
grades 6-12, currently classified as English Language Learners, with a code of “LY”
(Bureau of Student Achievement Through Language Acquisition)
 PERT – Postsecondary Education Readiness Test: Common placement test for
determining college readiness generally administered to 11 th or 12th grade students
or to individuals requiring placement in college-level courses (See s. 1008.30, FS,
and Rule 6A-10.0315, FAC.) (Division of Florida Colleges/Division of K-12
Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Services)
Types of Assessments
Measures of Academic
Progress (MAP) or SAT-10
MAP or SAT-10
Florida Assessment for
Instruction in Reading (FAIR)
PSAT
SAT/ACT
FL Assessments
EOCs
Purpose (s)
Baseline
Grades
6-12
Frequency
Fall
Progress
Monitoring
Summative
Diagnostic
Monitoring
Summative
Formative
Summative
Summative
Summative
6-12
Winter
Spring
6-12
Fall
Winter
Spring
Fall
Spring
Spring
Spring
8-10
11-12
6-10
7-12
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PERT
CELLA
Summative
Monitoring
11
6-12 ELL
students
6-12
Spring
Spring
Informal classroom
Formative
On-going
assessments that may include,
and
but are not limited to running
Summative
records, teacher constructed
tests, classroom assignments,
observations and rating of
performance, portfolios of
student work, and computerassisted assessments.
2. Provide rigorous competition within the public school district to stimulate
continual improvement in all public schools.
JSMA prefers to partner with traditional public schools to improve public education. The
goal is to create an environment where there is mutual respect and the goal is to make sure
that students are being provided the best education possible.
The School seeks to stimulate improvement in the public schools by being a model for new
and innovative educational practices that facilitate and accelerate student achievement.
The unique design of the its 6th to 12th grade facility will allow and encourage teacher
collaboration between middle school and high school level instructors. Innovative new
approaches to learning make education meaningful for students. This provides students
with a quality choice education for a diverse population of students and parents. After
implementing various educational programs, the School will share best practices and
innovations with other interested schools to stimulate continual improvement with the
Sponsor, throughout the state of Florida, and beyond.
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research conducted a study regarding competition
between charter and traditional public schools and found that charter schools create an
environment where superintendents and principals are responding to competition by
making changes designed to produce more appealing and effective schools. This is
especially true in districts where the superintendent was already disposed to reform district
operations. Superintendents across Florida have made changes in response to specific
features of charter schools that are attractive to parents. Examples include:
 Starting Montessori schools
 Adding more choice options via magnet schools
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
Changing to K-8 centers because of parents’ concerns about safety in the public
middle schools
We believe that traditional public schools are our partners in improving public education
and we are committed a collaborative partnership with the sponsor. Our curriculum
approach and learning tools are innovative and the academic success that will be derived
from these may serve as a model for other schools to emulate. We believe that our success
can stimulate educational improvement.
The School seeks to stimulate improvement in the public schools. JSMA will implement a
STEM program that will serve as a model for new and innovative educational practices that
facilitate and accelerate student achievement. The unique design of the facility will allow
and encourage teacher collaboration between middle and high school level instructors to
support and scaffold student learning at all grade levels and offer a wide range of
differentiated learning opportunities. A fully integrated STEM program will meet the needs
of all learners by engaging students through the hands-on technology infused educational
environment that is meaningful and purposeful in its scope and sequence.
A 2012 study conducted by the National Assessment of Educational progress led to the
NGSS in Math and Sciences, but the study described that no “increased standards or
expectations” would improve student performance as much as student engagement itself
would (NAEP 2012) The study details that curriculum must be meaningful and creative,
with real-world application, in order to push student achievement and to increase motivation
and focus. The School will provide students with the foundation, the curriculum, and the
instructional delivery model that will foster increased student learning, thus creating a
competitive environment for all stakeholders within the public school district and hopefully
encourage continual improvement in other school programs. This provides students with a
quality choice education for a diverse population of students and parents. The School will
seek to partner with the District to share best practices and innovations with other
interested schools to stimulate continual improvement with District and throughout the state
of Florida.
We believe that our ability to move all students to higher levels of performance and
proficiency will provide a climate for rigorous competition within the District. Our innovative
learning approach can serve as a model for high academic achievement. Our active
parental involvement model will be demonstrated in our online parent
communication/monitoring effort and required parent volunteer hours. These are effective
ways to build community support within a school.
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JSMA aims to be a high quality school that will provide rigorous competition within the
school district in the belief that we can stimulate improvement in all schools. The School will
focus on helping marginal and lower performing students. Our opening will expand the
capacity of public schools, and offer students and parents a unique choice in a school
based upon accountability.
3. Expand the capacity of the public school system.
The School will be housed in a facility that meets the state requirements for charter school
facilities per s.1002.33, Florida Statutes, therefore greatly expanding the capacity of the
public school system without incurring any extra cost to the taxpayers of the County or the
State of Florida. This charter school will aid the District in relieving pressure to build new
schools. Moreover, it addresses the issues raised in the Constitutional Amendment for
class size reduction by creating student seats to serve students in the Sponsor’s public
schools. The School plans to locate in an existing building or construct its own building,
thereby allowing for the expansion of public school choices in the District. We will expand
the District’s capacity by providing an educational facility, teachers, instructional materials,
and support to our full capacity.
4. Mitigate the educational impact created by the development of new residential
dwelling units.
We desire to have a symbiotic relationship with the District. Again, we plan to
accommodate students with a special niche-based educational opportunity. Our capacity
will help mitigate the impact of any new residential growth by providing another school
choice within the District.
One of the largest issues affecting schools is overcrowding. Polk County's northern cities
along the Interstate 4 corridor are finishing the year (2014) with increased population and a
hint of recovery. The University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research
2014 population estimates, the most current of several population studies, shows
Davenport has had the largest percentage of growth of the county's 17 municipalities in the
four years since the 2010 decennial census. Davenport's population has increased by 12.5
percent. The heavy growth is continuing in the northern portion of the county, with the
largest city, Lakeland, which crossed the 100,000 mark last year, reaching a population of
100,728 this year. THE LEDGER, December 30, 2014.
5. Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including ownership of the
learning program at the school site.
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Teacher effectiveness is crucial to the success of the School and its students. The School
seeks to provide new and exciting professional opportunities for its teachers. Teachers and
staff will share in the decision-making processes at the School. Teachers will be
encouraged to incorporate their unique style into their instruction and will be provided
multiple venues for collaborating on best practices with each other. A spirit of collaboration,
rather than competition, will prove the most beneficial to students as well as create a
positive working environment for teachers. This will be accomplished through the
establishment of professional learning communities. The study and sharing of researchbased instructional strategies to incorporate critical thinking and differentiated instruction
will be the primary focus. To ensure the integration of technology throughout the
curriculum, teachers will participate in on-going innovative technology-based in-services to
better assist them in effectively impacting their student’s cognitive, emotional, and ethical
growth.
The School will generate an opportunity for teachers to participate in an exciting and
innovative venture; one that allows them to take ownership over the learning process and
feel free to incorporate their unique teaching styles into the classroom. Teachers at the
School will feel encouraged to take part in the advancement of their students’ educational
lives, communicate with their colleagues, and share effective techniques in an effort to
promote the spread of best practices and cutting edge methods. In order to best utilize
research-based strategies and implement the school programs, all teaching staff will
receive ongoing professional development on the various components of the programs,
respectively, to ensure effective implementation.
The School will provide its teachers with the unique opportunity to take ownership of the
school’s professional development needs. Teachers and administrators will collaborate to
determine professional development opportunities based upon student Data. Our teachers
have a variety of professional needs, just as their students do, therefore many different
professional development opportunities will be provided throughout the year. Teachers will
take their own strengths and future goals into account. This ownership over the decision
making process provides “buy in” and lets teachers know that their expertise is valued and
appreciated.
Public school certified teachers will be provided with the opportunity to participate in an
exciting and innovative program. JSMA will provide a strong academic program in a warm
and nurturing environment where teachers will feel free to incorporate their unique teaching
styles and take part in the advancement of their student’s educational lives. Through the
FCIM model, teachers and staff will participate in consensus-building at the School, and will
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assist in determining the focus and objectives of the School to best address all student
needs.
The Educational model developed by JSMA is a framework for continuous improvement,
with its foundation in the research of Robert J. Marzano that focuses on school goals to
increase student achievement. Every school administrator and faculty member will be
trained in Marzano’s research. Again, we will provide economic stimulus with the creation
of jobs and professional development opportunities. Our teachers will enjoy a new sense of
ownership of the learning program by realizing flexibility in curriculum development and
behavior management. We will exercise a participatory leadership model in which all faculty
and staff become stakeholders.
Teacher effectiveness is crucial to the success of the School and its students. Teachers will
be encouraged to incorporate their unique style into their instruction and will be provided
with multiple venues for collaborating on best practices with each other. A spirit of
collaboration will be promoted in order to benefit students and create a positive working
environment for teachers. This will be accomplished through the establishment of
Professional Learning Communities. The study and sharing of research-based instructional
strategies to incorporate critical thinking and differentiated instruction will be the primary
focus. To ensure the integration of technology throughout the curriculum, teachers will
participate in on-going innovative technology-based in-services to better assist them in
effectively impacting their student's cognitive growth and academic achievement.
Teachers and administrators will collaborate to determine professional development
opportunities and needs based upon student Data. Our teachers will have a variety of
professional needs, just as their students do; therefore, many different professional
development opportunities will be provided throughout the year. Teachers will take their
own strengths and future goals into account.
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Section 2: Target Population and Student Body
A. Describe the anticipated target population to be served.
If applicable, applicants should describe if they will target, in accordance with the law, certain
populations defined in section 1002.33(10)(e), F.S.
B. Provide the following projection for each year of proposed operation: the grades that the school will serve,
the projected number of students to be served in each grade, the number of students expected in each class,
and the total number of students enrolled.
C. Provide a description of how the student population projections were developed.
A. Describe the anticipated target population to be served.
If applicable, applicants should describe if they will target, in accordance with the
law, certain populations defined in section 1002.33(10)(e), F.S.
The School will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national or ethnic
origin, sexual orientation, or exceptionality in the admission of students at all grade levels,
in accordance and full compliance with federal and state laws anti-discrimination laws, and
in accordance with Florida Statute. All students are entitled to a “Free and Appropriate
Public Education” in accordance to federal and state law.
JSMA will be a school with a structured academic environment to deliver a rigorous,
innovative educational program. In alignment with the School mission, the student
population being targeted includes students in grades 6 to 12 from families who are in
search of a high quality education that allows students to fully achieve their personal and
academic potential through globally competitive Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Math (STEM) education. When fully operational, we will serve students in a safe and
secure facility.
The School will serve students in grades 6 through 12. Again, in accordance with Federal
and State anti-discrimination laws and the Florida Educational Equity Act, Section
1000.05(2)(a), F.S., the School will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity,
national or ethnic origin, or disability in the admission of students. The School shall adhere
to the following:
 Pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(a), F.S., the School shall be open to any age/grade
appropriate student residing within the School District. In compliance with Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education
Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, all students regardless of disability will
have equal access to the School. In accordance with state law, all necessary
accommodations that do not impose an undue hardship will be made by the School
to include students with disabilities.
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


Pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(f), F.S., students served in Exceptional Student
Education (ESE) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs,
shall have equitable opportunity of being selected for enrollment.
Pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(g), F.S., students may withdraw from the School at any
time and enroll in another public school in accordance with district policy.
Pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(b), F.S., the School will enroll any eligible student who
submits a timely application, unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity
of the program, class, grade level, or building, at which time a lottery shall be
conducted.
We will attract a cross-cultural student body and will be most appealing to parents wishing
to have their students attend a school which promotes scholarship, values, structure, and
self-discipline. We have found parents who are seeking other educational options and
parents who have previously considered or participated in home-schooling. Parents
seeking more intensive learning programs through “School of Choice” options in the
targeted area have found barriers because of enrollment limits. Our educational model
(described below in Section 3.C.) offered in a high technology environment will attract
interest because of the high desire for STEM based education.
The School believes its students have a duty to learn and a duty to lead. JSMA's highest
priority is to prepare our students, including students traditionally underserved or
underachieving (not meeting their personal potential), so that our graduates are prepared to
enter and thrive at the finest universities and colleges, if they so choose.
The School’s educational program is based on the educational needs of the following
student profile:
 Students and families who commit to a rigorous college and career preparatory
educational program. Students are accepted on an equal basis, without academic
entrance requirements.
 Students whose academic and personal interests benefit from a smaller school
environment with personalized attention.
 Students whose diversity reflects the community.
The School is expected to have a racial/ethnic population as well as an English Language
Learner (ELL) and Exceptional Student (ESE) population reflective of the surrounding
traditional public schools and community it will serve. We will seek a racially and ethnically
diverse student body and offer all our students excellence and equity in education. Every
applicant will be given equal opportunity in the admissions process.
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The School acknowledges that it will serve no more students than the enrollment capacity
identified in the application, without the approval from the Sponsor District School Board.
JSMA believes that virtually all students, not just a few, are capable of a demanding,
rigorous and relevant college preparatory high school education that prepares them to
succeed in college. With a clear and focused mission and as a school of choice, JSMA will
provide a clear choice for students and their families. JSMA is not a traditional public
middle school/high school; students will leave the School prepared for an increasingly
competitive global economy, confident that their skills will ensure success in college and
the work place.
The school’s population shall consist of the following:
 Any age/grade appropriate student residing within the school district.
 Sibling(s) of a student enrolled in the school will be given enrollment preference.
 Students who qualify for ESE and/or ESOL programs shall have equal opportunity of
being selected for enrollment.
 Any eligible student who submits a timely application, unless the number of
applications exceeds the capacity of the program, class grade level or building.
 Students may withdraw from the school at any time and enroll in another public
school in accordance with district policy.
The School and its learning methods are innovative and will serve the target population
responsibly based on the following:
 The School seeks to stimulate improvement in the public schools by being a model
for new and innovative educational practices that accelerate student achievement.
The unique design of the facility will allow for teacher collaboration.
 Innovative new approaches to learning make education meaningful for students.
This provides students with a quality choice education for a diverse population of
students and parents.
 Mastery of FL Standards through Project-Based Learning and the use of technology
will be a highlight of instruction.
 Project Based Learning (PBL) to maintain student readiness for the world after high
school, the School believes in building connections between content area learning
and real-world situations. Using PBL through thematic units of instruction, students
will participate in lessons with an open-ended challenge. Through inquiry, students
develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving abilities.
 The study and sharing of research-based instructional strategies to incorporate
critical thinking and differentiated instruction will be the primary focus.
 The Response to Intervention (RtI) model allows for effective identification of student
learning needs based upon Data. This key component of assessment and instruction
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is foundational for providing for the needs of all students, particularly those who are
below grade level. Early identification of learning deficiencies can provide for early
remedy, allowing the student to meet grade level expectations proficiently. This
process will be ongoing throughout the School as a means of identifying student
need and providing instruction accordingly. Assessment will be ongoing and
diagnostic in nature to provide teachers with the most crucial information needed to
adjust instruction and provide the appropriate immediate intensive intervention to
impact student achievement.
B. Provide the following projection for each year of proposed operation: the
grades that the school will serve, the projected number of students to be served
in each grade, the number of students expected in each class, and the total
number of students enrolled.
We intend to target 6 to 12th grade students who reside in the District. With current
economic limitations, we see that more students are likely to depart private education
and seek public opportunity. We perceive student population growth in public schools
without demonstrative housing growth as an outcome of our economic times. We
perceive a real need to address the potential for rising student population and limited
public school construction.
The numbers provided herein are estimates, and may fluctuate within each grade level
depending on student enrollment and/or attrition in the respective grade levels. The
projected student-to-teacher ratio shall be consistent with those required by Florida Law
as applicable to charter schools. We will maintain class size averages of twenty-two
(22) students per class in grades 6th to 8th and twenty-five (25) in grades 9th through
12th.
Grade Class Number of Classrooms/Students
Size
Year 1:
Year 2:
Year 3:
Year 4:
Year 5:
2016-17
2017-18
2018-19
2019-20
2020-21
6
22
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
7
22
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
8
22
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
6: 132
9
25
6: 150
6: 150
6: 150
6: 150
6: 150
10
25
6: 150
6: 150
6: 150
7: 150
11
25
6: 150
6: 150
7: 150
6: 150
6: 150
25
12
Total Students 24: 546
30: 696
36: 846
42: 996
42: 996
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JSMA will ensure 100% compliance with class size requirements by setting specific
limits on the maximum number of students that may be enrolled by grade and
classroom. If for any reason, there are more student applicants for the available student
spaces, the School shall conduct a random lottery.
C. Provide a description of how the student population projections were
developed.
The student projections were developed utilizing:
 The founding board’s prior experience
 Other similar schools in the state which enroll 1,000 students and have a waiting list
 Area survey
The School will be located in an area of high student density. The student projections were
developed utilizing the experience of other experienced charter school operators in the
State.
The School is expected to have a racial/ethnic population as well as an English Language
Learner (ELL) and Exceptional Student (ESE) population reflective of the surrounding
traditional public schools and community it will serve. The School will be located in an area
of high student density. The student projections were developed utilizing the experience of
other experienced charter school operators in the District.
The anticipated location for JSMA is the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical
Area.Lakeland and the area north of Davenport close to Interstate 4 and US 27, an area
that is experiencing explosive growth. A study of the surrounding area using Polk County
2012 population Data shows about 15.186 students, age 12-18 within the school’s
enrollment area. The experience of the Board provides the belief that the total student
population is adequate to support a projection of about 996 students by year five of the
school’s opening.
By 2020, the I-4 Interstate corridor shows the promise of 30% growth. By extension, there
will be about 4,550 new students (ages 12 to 18 years). The crossroads of the 16,000 acre
North Ridge of Polk County is the intersection of I-4 and US Highway 27, one of the busiest
interchanges on the I-4 corridor in Central Florida. The University of Florida's Bureau of
Economic and Business Research 2014 population estimates, the most current of several
population studies, shows Davenport has had the largest percentage of growth of the
county's 17 municipalities in the four years since the 2010 decennial census. Davenport's
population has increased by 12.5 percent. The heavy growth is continuing in the northern
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portion of the county, with the largest city, Lakeland, which crossed the 100,000 mark last
year, reaching a population of 100,728 in 2014.
The Polk County School District is moving forward with a project to build a new school
north of Interstate 4 in northeast Polk County in response to crowded schools and projected
growth in the area. While the projected school will accommodate about 1,100 elementary
and middle school seats, it does not consider high school student growth.
Metrostudy tracked an increase in new home closings in the Lakeland, FL market in
October 2014 year-over-year, and the percentage bump was greater than September 2014,
giving hints of improving market conditions. There was a 48.6% boost in new home
closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 13.3% climb year-over-year in
September. A total of 1,630 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in
October, up from 1,576 for the year that ended in September.
JSMA anticipates no barrier in achieving its target size. Target population projections are
based on the size and composition of the 6 to 12th student market within Polk County.
Demand is generally based on overall population densities for these grades, as well as the
demographic makeup of the district’s enrollment. Demand measurements considered
waitlists at other schools. Population statistics were compiled using the 2012 Census.
In May 2015, the Founding Board engaged a survey to determine public attitude regarding
bringing a public charter middle and high school to the Lakeland-Winter Haven-DavenportHaines City and the I4 Corridor community area. A market list was used from a communitybased market research firm which assists corporate, governmental, and non-profit
organizations gather and interpret data from the general public and special interest groups
about a wide range of issues. Statistically valid survey questions were developed from a
research base model moderated from more than 750 focus groups and 1500 stakeholder
meetings.
The survey initially focused upon a sample size of 135 respondents. This is a sample taken
from the area population. The survey method retained consistency in which a community
based phone list was leased and respondents were called one-by-one. If no person
answered the phone or an answering device answered, the very next number was called
until the sample size was reached. The phone list included children in the household. In
2013, there were about 71,000 households within the area. Of these 60.7% are households
with children, who would be most interested in the proposal. The survey population of 135
households represents about 3% of the focus households. For obvious reasons it is
impossible to survey those (roughly) 43,000 household. A sample of households living in
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the area offers the solution for this issue. A sample is a selection of respondents chosen in
such a way that they represent the total population as good as possible. However, instantly
a new question comes to mind: “How many households should the sample consist of?”
After all, a sample that is too big will lead to the waste of precious resources such as time
and money, while a sample that is too small will not allow one to gain reliable insights.
How large should the sample be? Should one survey 1%, 5%, 10%… of the households
within the area? There are two measures that affect the accurateness of the Data.
 First of all there is the margin of error (or confidence intervals). In short, this is
the positive and negative deviation one allows on the survey results for the sample.
Or, in other words, the deviation between the opinions of your respondents and the
opinion of the entire population. Suppose the margin of error is set at 5%. If 90% of
the survey respondents like the proposed public land use for a charter school, a 5%
margin of error means that you can be ‘sure’ that between 85% (90%-5) and 95%
(90%+5) of the entire population actually likes the proposal.
 Second there is the confidence level. This tells you how often the percentage of the
population that likes the proposal actually lies within the boundaries of the margin of
error. Following on the previous example, it tells how sure that between 85% and
95% of the population likes the proposal. Suppose one chose the 95% confidence
level – which is pretty much the standard in quantitative research – then in 95% of
the time between 85% and 95% of the population likes the proposal.
The survey was measured at a 95% confidence level +/- 8%, which articulates as 87% to
95% of the households liking the proposal. To gain a measurement of 99% confidence
level, 147 respondents would be needed. The sample size is sufficient for the confidence
level sought. Given that the survey was conducted telephonically, the response rate is
established at 100%.
Simply put, a reliable measuring instrument is one which gives you the same
measurements when you repeatedly measure the same unchanged objects or events. The
survey used a questioning method that is reliable as answers relied on yes/no opinion from
the respondents. Consistent methods enhance instrument reliability.
Construct validity of an operationalization (a measurement or a manipulation) is the extent
to which it really measures (or manipulates) what it claims to measure (or manipulate). For
purposes of examining the results of the survey’s poll, construct validity is determined by
examining face validity and content validity.
 Face Validity. A measurement (survey) has face validity when others agree that it
looks like it does measure or manipulate the construct of interest. The questions
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
used to conduct the survey appear to measure the scope of opinion regarding the
proposal of a military based STEM school. It is our opinion that the survey has face
validity.
Content Validity. Assume that we can detail the entire population of behavior (or
other things) that the measurement is supposed to capture. Our operationalization
will have content validity to the extent that the sample is representative of the
population. The previous calculations regarding the sample size and its confidence
level demonstrates content validity as the survey sample is representative the
population.
The random sample survey was used to assess public opinion regarding the proposal that
a new military and STEM focused free, college preparatory charter school for grades 6
through 12 is located within the North Polk area to improve the quality of education that is
available to residents. Essentially, the sample group was comprised of area residents.
There were several respondents who indicated they did not have children in the home.
These were most likely grandparents. The results for the random sample of 135
households have a 95% level of confidence with a precision of at least +/- 8%.
Key Survey Questions:
1. Prior to this call, did you know that there is a proposal to locate a free military themed
STEM middle and high charter school within the county? No responses = 100%.
2. Do you think it is a good idea for opening a free military themed STEM middle and high
charter school within the county? Yes responses = 87.41%.
3. Do you have any children in your household? Yes responses = 91.85%.
4. Do they currently attend public school (if yes to number 3)? Yes = 92.74%.
5. Would you consider sending them to a military STEM themed charter school if one
offering a college preparatory education were located in the area? Yes = 80%.
6. When your children are of age to attend middle or high school, would you consider
sending them to a military themed STEM charter school if one offering a college
preparatory education were located in the area (if no to number 5)? Yes = 88.89%.
The survey is found to be valid, reliable and statistically sufficient as a representation of
opinions in support of the charter school proposal.
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Section 3: Educational Program Design
A. Describe the school’s daily schedule and annual calendar, including the annual number of Days and
hours of instructional time.
B. Describe the proposed charter school’s educational program.
C. Describe the research base for the educational program.
D. Explain how the educational program aligns with the school’s mission.
E. Explain how the services the school will provide to the target population will help them attain the Next
Generation Sunshine State-Common Core Standards, as required by section 1002.33, F.S.
1
If the school intends to replicate an existing school design :
F. Provide evidence that the existing design has been effective and successful in raising student
achievement.
The effectiveness of an existing school design can be demonstrated by providing evidence of
organizational viability and the success of the academic program, including compliance with legal
requirements, as well as a direct relationship between program elements and student achievement.
G. Describe the applicant’s capacity to replicate an existing school design.
The capacity to replicate can be demonstrated by providing credible and well-defined strategies for
replication, including the financial and human resources necessary to replicate the design.
JSMA will aim to produce high academic achievement for all its learners. As such, the
statutory requirement of improving student learning and academic achievement will be met.
Our educational program is based on three (3) essential elements:
 A strong academic foundation implementing a challenging, FL Standards-based
college preparatory curriculum that will provide our students with opportunities to
make connections to their community and their world.
 Unique instructional methods including project-based learning and mastery of
subjects.
 Strong technology integration using a one student to one computer (1:1) learning
framework.
High academic achievement will be attained through a curriculum rooted in solid
educational research that is carefully aligned to the FL State Standards. It will be
complemented by the continuous assessment of data related to student performance,
analysis of student learning gains, and our dedicated and caring staff, which understands
that without student engagement, learning will not be successful. Our high school students
1
-
An applicant is considered to be replicating an “existing school design” if:
The proposed school is substantially similar overall to at least one school, and
The individuals and/or organization involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed school are deeply involved in the
operation of the similar school(s).
For example, a plan to implement a specific program, such as a widely-used curriculum, would not be categorized as the
replication of an existing school design.
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will be exposed to a strong college preparatory curriculum with the opportunity to gain
college course credit through dual-enrollment partnerships.
The educational philosophy of our School is rooted in the learning and development of the
whole student through academic opportunity. The School will provide a challenging
curriculum and set high expectations for students, all the while meeting their needs and
supporting their dreams and goals. To this end, the School is dedicated to the following:
 Instruction focused on mastery of the FL Standards
 Learning Plans developed and carried out for students performing below grade level
 Progress monitored through ongoing assessments
 Differentiated instruction tailored to students' needs as determined by data analysis
 Curriculum continually evaluated against student Data and modified as needed to
ensure effectiveness
 College-readiness at the forefront of instruction of FL Standards
 Real-world connections to life after high school through meaningful interactions with
local organizations, civic institutions, colleges and universities
The School will use an educational program and teaching/learning model that are based
upon the premise that high-need students have specialized needs, learn at different rates,
and have kinesthetic learning styles which cause many of these high need students to
struggle in high school, under perform, and potentially drop out. The School believes that
everyone deserves a quality education that meets his or her individual needs. These
students need an effective choice at success.
As such, the purpose of our School is to serve students by giving them an effective choice
at achieving a quality education, career preparation, and access to postsecondary
opportunities. Students will be provided with an individually-paced program set in a flexible
scheduling environment that is responsive to students' needs, and provides an educational
experience that leads to a high school diploma and college and career readiness. The
School’s innovative instructional program will contain the following elements, which
contribute to student learning and achievement.
 Technology-enhanced Teaching and Learning: Evidence-based instructional
software designed to deliver content requiring ongoing interaction between the
learner and the software.
 Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum: Curriculum aligned to FL Standards and focused
on making real-world connections relevant to students' lives.
 Individual Academic Plan: A comprehensive plan that serves as a "roadmap" to
student success.
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Ongoing Communication of Student Progress: A virtual portal for students, parents,
teachers, and administrators to track, monitor, and measure individual student
progress toward completion of the Individual Learning Plan.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Teaching and learning that help students
solve problems and think critically, and prepare them for college and career success.
21st Century Knowledge and Skills: Development of competencies to ensure
adequate preparation for success in the global workforce.
Teacher-Direct Instruction: Individual and small group instruction led by highly
qualified teachers that is focused on targeted intervention strategies as determined
by ongoing learning gap analyses.
Mastery-based Instruction: Instruction guided by individual student mastery rather
than seat time as the student works toward achieving state Standards. Seminars
with relevant learning opportunities for students to interact with experts in chosen
career fields during school sponsored career Days.
Positive Choices: Respect and relational learning activities focused on developing
respect for self and peers, as well as learning and building relationships with peers,
teachers, family, and community.
We subscribe to the perspectives of Sanford (1968), who wrote Where Colleges Fail: A
Study of Student as Person. Sanford set out to help restore the student to the center of
school programs. He proposed a holistic approach which focused on a balanced concept
of challenge and support. We believe that for student development to occur, the School’s
collective environment must balance the challenge and support presented to its students.
We recognize that too much of either challenge or support effectively stunts development.
This dual role of support and challenge is especially relevant to the holistic development of
our students where the goals extend beyond cognitive and skill development into values,
civic responsibility, and personal responsibility.
JSMA will be founded on six core values: respect, responsibility, integrity, courage,
curiosity and effort. Teachers and staff will be expected to model these core values in all
behaviors inside and outside the classroom. These core values will provide our students
with the opportunity for self‐improvement, individual growth, and character development.
 Teachers will define the rules and behavioral expectations for students.
 Students will be expected to encourage their peers to adhere to these values and
school administrators will manage student conduct according to these values.
 Conduct which disrupts learning or threatens to disrupt the operation of the School;
which interferes with the rights and privileges of students or other citizens; which
endangers the health, safety, or welfare of any person; or which damages property
will not be tolerated.
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To this end we will:
 Assess our students on their understanding of and adherence to the core values on
a quarterly basis and will receive both core values report cards and academic report
cards.
 Assess students on the core values. We will use a merit/demerit based system for
behavior. Students will be assessed upon the plus and minus report of their
collective behavior and the average grade will be calculated and appear on the core
values report card. Students also will evaluate their own performance as it pertains
to the core values.
 Reward, students who adhere to the core values of JSMA at the end of each grading
period.
We believe that positive character development is a crucial aspect of a quality school. We
believe that a school must cultivate a culture of character in order to be a successful
learning community. We find that many students will do the right thing because it is the
right thing—not for a prize or to avoid punishment. They expect fair treatment and will
thrive in an environment that is committed to teach right from wrong, justice, and the
importance of serving others. These are the core elements of our character development
program.
Initially our efforts will be focused on helping students behave appropriately in school, and
developing caring, trusting relationships among students and staff. Next we will continue to
focus on behavior and discipline, but also emphasize citizenship, service, and correlating
positive character to success in school and in life. For us, the formation of a virtuous
character is a central part of the educational experience for every student who attends
JSMA.
"Pedagogy of Confidence" will support instruction to build a student’s sense of personal
identity, abilities, and self-worth (Jackson, 2005). The instructional tools used in this
method of instruction have been proven highly effective in improving the achievement
levels of students in urban settings. Students learn to enhance their strengths rather than
focus on weaknesses and develop a sense of self that allows them to overcome obstacles
to learning. All of these elements woven together will lead to improved student learning and
academic achievement.
A. Describe the school’s daily schedule and annual calendar, including the
annual number of Days and hours of instructional time.
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1. Annual Calendar
The School's calendar will be consistent with the Sponsor's calendar for each year. The
School will follow the annual number of school days and minimum instructional minutes
required by law. JSMA will operate annually for 180 school days. The academic year will be
divided into two (2) semesters. Each semester will consist of four (4) marking periods. We
will follow the School District academic calendar, including, but not limited to beginning and
ending school dates, vacation dates, holiday dates, and teacher workshop dates.
2. Daily Schedule
The School will be open from 6:30 a.m. for students requiring morning supervision prior to
the start of school. The school also will host optional after care until 6 pm, for those parents
who arrive late. Breakfast will be provided to students arriving prior to 7:45 a.m. The
School’s course offerings will reflect Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) course
coding.
The school day will run from 8:00 to 3:40 each day (350 instructional minutes and 45
minutes for daily tutorial each day, 1,050 hours per year). This schedule allows for student
leadership to be present and visible throughout the day. This will also be efficient in terms
of transportation, security, and food service resources. The School’s instructional day will
accommodate 350 minutes, more than the minimum of 300 minutes required.
Our proposed academic day will consist of:
 Core Academics: 8:00 am-3:40 pm (Mon-Fri, except for scheduled District early
release days).
 After School Program: 3:40-6:00 pm (Mon-Fri).
 The school day has been lengthened in order to allow for 50-minute blocks of time
for instruction in language arts, math, science, physical education, and electives.
 Daily schedule Draft (Mon-Fri):
6:30-7:45 am:
8:00-8:50 am:
8:55-9:45 am:
9:50-10:40 am:
10:45 am-12:55 pm:
Early Day Programs/Breakfast
Class 1 (Leadership Lab)
Class 2
Class 3
Class 4A (class=50 min, lunch = 45 min, tutorial =
35 min)
Class 4B (lunch = 45 min, class=50 min, tutorial =
35 min)
Class 4C (tutorial = 35 min, class=50 min, lunch =
45 min)
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1:00-1:50 pm
1:55-2:45 pm
2:50-3:40 pm
3:40 pm:
3:40-6:00 pm:
Class 5
Class 6
Class 7
Dismissal
Extended Day programs
If the District offers an “early release” day to its students, the School will likewise offer an
“early release” day. The School will also follow the District’s teacher work day schedule.
The School’s Early Day Program will include an open study hall and learning lab
opportunities. Our wireless internet service and our computer labs, as our funding allows,
will be accessible to students on campus from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm, Monday-Friday, as we
are able to afford staffing. Students may do research or participate in our virtual
classrooms for remediation, tutoring, course make-up or specialized non-recurring
electives.
The School’s academic program will include an Extended Day Program beginning at 3:40
pm on Monday - Thursday, at which each student, depending upon his or her Individual
Academic Plan (IAP), will receive individual and/or small group tutoring, as funds are
available, in the core academic subjects (with a ratio of no more than 1 tutor to 12 students)
or in state assessment preparation (for those students who have not yet taken and/or
passed FL Assessments, and/or End of Course assessment). In addition to tutoring, the
Extended Day Program will allow for students to attain non-academic goals by taking
additional noncore curriculum classes (electives) and participating in guided enrichment or
extracurricular activities and sports.
Although required, at a minimum, to offer the same number of minutes of instruction set
forth by Florida Statute, many educators agree that students must spend more time in a
rich learning environment if schools are going to make a meaningful difference in academic
achievement. We believe that a longer school day, with optional before and after school
activities, will enable a richer educational experience.
B. Describe the proposed charter school’s educational program.
The focus of the School's educational program is to provide students with a strong
developmental academic program built within a military-modeled concept. Both students
and faculty members will wear uniforms, and students will be expected to provide full
military courtesy to their teachers who will be given an honorary rank. The School will be
organized along military authority lines, including the standard use of companies, platoons
and squads with student leaders at each level. Peer leadership will be evident in every
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classroom and school activity. The High School JROTC Students will serve as visible,
active role-models for the Middle School students. Through peer leadership, students will
learn discipline, self- confidence, and the rewards of self-directed goal attainment.
JSMA places academics as its highest priority. We will seek to provide an educational
opportunity unmatched by any other program. Our structure and academic excellence can
provide our students with the proper educational foundation which will allow them
opportunities to achieve their very best academic work. Our system of awards and
recognition, coupled with unique methods to assist and help our students, will celebrate
and promote academic excellence throughout our School.
The educational focus of the School will use scientifically researched instructional practices
by highly qualified instructors to meet the needs of all learning styles and abilities. High
quality curriculum materials and the latest technologies will be used towards achievement
of this goal. Mastery of the FL Standards through Project-Based Learning and the high use
of technology will be a highlight of instruction. This coupling allows students to not only
learn, but more importantly apply, the required benchmarks into real-world situations. This
enhances critical-thinking and decision-making skills while bringing students' attention to
what lies ahead of high school, be it college, technical education, military, or a career, in
addition to the rigorous core and elective curriculum to be described later.
Technology integration will occur throughout the School and its operations. Our School will
integrate the use and understanding of technology throughout our college preparatory
curriculum in every classroom, providing students with a competitive advantage in college
and beyond. Our plan includes 1:1 learning where every student has access to a laptop
computer for work at School and at home. Our tools include cloud based and tablet
computing, traditional desktops, and both wired/fixed and wireless/mobile thin clients.
Additional tools will include interactive white boards, a digital curriculum, web-based
student information and instructional improvement systems, and digital assessment tools.
Students will take advanced technology courses in a modern computing environment that
supports server-based computing as well as web-based applications.
Our educational program is specifically designed to support our mission to provide middle
and high school students the highest quality college preparatory education possible,
incorporating the principles of leadership, discipline, and honor in a military school
environment. Teachers will support students as they develop a strong academic
foundation, critical thinking skills, and the moral qualities and habits of mind that are
needed to be good citizens. Key elements of our educational program will include:
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Joint Services Military Academy Educational Program Design
Key Elements
1. Military Model
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Cadet Development Model
Thayer method
Leadership and Personal Improvement
2. Strong Academic
Foundation
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Challenging, Standards-Based College
Preparatory Curriculum
Individual Academic Plan (IAP)
Research-Based Instructional Strategies
Comprehensive Assessments
STEM focus
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Digital Model of Instruction
Digital Curriculum
Digital Tools
Infrastructure
High-Tech Classrooms
3. Technology Integration
1. Military Model
We will use the military school model for our students to promote good habits, selfdiscipline, good character and a willingness to improve one self. We have observed that
children who grow up with permissive, overindulgent parents tend to lack accountability. A
military culture, however, is a culture of accountability. Everyone is taught to face mistakes
without fearing blame or repercussions, and to view missteps as learning opportunities. As
a result, behaviors and bad habits, such as refusing to accept blame, are unlearned or
never learned at all.
a. Student Development Model
JSMA will improve student learning through a system that is currently provided for students
at the twenty-six (26) private military schools and about ten (10) charter schools in the
United States. This is a system which puts emphasis on becoming a whole person by
taking responsibility for one’s own actions. These schools use a student development
model, consistent with our mission, which is built upon Academics, Character, and Self
Discipline. What is unique is our Joint focus with opportunities to participate in US Army,
Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard JROTC.
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Students will be rewarded with cadet rank and position within a Corps of Cadets. For a
student to be promoted he must be passing all classes with a certain grade point average
(GPA) that is rank specific, complete required hours of community service per promotion,
receive a favorable evaluation from his/her cadet chain of command, and receive a
favorable evaluation from his/her teachers. The School will reward student achievement
with public, whole school ceremonies. The ideal is to always reward positive behavior every
chance possible.
Under a military academy system, students will learn quickly that negative behavior or
failure to perform academically will result in immediate consequences through the student
discipline system. Students who fail a class will be placed in afternoon study halls with a
teacher. Students unprepared for class or failing to do assignments will be placed in this
same study hall. Students who carry a failing grade for more than four (4) weeks will be
placed in Saturday study halls.
All students will be rewarded with ribbons, medals and accoutrements for their uniforms
when positive behavior has occurred. For example, students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
will receive a silver star to wear on their uniforms; 3.5 to 3.9 will wear a gold star. A student
with a 4.0 will receive a star with a wreath. This is in addition to tabs and medals for making
the Honor Roll and other recognized lists. While some may scoff that a $1.00 medal or
cloth rank badges (which we will get free from the JROTC respective Cadet Commands)
will improve student learning. Every year, nearly 21,000 student students in the United
States are likewise positively motivated. Our program closely mirrors the U.S. Service
Academy model, which about 17,000 university aged students attend annually to be
ultimately commissioned in our armed, coast guard, and maritime forces.
b. The Thayer Method
At the center of JSMA learning is the Thayer method. Under Major Silvanus Thayer, the
foundations of what is now called the Thayer method was founded at West Point in 1833. It
is still in use at the United States Military Academy today. Key elements of the Thayer
method include: mathematics class up to three hours a day, six days a week; and daily
recitations. For the first hour of class, the students prepare their work at the boards while
two students at a time 'recite' or present to the instructor the lesson they had prepared the
night before. The instructor then asks questions of these two to test their knowledge of the
material. Emphasis is placed on detailed and accurate explanations of concepts, as well as
on the methods used in the solution.
For the remainder of the class, students work new problems at the chalkboard. The amount
of actual teaching is teacher dependent; however, the recitation system and amount of
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board work leaves little time for lecturing. It is clearly problem based learning. The first
systematic use of chalkboards in the nation was at West Point.
At JSMA, we will modify the Thayer method:
 The chalkboard method can be simplified with presentations via SmartBoard
projection of student solutions. Our intent is to have students present their work to
the rest of the class. Called 'briefing' their solutions, presentations will be in the style
of a military briefing, giving complete details and using exact scholarly language and
military bearing (giving a military briefing is an integral part of a military officer's job).
 Students will be expected to come to class prepared to recite on the topic of
instruction for that day.
 Emphasis will be placed on detailed and accurate explanations of concepts as well
as on the methods used in the solution.
To this end, our students will be given detailed course guides before the start of the
semester with lesson objectives for every lesson, along with the reading and problems to
be attempted before each class meeting. Each lesson also includes suggested computer
and or calculator exercises, and abstract or conceptual questions. Technology will be an
integral part of our core curriculum.
In class, students will be given board sheets with problems related to the reading to be
worked at the boards or at their desks, either individually or in teams. Board sheets will
cover key points from that day's lesson and organize them in such a way as to develop the
concept or topic in a logical manner. At the end of each board sheet, we will include a
problem that serves as a transition into the next day’s material and will provide continuity of
the subject matter.
As students work at the boards or at desks, the teacher will walk around and look at their
work, making individual comments or posing deeper questions. If several students are
having similar problems, the teacher will give a mini-lecture to the whole class to clarify a
point. If a student has done a problem in an interesting way, or an important point can be
made, the teacher may make a comment and direct the rest of the class' attention to that
student's board work. This gives the teacher a chance to step back and watch the students
working at the boards, learning from each other, and to talk with them on an individual
basis. At various times throughout the class, the teacher will ask a student to brief his or
her board. Questions from the class are then directed to the student briefing.
Group work will also be an integral part of all our courses. We will encourage cooperative
learning. The board sheets will make group work very convenient. Grading will be done as
much as possible in a daily basis. Along with the traditional tests, finals, and quizzes, group
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and individual projects and problem sets will be assigned in all the core courses. In
addition, students will keep a portfolio, in which they keep and organize all their graded
assignments. They will also write reflective summaries on topics assigned by the instructor.
The teacher can use the reflective summaries to have the students describe their
experiences in the course and to do some goal setting.
Having the students read and work problems prior to class gives them ownership of the
material. They learn how to learn on their own and how to read text and to rely on
themselves for their level of understanding. If they prepare, they do not come into class
cold, and they usually have questions ready. This allows them to see connections between
topics more easily while working the board problems.
The recitation or briefing process enables the students to practice explaining material in a
precise and coherent manner. This also gives them practice in the art of public speaking.
By having to explain their work, they must understand it at a deeper level than just going
through the steps. The drawback is that without care, the best or most outgoing students
will be called on to brief more often, while quite or shy students may slip through the
cracks. One of our objectives will be to make sure that all students brief regularly, and no
one becomes the 'how not to do this problem' example.
By working board problems every day, students are actively engaged in their learning. They
cannot sit back passively as in a traditional lecture setting; they must engage the material
every lesson. This also enables the instructor to watch students work problems on a daily
basis and give feedback. One can learn their thinking process as well as their work ethic.
By working in groups in class, they learn by sharing their ideas with others, and that this
leads to success. A lot of learning takes place when one is responsible for explaining
something to a classmate. However, when students work in the same groups at the boards,
one student may end up doing most of the work. To address this, teachers will have the
other student brief.
Finally, the Thayer method involves all modes of learning: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.
This makes for more efficient and lasting learning.
c. Leadership and Personal Improvement
Our leadership and personal improvement concept focuses on goal setting and planning.
We will teach our students that goals are dreams with deadlines. We will help them
establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of goals. When
students measure progress, they stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the
exhilaration of achievement. When they identify goals that are most important to them,
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students begin to figure out ways to make them come true. They develop the attitudes,
abilities, skills, and capacity to reach them. Our program will be unlike any other currently
available.
At JSMA, student academic performance is paramount and inextricably linked to nurturing
children to strong character and a sense of civic responsibility. We believe that positive
character development is a crucial aspect of a quality school. We believe that a school
must cultivate a culture of character in order to be a successful learning community.
JSMA will be founded on six core values: respect, responsibility, integrity, courage,
curiosity and effort. Teachers and staff will be expected to model these core values in all
behaviors inside and outside the classroom. These core values will provide our students
with the opportunity for self‐improvement, individual growth, and character development.
 Teachers will define the rules and behavioral expectations for students.
 Students will be expected to encourage their peers to adhere to these values and
school administrators will manage student conduct according to these values.
 Conduct which disrupts learning or threatens to disrupt the operation of the School;
which interferes with the rights and privileges of students or other citizens; which
endangers the health, safety, or welfare of any person; or which damages property
will not be tolerated.
To this end we will:
 Assess our students on their understanding of and adherence to the core values on
a quarterly basis and will receive both core values report cards and academic report
cards.
 Assess students on the core values. We will use a merit/demerit based system for
behavior. Students will be assessed upon the plus and minus report of their
collective behavior and the average grade will be calculated and appear on the core
values report card. Students also will evaluate their own performance as it pertains
to the core values.
 Reward, students who adhere to the core values of JSMA at the end of each grading
period.
 Review the core values in homeroom every day. Teachers will mentor, model, and
guide the students on the values.
Our students will be made to feel like adults who have many opportunities to learn and
apply real-life skills, and become confident and competent leaders in the process. The
program can effectively train students to come out of their shell of confusion and decide
what they want to do with their life. It can help make them self-reliant and strong. It can also
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imbue in them qualities of leadership, determination, and a winning attitude that makes
them stand apart from conventional students. As compared to conventional schools, we will
compel our students to follow rules and meticulously complete their assignments. To that
end, our students will not be allowed to have a scope of incomplete assignments and it will
then become a habit not to neglect any academic assignments.
Our students will have a positive peer atmosphere and little opportunity to stray away. For
them, it can become more of an issue of honor than just simple code of conduct. With such
a structured environment in place, it will greatly help under-motivated youth to seek
purpose. When at last such students compete in the world with other students, they will
tend to stand out and defy all odds and surprise others with their talented and structured
approach to problems with a greater sense of responsibility. Our School's unique military
subculture can help develop students by enabling them to accrue various forms of social
capital and by developing their civility, leadership skills, personal discipline, and propensity
for education. We believe that our graduates will possess enhanced life skills and
increased chances to achieve upward mobility.
2. Strong Academic Foundation
The military school model will emphasize a strong academic foundation.
a. Challenging, Standards-Based College Preparatory Curriculum
The educational program at our school is a challenging, standards-based college
preparatory curriculum that will provide our students with opportunities to make connections
to their community and their world. The curriculum will be structured to meet FL Standards
for grades 6 through 12. In support of this standards-based curriculum, we will chose
textbooks from the state-adopted list of texts and/or District lists of texts. Close
collaboration among staff members will support teaching across the curriculum to enable
our students to make connections across course content areas.
At JSMA, all students are enrolled in core and elective classes that are aligned with FL
Standards. Within this framework, teachers develop curriculum strategies and techniques
to achieve expected school wide learning results. Teachers will be dedicated to continually
assessing the curriculum in relation to the standards. Department meetings will be used as
a time to align the JSMA curriculum ever more effectively with State Standards to ensure
that all standards are met in all subject areas. Textbooks, supplementary materials, and
overall curriculum decisions will be made with standards alignment as a top priority.
The core curriculum will align with the FL Standards. The benchmarks and objectives of
the courses offered will be in alignment with the course descriptions provided by the Florida
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Department of Education. The Core Subjects will include Language Arts/English, Science,
Biology, Social Studies, Intensive Reading, Mathematics, Intensive Mathematics, Algebra I,
Honors Algebra, Geometry, and physical education. Enrichment courses (World languages,
arts, physical education, JROTC, and technology) will be developed so that applicable FL
State Standards objectives are met but also expanded upon to meet the particular goals
and needs of students attending JSMA.
The School's curriculum plan is described in detail in Section 4: Curriculum Plan.
b. Individual Academic Plans (IAP)
JSMA believes that every student deserves a strong education, with curriculum and goals
individualized to specific learning patterns and objectives. We believe that each student is
central to teaching and learning, because each student has his/her own set of learning
needs. JSMA is dedicated to its mission of providing middle and high school students with
the highest quality education possible by creating individualized goals and objectives for all
students with an Individual Academic Plan (IAP). The IAP will be developed by each JSMA
student, with the help of his or her teachers, academic advisor, and school staff. It will be
geared specifically to the student’s needs and goals and will map out each student’s course
through JSMA and beyond.
c. Research-Based Instructional Strategies
JSMA understands that learning is a complex skill, which mandates that a person properly
demonstrate the skill, with attention to the many variations that implementing the skill may
require. In addition, acquiring a complex skill demands extensive practice during which time
one learns the skill at a level which may be replicated with little conscious thought. In
addition to the Thayer Method of instruction, there are many research-based instructional
strategies which may be effectively used in the classroom to positively impact learning.
The School's instructional plan relies on the educational principles of Piaget’s Process of
Cognitive Development to determine stages of the cognitive development, the Nine
Instructional Strategies research of Marzano (2001), Bloom’s Hierarchy of Thinking, the
tool used for educational planning focused on "teaching for understanding" advocated by
Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins in their Understanding by Design (1998) and its emphasis
on "backward design", and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to establish and encourage critical
thinking, especially at higher levels. Intrinsic to this educational plan is the evidence that
students who find their curriculum relevant, and have the opportunity to become active
learners, become personally invested in their own education.
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Teachers will employ four planning questions that frame the nine instructional strategies
and provide a guide for effective classroom curriculum design:
 What will students learn?
 Which strategies will provide evidence of student learning?
 Which strategies will help students acquire and integrate learning?
 Which strategies will help students practice, review, and apply learning?
Having teachers reflect on classroom practices, procedures and instructional strategies that
they implement in their classroom is a technique that can assist them in raising the quality
of their classroom instruction. The four planning questions help guide the teacher in making
good decisions about when it is appropriate to use certain strategies.
The effective and systematic use of Marzano's nine research-based instructional strategies
in correlation with the research of Jay McTighe provides students with a unique opportunity
for their learning to be academically rigorous and challenging, yet innovative and focused
on individual student learning needs.
(1) Instructional Approaches
JSMA will enhance the instruction in all disciplines by effectively executing one or more of
the following instructional approaches. Teachers will be supported through professional
development to ensure successful implementation of the method(s) listed:
 Traditional Direct Instruction takes into account that students actively seek meaning
from learning situations. If students are left on their own to discover concepts without
the additional benefit of explicit, teacher-centered instruction, they are likely to
construct inaccurate meanings from their experiences. In order to enhance the
power of Direct Instruction it is necessary to specify objectives in details, create
strategies, determine the necessary pre-skills, put skills in sequence, plan the
presentation, select examples, specify, practice, and review.
 Modeling and Guided Practice are strategies that correlate with Direct Instruction.
Modeling consists of performing a task in front of the student - thinking aloud while
you are doing it- in order to show students how to do the task or use the strategy.
Guided Practice consists of leading students through a strategy or task, asking for
input and providing direction along the way. This follows the model “I do, we do, you
do”. The final aspect of Direct Instruction includes various learning strategies in
order for each child to reach their potential.
 Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) instructional model guides students toward
using different skills, strategies and procedures independently. The student will
assume more responsibility with less support from the teacher. Lessons are created
as to ensure student success. When students are struggling with a concept in the
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classroom, they do not need more teacher modeling, what they really need is
guidance and support to meet high expectations. Teachers meet with needs based
groups which are created based on the feedback from formative assessment with
the aim for students to progress toward completing the outcome or skill
independently.
Project Based Instruction is a critical component to effective instruction. While direct
instruction is an indispensable teaching strategy, research indicates that another
vital aspect of pre-adolescent and adolescent learning is through an interactive and
active, hands-on process. Because students are naturally creative and curious,
hands-on projects will be integrated throughout the curriculum to reinforce and
enrich the students’ learning experiences. Individual teachers may employ
simulations, independent study, projects and other approaches. Teachers will
emphasize learning activities that are long-term, student-centered and integrated
with real world issues and practices. Four advantages to using project-based
learning include:
o Adaptive: Project-based learning activities allow students with different learning
speeds and learning styles to acquire skills in a timelier manner with more
appropriateness to their need.
o Open-ended: Students generally learn skills when they are necessary to
complete a task. Project- based learning helps students to develop their skills as
they recognize the need to learn the skill, rather than simply learning procedures
by rote memory.
o Supportive: Project-based learning provides students with the opportunity to
teach each other, thereby increasing the education resources available to each
student.
o Team Learning: This type of environment encourages student cooperation and
provides a cooperative framework for solving problems and learning skills, rather
than having students compete against one another for their grades.
Although a wide range of administrative, curricular, policy, and funding initiatives are
required (Slavin, Karweit,& Madden, 1989), ultimately it is the classroom teacher who has
the task of instructing at-risk students. The pedagogical attitudes and instructional
competencies of classroom teachers are critically related to the educational success of
socially disadvantaged students (Scales, 1992). Recognizing the importance of the teacher
in this process, the School has identified multiple principles of instruction inherent in our
programs which are known to be educationally effective and necessary in the promotion of
school success for at-risk students:
 Maintain high expectations.
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o Teachers' expectations influence students’ behavior, which in turn affects
student achievement (Cooper & Tom, 1984). JSMA’s military model
promotes high standards and expectations which are communicated daily by
all teachers and staff.
o This is inherent in a military organization in which high standards are
constantly and consistently reinforced. Teachers must enter the instructional
relationship with a belief that all students can and will learn. Lowering
academic standards and providing students with easy assignments set the
stage for reduced student achievement (Taylor & Reeves, 1993).
Make use of praise; minimize criticism.
o Praise is more than feedback for a correct response or appropriate behavior;
praise involves statements that "express positive teacher affect (for example,
surprise, delight, excitement) and/or places the student's behavior in context
by giving information about its value or its implications about the student's
status" (Brophy, 1981, p. 6).
o Praising at-risk students simply to encourage them is destructive and
ineffective. Students recognize unearned teacher praise as indicative of their
low achievement or typically inappropriate behavior (Meier, 1992). Although
teachers might be tempted to praise at-risk learners frequently, students do
not always require praise to master basic curriculum; rather, they require
specific positive comments regarding the appropriateness of their behavior
and academic progress (Evans, Evans, Gable, Miller, & Schmid, 1993).
o Again, the military model does not needlessly lavish praise. Students quickly
find out that hard work and good behavior is recognized just as the U.S. Army
recognizes sustained superior performance with promotions and/or
decorations.
Capitalize on learning technologies.
o We have witnessed major developments in learning technologies, including
multimedia technologies that involve the integration of video, audio, and text
from multiple sources, all controlled by a computer (Haines & Robertson,
1996). Advances in this area have the potential to provide at-risk learners,
their parents, and their teachers the support necessary for increased student
success.
o In schools, learning technologies are primarily in the form of computerassisted instruction (CAI) and computer-managed instruction (CMI). In CAI,
the computer is the medium of instruction (e.g., drill and practice, games,
problem-solving, simulation, tutorials), whereas in CMI, the computer assists
the teacher with a wide range of tasks related to the effective delivery of
instruction (e.g., administering and marking tests, prescribing instructional
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sequences based on test results, keeping detailed records of student
progress). Kulik, Bangert, and Williams (1983) concluded that the use of CMI
contributed as much or more than CAI to student achievement gains in
school. Our technology based instruction provides a venue that has proven to
help at-risk students improve in learning.
Balance direct instruction with challenging activities.
o The instruction of disadvantaged learners has been dominated by a category
of teaching approaches referred to as direct instruction (Knapp et al., 1990).
These approaches are characterized by teacher-controlled instruction,
extensive opportunities for student practice, frequent teacher corrective
feedback, careful structuring of academic tasks so that content is introduced
in small manageable steps, rapid pacing, and whole group or homogeneous
group formats (Choate, 1993).
o Although there is evidence that direct instruction enhances the acquisition of
certain types of skill (Enright & Choate, 1993), such an instructional approach
has been criticized in its application to at-risk learners (Means & Knapp,
1991). In the classroom, direct instruction manifests itself in teacher-directed
drill on phonics, vocabulary, spelling, and basic mathematics facts; such drill
has been found to limit at-risk students' experiences with higher order thinking
skills (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 1989).
o JSMA recognizes the importance of challenging school activities and
assignments and insists that its teachers balance instruction between direct
instruction and integrated, challenging, student-directed school activities. The
School has found that there are benefits and shortcomings with direct
instruction. JSMA will apply it judiciously and as part of a larger repertoire of
pedagogical strategies.
Teach learning strategies.
o Learning strategies are techniques, principles, and rules that facilitate the
acquisition, manipulation, integration, storage, and retrieval of information
across situations and settings (Mulcahy, 1991). Those strategies include
selecting and organizing information, rehearsing material to be learned,
relating new material to information in memory, and enhancing the
meaningfulness of material (Schunk, 1996).
o JSMA will provide instruction in specific thinking, learning, and study
strategies. The School believes that this is helpful for most students but
particularly critical for learners at risk. Effective learners appear to
spontaneously develop strategies necessary to learn effectively; however, for
many at-risk students learning strategies do not emerge spontaneously. Thus,
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specific learning strategy instruction is required (Mulcahy, Short, & Andrews,
1991).
o A wide range of thinking, learning, and study strategies exist, including firstletter mnemonics, note taking, self-questioning, positive self-talk, advance
organizers, chunking or grouping of information. We will teach the SQ4R
technique (survey, question, read, reflect, recite, review), library skills,
organizational skills, DISSECT (discover the context, isolate the prefix,
separate the suffix, say the stem, examine the stem, check with someone, try
the dictionary), and overlearning. Our research shows that such learning
strategies have proved beneficial for many students, particularly students at
risk of school failure (Knapp & Shields, 1990).
Use Examples and demonstrations.
o Teacher models and demonstrations of skill performance are fundamental to the
instructional process (Meier, 1992), especially when they relate to students'
everyday lives (Borich, 1992). Particularly for learners at risk, concrete and
familiar examples and objects are preferable to abstraction and unfamiliarity
(Choate, 1993). Demonstrations and hands-on manipulatives are imperative in
mathematics (Resnick et al., 1991), while practical experiments develop skills
and clarify concepts in science (Collins et al., 1991).
o Negative examples complement examples and are equally important in
emphasizing the distinctiveness of examples and in solidifying learning.
Demonstrations that model critical thought processes enhance student learning
and performance (Mulcahy, 1991). Students should be guided to think about
thinking and to share thinking techniques with peers: "How did you know that
answer was incorrect?" The actual content of examples and demonstrations
influences learning. Many skills and concepts can be taught within the context of
high-interest lessons, real-life content, and meaningful literature.
o An advantage of the 1:1 digital learning platform is the expansive video library
and its ability to demonstrate concepts.
Actively involve the students.
o Students who are actively engaged in lessons learn better and faster than
students who are instructionally inactive (Freiberg & Driscoll, 1992). Students,
particularly students at risk, learn skills and develop concepts by doing rather
than by merely watching or listening (Choate, 1993). Hands-on, interactive
approaches to lesson delivery appeal to the senses and provide a reason to
learn; active learning promotes attention, increases on-task behavior, and
decreases incidence of negative behavior (Borich, 1992).
o JSMA teachers will involve students in planning and evaluating learning
experiences so as to increase motivation, interest, and self-esteem as the
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students develop a sense of classroom contribution and personal empowerment.
We use innovative ways to demonstrate mastery, by asking students to assess
their own mastery of lesson content, and by allowing students to select learning
and practice activities from a variety of options.
o Our student leadership system allows student leaders to be active participants in
developing, designing and conducting military based, whole school activities,
such as drill, ceremonies and parades.
Encourage cooperative learning.
o Cooperative learning methods share the idea that students work together to learn
and are responsible for one another's learning as well as for their own (Slavin,
1991). Group rewards, individual accountability, and equal opportunities for
success are essential to basic skills achievement (Sharan & Shachar, 1988). In
implementing cooperative strategies for at-risk learners, teachers must show
students how to use the group format effectively (Choate, 1993).
o JSMA’s military format ensures each student's role is clarified, with clear
sequence of activities, and the interactions of group members are monitored and
evaluated. JSMA teachers are ultimately responsible for carefully selecting group
members and ensuring that all of the students learn successfully.
o Cooperative instructional approaches have been found to enhance student
learning, to improve intergroup relations, and to improve the functioning and
integration of mainstreamed students with special needs (Johnson & Johnson,
1987). Positive achievement effects of such approaches are about the same for
all grade levels (2-12), in all subjects, and in urban, rural, and suburban schools.
Thus, cooperative learning strategies are powerful instructional tools for all
teachers of learners at risk (Slavin, 1990).
(2) Project-Based Learning (PBL)
PBL is a natural fit to our School, given our student-centered approach to learning. We
believe that connections between subjects and content areas must be demonstrated for
students, so that they can see the interdependence of subjects and knowledge, and that
this will prepare them for their future. Using our thematic units of instruction, we believe we
can implement the essential elements of PBL (Buck Institute for Education,
http://www.bie.org):
 Lessons based on open-ended driving question or challenge
 Essential content and skills
 Inquiry-based learning
 Critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication
 Student voice and choice
 Teacher and student feedback
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Publicly presented product or performance
Our use of project-based learning (PBL) will allow us to emphasize learning activities that
are long-term, interdisciplinary, student-centered, and integrated with real world issues and
practices. One immediate benefit of PBL is the unique way that it can motivate students by
engaging them in their own learning. PBL provides opportunities for students to pursue
their own interests and questions, and make decisions about how they will find answers
and solve problems.
PBL also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Students apply and integrate
the content of different subject areas. It helps make learning relevant and useful to
students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom, addressing real world
concerns, and developing real world skills. Many of the skills learned through PBL are
those desired by today’s employer, including the ability to work well with others, make
thoughtful decisions, take initiative, and solve complex problems independently. In this
way, PBL will also be used to develop student readiness for the world after high school.
(3) Differentiating Instruction
Encouraging the use of innovative learning methods will become a vital part of providing an
educational program that truly meets the needs of all our students. All learners possess
areas of strength and areas of weakness and therefore, they express and received
knowledge in many ways. Effective teachers understand the need to differentiate
instruction for all students in order for learning to occur.
Differentiation between students' academic skill sets are meant to be respected and
learned. Understanding a student’s strongest area of intelligence, learning style, and/or
learning preference is one way teachers can positively impact a student’s ability to learn.
The role of the teacher is to observe what their students are doing, figure out why they are
doing it that way, and to give them the right kind and amount of information and feedback
so they may solidify their learning and perform what they have been taught. Students must
be able to make sense of what is taught if they are going to apply their learning in other
situations.
Differentiated Instruction will be used because not all students are alike. Based on this
knowledge, differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning so that
students have multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas. The
model of differentiated instruction requires teachers to be flexible in their approach to
teaching and adjusting the curriculum and presentation of information to learners rather
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than expecting students to modify themselves for the curriculum. Differentiated Instruction
methods include, but are not limited to:
 Providing a variety of assignments within units of instruction, realizing that students
do not all learn in the same way.
 Recognizing the variance in learning styles of students.
 Allowing students to choose, with teacher direction, the route to their learning.
 Providing opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency in an area they
already know and allowing them to move forward.
 Offering tiered lessons, of varying degrees of difficulty, dealing with similar content.
(4) Integrating Instructional Strategies
Our plan for instruction is to use a combination of station rotation, Thayer, project-based
learning, and direct interactive lecture in our instructional practices. Instructional methods
will be defined in daily lesson plans and planning calendars.
Station Rotation is a rotation model in which the students rotate on a fixed schedule or at
the teacher’s discretion among classroom-based learning modalities within a given course
or subject (e.g., math). The rotation includes at least one station for online learning. Other
stations might include activities such as small-group or full-class instruction, group projects,
individual tutoring, and pencil-and-paper assignments. Some implementations involve the
entire class alternating among activities together, whereas others divide the class into small
group or one-by-one rotations.
The Thayer Method for daily recitation works here because individual or group problem
solutions can be briefed by students to small groups or the entire class.
In order to create and provide rigorous and engaging content for our students, teachers will
integrate the following regardless of the instructional approach being implemented.
 Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction will be used as a model for lesson and unit
development. Introduced in 1969, Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction have been used
by curriculum developers and teachers as a model for high quality instructional design.
 Marzano ‘s instructional strategies (on line at http://www.ntuaft.com/TISE/ResearchBased%20Instructional%20Strategies/marzanos%209%20strategies.pdf).
 Levels 4, 5, and 6 of Bloom's taxonomy (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation).
Effective teachers who utilize multiple instructional strategies are providing their students
with an educational environment that focuses on innovative learning methods for the
application of what they have learned. JSMA will use a variety of differentiated instructional
methods to (a) ensure mastery of appropriate skills, ideas, and knowledge for all students,
regardless of race, gender, or the family’s socioeconomic background, and (b) give
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students the ability to transfer these skills to new applications. Furthermore we will use the
recommendations of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National
Science Education Standards regarding those innovative ideas, research findings, and
research-based instructional approaches to be utilized in the teaching and learning of these
fields.
d. Assessment
The School’s planning team will develop a comprehensive assessment program to include
assessments in the core academic areas. This program will include both nationally normed
assessment tests and school-designed assessment tools, and an efficient process to
review assessment results and to make instructional decisions based upon data analysis.
The planning team will also consult with an outside expert to review and validate the
alignment of all these elements of the curriculum with the State Standards. The School's
assessment plan is described in detail in Section 5: Student Performance, Assessment
and Evaluation.
3. Technology Integration
Technology integration will occur throughout the School and its operations. Our School will
integrate the use and understanding of technology throughout our college preparatory
curriculum in every classroom, providing students with a competitive advantage in college
and beyond. Our plan includes 1:1 learning where every student has access to a laptop
computer for work at School and at home. Our tools include cloud based and tablet
computing, traditional desktops, and both wired/fixed and wireless/mobile thin clients.
Additional tools will include interactive white boards, a digital curriculum, web-based
student information and instructional improvement systems, and digital assessment tools.
Students will take advanced technology courses in a modern computing environment that
supports server-based computing as well as web-based applications.
Why technology is so important (Source: educ.nation.com):
 98% middle/high students own a digital device
 27% of students say their laptop is their most important tool in the backpack
 38% of students say they can’t go ten (10) minutes without using a digital device
 75% of students say they would not be able to study without technology
 46% of students say they are more likely to do their homework if it is on their digital
device
 80% of students use digital devices to write or research for class homework
The effective use of technology in the classrooms will be a highlight of instruction. The
coupling of high quality curriculum and unique instructional methods with state-of-the-art
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technology will allow students to not only learn, but more importantly, apply the required
benchmarks into real-world situations. This enhances critical-thinking and decision-making
skills to support students' success in the rigorous core and elective curriculum thus
ensuring that all students are college and/or career-ready for whatever lies ahead of high
school, be it college, technical education, military, or a career.
a. Digital Model of Instruction
Effective technology combined with great teachers and engaged students, has the potential
to transform the world of learning. Digital learning gives JSMA teachers more opportunities
to personalize education, utilize data and content more efficiently, and be more innovative
in their teaching to ensure all students meet today’s challenging standards. This approach
allows for a personalized learning experience and allows teacher to reach all students
through differentiation. Students will receive direct instruction, as well as work individually
and in small groups with certified teachers to discuss course content, remediate and
relearn difficult concepts, and review/revise work.
Instructional practices that maximize the use of digital curriculum programs and computer
enabled learning strategies will be implemented to personalize the learning environment.
This engaging digital learning environment will allow JSMA to provide 24x7 access to
learning to students and teachers, in and out of school.
Within the classroom, teachers will use interactive texts, videos, animations, and other
features in digital instructional programs to provide more dynamic, personalized lessons
with assessment tools that determine, in real-time, each student’s level of performance.
This information will help teachers quickly identify academic strengths and weaknesses.
With this knowledge at their fingertips, teachers can easily differentiate instruction to
immediately address knowledge gaps and misconceptions, and provide additional practice
on a skill.
b. Digital Program
JSMA’s digital program will provide the basis of learning for core and elective courses.
Pearson’s Personalized Learning Environment consists of its Instructional Improvement
System (IIS), adaptive and/or virtual curriculum programs, and internet/mobile tools. The
1:1 Learning Platform will serve as the School’s primary eTextbook resource.
(1) Digital Learning Environment
Pearson’s SuccessNet is a complete K–12, online teaching and learning environment.
SuccessNet allows teachers, students, parents, and administrators the ability to access
resources for hundreds of Pearson programs – including online student and teacher texts,
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purposeful, interactive digital lessons—designed to achieve deliberate and specific learning
goals, reporting software, and lesson planners.
(2) Digital Electives
Pearson’s GradPoint will serve as the School’s primary elective resource. The GradPoint
Learning Platform integrates the curriculum materials, lesson planning, electronic testing
with “clickers,” homework and grade submissions. With GradPoint, the best content meets
the only learning platform designed specifically to meet the needs of grades K-12.
GradPoint's digital content is delivered in a simple and intuitive learning platform. This open
and flexible platform allows for a more effective and enriching learning experience for
teachers and students.
 Flexibility. There are many diverse needs when implementing a virtual and blended
learning solution. Pearson allows the teacher to adjust the platform settings, roles
and permissions at any time during our implementation to meet demand.
 No installation. With no hardware, software server, or network to install, a unique
web address is provided so users can access the program via web-browser. For
security, each user is given a separate username and password, and teachers and
students can be quickly imported into the system.
 Student-progress reports. As our School and teachers are held more accountable
than ever for improved student outcomes, monitoring overall student learning
progress is most important. Pearson will help instruction stay student-centered at all
times with a dashboard that continuously monitors students' progress throughout a
course. This dashboard will advise teachers when students complete coursework,
require help, or need additional assignments as soon as they log in. Dashboard
results will be used when students do at home work or teacher directed remediation
in the classroom.
 Differentiated learning. Pearson's learning platform allows for a prescriptive learning
path that correlates assessment results with course materials for differentiated
learning. The analytics pinpoint learning difficulties, measure students' academic
strengths, and help design learning interventions based on areas of weakness.
Teachers also retain full discretion to make assignments to individuals or an entire
class from off-line worksheets to entire lessons.
 Communication tools. Pearson includes several synchronous and asynchronous
communication tools to facilitate and engage students throughout the learning
experience. Students have access to threaded discussion boards for effective
collaboration, email capabilities, and chat functionality for private messaging. There
is also the ability to communicate with students' parents to keep everyone focused
on student success.
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Assessment tools. Pearson contains both formative and summative assessments
that can be automatically graded and entered into the Gradebook. As students are
instructed, they are given periodic reviews and practice opportunities to prove they
are mastering lesson objectives. At the end of every lesson, students take an
assessment to prove understanding and mastery of the objective.
Automatic Grading. With Pearson, teachers get more time to focus on students'
individual needs and not on administrative tasks. The majority of student work in
Pearson is automatically graded and entered into the Gradebook. Data is stored for
reporting purposes and there are several display options to personalize Gradebook
configurations.
Text-to-Speech. Pearson's intuitive text-to-speech application allows students to
hear a selected passage or an entire lesson to ensure understanding. Students can
highlight a certain area or review specific excerpts in the lesson with a voice that is
clear at a pace they choose. This feature benefits the auditory learners, students
who have difficulty reading on a screen, those that need help pronouncing complex
words or phrases, and English Language Learners.
Real-time updates. As part of the Pearson support subscription, students always
have access to the most up-to-date curriculum, and teachers won't have to waste
time making changes or corrections to materials. Pearson’s support team handles
the updates, so teachers can focus on our students' success.
Data Management and Reporting. Pearson offers flexible reporting capabilities to
monitor student progress, student enrollment information, student data, and time
spent in the solution. Student grades, progress, and more can easily be reviewed on
demand.
c. Digital Tools
Technology in our classrooms will include a 1:1 laptop initiative, interactive white boards, a
digital curriculum, and web-based student information and instructional improvement
systems.
(1) Laptop Initiative
The purpose of the JSMA laptop initiative is to ignite a passion for learning, by inspiring all
our students to become self-motivated, enthusiastic participants in their education. Our goal
is for all students, regardless of income or family background, to have access to a laptop
computer for use at both school and home. We believe that individual ownership will help
promote concepts of self-motivation and enthusiastic participation by providing all with
access to a powerful technological tool to enhance learning. Since computer use is
required in nearly all post-secondary programs and professions, a natural and constant
technological access in high school will better prepare students.
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For us the common phrasing of “one to one” does not necessarily refer to students and
devices, rather the connections and capabilities enabled by them – “one to the world”
seems to better way of describe our initiative. This initiative is not about computers; it's
about students. Through this initiative, the School will have:
 Engaged student learners,
 Improved student learning,
 Project and Project based learning, and
 Equity of access.
The single most important benefit of 1:1 is clear: 1:1 technology allows teachers to
differentiate both in terms of how they teach and how the students are expected to
demonstrate their learning. The success of our 1:1 laptop program rests in the preparation
and teaching strategies of the teacher in the classroom. Highly effective teachers know
that the more time spent preparing, before involving students, the better the classroom
learning environment becomes. Successful classroom teachers consider everything they
do, from lesson plans to online curriculum, as an open draft. They critically examine every
student learning experience − looking for ways to improve.
For many students in the school, laptops devices will extend learning and access to many
instructional resources. For example, using Chromebooks combined with Google Apps for
Education, the School can more easily implement a project-based classroom environment
where students have control of their own learning and are given choices in how they
approach a project. Students can work collaboratively, communicating with others outside
of the classroom, and publishing to audiences around the world. As such, students can be
self-directed learners and will be able to work collaboratively across the web. Students are
able to become teachers and teachers can let go of control and learn from students.
Netbook distribution will take place at the start of the school year. The Samsung
Chromebook or Microsoft Surface Pro (32GB) with Touch Keyboard Cover or similar
devices will be chosen for our middle and high school students. All are lightweight and
durable with extended battery life to last the school day. They both have a reasonable
price and have been budgeted within the Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) loan.
Students will be responsible for the care of the Netbook and for attention during Digital Use
classes provided at School opening. Students must ensure that the Netbook is not
damaged and is used in a responsible manner. All of our Netbooks will include accidental
damage and extended warranty coverage beginning at the opening of the school year.
Parents will not be billed for repair costs due to accidental spills or drops. The Netbooks
will also be LoJack or similarly equipped to help with recovery of lost or stolen Netbooks.
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(2) Interactive White Boards
Classroom instruction will be enhanced with interactive white board digital presentations
and “clicker” immediate response test items to support student and group projects, hands
on science labs, and our digital. Mimeo or Smartboards will be installed as the interactive
white boards in all classrooms.
Interactive White Boards (IWB) will be used along with sound instructional strategies. Our
teachers will be able to put a variety of strategies and techniques into practice using IWBs
by considering the characteristics of the learning context including students’ needs and
interests, and technical facilities. We have found several IWB instructional strategies that
have a positive effect on student learning. They are:
 Highlighting, coloring, or annotating important content (Türel & Demirli, 2010)
 Flipping back and forth to review previous content providing reviewing techniques
better understanding (Levy, 2002; Smith et al., 2005)
 Using pictures for discussion and brainstorming, collaborative writing, shared
reading, peer-teaching, and collaborative problem solving (BECTA, 2006)
 Hiding and reveal, drag and drop, and matching items activities (Türel, 2010)
 Observing different media—essential for visual learners (Bell, 2002)
 Touching and feeling the material—good for tactile learners (Bell, 2002)
 Accommodating lower ability and special needs—zoom feature for visually impaired
students (Smith, 2008)
 Presenting ideas and reflections about the course content
 Finding hidden parts of a picture with spotlight or screen-shade (Beauchamp &
Parkinson, 2005)
 Capturing screenshots from web pages synchronously and manipulating them
 Correcting mistakes in the materials (Beauchamp & Parkinson, 2005)
 Playing games (Smith et al., 2005)
The benefits of IWB technology include:
 Enhanced social interaction (Türel & Demirli, 2010)
 Reformed learning environments—teachers may facilitate student’s involvement,
interaction, and collaboration (Smith et al., 2005)
 Draw the learners’ attention (Türel, 2010)
 Facilitated learning and remembering using visual media (Türel, 2010).
 Enlarged computer touch screen
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Interactions can be recorded and saved—Acrobat (PDF) document, PowerPoint
slides, or record whole lecture as a movie file (great for absent students to use to
make up work)
Using with voting systems, document cameras, and electronic microscopes (Bell,
2002)
Research shows that students exhibited higher participation ratios in the environment with
shared displays. Moreover, they easily viewed and compared the answers of all their
partners on a shared display. They demonstrated more equal participation rates than those
in environments with only PCs and networks. When a large-format shared display is used,
students are able to share information by simply pointing to on-screen text, figures and
diagrams. The shared displays enable students to interact with one another and refer to
related information naturally. These findings are supported by research (Liu and Kao,
2007).
In our classrooms, both laptop computers (PCs) and shared displays have a role to play.
The PCs facilitate coordination and provide mobility for a new scenario of collaborative
learning. Our large shared displays create a workspace for student groups to cooperate
and work on complex tasks.
(3) Web-based Student/Student Information System (SIS)
Pearson's PowerSchool will be used as the School’s student/student information system
(SIS). PowerSchool will enable faculty and administrators to make timely decisions that
impact student performance while creating a collaborative environment for parents,
teachers, and students. PowerSchool is the fastest growing web-based SIS, serving 10
million students in all fifty (50) states and around the globe. It can import data to AS400,
SMS, TERMS, FOCUS, GENISIS and other student data management systems. We will
also use the Sponsor’s student data base management and grade reporting systems.
PowerSchool, PowerTeacher, and ReportWorks are part of a collection of powerful
application software services; costs are included within the PowerSchool budget line. All
are tools, and content that help to manage curriculum and instruction, testing and
assessment, student performance, and other administrative information. In choosing
PowerSchool, simple collaboration tools will be used that are fully integrated to enable
teachers, parents, administrators, and students to productively work together to improve
student achievement.
PowerSchool's integrated solution will allow access to current and historical data without
leaving the system or affecting other users. PowerSchool includes literally thousands of
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pages and functions, the vast majority of which can be accessed in three clicks—or fewer—
through a system of smartly organized menus. PowerSchool's web-based PowerTeacher
and ReportWorks tools offer a completely web-based environment that requires zero
installation.
PowerSchool's classroom management tool, PowerTeacher, is the fastest-growing webbased teacher toolset available. Designed by teachers for teachers, PowerTeacher's
award-winning software gives us an innovative, easy-to-use solution to manage
individualized instruction in our classrooms.
PowerSchool is N-Tier web based architecture that combines WC2 standards, Java J2EE
technologies, and Web 2.0 functionality and uses a centralized Oracle database as the
heart of the application development code that supports VMware, failover, load balancing,
and disaster recovery configurations. PowerSchool is the most open and configurable SIS
solution available today. Through Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) compliance, an
open platform, and the ability to share enhancements with other users, PowerSchool will
allow JSMA to tailor the best solution for our needs.
PowerSchool is the most open and configurable SIS solution available today. Through SIF
compliance, an open platform, and the ability to share enhancements with other users,
PowerSchool will allow JSMA to tailor the best solution for our needs.
(4) Web-based Instructional Improvement System
SchoolNet for PowerSchool (SN4PS) will be used for our Instructional Improvement
System (IIS). As defined by the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology
(CELT):
Instructional improvement/learning management systems (IIS/LMS) should help
educators correlate student assessment data to standards-based performance
measures. An LMS does just that: educators create, access, and manage banks of
test items, as well as catalogue and use other evaluation methodologies (e.g.,
holistic scoring, teacher observable assessment, portfolio/authentic assessment,
etc.), to assess desired student proficiencies (CELT, 2010, p. 1,
http://www.celtcorp.com/resources/1/IIS%20Overview.pdf).
Together PowerSchool and SN4PS create a connected learning environment that will align
student data reporting requirements with a course management system. This integrated
system creates a richer and more seamless experience for all of our stakeholders. SN4PS
is the next-generation Instructional Improvement System (IIS): a single, configurable
platform with modular functionality that consolidates and supports all of our programs and
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initiatives related to student learning—a singular system for improving instruction and
driving student achievement integrated to the PowerSchool student information system.
SN4PS focuses on personalizing the learning experience for students:
 Student reporting tools consolidate assessment results with data pulled from
PowerSchool to analyze student progress and make instructional decisions.
 Assessment tools let users create and upload items and tests, align them to
standards, and then deliver them online or on paper.
 Instruction tools help teachers better manage their classes with lesson plan creation
and sharing tools, and access to aligned curricular resources.
 Pearson's provides a key platform for helping us meet the goals of the Race To The
Top (RTTT) program by:
o Increasing student achievement
o Increasing teacher efficiency and effectiveness through data driven instruction
o Enhancing central office productivity
o Enhancing compliance with NCLB adequate yearly progress (AYP) reporting
and assessment standards requirements
o Communicating more continuously with parents and students
The Student Reporting tools are organized into two components: the Dashboard—which
puts key performance data at our fingertips for regular updates and early warnings; and the
Report Builder—which provides the flexibility for deeper data analysis.
The Dashboard contains our most important and frequently used data, conveniently
organized into three groups: Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Benchmark Tests, and the
Report Bank. The KPI Dashboard can easily review our KPIs—and our progress towards
their associated goals—every time we log in. With a single click administrators and
teachers will be able to drill down to the class and student-level data to pinpoint areas of
interest and take action.
The Dashboard also consolidates benchmark tests into an easily referenced list of all
current- year assessments, providing fast access to this critical and timely information on
student learning. Data can be filtered by grade, subject, or test date to narrow the list and
more quickly locate the assessments of interest. The Report Bank of the Dashboard serves
as a repository for all published reports. Whenever users generate a custom or preformatted report, they will have the option to save the report. Administrators can then
publish these reports to the Report Bank, making them available to other users. The
Report Builder offers a custom report generation workflow for maximum flexibility and a
host of pre-designed reports for fast access to commonly used data.
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(5) Whole School Technology Integration
The School’s technology plan has been carefully thought out and will allow it to both meet
and exceed the needs of our staff and students while remaining modular enough to allow
for future expansion at any time. Through the use of Pearson’s SchoolNet program,
Microsoft’s Active Directory architecture, and a Virtual Private Network, the School will be
able to link all of activities regardless of distance. Further, this setup will allow the School a
very robust security environment for the student devices.
 Stage 1: The School will implement an Active Directory system with Windows Server
2012 R2. This newer version is necessary for the plan to work. The hardware
server (paid by the developer) will be installed with Server 2012. The School will
one primary school domain and also create sub-domains for each department or
activity, to include a separate on for all student devices. These will be managed all
from a central location where these servers are located. Using Windows Azure, the
School will link Server 2012 to Windows Intune so that all portable and desk top
devices are able to communicate with the Active Directory system and are more
secure. Windows Intune offers more security options than most other programs.
Windows Azure is a program that is necessary to facilitate communication between
Intune and Server 2012.
 Stage 2: After creating the domains, the School will link the networks across thirdparty cabling. This is needed for at-home use. The School will establish a Virtual
Private Network (VPN). This will be accomplished with Cisco system hardware.
The School will host its own unique VPN that can ensure a secure connection
between the School and its users. With the right firewall system in place, this is a
very simple procedure to set up, literally requiring only a few commands. The
School will further use these firewall systems to manage the laptop devices, even
while they are outside of the school. By connecting them manually to our VPN, and
forcing users into our filtering systems as a Proxy, we can ensure that we are
filtering what students and other authorized School users are doing online. This is
an option only available in Windows 8.1.
 Stage 3: This involves the integration of the School’s network with PowerSchool and
SchoolNet. This also will be a quick setup, in which the Active Directory Federated
Services will be used to federate logins to work with PowerSchool. This means that
logins will port over to PowerSchool and allow a single login across the programs.
These will further port over to Pearson’s SuccessNet, Pearson’s SuccessNet+, and
Realize through the EdCloud. The School will, unfortunately, need to manually input
users for GradPoint, Digits, and SuccessMaker as the infrastructure is not finished
on Pearson’s end to allow for automated user creation. The ADFS will also allow the
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party applications to enable the School to create a one-stop shop in Pearson’s
PowerSchool platform.
(6) Technology-Based Assessment Tools
The technology-based assessment tools are organized around two primary functions:
content management and test administration. Any educator can create new assessment
items, using a familiar, Microsoft Word-like editor and an advanced equation editor.
Explanations can be written for each answer choice, and art and images can be easily
uploaded. Every item and passage created in the system can be tagged with meta-data,
such as difficulty levels, standards alignment, and lexiles. Administrators can also assign
various permission levels to users that govern item sharing.
To create an assessment, the manual test creation process provides total control over
almost every detail, from items to alignment to layout to administration. To support existing
paper tests, users can create answer-key-only assessments. Users have flexible access to
the entire bank of items and passages. They can quickly find items using the keyword
search, or streamlined browsing functionality that can filter the item bank by grade, subject,
standard, and author or item type. Similar functionality helps users easily locate tests,
making sharing assessments easier and more practical. The Express Test option allows
educators to create standards-based assessments fully aligned to lesson plans and
instructional materials in a matter of minutes. Scheduling of assessments is permissionbased, reflecting the authority levels of different user types. Users can select test window
dates and times, randomize test questions, create a secure online test tunnel, and utilize a
host of other scheduling tools.
Pearson’s online test administration uses a simple, graphics-rich, and intuitive interface that
presents questions one-at-a-time with clear navigation functionality. The Proctor Dashboard
allows teachers to monitor the progress of students during test administration. We can also
administer assessments with student instance response systems such as the EInstruction
clickers, allowing them to better utilize their resources and investments while reducing the
burden on shared computer labs. For paper and pencil administration, assessments can be
exported as either Microsoft Word or PDF files for printing. Plain-paper and OMR scanning
is fully supported. ScanIt, provides real time results available within the system as soon as
answer sheets are scanned.
d. Hardware and Network Infrastructure
In these challenging economic times, school leadership needs to be innovative and
thoughtful about how funds are allocated to support a 1:1 Learning Initiative. The 1:1
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Learning Initiative budget line-item supports follow-on years’ technology sustainability. All
start-up hardware, software and cloud based curriculum site licenses will be funded through
an FF&E loan. The property is unsecured and becomes owned by the School at opening.
Hardware replacement and upgrades have been considered and projected, too. While a
grant funding stream will be sought, the technology plan is not dependent on it.
One advantage of an effective use of technology is that financial savings might be realized
from new work process efficiencies, expenses that might or should be eliminated, and
revenues that can reasonably be recaptured as a result of the new 1:1 Learning
environment. To this end, the findings and recommendations within Project RED have been
studied. Our analysis and Project RED’s recommendations revealed anticipated 1:1
Learning Initiative redundant costs and hardware replacement annual cost of (all costs are
actual costs as provided by vendors):
Services/Year
Student #
Prof Dev Tech
Digital Curriculum
Core Classes
Electives
ELL Supplemental
School Info Services
PowerSchool
Total
$ Per Student
Devices Cost
Total
Total per Student
2016-17
546
$35,060
2017-18
696
$10,870
2018-19
846
$11,400
2019-20
996
$11,400
2020-21
996
$11,400
$44,226
$26,750
$7,731
$60,750
$24,812
$60,750
$24,812
$60,750
$24,812
$60,750
$24,812
$11,680
$125,447
$229
$163,800
$289,247 *
$529
$6,370
$102,802
$147
$51,000 **
$153,802
$220
$6,370
$103,332
$122
$51,000 **
$154,332
$182
$6,370
$103,332
$103
$51,000 **
$154,332
$154
$6,370
$103,332
$103
$12,000 **
$115,332
$115
* Paid for with FF&E loan.
**Includes needed new devices and replacement devices for damage/losses.
This is substantial in savings, as our start-up cost for curriculum costs via traditional
teaching and using hardback textbooks was calculated at $490 per pupil in the opening
year and a sustaining cost of about $245 per student per year. The biggest issue is that
our students will have internet connectivity with a personal device. Curriculum materials are
updated annually rather than every 5 to 7 years in a traditional hard text book replacement
cycle. There is an expectation of cost reductions due to new, less-expensive hardware,
device, and curriculum options. We have assurances that our technology hardware and
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Pearson’s 1:1 on-line curriculum items will be funded our first year with our FF&E loan (See
Attached Letter).
We also have calculated classroom sets of textbooks. Since we are purchasing the 1:1
curriculum, the cost of hard bound texts have been severely reduced to $10.50 per core
course book (actual Pearson pricing) and $30 per student for expendable supplements.
Our projected costs are:
Services/Year
Student #
# Core Books
Supplements
Books Cost
Total
2016-17
546
2,184
$16,380
$39,312
$55,692
2017-18
696
600
$18,000
$6,300
$24,300
2018-19
846
600
$25,380
$6,300
$31,680
2019-20
996
600
$29,880
$6,300
$35,180
2020-21
996
$29,880
$29,880
An effective 1:1 Learning environment is broader than just installing hardware. However,
well-researched hardware and network infrastructure choices have been made that match
our digital curriculum strategy, perform reliably, and have adequate pre-loaded software. A
key factor for successful 1:1 Learning is an adequate and secure wireless capacity to
support a mature 1:1 Learning implementation. For example, the Chief Technology Officer
for one of the nation’s model 1:1 Learning programs—Mooresville Graded School District—
recommends 100 MB as the minimum bandwidth for any school implementing a 1:1
Learning initiative, ideally with a 500GB connection to the Internet. It is necessary to
monitor the infrastructure in order to know where additional support may be required and to
make sure that the maximum levels of the network are not exceeded. JSMA will be
equipped with sufficient bandwidth using fiber optics.
6. JSMA High Tech Classrooms
The proposed technology repertoire will provide useable learning resources for the teacher,
student, parent, administrators, or others that will allow learning objectives to be assembled
and combined with learning content, linked to assessments, placed in a class assignment,
and included in online homework and group assignments. The teacher will have user rights
to modify and supplement by editing or otherwise modify resources to meet their particular
teaching and student learning needs.
Digital learning resources will include:
 Lesson plans: Lesson plans guide the instruction. Lesson plans will be tied to the FL
State Standards and provide a high degree of detail and documentation.
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







Digital courses: Through SuccessNet and GradPoint, a collection of different
learning resources are organized to form the curriculum materials for an entire class.
GradPoint can be used for credit recovery, electives (when few students seek a
class, but hiring a teacher is prohibitive) and subject, benchmark, or topic
remediation. All work is supervised by an JSMA teacher. Students will use the
Internet to access the prescribed educational resources, complete their
assignments, interact with their teacher and their peers on a regular and frequent
basis, and complete assessments to validate learning.
Group/collaborative activities: Group activities will bring students together to focus
on problems assigned by the teacher. Virtual activities will leverage message
boards, online chats, synchronous whiteboards, video, etc.
Classroom presentation materials: It takes special design and planning for
educational materials to take advantage of white boards, smart boards, and other
classroom technology.
Formative assessments: A collection of questions that are embedded in instruction
can be used by our teachers to create tests, including a variety of content and
different formats (e.g., multiple choice, true false, essay, performance-based, etc.).
Online assessments offer the opportunity to introduce multi-media and unique
question types. Scoring will be completed by the teacher or can be automated for
online assessments.
Assignments: A learning task for students includes instructions, learning objects, and
references to other materials. Assignments will be graded and tracked in the grade
book system, and the work will be able to be completed in the classroom, lab, or at
home, normally online or on paper.
Interim assessments: These assessments given at specified intervals throughout the
school year are designed to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills relative to a
specific set of academic standards, and produce results that can be aggregated
(e.g., by course, class or grade level) in order to inform teachers and administrators.
Books and eBooks: Whether they are open-source or commercial, books and
eBooks are produced to be a reference to a course of study and standards-based to
ensure alignment with curriculum. Students will have access to an on-line library
with thousands of reference and fiction titles.
Custom books and course packs: Using Pearson resources will allow us to create
unique versions of any textbook (adding or subtracting chapters, changing content,
etc). Course packs aggregate materials from a variety of commercial and open
sources. Our teachers also will have access to a classroom set of print textbooks as
back-up and for student use.
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Within each class, teachers will use interactive texts, videos, animations and other features
in digital instructional programs to provide more dynamic, personalized lessons with
assessment tools that determine in real-time each student’s level of performance to help
teachers quickly identify academic strengths and weaknesses. In the earlier years of
education technology, there was a misplaced assumption that fun graphics, animations,
and advanced technology were needed to keep the attention of 21 st century students.
While technologies in our classrooms help to involve students and develop fundamental
skills, we believe that the true opportunity for learning is in the accessibility of information,
not in the devices themselves.
The single most important benefit of 1:1 is clear: 1:1 technology allows teachers to
differentiate both in terms of how they teach and how the students are expected to
demonstrate their learning.

Differentiation of Content Delivery:
In traditional instruction, not involving the use of technology, teaching and learning
appeared undifferentiated. Teachers lecture to entire classes and focus on reaching
the middle group. Students were expected to learn the material presented at
whatever pace was determined by the teacher or by the curriculum. The teacher
was the one primary source of information in the room, resource materials or (often
out-of-date) textbooks were frequently the only other information sources available.
With 1:1 technology, content delivery can be differentiated, particularly through
video. Videos can be paused and viewed multiple times by students for whom the
traditional lecture moves too quickly. Far better still, however, the entire model of
content delivery through lecture-based learning can be supplemented by student
research and project-based learning.

Differentiation of Assignments
Previously, without the help of technology, the undifferentiated content delivery
described earlier was followed by one undifferentiated assignment which was given
to all students, again without taking into account those students’ individual needs.
With 1:1 technology, assignments can be differentiated or even individualized
through the use of adaptive technology that gets harder or easier based on previous
student responses.
This can be particularly effective in math. The proposed digital program, GradPoint,
allows our students to access practice problems for hundreds of specific topics by
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grade level with each set of practice problems constantly changing based on
previous answers the student has submitted.
Where individual computing devices succeed as private learning spaces, our
interactive whiteboards will excel as public learning spaces. When paired with our
Pearson cloud based curriculum, individual computing devices make transitions
between individual or small-group learning and whole-class learning smooth. Used
together, our interactive whiteboards and student PCs will enhance our classrooms
by defining public, semi-public, and personal work space. In whole-class, smallgroup, and individual learning, students will use laptops to work individually or in
pairs. They can then turn to the interactive whiteboard as a metaphorical public
gathering place. The result is flexible learning using a combination of large- and
small-format interactive work surfaces to define both personal and public work
surfaces and allow students to fluidly transition between them.
Information can be input directly on interactive whiteboards using an on-screen or
regular keyboard, finger, or pen tool. The class gains a large public display and the
full functionality of the interactive whiteboard computer. Graetz (2006) recommends
a large public screen, along with classroom management software, to manage offtask computing. With the proposed classroom management software, teachers can
view thumbnails of student screens and instantly broadcast any student’s screen to
the interactive whiteboard. These are methods, Graetz argues, that motivate
students to use their laptops for academic purposes.
The greatest benefit of using personal computing devices and interactive
whiteboards together is that of improved collaboration. Using personal devices in
combination with a shared display, such as an interactive whiteboard, can greatly
improve collaboration between students, compared to handheld use alone. We look
to defining a design of classrooms that incorporates personal workspace and public
workspace.
For 1:1 computing and self-directed and small-group learning, it is hard to think of a
better option than personal computing devices. But classrooms still need a central
site for sharing, evaluating, and discussing ideas and information. Teachers still
need to hold the attention of the class in order to facilitate learning. With laptop
computers defining personal learning space, and interactive whiteboards defining
public learning space within the classroom, our students and teachers have the best
of both worlds.
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As previously stated, our classrooms will make use of individual PCs for personal
work, research, and partner work. The interactive white board will allow for larger
group work, facilitate whole class discussion, and allow for highly interactive formal
presentations. The use of project-based learning (PBL) will allow classrooms to shift
away from the traditional practices of short, isolated, teacher-centered lessons to
emphasize learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary, student-centered,
and integrated with real world issues and practices. One immediate benefit of PBL is
the unique way that it can motivate students by engaging them in their own learning.
PBL will provide opportunities for students to pursue their own interests and
questions, and make decisions about how they will find answers and solve
problems.
PBL also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Students will apply and
integrate the content of different subject areas. It helps make learning relevant and
useful to students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom,
addressing real world concerns, and developing real world skills. Many of the skills
learned through PBL are those desired by today’s employer, including the ability to
work well with others, make thoughtful decisions, take initiative, and solve complex
problems independently.

Assessments in a 1:1 Environment
Pearson’s 1:1 imbedded assessments and the use of MAP or SAT-10 will help
simplify the assessment process by being tied directly to the FL Standards. Lesson
plans, homework, projects, and assessments all are directly related to State
Standards. They can document student progress with regard to the State Standards
and provide quick student/class/school information and results to help drive
instructional decisions.
Again, textbooks, lesson plans, schedules, and data are internet, cloud based. Full
classroom hard bound texts will be available as backup. Teachers will be able to
access lesson plans and class presentations via their own device. Presentations
can be modified and supplemented from Pearson based library, internet items,
Safari Montage and JSMA proprietary e-library items.
The teacher device will be wirelessly connected with the SmartBoard to facilitate
instruction. Through EdModo, the teacher can communicate with safely with
students and parents, assign and receive homework and import grades to the
electronic grade book. Testing can be conducted via clickers and results seamlessly
imported to the grade book. Students and parents can access grades anytime.
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Many innovative schools have installed specialized data systems to support their
programs for assessment or curriculum or intervention or reporting and analysis, and
so on. Research finds that many have a wide array of stand-alone data systems
that—while effective within their separate domains—communicate poorly with one
another, creating a morass of access points, interfaces, passwords, and workflows
that complicate the lives of teachers. As a brand new organization, JSMA is
thoughtfully and deliberately planning and adopting, from the outset, a fully
functional, yet streamlined, integrated digital environment.
4. The Classroom Story
A typical classroom session might be observed as follows:
Students will be given detailed course guides before the start of the semester with lesson
objectives for every lesson, along with the reading and problems to be attempted before
each class meeting. Each lesson will also include suggested computer and or calculator
exercises, and abstract or conceptual questions. Technology will be an integral part of our
core curricula, with all standards aligned with the FL Standards.
Students come into the classroom and stand at their seats. They remain at attention until
directed by the teacher to “take seats.” Administrative instructions are provided and the
instructor accepts questions about the previous evening’s homework. The teacher then
discusses the “big question” and objectives for the day’s work. The teacher may administer
a “clicker” based pre-test to determine student understanding of the day’s
standard/benchmark. This will allow the teacher to quickly prioritize instruction.
As others work independently, an opportunity is provided, in accordance with the Thayer
method, for two students at a time to 'recite' or present to the instructor the lesson they had
prepared the night before. The instructor then asks questions of these two to test their
knowledge of the material. Having the students read and work problems prior to class gives
them ownership of the material. They learn how to learn on their own and how to read text
and to rely on themselves for their level of understanding. If they prepare, they do not come
into class cold, and they usually have questions ready. This allows them to see connections
between topics more easily while working the board problems.
The recitation or briefing process enables the students to practice explaining material in a
precise and coherent manner. This also gives them practice in the art of public speaking.
By having to explain their work, they must understand it at a deeper level than just going
through the steps. The drawback is that without care, the best or most outgoing students
will be called on to brief more often, while quite or shy students may slip through the
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cracks. One of our objectives will be to make sure that all students brief regularly, and no
one becomes the 'how not to do this problem' example.
While these students are presenting their recitations, the other students are working on a
small group project or activity, working on-line to complete an assignment, or collaborating
on a white board problem. The white board problem will be used as an instructional
teaching moment for the entire class as all will be focused on the student explanation of the
solution and the instructor’s critique with follow up questions. The students have a pass
around digital screen which is tied to the SmartBoard. This device can be used to allow
individual student participation in a posed problem from his/her seat and allow for whole
class viewing.
Some students will be able to quietly access GradPoint or Edmentum to conduct
benchmark remediation and reinforcement. One may see multiple activity centers
punctuated with full class and small group instruction. The intent is for continuous
engagement with multiple reinforcement opportunities. We envision that there will be many
opportunities for recitation and grading moments.
Station Rotation will also be used. Students will rotate on a fixed schedule or at the
teacher’s discretion among classroom-based learning modalities. Each station will allow for
learning moments and recitation. This is also called Performance Oriented Learning (POL).
Students have a chance to take a small pre-test at each station to access level/ability. The
student is given a chance to learn a concept through a short demonstration or by following
printed instructions and completing a hands-on task or problem. Students can be matched
with a team mate too. Prior to rotation, the student is tested to ensure understanding by
doing the activity or problem to standard. This method is experiential learning at its finest.
The Pearson materials allow for direct instruction, group activities, and project based
learning. In class, students will be given board sheets with problems related to the reading
to be worked at the boards or at their desks, either individually or in teams. Board sheets
can be pencil/paper drills or conducted digitally on the students’ own devices. They will
cover key points from that day's lesson and organize them in such a way as to develop the
concept or topic in a logical manner. At the end of each board sheet, the teacher will
include a problem that serves as a transition into the next day’s material and will provide
continuity of the subject matter.
By working board problems every day, students are actively engaged in their learning. They
cannot sit back passively as in a traditional lecture setting; they must engage the material
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every lesson. This also enables the instructor to watch students work problems on a daily
basis and give feedback. One can learn their thinking process as well as their work ethic.
As students work at the boards or at desks, the teacher will walk around and look at their
work, making individual comments or posing deeper questions. If several students are
having similar problems, the teacher will give a mini-lecture to the small group or whole
class to clarify a point. If a student has done a problem in an interesting way, or an
important point can be made, the teacher may make a comment and direct the rest of the
class' attention to that student's board work. This gives the teacher a chance to step back
and watch the students working at the boards, learning from each other, and to talk with
them on an individual basis. At various times throughout the class, the teacher will ask a
student to brief his or her board. Questions from the class are then directed to the student
briefing.
Group work will be an integral part of all our courses. Cooperative learning will be
encouraged. The board sheets will make group work very convenient. By working in
groups in class, students will learn by sharing their ideas with others, and that this leads to
success. A lot of learning takes place when one is responsible for explaining something to
a classmate. However, when students work in the same groups at the boards, one student
may end up doing most of the work. To address this, teachers will have the other student
brief.
Assessment will be conducted as frequently as possible on a daily basis. Along with the
traditional tests, finals, and quizzes, group and individual projects and problem sets will be
assigned in all the core courses. In addition, students will keep a portfolio, in which they
keep and organize all their graded assignments. They will also write reflective summaries
on topics assigned by the instructor. The teacher can use the reflective summaries to have
the students describe their experiences in the course and to do some goal setting.
C. Describe the research base for the educational program.
The educational program of the School has been developed using scientifically-based
instructional practices that will be implemented and delivered by highly qualified instructors
to meet the needs of all students’ learning styles and abilities. High quality curriculum
materials and the latest technologies will be used towards achievement of this goal.
1. Military Model
In the course of looking at military school programs, certain common attributes can be
identified among them. These include:
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An emphasis on belonging
A strong focus on motivation and self-discipline
An emphasis on academic preparation
Close mentoring and monitoring of how youngsters are doing
Accountability and consequences
Demanding schedules
Teamwork
Valuing and believing in the young people; believing that they can succeed
Structure and routine
Frequent rewards and recognition
And an emphasis on safe and secure environments
A higher percentage of military-style schools consist of African-American and Hispanic
students, and half live at or below the poverty line and have a thirty-five percent (35%)
annual mobility rate. Additionally, their parents have less education and higher rates of
alcoholism and domestic abuse than private school students. Chicago’s military schools
reduced chronic truancy from twenty-four percent (24%) to just over eight percent (8.5%)
from 2007 to 2009 and increased the average ACT exam score from 15.8 to 17.3, out of a
possible thirty-six (36). Student success is achieved through:
 Accountability: Children who grow up with permissive, overindulgent parents tend to
lack accountability. A military culture, however, is a culture of accountability.
Everyone is taught to face mistakes without fearing blame or repercussions, and to
view missteps as learning opportunities. As a result, behaviors and bad habits, such
as refusing to accept blame, are unlearned or never learned at all.
 High Expectations: In the military, a strong sense of confidence prevails. It’s a “can
do!” mindset that can overcome the fear, uncertainty, or doubt. When a leader, in
business, education, parenting, coaching, or military creates a belief in someone that
they can succeed, they usually do. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or
think you can’t, you’re probably right.”
 Feedback: One cannot learn without feedback. If you get feedback once a year, you
can only learn once a year. Get feedback once a month and you can learn once a
month. Get it once a week and you can learn once a week. The more frequently you
get feedback, the more rapidly you can learn. Children need feedback.
Significant research has been conducted to determine the developmental outcomes of a
structured military school based program. One common finding from various studies and
reports about education is that students in military-run schools regularly outperform their
private school and public school peers. These students scored almost sixty percent (60%)
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higher than the national average in reading and also boast an astonishing ninety-seven
percent (97%) high school graduation rate.
Military academies often have a graduation and college placement rate higher than many
traditional public high schools.
 Missouri Military Academy, Mexico, Missouri, reports that 100% of seniors are
accepted to at least one college or university and earn an impressive amount of
college scholarships (http://www.missourimilitaryacademy.org/academics/collegeplacement/).
 St. John's Military School, Salinas, Kansas, reports that 92% of recent graduates will
attend an institution of higher education (http://sjms.org/about-us/quick-facts/).
In Florida, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) uses an exemplary, trend-setting approach to
education. State and District academic objectives in concert with Army JROTC curriculum
and high standards of discipline yield dynamic and comprehensive educational programs
and student results. Their primary intent is to enable students to become exemplary
citizens and to help them shape their futures into satisfying and fulfilling lives. Established
as a public charter school since 2006, SMA is an “A” graded school which educates nearly
900 students. It has exceeded State Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT)
levels.
SMA FCAT Results:
Subject Area
Reading
th
9
10th
Algebra EOC
U.S. History EOC
Biology EOC
Geometry EOC
Writing
10th
Proficiency 2013 Proficiency 2014 Proficiency 2015
66%
66%
63%
63%
39%
39%
72%
72%
79%
83%
84%
83%
65%
66%
73%
73%
Finally, as reported by the U.S. Army, the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)
"...is a successful program, making substantial contributions to students, schools, and
communities which benefit greatly from its presence. The benefits of JROTC are reflected
in metrics impacting all schools in the U.S." (online at http://www.usarmyjrotc.com/jrotcprogram/jrotc-program-information).
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Average School
JROTC
Attendance
90.06%
93.48%
Graduation
86%
98%
In-Discipline
15%
5%
Drop-Out
3%
Less than 1%
GPA
2.68
2.9
2. Leadership and Personal Improvement
At JSMA, student academic performance is paramount and inextricably linked to nurturing
students to strong character and a sense of civic responsibility. We believe that positive
character development is a crucial aspect of a quality school. We believe that a school
must cultivate a culture of character in order to be a successful learning community. A
number of research studies support the implementation of character education and, in fact,
provide evidence that the integration of character education has a positive impact on
student achievement.
Finck (2003) described a program for improving moral character to increase academic
achievement. Post-intervention data indicated some improvement of moral character, which
in turn increased student academic achievement. Because of the intervention, there was a
decrease in the disciplinary infractions, an increase in grade point averages, and an
improvement in attendance and cafeteria behavior.
Benninga, et al. (2003) conducted a large study including data from 651 schools. The
elementary schools in the sample with solid character education programs not only showed
positive relationships with academic indicators that same year, but also evidenced positive
correlations across the next two academic years.
Berkowitz, & Bier (2005) looked at 109 studies carried out on the effectiveness of 39
different character education programs or methods. They ended up focusing on results of
78 of the studies, covering 33 programs. Those rejected had not shown appropriate
scientific rigor. Fifty-two of the 78 studies looked at the program’s effect on academic
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achievement. Fifty-nine percent of these studies showed a significant positive effect on
academics.
Over a 4-year period, researchers (Skaggs and Bodenhorn, 2006) measured several
outcomes in five school districts initiating or enhancing character education programs.
Based on student, teacher, and administrator surveys, there was a noticeable improvement
in character-related behavior. In certain districts, suspension and drop-out rates also
decreased after the implementation of the character education programs.
3. Strong Academic Foundation
An intellectually demanding curriculum and assignments—prerequisites for a productive life
after high school, be it in the classroom or on the job – are proposed for this School. The
college preparatory curriculum will be taught in a military school environment to promote
structure, organization, teamwork, scholarship, and leadership.
The benefits of a good academic preparation accrue across racial and ethnic groups,
making education the truly great equalizer. Research demonstrates that students rise to
the rigor of the work they are assigned. Yet an examination of assignments in one state
found that the higher the grade level, the less likely academic standards were aligned with
that grade level. The result: an artificial instructional gap that denied students the chance to
master grade-level content. Class work or homework that simply asks students to fill in the
blanks will not prepare them for postsecondary opportunities.
 Research conducted by Stamford University’s Bridge Project (2003) shows that
many college-bound students simply don’t know which courses are necessary not
just to enter college, but to begin credit-bearing work. According to their report, one
of the most common student misconceptions about college readiness is that meeting
their high school graduation requirements will prepare them for college.
 Hallinan (2006) studied the effect of course placement and student achievement in
an analysis of comprehensive high schools. She found that “assigning a student to a
higher ability group increases the student’s learning regardless of the student’s
ability level.” The best data demonstrate that students enrolled in the collegepreparatory track in high school are more successful in whatever they do after high
school.
 Research shows that a challenging high school curriculum can help predict
postsecondary success. That means all students should take four (4) years of
English, at least three (3) years of science including two (2) lab courses, four (4)
years of math up to Algebra II, four (4) years of social studies, and two (2) years of a
foreign language. Nowadays, the knowledge and skills students need for college
match those required for careers.
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Research evidence shows that student academic achievement is closely related to
the rigor of the curriculum. Chubb and Moe (2012), using longitudinal data from their
“High School and Beyond” study, found that “rigorous academic program
participation has a strong, independent effect on achievement gains” (p. 210). Our
academic curriculum, which is college preparatory in focus, intends to challenge our
students by exposing them to higher level concepts with supports necessary to help
them understand and accomplish them.
Research literature, terms such as “challenging curriculum,” “academic environment,” and
“academic press” are commonly used to denote rigor. Although “challenging curriculum”
generally refers to course taking, “academic press” refers to schools having strong goals
emphasizing academic achievement. Our courses certainly emphasize challenge; our
efforts are to promote academic press among our students.
5. STEM
Conventionally, the four (4) disciplinary strands of STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics) are taught separately and independent from one other. At
our School, all four (4) strands will play an integral part in the teaching of the whole. STEM
embodies an interdisciplinary, integrative approach to learning. Our STEM program will
draw from the tenets, principles and methodologies already utilized and tested by the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Science Program for Middle and High
School students. Thus, elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM) will be woven into every subject at the School. Students will incorporate learning
as they engage in analysis, problem-solving, communication, and project-based learning.
STEM will be applied through five (5) main points of entry:
 Instructional units in subject areas across the curriculum will combine Science,
Engineering, and Mathematics and Technology (STEM) applications as pedagogical
critical inquiry and active learning strategies. This will offer our students the
opportunity to explore creative and innovative solutions and apply what has been
learned in the content area to answer the core curriculum questions.
 Teachers in each discipline will apply these same STEM problem-solving and
inquiry-based methodologies to each of the same curriculum’s thematic strands
incorporated into the curriculum. The School will have one week of professional
development summer activities, school and department meetings onsite in which
teachers will be trained in STEM methodologies, discuss optimum curriculum block
synchronization of thematic strands between the disciplines, and to create an
effective and school-wide, across the curriculum‖ application of STEM for each of
the thematic strand and/or core curriculum activities.
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Students will learn from and collaborate with mentors in STEM professional fields.
Mentorships will be accomplished through partnerships between the School and
professional associations, nonprofit agencies, area government offices, and
community businesses.
STEM application will offer students concentrated learning experiences in laboratory
activities that support creative, inquiry-based STEM-based learning across the
Science disciplines, for class field work, and where relevant, may also be utilized for
student’s capstone research projects.
Annual STEM-based science project competitions at the School will provide
candidates for District and State level competitions.
The School will promote the idea that STEM education is not a concept, it is a process, and
will ensure that students are taught how to solve problems. STEM should not be taught
through lectures but rather through experiences. The School recognizes the importance of
Project-Based Learning (PBL) in ways that make learning relevant, authentic, complex, and
meaningful. The School will provide professional development supporting PBL strategies
so that teachers will know how to implement PBL with fidelity.
Coupled to our implementation of UbD and the STEM model, our curriculum framework will
provide an integrative and comprehensive design across subject areas. It will provide
inclusion and accommodations for multiple levels of learning; instill key principles that
shape and support the whole learner; and offer continuity in our STEM programs.
 Integration: STEM will also be implemented in the School by Integration. This is
demonstrated by integrating science with math, integrating curriculum with projects,
integrating technology with teaching, and integrating classroom learning with real
world problem solving. Integrating the arts and humanities into the sciences will also
occur so that students will be challenged to explore the possibilities of science and
the implications for humanity. The School will look at integrating different subject
areas so that students come to know that learning is not compartmentalized.
The School will design curriculum through an integrated model that optimizes
opportunities for students to connect STEM knowledge and skills across content
areas. This will be accomplished by, but not limited to:
o Relating science to students’ daily lives
o Employing hands-on tasks and group activities
o Using authentic learning activities
o Incorporating novelty and student decision-making into classroom lessons
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o
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Ensuring that STEM curricula focus on the most important topics in each
discipline2
Enrichment: The School will place a distinct effort on enriching the existing school
day. Whether it is after-school programs, summer camps, pull-out programs for
gifted and talented students, or supplemental education services for school
improvement, the School will use these opportunities to impact student achievement
and engagement in STEM subjects. Examples include LEGO Robotics,
environmental education, GIS (global information systems) applications, and more.
The School will seek out-of-school STEM opportunities.
Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCRSTEM) - Mathematics Formative Assessment System (MFAS) includes tasks or problems
that teachers can implement with their students, and rubrics that help the teacher interpret
students' responses. The School will use MFAS to ask students to perform mathematical
tasks, explain their reasoning, and justify their solutions. Rubrics for interpreting and
evaluating student responses are included so that teachers can differentiate instruction
based on students' strategies instead of relying solely on correct or incorrect answers. The
objective is to understand student thinking so that teaching can be adapted to improve
student achievement of mathematical goals related to the standards. Like all formative
assessment, MFAS is a process rather than a test. Research suggests that well-designed
and implemented formative assessment is an effective strategy for enhancing student
learning. This system is available on CPALMS to all stakeholders in Florida, including
teachers, parents and students, at no cost.
The curriculum is rigorous and will be made relevant by intensive STEM community
involvement, including professional associations, nonprofit agencies, area government
offices, and community businesses. The School will work closely with the community to
create a group of speakers and presenters, who will share their knowledge of the
applications of STEM in their everyday lives. As mentioned above, students will learn from
and collaborate with mentors in STEM professional fields. This interaction with members
from the community will bring relevance to learning to the School. STEM programs in
Florida's Public Schools must embrace the integration of technology and engineering in
science and mathematics and throughout the curriculum in order to meet the learning
needs of the current population of students and future needs of the global workforce.
2
Successful STEM Education, a National Science Foundation Initiative, http://successfulstemeducation.org/
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The School has chosen a select group of digital materials to support the integration of
STEM content throughout the FL Standards curriculum. These tools include Pearson's
Project STEM, New Tech Network (NTN) model, Project Lead the Way, and GradPoint.
a. Pearson’s Project STEM
Pearson’s Project STEM will be used. It provides research-based materials that make it
easy for teachers to integrate STEM seamlessly into existing curricula and instruction.
Through the topics and accompanying program guides, Project STEM works with any
middle grades core subject program. Each module follows the same format: Introduce,
Teach, and Evaluate. Topics illustrate how the four STEM areas are connected through
hands-on labs, projects, and background materials. Costs are $14,000 for school wide
services annually.
b. New Tech Network
The School plans to replicate STEM components from the New Tech Network (NTN) model
of school design. The New Tech Network model uses innovative pedagogical practices
(such as 1-to-1 technology adoption, PBL infusion, blended learning, design thinking, etc.)
and is beginning to take hold among progressive education communities. NTN's approach
is founded on the principle that a teacher-empowering, project-based approach to learning
will engage students in a way that prepares them for college. Their results (backed in part
by their use of the College & Work Readiness Assessment) illustrate this to be true.
The NTN school design allows for the melding of STEM disciplines into courses such as
history or English. By providing opportunities to integrate the arts and humanities into the
sciences, it provides an appropriate platform for the application of State Standards.
Students are challenged to explore the possibilities of science and the implications for
humanity. NTN schools demonstrate high levels of student engagement and continued
growth along several measures of academic progress. NTN annual fees are estimated at
$22,000 average fees per year to bring about a strong PBL program. Fees include faculty
professional development, training and materials.
The School will begin NTN’s readiness process and join a national network of 134 schools
in twenty-three (23) states and Australia. As a deeper learning model, NTN is based
around three key elements of school design:
 Project-Based Learning (PBL) is at the heart of the instructional approach and is
used across all disciplines and grade levels.
 The smart use of technology supports an innovative approach to instruction and
culture.
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
NTN schools maintain a culture that promotes trust, respect, and responsibility.
Students and teachers have exceptional ownership of the learning experience and
their school environment. Working on projects and in teams, students are
accountable to their peers and acquire a level of responsibility similar to what they
would experience in a professional work environment.
c. Project Lead The Way
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) offers curriculum and professional development in three
career pathways for students in grades K-12, all based on the activity-, project-, and
problem-based approach to learning. All three pathways are represented in the elementary
school and middle school programs, with separate programs for the three pathways at the
high school level. The grade 6-8 curriculum is called Gateway. The high school programs of
study are PLTW's Pathway to Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, and PLTW Computer
Science.
 Gateway to Technology is a sequence of eight, nine-week units for middle school
students, designed to engage students' natural curiosity and imagination in
creative problems solving. Topics include Automation and Robotics, Design and
Modeling, Energy and the Environment, Flight and Space, Magic of Electrons,
Green Architecture, Science of Technology, and Medical Detectives.
The high school Pathway To Engineering sequence includes eight (8) full-year courses: a
pair of foundation courses (Introduction to Engineering Design and Principles Of
Engineering), several courses on engineering specialties (Aerospace Engineering,
Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Computer Integrated
Manufacturing, and Digital Electronics), and a capstone course, Engineering Design and
Development. The Biomedical Sciences program is a series of four (4) courses that
introduce students to concepts in human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and
public health. The courses include: Principles of the Biomedical Sciences, Human Body
Systems, Medical Interventions, and the capstone course Biomedical Innovations. PLTW
membership and materials cost $35,000 per year.
All PLTW programs are aligned to the FL Standards.
In 2001, Judith A. Ramaley, former director of the National Science Foundation’s Education
and Human-Resources Division, was credited by many educators with being the first
person to brand science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum as “STEM.”
It was swiftly adopted by numerous institutions of higher education, as well as scientific
communities, as an important focus for education policy and development.
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STEM education has often been called a “meta-discipline,” meaning it removes the
traditional barriers erected between the four (4) disciplines, by integrating them into one
cohesive teaching and learning paradigm. STEM education promotes real-world
experience, teamwork, and the authentic application of technology. It also promotes
discovery, problem-based learning, and project-based learning. STEM is supported by the
National Science Foundation3 and the U.S. Department of Education.4
d. Need for STEM Education
Near the end of the 19th century, the quest to identify what to teach in public education
centered on subjects not typically learned at home: math, language arts, reading, and
writing. Because the US was predominantly an agrarian society, the skills related to
technology and engineering were taught by parents to their children to support the work
done on the farm. Today, the US is very different, and as we have moved into the 21st
century, the school curriculum has not kept pace with technological advancements. Without
the knowledge and skills developed through the study of technology and engineering, our
students are limited in their ability to solve real-world, authentic problems.
Science is the study of the natural world and mathematics is the study of patterns and
relationships. Both have been part of the core academic curriculum in the United States for
many years. Technology and engineering have typically not been integrated into the core
academic curriculum, and are not as widely understood by the general public. Technology
is the study of our “human-made” world. Engineering is the systematic process used to
develop solutions to human needs and wants utilizing math and science to create
technology.
Many examples of STEM can be found in our everyday world. Inventions such as
automobiles, Laptop computers, and new medicines, as well as pencils, light bulbs, and
plastic, are a part of everyday life in the 21st century. Although most people’s lives involve
working with objects made by humans, technology and engineering have not found their
way into mainstream education. This has become a national concern.
Rising Above the Gathering Storm (National School of Sciences, National School of
Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2007), which reviewed the factors that influence
U.S. competitiveness, highlighted the critical importance of STEM education in its
recommendations. Drawing on an update of that report (National School of Sciences,
National School of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2010), Augustine described a
3
National Science Foundation. (2014). Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future: Strategic
Plan for 2014-2018. On line at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14043/nsf14043.pdf
4
U.S. Department of Education, http://www.ed.gov/stem
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few of the reasons why the United States needs to improve STEM education. “We like to
think of America as being first in everything,” he noted. But, for example, the United States
ranks 6th among developed nations in innovation-based competitiveness, 11th in
percentage of young adults who have graduated from high school, 15th in science literacy
among top students, and 28th in mathematics literacy among top students.
Over the years, there has been growing concern that the United States is not preparing a
sufficient number of students, teachers, and practitioners in the areas of science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics. Studies have shown that a large majority of
secondary school students fail to reach proficiency in math and science, and many are
taught by teachers lacking adequate subject matter knowledge. When compared to other
nations, the math and science achievement of U.S. pupils and the rate of STEM degree
attainment appear inconsistent with a nation considered the world leader in scientific
innovation.
On the basis of evidence of ways the United States is falling short in international
comparisons, the National School of Sciences, National School of Engineering, and
Institute of Medicine (2007) recommended a focus on improving STEM education; it
highlighted parental interest and support and qualified, engaged teachers as the essential
ingredients. In the five (5) years between the report and the updated volume (National
School of Sciences, National School of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2010),
Augustine added, 6 million more U.S. young people dropped out of school while many
other nations continued to improve their STEM education.
“Many schools are very effective,” William Schmidt (National School of Sciences, 2011)
states, “but, on average, U.S. students are not excelling in mathematics and science and
even the most elite U.S. students do not compare well with their international counterparts.”
Mathematics scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have improved
since the mid-1990s, Schmidt notes, “but three-quarters of 8th graders still enter high
school not having reached the proficient level and three-quarters of high school students’
graduate with a relatively poor grasp of mathematics.” Even the most elite U.S. students
were last in physics and close to the bottom in mathematics in a comparison with their
counterparts in other nations on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science
Study. Based on his own and other research, Schmidt has stated that student engagement
in STEM areas is essential to reforming mathematics education.
In 2009, The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed that American
students ranked 17th out of 34 in science literacy and 25th out of 34 in math literacy,
among students from developed countries. (Students from China were ranked number one
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globally in math, science and reading.) In addition, The U.S. Department of Education
reports that America now ranks 20th internationally in the number of graduate degrees
awarded in engineering, computer science, and mathematics.
Workforce projections for 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor show that 15 of the 20
fastest growing occupations require significant science or mathematics training to compete
successfully for a job. At the same time, though, data shows a significant decline in the
number of college students choosing majors in science or technology- related fields. Much
of this can be linked to poor preparation for the classes during high school and the intense
work required for those majors. If this trend continues, there will be a workforce shortage in
areas of engineering and science fields:
 By 2014, Two- million jobs are expected to be created in STEM-related fields (Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation).
 Forty percent (40%) of students in the United States test at below basic math level;
seventy percent (70%) of African Americans and sixty-six percent (66%) of Latinos
test below basic math level (2005 National Assessment of Education ProgressNAEP).
 Half (50%) of all students test at below basic science level. The numbers are worse
for African Americans (80%) and Latinos (70%) (NAEP).
 The number of engineering degrees awarded in the United States is down twenty
percent (20%) from the peak year of 1985 (Tapping America’s Potential).
 Although U.S. fourth graders score well against international competition, they don’t
stay there. By the time they reach the 12th grade, they fall near the bottom in math
and dead last in science (Tapping America’s Potential).
 In 2001, there were slightly more than 4 million 9th graders. Four years later, 2.8
million graduated and 1.9 million went on to two and four year college. Fewer than
300,000 are majoring in STEM fields and only about 167,000 were expected to be
STEM college graduates in 201 (National Center for Education Statistics; Digest of
Education Statistics).
Most important for our proposed school is the math and science achievement of students in
Florida and, specifically, Polk County Public Schools. Statewide data reveal the following
for the 2013 school year5:
5
http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2014/default.asp
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Grade
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Math
Proficiency
53
56
47
NA
NA
NA
NA
Algebra I
Proficiency
NA
90
84
45
23
29
NA
Geometry
Proficiency
NA
NA
97
88
39
16
13
Science
Proficiency
NA
NA
37
NA
NA
NA
NA
Biology I
Proficiency
NA
NA
NA
71
51
37
37
In Polk County Public Schools, 2014 assessment data reveal proficiency rates as follows:
Grade
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Math
Proficiency
43
41
28
NA
NA
NA
NA
Algebra I
Proficiency
NA
NA
80
86
NA
NA
NA
Geometry
Proficiency
NA
NA
92
82
37
25
14
Science
Proficiency
NA
NA
49
NA
NA
NA
NA
Biology I
Proficiency
NA
NA
NA
84
50
40
79
A close examination shows that over half of middle school students who are not in
advanced classes (Algebra and Biology) are demonstrating proficiency in math and
science. Furthermore, while Geometry scores are high for 9th grade students, math and
science achievement scores drop off for upper level classmen.
This provides further evidence of the need for schools with a STEM emphasis.
e. Support for STEM Education
In 2010, President Obama announced the launch of Change the Equation, a CEO-led effort
to dramatically improve education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM),
as part of his “Educate to Innovate” campaign. Change the Equation is a non-profit
organization dedicated to mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of
STEM education in the United States. President Obama has identified three overarching
priorities for STEM education necessary for laying a new foundation for America’s future
prosperity: increasing STEM literacy so all students can think critically in STEM subjects,
improving the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer
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outperformed by those in other nations and expanding STEM education and career
opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and minorities.
The President’s 2012 budget request and Blueprint for Reform of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act are designed to help to strengthen America’s leadership in the
21st century by improving STEM education. For example, the President has announced an
ambitious goal of preparing 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade, with at least
10,000 STEM teachers recruited over the next two years.
In 2013, Gov. Rick Scott used numbers to continue his push for more STEM degrees
(science, technology, engineering, math). His office announced that job openings in
science and tech fields had increased by nearly fourteen percent (14%) since the previous
year. Data from The Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine series show STEM-related
job postings in Florida in November 2013 increased by more than 8,000 from the previous
year. “We have to ensure we make STEM education a priority for Florida children so that
more Florida families have the tools they need to pursue the American Dream,” Scott said.
“Florida has a highly skilled workforce that is uniquely prepared to fill these positions and
meet the demands of the 21st century economy.”
Further, the Governor’s Office released: The US Chamber of Commerce rated Florida as
having the best talent pipeline in the nation to fill STEM jobs. Additionally, more than half of
Florida’s top 11th grade STEM students intend to pursue college in-state according to an
October survey....Major occupational groups with the most online ads in November were
healthcare practitioners and technical occupations; computer and mathematical
occupations; and architecture and engineering occupations. Online job demand for STEM
was strongest in the large metro areas, led by Hillsborough County, Miami-Dade County,
Orange County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Duval County.6
The FL STEM Strategic Plan identifies the importance of all four (4) fields of STEM study,
their relationship to each other, and the necessity to expose students to relevant STEM
instruction.7 The following three goals were identified during the STEMflorida Business
Roundtables and reviewed during the 2010 STEM Business and Education Conference.
They have been adapted by the STEM Strategic Plan development team in light of very
recent federal and state STEM initiatives:
6
Gov. Scott: STEM-Related Job Openings Continue to Rise in Florida, Online at http://www.flgov.com/gov-scott-stemrelated-job-openings-continue-to-rise-in-florida-2/
7
STEMflorida, Inc. (2011) Five-year strategic plan: STEM leadership for Florida.
http://www.stemflorida.net/announcements/five-year-strategic-plan-available.
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 Students
Goal 1: Increase the percentage of students successful at each level (PK-12 and
postsecondary, including career and technical, undergraduate and graduate) to ensure our
diverse population is:
o Capable of conducting real-world STEM projects and inquiry;
o Capable of authentic and collaborative problem solving;
o Proficient in applying multidisciplinary knowledge and skills through STEM;
o Proficient in English and other languages in order to succeed on a global scale;
and
o Knowledgeable about and interested in STEM careers.
 Educators
Goal 2: Increase the quality and quantity of STEM educators.
 Sustainable Infrastructure
Goal 3: Create a statewide sustainable STEM leadership organization to align existing and
emerging STEM initiatives and represent Florida as one voice in meeting STEM demands.
f. Evidence of Effectiveness
Hansen (2011) conducted a meta-analysis of reading and math achievement among
students in grades 3-10 in traditional, STEM, and charter or magnet schools in Florida from
2004-2009. He noted:
 Reading levels increased when more STEM courses were offered.
 Benefits occurred with increased opportunities to conduct research projects in
science and from exposure to instruction that was project-based rather than lecturebased.
Hansen described his research at the Urban Institute’s Center for the Analysis of
Longitudinal Data in Education Research with data from Florida and North Carolina. For
Florida, the data available to Hansen included end-of-grade reading and mathematics
scores for public school students in grades 3-10 and counts of courses taken in core STEM
subjects, advanced STEM, and vocational and technical education, for the school years
2004-2005 through 2008-2009; for North Carolina the same data were available for 20052006 through 2008-2009, as well as end-of-course scores.
The Board reviewed a study (Bryk et al., 2009) of 200 Chicago schools, all of which were
performing very poorly in the early 1990s. The research looked at why half of them
improved dramatically and half stayed the same or got worse. The study considered
longitudinal survey results, student records and test results, and community and crime
data—to compare the two groups of schools. All of the schools were in low-income
neighborhoods and served student populations that were 90 percent minority.
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Based on their analysis, the researchers concluded that there were certain organizational
supports crucial for school improvement—and made the difference for the 100 schools that
improved so dramatically. For example, principal leadership is necessary, but it must be
strategically focused on developing the other supports. The teachers’ qualifications were
less important than the way in which teachers worked together to take collective
responsibility for the school. Similarly, the parents needed not just to participate in school
activities, but also to be brought in as partners in their children’s education, and community
organizations needed to be involved in a way that was aligned with the school’s
instructional programming. Other critical elements are a climate that is safe and orderly and
supportive to students and an aligned curriculum (that is closely linked to standards) with
engaging, student-centered pedagogy.
More specifically, the researchers found that among schools with a well-aligned curriculum
and a strong professional community of teachers, 48-57 percent improved substantially in
both reading and mathematics. Among schools in which the adults failed to work
cooperatively, none improved, and 41-59 percent of the schools were stagnant. The real
value appeared in the compounding value of combined strength. Schools that were strong
in at least three of the areas were 10 times more likely to improve in reading and
mathematics than schools that were weak in three or more. Sustained weakness over time
in even one of the elements also appeared to undermine a school’s improvement.
6. Demanding Curriculum
An intellectually demanding FL Standards curriculum and assignments—prerequisites for a
productive life after high school, be it in the classroom or on the job – are proposed for this
School. The college preparatory curriculum will be taught in a STEM school environment to
promote structure, organization, teamwork, scholarship, and leadership.
The benefits of a good academic preparation accrue across racial and ethnic groups,
making education the truly great equalizer. Research demonstrates that students rise to
the rigor of the work they are assigned. Yet an examination of assignments in one state
found that the higher the grade level, the less likely academic standards were aligned with
that grade level. The result: an artificial instructional gap that denied students the chance to
master grade-level content. Class work or homework that simply asks students to fill in the
blanks will not prepare them for postsecondary opportunities.
 Research conducted by Stamford University’s Bridge Project (2003) shows that
many college-bound students simply don’t know which courses are necessary not
just to enter college, but to begin credit-bearing work. According to their report, one
of the most common student misconceptions about college readiness is that meeting
their high school graduation requirements will prepare them for college.
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Hallinan (2006) studied the effect of course placement and student achievement in
an analysis of comprehensive high schools. She found that “assigning a student to a
higher ability group increases the student’s learning regardless of the student’s
ability level.” The best data demonstrate that students enrolled in the collegepreparatory track in high school are more successful in whatever they do after high
school.
Research shows that a challenging high school curriculum can help predict
postsecondary success. That means all students should take four (4) years of
English, at least three (3) years of science including two (2) lab courses, four (4)
years of math up to Algebra II, four (4) years of social studies, and two (2) years of a
foreign language. Nowadays, the knowledge and skills students need for college
match those required for careers.
Research evidence shows that student academic achievement is closely related to
the rigor of the curriculum. Chubb and Moe (2012), using longitudinal data from their
“High School and Beyond” study, found that “rigorous academic program
participation has a strong, independent effect on achievement gains” (p. 210). Our
academic curriculum, which is college preparatory in focus, intends to challenge our
students by exposing them to higher level concepts with supports necessary to help
them understand and accomplish them.
Research literature, terms such as “challenging curriculum,” “academic environment,” and
“academic press” are commonly used to denote rigor. Although “challenging curriculum”
generally refers to course taking, “academic press” refers to schools having strong goals
emphasizing academic achievement. Our courses certainly emphasize challenge; our
efforts are to promote academic press among our students.
7. Research-Based Instructional Strategies
a. Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR)
The gradual release of responsibility is a model of instruction that "emphasizes instruction
that mentors students into becoming capable thinkers and learners when handling the
tasks with which they have not yet developed expertise" (Buehl, 2005). The GRR model
has been documented as an effective approach for improving achievement in writing
(Fisher & Frey, 2003), reading comprehension (Lloyd, 2004), and literacy for English
language learners (Kong & Pearson, 2003). In a study of students with diverse cultural and
linguistic backgrounds, it was found that a gradual release of responsibility from the teacher
to the student resulted gains in reading comprehension, reading unfamiliar sight words, and
metacognitive control (Kong & Pearson, 2003). A study that focused on the questioning
strategy of the GRR model found that students were more engaged in a lesson if they
practiced the skills of discussion, summarizing, debating, and analyzing in context.
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Students were also better able construct meaning as they identified vocabulary in context,
assisted other students, and contributed background information unique to their own
experiences (Lloyd, 2004).
b. Problem-Based Learning
Research shows that achievement gains are possible by teaching using PBL approaches.
This instructional method has been shown to increase academic achievement on state
assessments; and be more effective than traditional instruction for long-term retention, skill
development, and mastery of 21st century skills; and be especially effective with lowerachieving students (Buck Institute for Education, 2009; Center of Excellence in Leadership
of Learning, University of Indianapolis, 2009).
A study by Liu, Olmanson, and Horton (2011) examined middle school students’ learning
and motivation as they engaged in a multimedia enriched problem-based learning (PBL)
environment for middle school science.
Using a mixed-method design with both quantitative and qualitative data, we investigated
the effect of a multimedia environment on sixth graders’ science learning, their levels of
motivation, and the relationship between students’ motivation and their science learning.
The analysis of the results showed that: Students significantly increased their science
knowledge from pretest to posttest after using the PBL program, they were motivated and
enjoyed the experience, and a significant positive relationship was found between students’
motivation scores and their post-science knowledge scores
(http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED522012.pdf, p.2).
Research into the use of PBL at the high school level found similar results. A study by
Mergendoller, Maxwell, and Bellisimo (2009) looked at the effectiveness of PBL in a high
school economics class. They found that …PBL was found to be a more effective
instructional approach for teaching macroeconomics than traditional lecture/discussion (p =
.05). Additional analyses provided evidence that PBL was more effective than traditional
instruction with students of average verbal ability and below, students who were more
interested in learning economics, and students who were most and least confident in their
ability to solve problems
(http://www.bie.org/images/uploads/general/50a90dcc6963062c85b49a69a21a81cf.pdf, p.
2).
A recent meta-analysis of the available research on PBL by Edutopia (2012) identified key
components for the successful implementation of this instructional method. These include:
a carefully developed project design that implements the PBL procedure with fidelity;
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structured student collaboration that deliberately includes team goals and rewards based
on individual learning growth and individual accountability; assessment that clearly defines
the criteria for success and multiple opportunities for feedback, reflection, and revision; and
a supportive network for teachers’ professional development so that teachers can develop
increasing sophistication in the implementation of PBL.
c. Differentiated Instruction
Teachers recognize that each student comes into the classroom with different
backgrounds, languages, cultural experiences, interests, and abilities. By differentiating
instruction, teachers maximize the growth and development of each student’s needs.
Differentiation is recognized to be a compilation of many theories and practices.
According to the proponents of differentiation, the principles and guidelines are rooted in
years of educational theory and research. For example, differentiated instruction adopts the
concept of “readiness.” That is the difficulty of skills taught should be slightly in advance of
the child’s current level of mastery. This is grounded in the work of Vygotsky (1978) and the
zone of proximal development (ZPD), the range at which learning takes place. The
classroom research by Fisher at al. (1980) strongly supports the ZPD concept. The
researchers found that in classrooms where individuals were performing at a level of about
eighty percent (80%) accuracy, students learned more and felt better about themselves and
the subject area under study (Fisher, 1980 in Tomlinson, 2000). Recognizing students’ ZPD
and responding to it accordingly involves the ability to provide instruction to varying student
needs within one classroom.
Current research provides evidence that skillful differentiation has a positive effect on
student achievement. For example, Subban (2006) reported that recent studies at that time
showed positive outcomes from the use of differentiated instruction, particularly among
experienced teachers. A study by Koeze (2007) considered two questions: “Does
differentiated instruction have an impact on student achievement?” and “Are there
components of differentiated instruction that have a greater impact on student
achievement than others?” Results from the study indicated that there were components of
differentiation that led to higher student achievement than others. Huebner (2010)
summarized a further growing body of research that demonstrated that differentiated
instruction yields positive results for students across all ability levels.
d. Technology Integration
Technology will be infused into student learning throughout the educational program to
support academic achievement for each student. The goal of technology usage within a
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classroom is to take it out of the hands of the teachers and place it within the hands of
students, for an optimal experiential learning environment.
Technology is a tool for learning. Today’s students live in a digital world and a global
society, and must be prepared for the challenges of a digital world. A 2011 survey by the
National School Boards Association found that fifty percent (50%) of students with online
access say they use social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter, to communicate
specifically about schoolwork.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (accessed on line at:
http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/P21_Framework_Definitions.pdf) suggests that
students will be more prepared for success in the 21st century if they are able to:
 Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate
information
 Use digital technologies (computers, PDAs, media players, GPS, etc.),
communication/networking tools and social networks appropriately to access,
manage, integrate, evaluate and create information to successfully function in a
knowledge economy
 Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the
access and use of information technologies
The primary goal at our School is to use technology to support learning and achievement.
As stated by Marzano (2009), using learner response devices, graphics, and other visuals
to represent information, and using applications that allow teachers to present information
in an unusual context, have a statistically significant relationship with student achievement.
In particular, the use of interactive white boards in the classroom has been shown to have a
sixteen (16) percentile point gain in student achievement. The use of interactive white
boards not only prepares students with 21st technology skills, but also increases students’
achievement.
In 1996, Stratham and Torell reviewed ten (10) meta-analyses on how technology impacts
student learning. They found that computer technology, when implemented properly, could
profoundly impact student learning.
A report from the International Society for Technology in Education (2007) presented the
research on the effectiveness of technology integration. They reported the following.
 Student performance on tests: “When properly implemented, the use of computer
technology in education has a significant positive effect on student achievement
as measured by test scores across subject areas and with all levels of students”
(Stratham & Torell, 1996).
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Impact on classroom instruction: “When used appropriately, computer technology
in classrooms stimulates increased teacher/student interaction, and encourages
cooperative learning, collaboration, problem-solving, and student inquiries”
(Stratham & Torell, 1996).
Both of these findings indicate how important it is for teachers to be thoughtful
about the implementation of technology use in the classroom. The second finding
also highlights how appropriate use of technology in a classroom can change
teaching practices.
Impact on student behavior: “Students from computer-rich classrooms show
better behavior, lower school absentee rates, lower drop-out rates, earn more
college scholarships, and attend college in greater numbers than do students
from non-computer classrooms” (Stratham & Torell, 1996).
A literature review by Kulik (2003) compared meta-analyses of research prior to and after
1990. He concluded that, although the research was at times contradictory, overall,
instructional technology is growing increasingly effective at the elementary and secondary
levels. This finding seems to acknowledge that over the past decade teachers have had
access to more equipment, Internet-based resources, and lesson ideas than in the early
years of computer use.
Since their release in April of 2010, Apple’s iPads have taken the U.S. by storm. iPads
have swept through almost every industry, especially education. Apple is pushing for iPad
use in education, and several schools across the US have taken up the charge. The
proliferation of iPads in the classroom will only keep accelerating. With these powerful
mobile devices come a lot of possible benefits for educators and students alike:
 A study from KIPP School in Houston, TX showed the percentage of students who
rated either proficient or advanced (the 'passing' rate) was forty-nine percent (49%)
percent higher in the 'flipped classrooms' using the iPads than in the traditional
classrooms with no iPads (TUAW- Tweet this stat from @TUAW).
 In a study done by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in California showed that students
using iPads saw their math test scores increase twenty percent (20%) in one year
compared to students using traditional textbooks (CNN Tech- Tweet this stat from
@CNNTech).
 A study at Oklahoma State University concluded that seventy-five percent (75%) of
students agreed that the iPad enhanced their learning experience (Oklahoma State
University News - Tweet this stat from @OkStateNews).
 At Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids, MN, iPads in the classroom have led to
increased engagement among disabled students and have accelerated and
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improved their learning and comprehension (Star Tribune- Tweet this stat from
@StarTribune).
Another study centered on an iPad game, Motion Math, has shown that the iPad can
help with fundamental math skills. Fifth graders who regularly played the game for
twenty (20) minutes per day over a five-day period increased their test scores by
fifteen percent (15%) on average (Game Desk - Tweet this stat from @GameDesk).
iPad technology in the classroom can be a powerful tool for learning and comprehension.
The interactivity it provides can make for a very engaging experience, definitely for
elementary school aged students. According to Pearson Foundation’s survey, more than
six in ten college students and high school seniors agree that tablets help students to
study more efficiently (66% and 64%) and help students to perform better in classes (64%
and 63%) (Pearson Foundation- Tweet this stat from @PFoundation). And, according to
Open Colleges, eighty-one percent (81%) of U.S teachers think tablets can enrich
classroom learning, and eighty-six percent (86%) of students believe that tablets can help
them to study more efficiently (Open Colleges - Tweet this stat from @OpenCollegesAU).
The 1:1 Learning movement dates back at least to 2001, when the first large-scale 1:1
Learning initiatives were implemented in Henrico County Public Schools, Virginia, in
partnership with Apple, and in Irving Independent School District in Texas in partnership
with Dell. Since then, other notable implementations have occurred—such as the MaineApple laptop initiative—increasing awareness and heightening interest in how best to
implement pervasive mobile computing.
While these early initiatives achieved modest successes, they were in fact ahead of their
time. There was little prior knowledge about best practices for such reforms, and the core
ingredients—platforms, curriculum, devices, networks, and general stakeholder
readiness— were nascent. Though concern was growing, the traditional school design was
still seen as viable. And while international competition was increasing, U.S. economic
might was still a point of pride and confidence.
Fast-forward ten years to today and we see a dramatically different set of conditions. After
steady progress towards greater readiness over the decade, the last two to three years
have seen all of the necessary ingredients become vastly advanced and widespread, not
just in schools, but in the general public as well. Great pressure for changing the status quo
is coming from new drivers. Combine these conditions with real-life examples of substantial
success like that found in Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) and we see a
movement gathering momentum.
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While the research is still on-going, we are gaining substantial insight into the success
factors behind effective 1:1 Learning programs. Bebell and O’Dwyer (2010) closely
examined the findings from five separate research papers on four (4) independent 1:1
computing studies and identified a number of key commonalities.
First, the quality of implementation was linked to the level of technology use (Shapley, et
al.2007), and conversely, ineffective implementation resulted in a level of technology use
by students that was approximately equal to those students in schools without a 1:1
implementation (Bebell & Kay, 2010). In fact, Shapley found that the “…implementation
strength of Student Access and Use (of technology) was a consistently positive predictor of
students’ TAKS reading and mathematics scores” and that students’ use of their laptops for
learning at home was the “…strongest implementation predictor of students’ TAKS reading
and mathematics scores.”
Since nearly all of the studies reported that 1:1 programs depend largely on teachers for
success, it was not surprising that teacher preparation through professional development
was important for successful implementation. Perhaps the most important research was
Project RED (Revolutionizing Education), completed in 2010 by a group of expert
researchers and authors. Looking at what contributed to success in schools using
computers as a primary resource, this research identified a number of success factors.
Based on data collected from more than 1,000 schools, including MGSD, the Project RED
study identified nine critical success factors that contributed to improvements in student
achievement and return-on-investment. Furthermore, the study found that the costs of a 1:1
Learning implementation could be more than recovered if a school or district focused on
achieving the potential savings that an effective 1:1 Learning deployment provided to the
organization.
Summarizing the outcomes of the Project RED study conducted by The Milken Exchange
(Milken Exchange/ISTE, 1999, 2), Lemke concluded that, under the right set of
circumstances:
 technology and communications can accelerate, enrich and deepen basic skills;
 technology can be a great tool for motivating and engaging students;
 technology in schools can be a wonderful link between academics and emerging
practices in a host of professional fields, so to speak taking science out of the
laboratory and out into the field of everyday life;
 technology can dramatically increase the viability of students in the work force, the
skills acquired making them more employable and professionally productive;
 technology can strengthen teaching, providing teachers with a powerful learning tool
which also promotes individualized instruction; and
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technology can be a catalyst for change in schools by prompting teachers to rethink
how they do education by rethinking their whole role in the classroom when they
need no longer think of themselves as the provider of information content, but rather
as the facilitator of learning in an already information-rich online environment.
Project RED identified nine (9) keys to student achievement and cost-effectiveness:
 Intervention classes–Technology is integrated into every intervention class period
 Change management leadership by principal– Leaders provide time for teacher
professional learning and collaboration at least monthly.
 Online collaboration–Students use technology daily for online collaboration
 Core subjects–Technology is integrated into the core curriculum weekly or more
frequently
 Online formative assessments–Assessments are done at least weekly
 Student-computer ratio–Lower ratios improve outcomes
 Virtual field trips–With more frequents use, virtual trips are more powerful. The best
schools do these at least monthly
 Search engines–Students use daily
 Principal training–Principals are trained in teacher buy-in, best practices, and
technology-transformed learning.
The Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) in North Carolina has become the most
prominent example of what is achievable when a laptop is provided for every student and
teacher in grades 4 through 12. Since implementing their 1:1 initiative nearly four years
ago, MGSD has moved from an average rated district in North Carolina to become the
third-highest performing school district in the state and has gained national recognition.
Students achieved a fifteen percent (15%) learning growth. The USDE, Harvard University,
the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and a long list of other notable education
organizations have pointed to MGSD as a possible blueprint for how other schools might
use technology to drive reform and accelerate student achievement.
Up until now, the biggest drivers of 1:1 Learning computing in schools have been the
hardware providers. Of the all the hardware providers, Apple has most consistently focused
on 1:1 initiatives as a central sales and marketing strategy in K–12. But there is a growing
awareness among expert educators that while the devices enable a 1:1 solution, they are
not the whole solution. Until now, no single organization has stepped up to design and
promote a comprehensive framework that school systems can follow to ensure success
with their 1:1 Learning initiatives. Research has reinforced the fact that the hardware is only
one ingredient, and that without a comprehensive strategy, the chances of academic gains
and positive return on investment are slim.
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Karsenti (2011) conducted a study in the Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB) of
Quebec, Canada where the 1:1 laptop program has been operating for eight (8) years in
the 3rd through 11th grades. The study included interviews with 2,432 students, 272
teachers, fourteen (14) interventionists, and three (3) administrators.
In his synopsis, Karsenti listed the twelve (12) main benefits of the 1:1 laptop program as:
 Facilitation of work for both teachers and students;
 Greater access to current, high-quality information;
 Greater student motivation;
 Greater student attentiveness;
 Development of student autonomy;
 Increased interaction among students, teachers and parents;
 Individualized, differentiated learning;
 Engaging, interactive and meaningful learning using multimedia support;
 Development of internet and computer skills;
 Universal access;
 The breakdown of barriers between the school and society;
 More opportunities for students in the future.
The laptop, used as a teaching tool, Karsenti found, had a positive impact on concentration,
motivation, test scores, and the graduation rate. The dropout rate fell from 39.4% in 200405 to 22.7% in 2008-09 and the ETSB’s ranking shot from sixty-sixth to twenty-third.
In early 2011 Pearson committed to developing a research-based 1:1 Learning Framework
that could be used to support the growing number of schools interested in 1:1 Learning
initiatives. In the spring of 2011 Pearson entered into a partnership with MGSD that has
expanded on a number of fronts. Given MGSD’s consistent and significant academic gains
since implementing 1:1, Pearson has committed to learning what MGSD’s best practices
are, with the goal of helping other schools and districts replicate them. Pearson also sought
to identify the challenges that might arise when applying the MGSD prototype in other
schools and how to strengthen the model. For MGSD, Pearson agreed to provide an
adaptive digital math curriculum for all middle and high school students through the
MyMathLabs platform and the Waterford Early Learning system and to provide NovaNET
as a high school remediation and Advanced Placement (AP) system.
In parallel, Pearson entered into a pilot agreement with Community Unit School District 4
(CUSD 4) in Illinois to codify the work necessary for future schools to successfully
implement 1:1 Learning initiatives. After analyzing top research like Project RED and
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conducting thousands of hours of research in CUSD 4 and MGSD, Pearson developed and
tested its new 1:1 Learning Framework.
Pearson’s persistent commitment to becoming the leading education technology and
services company has helped our School to use this new form of educating students.
Under the Pearson aegis, an incredible group of proven educational products and services
offerings—including Schoolnet, Connections Academy, America’s Choice, Teacher
Compass, PowerSchool, Chancery, and Data Solutions (formerly Edustructures)—have
been found that give STEM ACADEMY a uniquely advantaged position to provide a
comprehensive research-based 1:1 Learning framework to our students.
This research supports implementing a strong academic foundation, unique instructional
methods including problem-based learning, and the integration of technology in both
teacher-led instruction and student projects across the curriculum. All these strategies
provide a framework for us to teach students the tools they need to succeed personally and
academically.
D. Explain how the educational program aligns with the school’s mission.
The mission of the Joint Services Military Academy is to provide middle and high school
students the highest quality college preparatory education possible, incorporating STEM
and the principles of leadership, discipline, and honor in a military school environment. Our
primary purpose is to develop lifelong learners, exemplary citizens and communicators who
can actively participate in local issues while exemplifying intercultural understanding and
respect in a rapidly globalizing world.
The educational program at the School is well aligned with the school's mission. Each
component of the education program at the School was purposefully chosen to align
directly with one or more components of the School's mission and/or purpose.
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Mission/ Purpose
Incorporating the
principles of leadership,
discipline, and honor in a
military school
environment
Highest quality college
preparatory education
Military Model
Educational Program Elements
 Thayer method
 Leadership and Personal
Improvement
Strong Academic
Foundation


Challenging, Standards-Based
College Preparatory Curriculum
Individual Academic Plan (IAP)
Research-Based Instructional
Strategies
Comprehensive Assessments


Our primary purpose is to
develop lifelong learners,
exemplary citizens and
communicators who can
actively participate in
local issues while
exemplifying intercultural
understanding and
respect in a rapidly
globalizing world.
Technology Integration




Digital Model of Instruction
Digital Curriculum
Infrastructure
High-Tech Classrooms
Globally Competitive
STEM Education
STEM Model



Problem Based Learning
Pearson's Project STEM
New Tech Network (NTN)
Model
Project Lead the Way
Lego Robotics


The educational program at JSMA will align with the school’s mission by implementing high
quality, research-based instructional resources and methods to support the classroom
teacher and lead to a rigorous education. Teachers will be skilled and able to adapt or
modify materials to better meet the needs of students with diverse learning styles,
experiences, and abilities. They will do so utilizing individualized education programs
designed to meet the needs of the student while being modified for on-going growth and
progress. The GRR model will ensure that the curriculum is implemented in a way that
promotes differentiated instruction and high academic expectations for all students.
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JSMA recognizes that curriculum should not be driven by instructional materials, but that
high quality curriculum materials such as those selected by JSMA should support the goals
of State Standards. The School will provide structures to facilitate this process, moving
from teacher-directed instruction to increasingly student-directed learning activities that
harness the power of technology to differentiate instruction and support individual success.
This process will be constantly monitored by teachers sensitive to the needs of our
individual learners, and who understand that the “scaffolding” required by some students
needs to be substantial, while for other students, such scaffolding can be progressively
dismantled.
The high technology, STEM and FL Standards curriculum and instructional methods will
be enhanced through the military-modeled structure that places honor, leadership, and
patriotism as the foundation of each school day.
Per our academic philosophy, students will be encouraged to value learning and to
understand that learning is a lifelong process. The School’s program will allow for students
to develop increasing responsibility for their learning to achieve the goal of developing
independent learners. High academic achievement stands as our priority.
Our educational program design responds to the needs of the School's target population
and will lead to improved student performance. By placing students, who may be at-risk of
failure in their traditional school, in a military school environment, teachers and military
uniformed instructors will provide the mentor system that has been needed by many of
them. The School’s instructors will work closely with the School Leadership to identify
students at risk and help to get them on the right track. For many of these students, the first
promotion or award will likely be their first tangible sign of success. Using this motivation
the School will always try to encourage the student to the next achievement. In addition to
the adult support staff and an assigned teacher mentor, students will have an internal
student support system. The student support system will consist of a student squad leader
and student company executive office. The student company executive officer will serve as
the company academic officer. These students working with the faculty will become the
back bone of a student peer tutoring program.
Students that are academically gifted will be identified and placed in classes that will
challenge them. If a student is more advanced for the course work offered at the academy
additional courses will be arranged through Dual Enrollment at a local college and online
classrooms. Students that are academically gifted will be looked to for the highest
leadership positions in the Corps of Students provided that have completed their character,
athletic, and leadership requirements.
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As schools serve a wide range of student ability, one must recognize that some students
need more direction and other students need a more independent learning environment.
Whatever the learning needs and preferences, our goal is to equip our students with the
skills and the mind-set to allow them ready access to further learning.
For many students, school learning is so natural that mastery of curriculum, with a
moderate amount of teaching, is virtually guaranteed. For students at risk, however,
school learning does not always appear to be a natural and spontaneous event. For such
students, concise educational practice is critical. Teachers cannot make assumptions
about at-risk students' basic skill foundations, experiential backgrounds, vocabulary
development, use of learning strategies, level of motivation, and extent of self-monitoring
and self-management. For students at risk of school failure, the teacher must enter the
instructional relationship well prepared and eager to aggressively apply the best
instructional practices and processes.
E. Explain how the services the school will provide to the target population will
help them attain the Next Generation Sunshine State-Common Core
Standards, as required by section 1002.33, F.S.
JSMA proposes to meet high standards of student achievement by aligning its curriculum
with the FL Standards and the educational requirements of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA) formerly No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”) and maintaining high
expectations for all learners. The combination of educational programs designed to meet
high academic standards, coupled with a high degree of local parental choice, provides the
standards, flexibility, and diversity envisaged by the Charter School Statute. The State has
significantly changed the standards and the content students are expected to know and be
able to do at each grade level. These standards require concepts to be taught in far greater
depth than previous standards.
The population being targeted is those students in grades 6-12 from families who are in
search of a high technology STEM based military college preparatory school that includes
the application of critical thinking skills and an emphasis on moral development and
character education that integrate the principles of leadership, discipline, and honor.
JSMA students, through direct supervision of JSMA teachers, the Executive Director and
Governing Board will be successful in attaining the required FL Standards by ensuring that
the standards are integrated within the JSMA college preparatory course work. The
educational program at JSMA will be developed in accordance with the Florida
performance-based FL Standards.
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The School’s educational programs and curricula are built upon rigorous and relevant
standards that will help improve student achievement and attainment of the FL Standards
and NGSSS as defined by Senate Bill 1076, “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
means the state’s public K-12 curricular standards, including common core standards in
English Language Arts and mathematics, adopted under s. 1003.41, Florida Statute (F.S.).”
The School’s instructional staff will utilize assessment data and results to drive instructional
decisions, integrate strategic interventions to address gaps in student performance, and
improve student outcomes.
The School will offer multiple levels of core curriculum including foundational courses, core
courses integrated with reading development, core content courses, honors courses, and
advanced placement courses to help prepare students for success in college. Course
offerings will depend upon student needs. Our goal is to graduate students who are
prepared to enroll in freshman-level college courses and succeed without requiring
remediation. The School’s programs are focused on increasing postsecondary enrollment,
and increasing the diversity and number of high school graduates who enroll in
postsecondary education.
JSMA will be dedicated to providing a diverse population of students with an outstanding
education focused on the core curriculum areas and technology. The curriculum will be
designed to promote student proficiency on state standards in reading, math, science, and
writing. The curriculum will be driven by annual academic benchmarks and the integration
of effective instructional strategies, including reading strategies; grade level expectations;
and technology as integral components rather than as pure resources. The basic core
curriculum (reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, language arts, and other
electives) will be built upon, and assessed by, a framework of high expectations and
continuous assessment of competencies.
Teachers will maintain a checklist of those State Standards that must be implemented into
their lessons. Teachers, and students, as appropriate, will track skills taught, mastered, and
retained for each student’s portfolio.
JSMA will strive to help each student develop basic and advanced skills in reading and
mathematics using challenging content from all subject areas. Teachers in all subject
areas will require students to apply Reading and Mathematics skills to challenging content
in the specific subject area. JSMA Language Arts teachers will rate and grade student
work using the new State Standards assessment and Florida Writes rubrics, and provide
specific feedback regarding each student’s achievement level on practice writing prompts.
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All content area teachers will support the school-wide reading program by teaching and
emphasizing the use of effective reading strategies, and applying critical reading strategies
in their discipline-based textbooks or other reading selections.
All content area teachers will support high math achievement by applying creative thinking
and problem solving strategies in discipline-based situations. Examples of this support
include: the creation and interpretation of graphs and tables in applicable discipline-based
situations; the identification and explanation of mathematical concepts, processes, and
solutions in applicable discipline-based situations; and the development of measurement
and number sense skills in applicable discipline-based situations.
Quality instruction is a key to student learning and performance. Teachers must be
sufficiently knowledgeable about the content they teach to make learning real, relevant, and
challenging for every student. The role of the teacher is to explain ideas and demonstrate
procedures, and students are expected to quickly duplicate those procedures. The teacher
has a critical role to play in establishing the norms and expectations for facilitating
discussion in the classroom. The teacher builds a community of mutually supportive
learners working together to make sense of concepts. The teacher introduces background
information that is necessary to “investigate” the objectives of the lesson. The teacher uses
higher level questioning to probe further into a concept via discussion, exploration and
summarization. It is through teacher and student interaction in the classroom that students
learn to recognize and apply acceptable practices, as well as explain, defend and justify
their reasoning. The teacher’s ability to create and manage this diverse learning
environment is enhanced by their understanding and incorporation of interdisciplinary
philosophies and practices.
Multicultural themes will teach students tolerance for the ethnically and/or culturally diverse
population served by the school. With tolerance comes understanding, thus creating a
community of students who are committed to working together to assist in creating a school
environment that is conducive to learning.
The School recognizes that a culturally diverse student population requires individualized
methods of instruction delivery. Differentiated instruction will be infused throughout the
curriculum with content and pace of instruction suitable for the abilities of the students in
that class. As such, the needs of all students, including exceptional and gifted students, will
easily be met.
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Courses will be integrated in which the common standards of two or more “courses” or
disciplines are taught together to increase retention, application, transference, and
relevancy.
Pearson’s 1:1 learning solution will be implemented at JSMA, which has years of research
validation as succeeding in remediation and to provide course offerings or to accelerate
coursework not available in a conventional way. Research and development efforts in
digital learning will be expanded by increasing student access to such systems, partnering
with additional appropriate vendors, and producing additional distance learning products.
Classroom and school-wide interim assessments are a critical component of the teaching
and learning process. Teachers assess student learning frequently to insure academic
success. In addition, interim assessments provide tools for adjusting and refining
curriculum and instruction. The School will provide (as the budget allows) tutoring for
students whose assessment results indicate a need for further instruction in any essential
skill area.
Classroom teachers and administrative staff will monitor student progress on a continuous
basis. Informal student/teacher conferences, Principal visits to classrooms, and
examinations of test results including data chats are ways a student’s progress is
monitored.
Core intervention programs, for each subject area, further aid in meeting the needs of
students who may still be experiencing difficulties in the core subject areas. The MultiTiered System of Supports, including Response to Intervention (MTSS/RtI) refers to
specific three-tiered procedures that align with the steps of problem solving:
 Implementing evidence-based interventions
 Frequently measuring a student’s progress to determine whether the intervention is
effective
 Evaluating the quality of the instructional strategy
 Evaluating the fidelity of its implementation. (For example, did the intervention work?
Was it scientifically based? Was it implemented as planned?)
State assessment preparation and achievement will be emphasized. JSMA will ensure that
each of its students is appropriately equipped to apply knowledge and skills to achieve the
best possible outcome on high stakes assessments. Teachers will develop and pose
questions that are of the same cognitive rigor as those on state assessments for class
discussions and for tests. In addition, teachers will generate open-ended questions for
classroom assessments that parallel those question types (e.g., extended-response, short156
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response and gridded-response). Each teacher will receive specific training regarding the
design and structure of the new state assessments and how she/he may best prepare
students for maximum performance on the test(s).
Additional services and processes that will lead to improved student performance for the
school’s target population include the implementation of the Florida Continuous
Improvement Model (FCIM) and the Four-Step Problem Solving Process.
1. Florida Continuous Improvement Model (FCIM)
The Florida Continuous Improvement Model is JSMA’s method for insuring that all levels of
students are provided with meaningful instruction. FCIM is a continuous process in which
data analysis determines classroom instruction and is designed to assist administrators,
teachers, and students in recognizing students’ academic strengths and weaknesses
through a systematic approach to data collection and analysis from student assessment.
The School find that the use of data “levels the playing field” for all students because
continuous assessment reveals the gaps in learning that must be addressed to help ensure
student academic success. Armed with data and the means to harness the information data
can provide, teachers and administrative staff will make instructional changes aimed at
improving student achievement, such as:
 Prioritize instructional time
 Target additional individual instruction for students who are struggling with particular
topics
 Identify individual students’ strengths and instructional interventions that can help
students continue to progress
 Gauge the instructional effectiveness of classroom lessons
 Refine instructional methods and
 Examine school-wide data to consider whether and how to adapt the curriculum
based on information about students’ strengths and weaknesses.
As part of the FCIM the school will conduct Data Chats with teachers and students. Data
chats offer teachers the opportunity to review student achievement and other school wide
data and use this data to improve teacher instruction. Teacher data chats will:
 Identify each student who is not proficient
 Identify the demographic information of the student
 Determine patterns
 Determine which skill/concept/standard/benchmark where the student is
strongest/weakest
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



Determine which instructional strategies needed to address the skill/concept or
standard/benchmark
Determine which interventions will be implemented
Determine how student progress will be measured
Set a date for review of data
Data chats with students will help the students understand where they are and what is
needed to make improvements.
2. Four-Step Problem Solving Process
In addition to the FCIM, JSMA will implement the Four-step Problem Solving process. This
process is used to plan and revise instruction and intervention. Each step includes critical
activities:
 Problem Identification - Gap analysis is conducted to determine the amount of
progress that needs to occur in a given amount of time to move groups of or
individual students to benchmark.
 Problem Analysis - The problem-solving team generates hypotheses to identify
potential reasons for students not meeting academic or behavioral benchmarks.
Data are used to verify that potential hypotheses are viable reasons for students not
meeting benchmarks, prior to intervention development.
 Intervention Development - Detailed action plans are developed or revised to help
students move closer to meeting academic and benchmarks.
 Evaluation of Response - Progress monitoring data are collected and compared to
goals set during problem identification to determine if instruction or intervention is
effective at moving groups or individuals to benchmark. Instruction/intervention is
revised if necessary.
Alignment with the Florida STEM Strategic Plan:
The School, in support of the FL STEM Strategic Plan8, will integrate these strategies in its
program design:
 Sequence the curriculum to promote maximum student learning: Concepts should
build on one another as students progress and students must be expected to apply
learning. The School will:
o Review the order in which courses are taken by students to evaluate whether
they build on one another appropriately or are simply a result of tradition. If the
order is not ideal, reorder the curriculum to support better aligned learning
experiences for students.
8
STEMflorida, Inc. (2011). Five-year Strategic Plan: STEM Leadership for Florida, Online at:
http://www.stemflorida.net/announcements/five-year-strategic-plan-available
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
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

o Structure relevant courses and individual lessons such that students must
demonstrate that they can apply their learning. Project/problem-based learning
and extended final projects are excellent opportunities for the application of
learning that prepare students for real work experiences.
o Provide teacher educators with technology and access to easily map resources
and benchmarks onto their course calendars (e.g., iCPALMS;
http://www.icpalms.org/).
Improve assessments to encourage proficiency in applying STEM skills and content
knowledge, particularly in technology and engineering: The School will:
o Increase the use of formative assessment to support differentiated instruction.
o Determine what each student knows to establish how best to help each student
demonstrate the knowledge and skills associated with the learning objectives.
o Integrate performance-based assessment, during which students demonstrate
proficiency in project/problem-based learning, into classrooms on a daily basis.
For assessments to increase student learning, educators should provide useful,
educative feedback to the students.
Provide teachers with effective STEM curricula and resources that exemplify the
integration of STEM: The School will:
o Increase the number of high-quality, vetted resources aligned to the standards
freely available online via CPALMS (http://www.floridastandards.org/) to promote
individualized/differentiated instruction.
o Identify or create scalable resources and programs that evidence positive
impacts on student achievement. Emphasis will be placed on curricula that
integrate problems and projects relevant to students in Florida.
o Participate in Science and Engineering Fairs with a wide range of STEM projects.
o Ensure adopted mathematics and science textbooks have appropriate integration
of technology and engineering content and skills in core subject areas.
Integrate technology and engineering content into all courses.
Disseminate information and resources to parents about how to support their
children’s STEM education and choice of STEM careers. The School will:
o Encourage parents, particularly those of minority students, to have greater
involvement in the STEM education of their children.
o Promote Family Science and Family Engineering activities.
The School will be dedicated to providing a diverse population of students with an
outstanding education focused on the core curriculum areas and technology. The
curriculum will be designed to promote student proficiency on state standards in reading,
math, science, and writing.
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If the school intends to replicate9 an existing school design:
F. Provide evidence that the existing design has been effective and successful in
raising student achievement.
Not applicable.
G. Describe the applicant’s capacity to replicate an existing school design.
Not applicable. The applicant is not replicating an existing school design.
99
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An applicant is considered to be replicating an “existing school design” if:
The proposed school is substantially similar overall to at least one school, and
The individuals and/or organization involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed school are deeply involved in the
operation of the similar school(s).
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Section 4: Curriculum Plan
D.
E.
Describe the school’s curriculum in the core academic areas, illustrating how it will prepare students to achieve
the Next Generation Sunshine State-Florida Standards.
Describe the research base and foundation materials that were used or will be used to develop the curriculum.
Describe the school’s reading curriculum. Provide evidence that reading is a primary focus of the school and
that there is a curriculum and set of strategies for students who are reading at grade level or higher and a
separate curriculum and strategy for students reading below grade level.
The reading curriculum must be consistent with effective teaching strategies and be grounded in scientificallybased reading research.
Explain how students who enter the school below grade level will be engaged in and benefit from the curriculum.
Describe proposed curriculum areas to be included other than the core academic areas.
F.
Describe how the effectiveness of the curriculum will be evaluated.
A.
B.
C.
A. Describe the school’s curriculum in the core academic areas, illustrating
how it will prepare students to achieve the Next Generation Sunshine StateFlorida Standards.
JSMA will follow the Florida Standards. The School’s curriculum will provide for
appropriate instruction based upon the state curriculum frameworks and course
descriptions, standards prescribed by the Florida State Department of Education and
Florida’s System of School Improvement and Accountability Goals and Standards. The
School will use a comprehensive and evidence- based model of teaching and learning that
addresses the social, personal, and academic goals of students. Plans developed for
individual students [including Educational Plans (EP), Individual Educational Plans (IEP),
English Language Learner (ELL), and 504 plans] will strictly be adhered to and
accommodations provided according to law. The program is characterized by a strong
curriculum plan, rich learning experiences, and technology enhanced teaching and learning
opportunities.
Curriculum defines what students should know and be able to do. The curriculum for JSMA
reflects high expectations, and the Florida Standards. The overriding goal of the curriculum
is to provide a balance between a firm foundation in basic skills and lifelong learning skills.
Again, the curriculum at the School is based on the Florida Standards. These rigorous
standards describe what students should know and be able to do at the various grade
levels in all areas of instruction. The School seeks to impart on its students the ability and
motivation to be:
 Knowledgeable, lifelong learners who are engaged in the educational process
 Individuals who takes responsibility for their own actions
 Effective communicators
 Problem solvers
 Collaborative team workers
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
Self-directed learners who takes advantage of the opportunities available
To that end, the clear objectives for curriculum have been defined. The curriculum
objectives for the School are to:
 Provide an effective, research-based, relevant and rigorous curriculum that aligns to
the School's mission, purpose, and educational program design while meeting the
needs of all students
 Use appropriate assessments to determine student mastery and performance in all
subjects ensuring improved student performance, a year's worth of learning for each
year enrolled, and attainment of the State Standards
 Integrate technology to enhance the teaching and learning environment
 Provide FL Assessments preparation so students demonstrate mastery at Level 3 or
higher, transitioning to career and college readiness following full implementation of
FL Standards.
Rigor and relevance will play an integral role in JSMA's curriculum and educational
program. Florida Statute, 1003.42, provides for JSMA’s required courses and instruction to
ensure that students meet State Board of Education adopted standards. Most specifically,
members of the School’s instructional staff, subject to the rules of the State Board of
Education, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that
meet the highest standards for professionalism and historic accuracy, following the
prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction. The State
Board of Education Rule 6A-1.09412 Course Requirements - Grades K-12 Basic and Adult
Secondary Programs provides “…the essential content and course requirements for
each course in grades K-12 contained in the "Course Code Directory and Instructional
Personnel Assignments" adopted by Rule 6A-1.09441, F.A.C. Course requirements
approved by the State Board of Education and are (available) online.” JSMA will follow
these FL Standards course descriptions (requirements) which shall define the School’s
content standards for all subject area and grades K-12. Both the Mathematics Florida
Standards (MAFS) and Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) were approved by the
Florida State Board of Education on February 18, 2014 and implemented in the 2014-15
academic year. JSMA will also follow the MAFS and LAFS within its curriculum.
The School will adhere to the Polk County School District Student School
Progression Plan and the FL Standards. Curricula will be aligned vertically and
horizontally in order to prepare students for FL Assessments and End of Course
state assessments. Teachers will be required to document instruction of the FL
Standards and those Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards still in
effect, by completing daily lesson plans, as well as records of weekly and monthly
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planning units. A generalized lesson plan format will be used by all teachers to
ensure specific objectives are taught, benchmarks are met as listed in the
curriculum, and ESE/EP/ELL, 504 and RtI practices are included.
1. Rigorous Curriculum Design
The School’s academic focus will be carefully aligned to the FL Standards. Every
lesson will be designed and implemented using the Rigorous Curriculum Design
– a standards-based backwards planning process. A rigorous curriculum is a set of
intentionally aligned lessons with clear learning outcomes, matching assessments
(formative and summative), engaging learning experiences, and instructional
strategies that are organized into sequenced units of study.
The School sees the Rigorous Curriculum Design process beginning during
summer professional development. Teachers from each grade level will collaborate
to review the state standards, separating them into priority standards (those needed
to progress to the next grade level and will be covered on the state standardized
test) and supporting standards (those that support the learning of priority
standards). Teachers will then “unwrap” these two sets of standards, identifying the
teachable parts (skills to be taught), and translating them into student friendly
learning objects. Once this process is complete, teachers begin creating targeted
units of study and engaging lessons that are aligned with the identified skills.
Additionally, skill-specific assessments are created that will be analyzed each week
to make adjustments to instruction and identify individualized student learning
strategies to enhance comprehension and achievement.
All JSMA students will take the following core academic classes: Reading/language arts,
math, science, and social studies. Additionally, students will have instruction in foreign
languages, the arts, music, computers, and physical education focusing on health and
wellness. Effective communication and leadership skills are also integral to a student's
success. Oral presentation and writing will be imbedded in all JSMA classes.
Well-developed reading skills are essential to the mastery of core subject content. The
School's reading curriculum will focus on the importance and inclusion of reading activities
in all subject areas. The education plan advocated by JSMA will seek to provide increased
reading and learning opportunities and choices for all students, and will give special
emphasis to expanding learning opportunities for students who have been identified as low
readers and academic performers.
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FL Standards are aligned with our mission and purpose. These FL Standards will provide
appropriate guidance to lead student instruction to mastery of the standards for Language
Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Languages, The Arts, and
Health/Physical Education. These standards will form the basis for our instruction, and
evaluation of student performance.
Our commitment to deliver a college preparatory curriculum dictates high rigor and
relevance in core subject areas. All programs focus upon a core of common learning,
emphasis in the development of higher level thinking skills, and consolidation of study
skills. We will seek to expand the student's knowledge base in each succeeding grade
level, always moving forward, to ensure the student builds capacity and is not only college
bound but also college and career ready. Fundamentally, through our FL Standards based
curriculum, we seek:
 Challenge students to develop their full potential.
 Engage parents and families to prepare children to have the life skills they need and
support learning at home.
 Give teachers a structure for student learning expectations and freedom to
personalize instruction.
 Connect the classroom with real-world business and community needs.
In order to provide rigorous and engaging content for our students, the curriculum will also
address:
 Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction as a model for lesson and unit development.
Introduced in 1969, Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction have been used by curriculum
developers and teachers as a model for high quality instructional design.
 The use of levels 4, 5, and 6 of Bloom's taxonomy (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation).
 Real-world applications to connect learning through the use of problem or project based
learning.
 Access to advanced placement (AP) courses and other special interest courses.
The course of studies provide for a spiral design, meaning that previous concepts are
revisited in a more advanced form in later units or grades. Students exhibit mastery of
essential concepts at each level of advancement along the spiral curriculum. The
curriculum is comprehensive, dynamic, and continuously upgraded. This means our
students will have access to the most up-to-date content that incorporates revisions and
state standards changes as they occur.
For every course, the objectives are clearly laid out on the Pacing Charts (“lesson plans”)
available to the teachers. Each unit of a course has its sub-objectives and, in turn, every
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lesson plan or period has its own sub-objectives. These objectives consist of skills, abilities,
and new concepts that students acquire, or master, as a result of having access to the
interactive texts within and without the classroom.
Our curriculum is specifically tailored to ensure that all students meet the requirements for
high school graduation - including mastery of all respective FL State Standards while
participating in an innovative high technology based military college preparatory program.
Following our annual review processes, any curriculum change or additional adoption
decisions will be made after consulting with teachers, instructional teams, parents, and
educators, and notice provided to the School District sponsor.
2. STEM Design
The School has identified the STEM model as one that is necessary in addressing the
whole student and preparing them for a future in whatever career path they choose. This
process leads students through distinct levels of research, planning, creation, and
reflection. STEM is so much more than just subject matter. Students will research global
issues, imagine solutions, plan an invention or new procedure, and ultimately create, reflect
on, and modify that invention or procedure through the integration of the visual arts. A
STEM emphasis provides students with critical thinking and analysis skills that are easily
applied across all disciplines.
By teaching the process and not just the stand alone subjects STEM is associated with, the
School will transform classrooms into laboratories by encouraging curriculum that is driven
by problem-solving, discovery, and exploratory learning by using art and design skills. This
model does not just focus on painting or designing, but reinforces the critical thinking and
design thinking that goes into solving all sorts of problems. The School believes that once a
student can think critically, real innovation begins. Students will engage in STEM lessons,
which are thematic lessons that integrate all subjects and utilize the engineering design
process to help students transfer knowledge.
JSMA recognizes that curriculum should not be driven by instructional materials, but that
high quality curriculum materials such as those selected by the School will support FL
Standards. Central to this educational plan is the evidence that a student who finds the
curriculum relevant, and has the opportunity to become an active learner, becomes
personally invested in his/ her own education. Active learners tend to retain and
understand information best by engaging directly with the information, such as discussing
or applying it or explaining it to others. Effective planning, teaching, and delivering are
essential, and when coupled with diversified, well designed reading and learning activities,
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these elements provide students with demonstrably high success in the acquisition and
retention of knowledge.
The School will provide students a cross-curricular instructional approach using the FL
Standards with special emphasis on individualized learning. The School will seek to keep
each student continually challenged and performing at the top of his/her individual potential.
This will allow for optimal progression and will allow each student to reach his/her
maximum potential without frustration, while fostering self-motivation and self-assuredness.
The School will host a core of significant knowledge expectations at appropriate
instructional levels. The components of the curriculum are:
 The Florida State Standards to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what
students are expected to learn so teachers and parents know what they need to do
to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real
world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that students need for success in high
school, college and careers.
 Unit and lesson objectives derived by the school and/or teacher, using the items
listed above.
The School will weave STEM into all subjects and all instruction. One method of
integration will be through the infusion of IT tools in instruction of all subject areas.
Specifically, the School’s program will incorporate Technology Integrated Education (TIE) in
all the core courses. Microsoft and Cisco provide sample lesson plans for new ways to
enhance student learning through technology integration.
We want to include an optimized blend of these resources as well as other TIE-based
activities. The School’s programs will provide students, especially in the Middle School,
with exposure to basic computer skills that will help them with their academic courses and
prepare them to advanced IT studies. To accomplish these aims the students will be taught
computer skills, such as word processing, graphic design, presentations, and desktop
publishing. Students will excel in utilizing IT tools in writing and presenting their reports,
managing files and spreadsheets, as well as communicating with their peers and teachers.
At high school students will continue building on their strong foundation with:
 IT in the Modern World: The School aims to solidify students’ understanding of IT
principles and practices so that they can make informed choices and use
appropriate computational tools and techniques in whatever career they decide to
pursue. They should also appreciate the breadth of computing and its influence in
almost every aspect of modern life. Finally, they should understand the social and
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

ethical impact of their various choices when using computing technology in their
work and personal lives.
IT Principles: The School will offer a more in-depth study of computer science and its
relation to other disciplines, and contains a significant amount of algorithmic problem
solving and related activities. Students should come out of this course with a clear
understanding of the application of computational thinking to real-world problems.
They should also have learned how to work collaboratively to solve a problem and
use modern collaboration tools during that work.
IT College and Career Tracks: The School will offer elective course work that
provide for depth of study in one particular area of computing. This may be, for
example, an AP Computer Science course, which offers depth of study in Java
programming. Alternatively, it may be a course that leads to a professional
computing certification.
The School has chosen a select group of digital products to support the integration of
STEM content throughout course programs. These tools include Pearson's Project STEM
and Project Lead the Way.
a) Pearson’s Project STEM
Pearson’s Project STEM provides research-based materials that make it easy for teachers
to integrate STEM seamlessly into instruction. Through the topics and accompanying
program guides, Project STEM works with any middle grades core subject program. Each
module follows the same format: Introduce, Teach, and Evaluate. Topics illustrate how the
four STEM areas are connected through hands-on labs, projects, and background
materials.
b) Project Lead The Way
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) offers activities and professional development in three (3)
pathways for students, all based on the activity-, project-, and problem-based approach to
learning. All three (3) pathways are represented in the middle school program, with
separate programs for the three (3) pathways at the high school level. The grade 6-8
curriculum is called Gateway. Gateway to Technology is a sequence of eight, nine-week
units for middle school students, designed to engage students' natural curiosity and
imagination in creative problems solving. Topics include Automation and Robotics, Design
and Modeling, Energy and the Environment, Flight and Space, Magic of Electrons, Green
Architecture, Science of Technology, and Medical Detectives.
The high school programs of study are PLTW's Pathway to Engineering, Biomedical
Sciences, and PLTW Computer Science. The high school Pathway To Engineering
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sequence includes eight (8) full-year courses: a pair of foundation courses (Introduction to
Engineering Design and Principles Of Engineering), several courses on engineering
specialties (Aerospace Engineering, Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering and
Architecture, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Digital Electronics), and a capstone
course, Engineering Design and Development. The Biomedical Sciences program is a
series of four (4) courses that introduce students to concepts in human medicine,
physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. The courses include: Principles of the
Biomedical Sciences, Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions, and the capstone
course Biomedical Innovations.
All PLTW programs are aligned to the FL State Standards.
3. The Academic Core
A common academic core prepares all students not only for State Assessments but also for
post-secondary college and career endeavors. Graduation requirements are as follows:

Students entering grade nine as of 2016-17 need to complete the requirements
below from the Florida Department of Education in order to graduate. Students will
be offered the 24 credit standard diploma option. The Florida's public high school
graduation requirements are specified in the following sections of Florida Statute
Section 1003.4282, F.S., Requirements for a standard high school diploma (effective
July 1, 2013) STANDARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA; COURSE AND
ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS:
o Four credits in English Language Arts (ELA): The four credits must be in
ELA I, II, III, and IV. A student must pass the statewide, standardized grade
10 Reading assessment or, when implemented, the grade 10 ELA
assessment, or earn a concordant score, in order to earn a standard high
school diploma.
o Four credits in Mathematics: A student must earn one credit in Algebra I and
one credit in Geometry. A student’s performance on the statewide,
standardized Algebra I end-of-course (EOC) assessment constitutes 30
percent of the student’s final course grade. A student must pass the
statewide, standardized Algebra I EOC assessment, or earn a comparative
score, in order to earn a standard high school diploma. A student’s
performance on the statewide, standardized Geometry EOC assessment
constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. If the state
administers a statewide, standardized Algebra II assessment, a student
selecting Algebra II must take the assessment, and the student’s performance
on the assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade.
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o
o
o
o
A student who earns an industry certification for which there is a statewide
college credit articulation agreement approved by the State Board of
Education may substitute the certification for one mathematics credit.
Substitution may occur for up to two mathematics credits, except for Algebra I
and Geometry.
Three credits in Science: Two of the three required credits must have a
laboratory component. A student must earn one credit in Biology I and two
credits in equally rigorous courses. The statewide, standardized Biology I
EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. A
student who earns an industry certification for which there is a statewide
college credit articulation agreement approved by the State Board of
Education may substitute the certification for one science credit, except for
Biology I.
Three credits in Social Studies: A student must earn one credit in United
States History; one credit in World History; one-half credit in economics,
which must include financial literacy; and one-half credit in United States
Government. The United States History EOC assessment constitutes 30
percent of the student’s final course grade.
One credit in Fine or Performing Arts, Speech and Debate, or Practical
Arts.—The practical arts course must incorporate artistic content and
techniques of creativity, interpretation, and imagination. Eligible practical arts
courses are identified in the FL Course Code Directory.
One credit in Physical Education: Physical education must include the
integration of health. Participation in an interscholastic sport at the junior
varsity or varsity level for two full seasons shall satisfy the one-credit
requirement in physical education if the student passes a competency test on
personal fitness with a score of “C” or better. The competency test on
personal fitness developed by the Department of Education must be used. A
district school board may not require that the one credit in physical education
be taken during the 9th grade year. Completion of one semester with a grade
of “C” or better in a marching band class, in a physical activity class that
requires participation in marching band activities as an extracurricular activity,
or in a dance class shall satisfy one-half credit in physical education or onehalf credit in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the
personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical
education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan. Completion of
2 years in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) class, a significant
component of which is drills, shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in
physical education and the one-credit requirement in performing arts. This
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credit may not be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the
requirement for adaptive physical education under an IEP or 504 plan.
o Eight credits in Electives: School districts (the School) must develop and
offer coordinated electives so that a student may develop knowledge and
skills in his or her area of interest, such as electives with a STEM or liberal
arts focus. Such electives must include opportunities for students to earn
college credit, including industry-certified career education programs or series
of career-themed courses that result in industry certification or articulate into
the award of college credit, or career education courses for which there is a
statewide or local articulation agreement and which lead to college credit.
o ONLINE COURSE REQUIREMENT: At least one course within the 24
credits required under this section must be completed through online learning.
A school district (the School) may not require a student to take the online
course outside the school day or in addition to a student’s courses for a given
semester. An online course taken in grade 6, grade 7, or grade 8 fulfills this
requirement. This requirement is met through an online course offered by the
Florida Virtual School, a virtual education provider approved by the State
Board of Education, a high school, or an online dual enrollment course. A
student who is enrolled in a full-time or part-time virtual instruction program
under s. 1002.45 meets this requirement. This requirement does not apply to
a student who has an individual education plan under s. 1003.57 which
indicates that an online course would be inappropriate or to an out-of-state
transfer student who is enrolled in a Florida high school and has 1 academic
year or less remaining in high school.
The School will offer courses made available by Florida Department of Education. The
courses listed will be connected with course codes out of the Florida Department of
Education course code directory as provided by the 2015-2016 Course Directory - Adopted
by the State Board of Education on May 15, 2015.
4. Middle School Courses
Middle school students will receive instruction in language arts, reading, mathematics,
science and social studies. Instruction in health, physical education, exploratory, prevocational and special interest classes will be in accordance with state statutes and rules.
Instruction will be focused on ensuring that all students demonstrate mastery of the State
Standards as determined by performance on the new FL State Assessment.
Students will also enroll in one course of career and education planning to be completed in
7th or 8th grade, which can be a stand-alone course or instruction integrated into an
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existing course or courses. The middle school will offer Spanish, Spanish for Speakers,
Biology Honors, Algebra I, and/or Geometry Honors for which students may earn high
school credit.
Instruction in health, physical education, exploratory, pre-vocational, and special interest
classes will be in accordance with state statutes and rules. As many as twelve (12) high
interest STEM mini-courses will be offered on a rotating basis as Electives. These topics
might include: The Engineering Process; Computer Assisted Design; Robotics; Rapid
Prototyping; Biodiversity; Environmental Technology; Alternative Energy; Sustainable
Systems; Water Resources & Conservation; Food Science; Biotechnology; and Community
Problem Solving.
Middle School Coursework
Grade
6
7
8
Lang
Arts
1
1
1
Math
1
1
1
Social
Science
1
1
1
Science Phys. Ed Elective
1
1
1
.5
.5
.5
Totals
1.5
1.5
1.5
6
6
6
The middle school curriculum will include the following core courses.
Math
English
Algebra 1
English: Grammar
Algebra 1
Basic Math 1
Basic Math 2
Basic Math 3
Basic Math 4
Social Studies
American History:
The Beginnings
English: Literature
American History:
Forming a New
Nation
English: School and American History:
Job Skills
The New Republic
English: Writing
American History:
The Nation Expands
and
Changes
Language Arts I/Adv American History:
Civil War and
Reunion
Language Arts II/Adv American History: An
Age of Industry
Science
Comprehensive
Science I/Adv
Comprehensive
Science II/Adv
Comprehensive
Science III/Adv
Earth Science:
Astronomy
Earth Science:
Earth's Land and
Water
Earth Science: Inside
Earth
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Math
English
Social Studies
Intermediate Math 1 Language Arts III/Adv American History: A
New Role in the
World
Intermediate Math 2 Language Arts: Basic American History:
Reading
Depression and War
Science
Earth Science:
Weather and Climate
Life Science: Cells
and Heredity
Intermediate Math 3 Language Arts: Basic American History:
Writing
Moving Toward the
Future
Intermediate Math 4
Civics: Foundations
of Citizenship
Mathematics I/Adv
United States
History/Adv
Mathematics II/Adv
World Cultures/Adv
Mathematics III/Adv
Pre-algebra 1
Pre-algebra 2
Pre-algebra 3
Pre-algebra 4
Life Science:
Environmental
Science
Life Science: From
Bacteria to Plants
Life Science: Human
Biology and Health
Physical Science:
Chemical Interactions
World
Physical Science:
Geography/Adv
Chemical Building
Blocks
World Studies: Africa Physical Science:
Electricity and
Magnetism
World Studies: Asia Physical Science:
and the Pacific
Motion, Forces and
Energy
World Studies:
Physical Science:
Foundations of
Sound and Light
Geography
Civics/Adv
Science and
Technology
U.S. History/Adv
Comprehensive
Science I/Adv
World Cultures/Adv Comprehensive
Science II/Adv
Comprehensive
Science III/Adv
The following topics are specifically required by Florida Statute and the Florida Board of
Education, and they may be embedded within various middle school courses: Human
Growth and Development, Substance Abuse Education, Sexually Transmitted Disease,
Economic Education, Florida History, Government and Geography, and others as required.
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3. Middle School Curriculum Content
JSMA’s curriculum objectives and related content will be directly aligned with FL State
Standards. The curriculum is designed with the intention that all students obtain those skills
necessary to be successful in colleges or universities. Although the curriculum places a
heavy emphasis on the core subjects of English and mathematics, other subjects, such as
science, world language, social studies, art, health, physical education, and computing are
also considered important, and will be offered to provide a well-rounded education. The
curriculum also provides for a variety of course opportunities, such as AP and honors
courses.
A core component of the School’s program is the frequent student assessment throughout
the curriculum, which enables timely identification of individual needs and talents. Thus,
students who are capable of advancing rapidly have the opportunity to do so, and are
prepared to successfully complete a variety of internationally recognized examinations.
Conversely, students who are struggling are identified in real-time and provided with
intensives designed to fill learning gaps that may have developed.
Pearson will work with JSMA to build the digital resource portfolio that will be used to power
each student’s learning environment. While the expectation is that this portfolio will meet
the majority of our digital resource requirements, Pearson-provided free internet resources
will also be used. Supplemental materials and other relevant resources that support the
academic goals of our School will also be incorporated.
We will use the FL Standards curriculum with:
 Information is chunked to prevent cognitive overload
 Interactive animations assist with visualization of difficult concepts
 Checkpoint questions test a student's understanding of key topics
 Guided practice questions in the form of multiple choice and drag-and-drop matching
activities provide self-assessment opportunities
 Videos, step-through, and toggle graphic treatments present a deeper dive into
lesson content to improve comprehension
a. Overview of Reading/Language Arts
JSMA considers reading and language arts as the centerpiece of our academic program.
Effective literacy skills will be central to our charter school curriculum. Our students will be
provided with the content and skills introduced and developed through Reading; Writing;
Listening and Speaking; and Viewing and Presenting. We will promote communication
skills and strategies to strengthen the strands that lead from content and concepts to
connections among people and disciplines.
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Reading is the integrator of our curriculum. Our students will be strong readers. We seek
to provide opportunities to examine great literature that crosses the boundaries of subjects,
cultures, and times. In addition to literary and expository texts read in class, students will
read independently from a comprehensive list of leading works prepared for each grade
level. This strand will help us produce strong, fluent, lifelong readers.
Course Number: 1001010
Course Section: 6th Grade Language Arts
Course Length: Full Year
Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to provide grade 6 students, using texts of
appropriate complexity, integrated language arts study in reading, writing,
speaking, listening, and language for college and career preparation and
readiness.
Curriculum:
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:




active reading of varied texts for what they say explicitly, as well as the
logical inferences that can be drawn
analysis of literature and informational texts from varied literary periods to
examine:
o text craft and structure
o elements of literature
o arguments and claims supported by textual evidence
o power and impact of language
o influence of history, culture, and setting on language
o personal critical and aesthetic response
writing for varied purposes
o developing and supporting argumentative claims
o crafting coherent, supported informative/expository texts
o responding to literature for personal and analytical purposes
o writing narratives to develop real or imagined events
o writing to sources (short and longer research) using text based claims and
evidence
effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use
of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
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
discussions, and extended text discussions
collaboration amongst peers
Course Number: 10000101 5
Course Section: 6th Grade Developmental Reading
COURSE DESCRIPTION
The purpose of this course is to increase reading fluency and endurance through explicit
instruction and inquiry- based learning through language arts. This acceleration course
incorporates reading and analysis of literary and informational selections to develop critical
and close reading skills and move students from basic to proficient. At the end of 6th grade
students are expected to read and comprehend texts in the 6-8 grade complexity band
proficiently and read texts at the high end of the band with support. Students enrolled in the
course will move through a series of workshops in which skills build upon each other and
will be consistently challenged with increasingly complex text.
Curriculum:
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:












demonstrating successful reading of informational text;
demonstrating successful reading of main idea and relevant details;
demonstrating successful understanding of inference and argument/support;
demonstrating successful understanding of author’s purpose and perspective;
demonstrating successful understanding of cause/effect and problem/solution;
demonstrating successful reading of high-quality literature;
demonstrating successful note-taking skills and citing textual evidence;
demonstrating knowledge of a variety of organizational patterns and their
relationships in the comprehension of text;
demonstrating successful understanding of academic vocabulary and vocabulary in
context;
integrating reading and writing, including written responses to print and digital text;
using effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use
of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions;
collaborating extensively amongst peers.
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Course Number: 1001040
Course Section: 7th Grade Language Arts
Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to provide grade 7 students, using texts of high complexity,
students integrated language arts study in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and
language for college and career preparation and readiness.
Curriculum:
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:





active reading of varied texts for what they say explicitly, as well as the logical
inferences that can be drawn
analysis of literature and informational texts from varied literary periods to
examine:
o text craft and structure
o elements of literature
o arguments and claims supported by textual evidence
o power and impact of language
o influence of history, culture, and setting on language
o personal critical and aesthetic response
writing for varied purposes
o developing and supporting argumentative claims
o crafting coherent, supported informative/expository texts
o responding to literature for personal and analytical purposes
o writing narratives to develop real or imagined events
o writing to sources using text- based evidence and reasoning
effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use of
evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions
collaboration amongst peers
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Course Number: 10000106
Course Section: 7th Grade Reading 2
COURSE DESCRIPTION
The purpose of this course is to provide instruction that enables students to accelerate the
development of reading and writing skills and to strengthen those skills so they are able to
successfully read and write middle grade level text independently. Instruction emphasizes
reading comprehension, writing fluency, and vocabulary study through the use of a variety
of literary and informational texts encompassing a broad range of text structures, genres,
and levels of complexity.
Texts used for instruction focus on a wide range of topics, including content-area
information, in order to support students in meeting the knowledge demands of
increasingly complex text. Students enrolled in the course will engage in interactive textbased discussion, question generation, and research opportunities. They will write in
response to reading and cite evidence when answering text dependent questions orally
and in writing. The course provides extensive opportunities for students to collaborate
with their peers. Scaffolding is provided as necessary as students engage in reading and
writing increasingly complex text and is removed as the reading and writing abilities of
students improve over time.
Instructional Module
Text/Writing Focus
From the Ground Up
Informational or Explanatory/Definition
Threats to Health
Informational or Explanatory/ CauseEffect
Novel Units
 The Skin I’m In
 No More Dead Dogs


Overfishing
Argumentation/Problem-Solution
Informational or
Explanatory/Descrip
Argumentation/Analysis
tion
Informational or Explanatory/Cause-Effect
Children’s Rights
Narrative/Description
Power of Media
Curriculum:
The content should include, but not be limited to the following:
 demonstrating successful reading of argument;
 demonstrating successful reading of informational text;
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

demonstrating successful reading of narrative text;
determining central ideas or themes of a text and analyzing their development as
well as summarizing key supporting details and ideas;
demonstrating successful note-taking skills and citing textual evidence;
demonstrating knowledge of a variety of organizational patterns and their
relationships in the comprehension of text;
demonstrating successful understanding of academic vocabulary and vocabulary
in context;
demonstrating successful understanding of technical, connotative, and figurative
meanings, and analyzing how specific word choices shape meaning or tone;
writing in response to reading, emulating author’s structures, word choices, styles,
etc.
delineating and evaluating the argument and specific claims in a text, including the
validity of the reasoning as well as the source, relevance and sufficiency of the
evidence;
using effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the
use of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions;
collaborating extensively amongst peers








Course Number: 1001070
Course Section: 8
th
Grade Language Arts
Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to provide grade 8 students, using texts of high complexity,
integrated language arts study in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language for
college and career preparation and readiness.
Curriculum:
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:


active reading of varied texts for what they say explicitly, as well as the
logical inferences that can be drawn
analysis of literature and informational texts from varied literary periods to
examine:
o text craft and structure
o elements of literature
o arguments and claims supported by textual evidence
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power and impact of language
o influence of history, culture, and setting on language
o personal critical and aesthetic response
writing for varied purposes
o developing and supporting argumentative claims
o crafting coherent, supported informative/expository texts
o responding to literature for personal and analytical purposes
o writing narratives to develop real or imagined events
o writing to sources using text- based evidence and reasoning
effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use
of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions
collaboration amongst peers
o



Course Number: 10000100
Course Section: 8th Grade Reading 3
COURSE DESCRIPTION
The purpose of this course is to provide instruction that enables students to accelerate the
development of reading and writing skills and to strengthen those skills so they are able to
successfully read and write middle grade level text independently. Instruction emphasizes
reading comprehension, writing fluency, and vocabulary study through the use of a variety
of literary and informational texts encompassing a broad range of text structures, genres,
and levels of complexity.
Texts used for instruction focus on a wide range of topics, including content-area
information, in order to support students in meeting the knowledge demands of
increasingly complex text. Students enrolled in the course will engage in interactive textbased discussion, question generation, and research opportunities. They will write in
response to reading and cite evidence when answering text dependent questions orally
and in writing. The course provides extensive opportunities for students to collaborate
with their peers. Scaffolding is provided as necessary as students engage in reading and
writing increasingly complex text and is removed as the reading and writing abilities of
students improve over time.
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Instructional Module
Text/Writing Focus
Climate Change
Argumentation/ Problem-Solution
Pandemic
Informational or Explanatory/Cause-Effect
Novel Units
 Son of the Mob
 Code Orange


Digital Society
Argumentation/Comparison
Informational or
Explanatory/Descrip
tion
Argumentation/Analysis
Poverty
Narrative/Description
Curriculum:
The content should include, but not be limited to the following:
 demonstrating successful reading of argument;
 demonstrating successful reading of informational text;
 demonstrating successful reading of narrative text;
 determining central ideas or themes of a text and analyzing their development as
well as summarizing key supporting details and ideas;
 demonstrating successful note-taking skills and citing textual evidence;
 demonstrating knowledge of a variety of organizational patterns and their
relationships in the comprehension of text;
 demonstrating successful understanding of academic vocabulary and vocabulary
in context;
 demonstrating successful understanding of technical, connotative, and figurative
meanings, and analyzing how specific word choices shape meaning or tone;
 writing in response to reading, emulating author’s structures, word choices, styles,
etc.
 delineating and evaluating the argument and specific claims in a text, including the
validity of the reasoning as well as the source, relevance and sufficiency of the
evidence;
 using effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the
use of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions;
 collaborating extensively amongst peers
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The School's reading program is described in detail in Section 4.
b. Overview of Mathematics Programs
Our curriculum will provide students with in-depth, standards-based mathematics content
that reflects the best thinking of mathematicians and teachers. It is our goal to ensure that
every student achieves the essential skills needed for mathematical literacy. Our teachers
will have mathematical knowledge beyond the curriculum that is taught and will participate
in ongoing professional development to better serve our students.
Fundamentally, we seek to provide a learning environment that emphasizes the unifying
concepts of fundamental computational operations, communication, reasoning and proof,
representation, problem solving, and connections. The domains/strands include
expressions and equations, functions, geometry, mathematical practice, ratios and
proportional relationships, statistics and probability, and the number system.
The School will expose its students to advanced Math topics at earlier grades. The
following are sample math course sequence options for students. Depending on student
progress, these sequences might vary:
o Math 6 → Math 7 → Math 8 → Algebra I → Data Analysis → Geometry →
Algebra II → Pre-Calculus
o Math 6 → Math 7 → Algebra I → Geometry → Algebra II → Pre-Calculus → AP
Calculus AB
o Math 6/ 7 → Algebra I → Geometry → Algebra II/Trigonometry → Mathematical
Analysis → AP Calculus AB
o Math 6/ 7 → Algebra I → Geometry → Algebra II/Trigonometry → Mathematical
Analysis → AP Calculus BC
o Math 6/ 7 → Algebra I → Geometry → Algebra II → Pre-Calculus → AP Calculus
AB
o Math 6/ 7 → Algebra I → Geometry → Algebra II → Pre-Calculus → AP Statistics
o Math 6/ 7 → Algebra I → Geometry → Algebra II → Pre-Calculus → AP
Computer Science
The Mathematics program will be focused on providing all students with the mathematical
skills they will need to compete in advanced technology fields. The goal of mathematics
program will be to enable students to comprehend concepts, operations, and relationships
in mathematics as well as proficiency in application of those concepts to model and solve
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problems. Students will develop fluency in solving multi-step equations, modeling functions
and algebraic thinking.
Critical thinking and problem solving will be an integral part of learning objectives at each
grade and in every course. Students will have considerable experience in analyzing data,
graphs, charts and presenting them verbally, to describe a wide variety of patterns and
relationships. Using knowledge and tools they have acquired so far, students will be asked
to model the problem they are facing, develop an approach to solve it, come up with an
acceptable success criteria, implement the solution and assess the outcome.
Mathematics – Students will use a Florida-approved series for general math, pre-algebra
and algebra. Students will be placed in the 60-minute classes based on teacherrecommendation and review of standardized testing scores. Topics covered will reflect the
FL Standards.
M/J Intensive Mathematics (Course # 1204000) (6th – 8th Grade for students who scored
at level 1 or 2 on FCAT Math 2.0 the previous year) The purpose of this course is to enable
students to develop mathematics skills and concepts through remedial instruction and
practice if the student requires more than intensive instruction within the regular
mathematics course.
M/J Mathematics 1 (Course # 1205010) (6th Grade) The purpose of this course is to
continue the development of mathematical concepts and processes that can be used to
solve real-world and mathematical problems.
M/J Mathematics 1, Advanced (Course # 1205020) (6th Grade students who met
specified number of requirements at end of 5th grade as stated in District Student
Progression Plan) The purpose of this course is to continue the development of
mathematical concepts and processes that can be used to solve real world and
mathematical problems.
M/J Mathematics 2 (Course # 1205040) (7th Grade) The purpose of this course is to
continue the development of mathematical concepts and processes that can be used to
solve real-world and mathematical problems. It builds upon the skills and concepts
presented in M/J Mathematics 1.
M/J Mathematics 2, Advanced (Course # 1205050) (7th Grade) The purpose of this
course is to continue the development of mathematical concepts and processes that can be
used to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
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M/J Mathematics 3 (Course # 1205070) (8TH Grade) The purpose of this course is to
continue the development of mathematical concepts and processes that can be used to
solve real-world and mathematical problems. It builds upon the skills and concepts
presented in M/J Mathematics 2.
M/J Mathematics 3, Advanced (Course # 1205080) (8th Grade) The purpose of this
course is to continue the development of mathematical concepts and processes that can be
used to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
HS Algebra (Course #1200310) (8th Grade) Upon successful completion of the required
coursework and End-of-Course exam, students will be awarded credit toward high school
graduation.
c. Overview of Science Programs
Effective science education begins in early in response to a student‘s natural curiosity
about the world around him or her. A science curriculum will be offered that reflects the
practices of scientists by providing hands-on labs and thinking opportunities for students to
apply the scientific method. They inquire, explore, analyze, classify, and test hypotheses in
the classroom and in their environment.
Relevant STEM Subjects to be considered:
Science
Technology
Biology
Computer Info Sys
Chemistry
Game design
Environment
Developer
Physics
Web/Software
Engineering
Chemical
Civil
Computer
Electrical
Mechanical
General
Mathematics
Math
Statistics
Probability
In addition to developing content knowledge in these areas, JSMA also will seek to cultivate
soft skills such as scientific inquiry and problem-solving skills. By enhancing these skills,
STEM education seeks to build a STEM-literate citizenry. This STEM literacy refers to an
individual’s ability to apply his or her understanding of how the world works within and
across four interrelated domains:
 Scientific Literacy - The ability to use scientific knowledge and processes to
understand the natural world as well as the ability to participate in decisions that
affect it.
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


Technological Literacy - Students should know how to use new technologies,
understand how new technologies are developed, and have the skills to analyze how
new technologies affect us, our nation, and the world.
Engineering Literacy - The understanding of how technologies are developed via the
engineering design process using project-based lessons in a manner that integrates
lessons across multiple subjects.
Math Literacy - The ability of students to analyze, reason, and communicate ideas
effectively as they pose, formulate, solve, and interpret solutions to mathematical
problems in a variety of situations.
6th Grade Science
A central theme throughout sixth grade science is how energy and matter are exchanged
and transformed throughout different aspects of the world around us. Students will learn
how this works by exploring Earth's structures and how it affects our weather and climate.
Students will also understand the development, organization, and diversity of living systems
and how energy transfer is connected. The final portion of the year is spent exploring
energy, forces, and motion.
Comprehensive Science 1
 Learn ways in which the Earth’s surface is built up and torn down
 Recognize that there are a variety of different landforms
 Investigate how heat is transferred through the Earth
 Investigate how the water cycle has an effect on weather and climate
 Describe how global patterns influence local weather
 Explore the interactions among the parts of the Earth and how the energy is
transferred
 Investigate how natural disasters have affected life in Florida
 Describe how living things are organized
 Investigate the components of the scientific theory of cells
 Recognize and explore how cells undergo similar processes including obtaining and
using energy, getting rid of waste, and reproducing
 Compare the structure and function of major organelles
 Identify and investigate the general functions of major systems in the human body
 Compare and contrast types of infectious agents that may infect the human body
 Analyze how living things are classified according to shared characteristics
 Explore the Law of conservation of Energy by differentiating between kinetic and
potential energy
 Observe, describe, and measure the motion of an object
 Investigate different types of forces like magnetic, gravitational, and electrical
 Explore the Law of Gravity
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
Investigate what happens when unbalanced forces act on each other
7th Grade Science
Seventh grade continues the theme of energy and energy transformation from sixth grade
by examining geologic events such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain building. The
end of the year is spent exploring interdependence among living things, heredity, and
reproduction.
Comprehensive Science 2
 Explore how the sun’s energy emits a wide range of different types of energy such
as light
 Describe the methods in which scientists gather their empirical evidence to support
their claim
 Explore how light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed and how it moves at
different speeds
 Investigate the transformation of energy
 Understand the impact different variables have on the outcome of an investigation or
experiment
 Cite evidence of the Law of Conservation of Energy
 Investigate heat exchange and how it could change the physical nature of an object
 Observe and describe how heat moves in predictable ways
 Examine the layers of the Earth by using scientific models
 Identify patterns of the rock cycle and relate them to surface events
 Explore the theory of plate tectonics
 Investigate how movement of materials within the Earth causes earthquakes and
volcanic eruptions, and creates mountains and ocean basins
 Explore how the age of the Earth is measured
 Use evidence to examine how the Earth has evolved over geologic time
 Investigate the impact humans have had on the Earth
 Explore the different levels of organizations in an environment
 Explain how empirical evidence is used to explain science
 Understand the relationship among organisms and how the energy is transferred
between organisms
 Investigate how limiting factors impact native populations in an ecosystem
 Explore how traits are inherited
 Describe how traits are passed on through sexual and asexual reproduction
 Explore the impact of biotechnology (cloning, genetic engineering, etc)
 Use evidence to examine how living things evolved from earlier species
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Explore how genetic variation and environmental factors contribute to evolution by
natural selection and diversity of living things
8th Grade Science
Eighth grade focuses on Matter, energy transformation, and Earth in space and time.
Students spend time exploring the role of the carbon cycle in the Earth system and how it
impacts human and natural activities. The second half of the year is devoted to studying
Earth and space.
Comprehensive Science 3
 Investigate the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration as it relates to
cycles within our Earth
 Construct a scientific model of the carbon cycle to show how matter and energy are
transferred
 Cite evidence of the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy through living
systems
 Explore the atomic theory
 Differentiate between weight and mass
 Explore the properties of matter, specifically density
 Classify various substances based on their characteristic physical properties
 Recognize that atoms combine in a multitude of ways to produce many new
substances
 Explore the scientific theory of atoms
 Investigate the properties of compounds, including acids, bases, and salts
 Explore the concept of time in space and how distances are measured
 Recognize the vastness of space
 Explore the Law of Universal Gravitation as it relates to space
 Investigate the properties of stars
 Create models of solar properties
 Explain how technology is essential for space exploration
 Explore the effects of space exploration on the economy and culture of Florida
d. Overview of Social Studies Programs
The Social Studies portion of the curriculum will integrate several fields, using literature,
science, technology, and the arts to enrich learning. Personal and global perspectives are
essential elements for students facing a rapid changing world. Both perspectives will be
presented throughout the social studies strands of Civics, History, Government, and
Economics. Embedded within these strands are themes ranging from cultures to
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environments, to provide for the integration, extension, and application of knowledge for
active participation in a global society.
GRADE 6 M/J WORLD HISTORY
Course Number
21090104 M/J World History
21090205 M/J World History Advanced
21090200 M/J World History Advanced ("Honors")
YEAR AT A GLANCE: The scope of this course follows the history of the world's earliest
civilizations to the ancient and classical civilizations of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Students
follow the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia through to the fall of the Roman Empire. This
study of world history includes elements of economics, geography, politics, and
religion/philosophy. It emphasizes skill in historical inquiry, close reading of primary and
secondary historical documents, and writing to support a claim. Students will also have the
opportunity to interpret and graphically represent historic information. Mastery is gauged
through a variety of measures including Semester Exams, teacher-made assessments and
classroom performance.
Students in the Advanced and Advanced/Honors Level World History courses follow
essentially the same curriculum, but should expect more in-depth study of content topics,
increased rigor of some content topic or materials, and higher performance expectations.
GRADE 7 M/J CIVICS
Course Number
21060104 M/J Civics
21060205 M/J Civics Advanced
21060200 M/J Civics Advanced ("Honors")
YEAR AT A GLANCE: This course mainly deals with the principles, functions, and
organization of government; the origins of the American political system; the roles, rights,
responsibilities of United States citizens; and methods of active participation in our political
system. For the first three quarters, students engage in-depth study of political thinkers, the
foundation of US government, the history of the US political process, and analysis of the
components of the US Constitution. This prepares students for the state end-of-course
(EOC) exam on the Civics benchmarks. The final units of study provide opportunities to
focus on the geographic and economic benchmarks of the course. In addition to the EOC,
mastery is gauged through a variety of measures including a Semester 1 exam, teachermade assessments and classroom performance.
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Students in the Advanced and Advanced/Honors Level Civics courses follow essentially the
same curriculum, but should expect more in-depth study of content topics, increased rigor
of some content topic or materials, and higher performance expectations.
GRADE 8 M/J UNITED STATES HISTORY & CAREER PLANNING
Course Number
21000154
21000255 Advanced
21000250 Advanced ("Honors")
YEAR AT A GLANCE: This course involves the study of American history from the early
Colonization period to the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. Students examine
the historical, geographic, political, economic, and sociological events which influenced the
development of the United States. Students will engage in historical inquiry, close reading
of primary and secondary historical documents, and writing to support a claim. Students will
also have the opportunity to interpret and graphically represent historic information.
Mastery is gauged through a variety of measures including Semester Exams, teachermade assessments and classroom performance.
Students in the Advanced and Advanced/Honors Level World History courses follow
essentially the same curriculum, but should expect more in-depth study of content topics,
increased rigor of some content topic or materials, and higher performance expectations.
In addition to historical studies, students in M/J US History classes will also engage in
Career and Education Planning to meet state statute (section 1003.41560). The planning
includes instruction to emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship skills, technology or
the application of technology in career fields, and must provide information from the
Department of Economic Opportunity’s economic security report. Career and Education
Planning should provide a completed personalized academic and career plan for the
student.
The foundation for all course material will be taken from the Florida Department of
Education (FL DOE) Course Code Directory and will use FL DOE course coding.
e. Overview of Student Leadership and Personal Growth
Leadership and personal improvement curricula will focus on leadership skills, goal setting,
and planning. Our students are made to feel like adults who have many opportunities to
learn and apply real-life skills and become confident and competent leaders in the process.
The program can effectively train students to come out of their shell of confusion and
decide what they want to do with their life. It can help make them self-reliant and strong. It
can also imbibe in them qualities of leadership, determination, and a winning attitude that
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makes them stand apart from conventional students. As compared to conventional schools,
we will compel our students to follow rules and meticulously complete their assignments.
Students will be taught that goals are dreams with deadlines. We will help them establish
concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of goals. When students
measure progress, they stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration
of achievement. When they identify goals that are most important to them, students begin
to figure out ways to make them come true. They develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and
capacity to reach them. Our program will be unlike any other.
Our students will have a positive peer atmosphere and little opportunity to stray away. For
them, it can become more of an issue of honor than just simple code of conduct. With such
a structured environment in place, it greatly helps under-motivated, at-risk youth to seek
purpose. When at last such students compete in the world with other students, they tend to
stand out and defy all odds and surprise others with their talented and structured approach
to problems with a greater sense of responsibility.
Our School's unique military subculture can help develop students by enabling them to
accrue various forms of social capital by developing their civility, leadership skills, personal
discipline, and propensity for education. We believe that our graduates will possess
enhanced life skills and increased chances to achieve upward mobility. Our military focus
is grounded in of the long term success of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps
(JROTC) program, the nation’s largest. JROTC provides students with the order and
discipline that are too often lacking at home. It teaches them time management,
responsibility, goal setting, and teamwork, and it builds leadership, self-confidence and
character.
The mission of JSMA’s Middle School Student Corps (MSCC) program is to motivate young
people to be better citizens. To accomplish this mission, the program of instruction (POI)
includes courses such as citizenship, leadership and a number of other courses designed
to help the students succeed in middle school and prepare for high school.
The MSCC program is a cooperative effort between the JSMA and the US Army Student
Command JROTC to provide the middle school students the opportunity to develop
leadership and discipline. Satisfactory completion of the program can lead to advanced
placement in the JROTC program at a school of their choice. The program of instruction
consists of two or three years of instruction with a maximum of 30 hours of core subjects
and 60 optional hours, which include leadership labs, inspections, and physical training.
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The Middle School Student Corps objectives are to:
 Develop leadership and promote patriotism.
 Develop informed and responsible citizens, who understand our constitution and
government.
 Strengthen character and integrity.
 Develop self-discipline, responsibility and a positive response to constituted
authority.
 Encourage and assist young people to remain Drug Free.
 Develop students who learn/understand how education supports their future goals.
 Develop an appreciation of the values of physical and mental fitness.
 Develop the basic skills necessary to work effectively as a team member, while
expanding their comfort zone.
 Providing students a pathway to ease their entry into high school.
 Promote self-confidence and self –esteem
f. Overview of Middle School STEM
Middle School STEM will be integrated throughout the curriculum and in focused electives
(proposed). As many as twelve (12) high interest STEM mini-courses will be offered on a
rotating basis as Electives. These topics might include: The Engineering Process;
Computer Assisted Design; Robotics; Rapid Prototyping; Biodiversity; Environmental
Technology; Alternative Energy; Sustainable Systems; Water Resources & Conservation;
Food Science; Biotechnology; and Community Problem Solving.
SUBJECT
Math
6th Grade
Math
7th Grade
Math
8th Grade
Alg 1
Science
Science
Science
Science
English
English
English
English
Social Science Social Science
Social Science
Social Science
Elective
PLTW GTT
PLTW GTT
Elective
PLTW* Gateway to
Tech (GTT)
Robotics 1A
Robotics 1B
Robotics 2A
Elective
Reading
Reading
Reading
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Notes:
*Project Lead The Way. PLTW works with schools to support the implementation of
effective Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education programs.
Throughout Gateway to Technology (GTT), students acquire knowledge and skills in
problem solving, teamwork and innovation as well as explore STEM careers.
 6th Grade: Career Discovery FLDOE Course Code 8500140
 7th Grade:
o Exploring Technology and Career Planning: FLDOE Course Code 8600220
 Design and Modeling (DM): In this unit, students begin to recognize the
value of an engineering notebook to document and capture their
ideas. They are introduced to and use the design process to solve
problems and understand the influence that creative and innovative
design has on our lives. Students use industry standard 3D modeling
software to create a virtual image of their designs and produce a
portfolio to showcase their creative solutions.
 Science of Technology (ST): How has science affected technology
throughout history? To answer this question students apply the
concepts in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology to STEM activities
and projects.
o Personal Development: FLDOE Course Code 8500230
th
 8 Grade:
o Exploration of Production Technology and Career Planning: FLDOE Course
Code 8600042
 Magic of Electrons (ME): Through hands-on projects, students explore
the science of electricity, behavior and parts of atoms, and sensing
devices. Students acquire knowledge and skills in basic circuitry
design and examine the impact of electricity on our lives.
 Automation and Robotics (AR): Students trace the history,
development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn
about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and
computer control systems. Students use a robust robotics platform to
design, build, and program a solution to solve an existing problem.
o Optional:
 Exploration of Aerospace Technology FLDOE Course Code 8600050
The rich history of aerospace comes alive through hands-on activities,
research, and a presentation in the form of a short informational video.
Students explore the science behind aeronautics and use their
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knowledge to design, build and test an airfoil. Custom-built simulation
software allows students to experience space travel.
 Exploration of Power & Energy Technology FLDOE Course Code
8600250: Students investigate the impact of energy on our lives and
the environment. They design and model alternative energy sources
and participates in an energy expo to demonstrate energy concepts
and innovative ideas. Students evaluate ways to reduce energy
consumption through energy efficiency and sustainability.
3. Middle School Curriculum Resources
Our Middle School curriculum will be aligned with Florida’s Standards. The FLDOE Core
Curriculum is skill-based rather than content-based. Core Knowledge explicitly lays out
what content a child should know at each grade level, and that content is connected and
enriched across the grades. The FL Standards lay out concepts and skills a student should
learn at each grade level. At JSMA our teachers will be equipped to help every student
succeed within a program that is solid, sequenced, specific, and shared.
JSMA will have a strong commitment to literacy. Woven throughout the curriculum will be
rich, diverse, and meaningful works of literature, both fiction and non-fiction. Reading will
characterize our academic environment. JSMA’s collaboration with Pearson Publishing will
provide students with a digitally based adaptive course work curriculum that is fully aligned
with FL Standards. Effective instruction is adapted to each student’s need and features:
 Digital manipulatives to engage
 Programs that support student-centered and teacher-facilitated instruction
 Audio and visual support
a) Overview of M/J Reading/Language Arts
Pearson’s Prentice Hall Literature Online (PH Lit ONline) is JSMA’s selection for M/J
reading and language arts. It is fully aligned with FL Standards. Prentice Hall Literature is
a comprehensive basal program with complete online course materials well suited for a
one-to-one learning environment. Both teachers and students have full access to their
digital texts, while online tools help teachers differentiate the literature curriculum with
assessment-based, interactive learning activities. PH Lit Online administers assessments
(formative, summative, diagnostic) and generates records for data-driven decision making.
(1) Reading
JSMA considers reading and language arts are the centerpiece of our academic program.
Effective literacy skills will be central to our charter school curriculum. Our students will be
provided with the content and skills introduced and developed through Reading; Writing;
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Listening and Speaking; and Viewing and Presenting. We will promote communication
skills and strategies to strengthen the strands that lead from content and concepts to
connections among people and disciplines.
Middle School students will read a broad selection of poetry and prose, gaining
acquaintance with major genres and authors and developing a sense of literary history.
Their reading will include selections from such authors as Louisa May Alcott, Joseph
Conrad, James Fennimore Cooper, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel
Hawthorne, O. Henry, Homer, Victor Hugo, Washington Irving, Rudyard Kipling, C. S.
Lewis, Jack London, Guy de Maupassant, Ogden Nash, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare,
Robert Louis Stevenson, Rabindranath Tagore, Booth Tarkington, J. R. R. Tolkien, Mark
Twain, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, and speeches by major orators, such as George
Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King.
Reading is the integrator of our curriculum. Our students will be strong readers. We seek
to provide opportunities examine great literature that crosses boundaries of subjects,
cultures, and times. In addition to literary and expository texts read in class, students will
read independently from a comprehensive list of leading works prepared for each grade
level. This strand will help us produce strong, fluent, lifelong readers.
(2) Writing
Students will work towards mastering the art of expressive writing by developing their
figurative language in the form of written expression. Students will learn basic keyboard
skills and program operations for word processing in the preparation of assignments,
including the preparation of charts and tables.
The School will use the writing process from Pearson’s WriteToLearn. It is an online
literacy tool that accurately assesses writing and returns targeted instruction and grammar
feedback within seconds, providing students with more opportunities to practice writing
across subject areas. WriteToLearn will be used for all students in grades 6th to 12th. It
works well with all students, from those who are on-track to those who are struggling, as
well as those in programs such as Title I and Response to Intervention. Through webbased summary and essay writing activities that span the curriculum, students receive realtime, automated feedback on their reading comprehension and writing skills, enhancing the
learning process so they see faster progress and improvement on their scores. With added
content and built-in language support for English Language Learners, WriteToLearn offers
increased support for all students.
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With WriteToLearn, students practice essay writing and summarization skills, and their
efforts are measured by Pearson’s Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT) engine, which
automatically evaluates the meaning of text by examining whole passages. The KAT
engine is a unique automated assessment technology that evaluates the meaning of text,
not just grammatical correctness or spelling. Other feedback provided by WriteToLearn is
specific to six traits of writing – ideas, organization, conventions, sentence fluency, word
choice and voice. The most important feature of WriteToLearn is the immediate student
feedback. Students need to be reassured constantly that they’re doing the right thing –
they’re on task – and WriteToLearn helps them.
b) Overview of M/J Mathematics Programs
The mathematics curriculum will provide students with in-depth, standards-based
mathematics content that reflects the best thinking of mathematicians and teachers. It is
our goal to ensure that every student achieves the essential skills needed for mathematical
literacy. Our teachers will have mathematical knowledge beyond the curriculum that is
taught and will participate in ongoing professional development to better serve our
students. Fundamentally, we seek to provide a learning environment that emphasizes the
unifying concepts of fundamental computational operations, communication, reasoning and
proof, representation, problem solving, and connections.
Pearson's digits is selected as JSMA’s comprehensive middle grades math curriculum
program. It is completely written to the FL Standards, and integrates lesson planning,
homework management, intervention, and assessment, all within a user-friendly design that
encourages class collaboration via interactive whiteboards.
Pearson uses a student-centric approach of integrated assessment, instruction, and
practice, called the “InterACTIVE Learning Cycle” to address student needs and offer
differentiated study plans, lessons, and homework that support grade-level proficiency.
Teachers present engaging, interactive lessons that are based on real-world applications of
mathematics, then students receive the individual lesson and assessment that is tailored to
their needs. Content-rich lessons consist of three (3) parts: launch, dynamic examples,
and close and check, for comprehensive instructional support and student engagement.
Struggling students are offered support and scaffolding activities, while accelerated
students are challenged to learn beyond the basic grade-level material. It supports whole
class and small group presentations/work and individual work.
Lessons flow logically, in English or Spanish, with or without audio presentation, and with
access to a helpful dictionary, so that students can independently follow from instruction,
through practice, to assessment. Each lesson is accompanied by Teacher Support
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materials which help effectively pace the lesson, and which provide support questions and
materials to boost understanding. Homework is personalized and auto-scored. It is
effective and saves time, allowing the teacher to use data-driven reports provided by the
homework to focus her next lesson.
The technology behind digits allows auto-differentiation, a minimization of teacher
administrative tasks, embedded formative assessments, and visual presentations of the
mathematics. digits' lessons are specifically designed to be delivered via an interactive
whiteboard for whole-group presentation and collaborative learning, while individual
students receive feedback and support in the form of personalized coursework, study
plans, and homework. The effective use of technology allows digits to deliver a multilayered approach to mathematics instruction. While some of the assessments are designed
to be printed, most of the resources mesh digitally, providing a complete instructionassessment-support-reporting circle. The videos and interactive lessons are designed to
keep learners motivated; using technology provides them with individualized learning paths
and self-guided exploration options. Because it is Web-based, digits provides anytimeanywhere access to instruction and feedback, and extends learning beyond the classroom.
It is also available as an eText for internet challenged areas.
c) Overview of M/J Science Programs and STEM
Effective science education begins in early in response to a student‘s natural curiosity
about the world around him or her. We will offer a science curriculum that reflects the
practices of scientists by providing hands-on labs and thinking opportunities for students to
apply the scientific method. Students will inquire, explore, analyze, classify, and test
hypotheses in the classroom and in their environment.
Pearson’s Interactive Science for Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences is selected for our FL
State Standards based science curriculum. The breadth and depth of research that
supports this program provides evidence that Pearson’s Interactive Science is effective at
increasing student science achievement. Interactive Science features three paths that let
teachers teach it their way: text, inquiry, and digital. The text path includes an innovative
write-in student edition and a Big Ideas of Science Reference Library. The inquiry path
features hands-on labs and activities scaffolded for all learners. The digital path features a
FL State Standards online learning environment where teachers can connect with students,
manage their classes, and customize to their teaching style.
Material kits, lab-mats, and a wide variety of black-line masters provide opportunities for
inquiry every day. For our 6 to 8th grade students, the curriculum promotes constant inquiry
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and study with directed and guided Inquiry activities, and finally open-ended inquiry
activities. It is resourced with:
 Material Kits
 STEM Activities throughout
 Multi-disciplinary Activities
 Lightning Labs
 Green Labs
 At-home Labs
Tagging with the School’s 1:1 learning opportunities, Interactive Science is completely
online where teachers can set up and manage their class and where students can interact
online with active art simulations, directed virtual labs, animated art, and get extra help.
Interactive Science features three paths that let teachers teach it their way: text, inquiry,
and digital. Teachers may focus on one path or blend all three together. The text path
includes write-in student textbooks and consumables and a Big Ideas of Science Reference
Library in each classroom. The inquiry path features hands-on labs and activities scaffolded
for all learners. The digital path features an online learning environment where teachers
can connect with students, manage their classes, and customize to their teaching style.
The Science and STEM classes provide an opportunity for students to use core content
skills to solve real problems. Lessons taught integrate science, technology, art,
mathematics, and social studies concepts, while utilizing the engineering and design
process to enhance creative and critical thinking skills. This approach will allow students to
analyze and investigate ideas, shifting them away from learning isolated facts to the
realization that all learning is interconnected within a bigger picture.
STEM classes allow students chance to participate in solving age appropriate problems
that offer students multiple opportunities to research, design, model, and test solutions.
Students will also complete STEM focused projects, yielding presentations of learning (e.g.,
power points, demonstrations, portfolios). All projects and interim assessments will be
graded with skill specific and standards driven rubrics. Along with a score, students will
receive instructionally focused, academic feedback from their teacher detailing areas of
strength and improvement so that students will clearly know what to maintain and what to
work on.
The School seeks to ensure all its students receive a strong background in the concepts of
STEM. To assist teachers, science, math, and other curricula will be aligned with the core
principles to develop the skill sets needed by future generations of scientists, teachers and
engineers. The School will use supplemental materials from the Smithsonian Science
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Education Center (SSEC), a division of the Smithsonian Institution. Using the highly
researched and Common Core aligned Science and Technology Concepts (STC) Program,
the School will provide a basal, science and engineering practices centered program for
grades K–10th.
STC is an inquiry-based science supplement labs for grades K–10 that covers life, earth,
and physical sciences with technology. The SSEC was established by the National
Academies and the Smithsonian Institution. The School will borrow from SSEC’s core
beliefs of those principles needed for future scientists and engineers. The STC core units
are Balancing and Weighing, Motion and Design, and Experimenting with Forces and
Motion. Cost for lab materials is $47,000 for the first year and $4,000 each year for
replacement items/consumables.
In Balancing and Weighing, students investigate the relationship between weight and
balance in a physical science unit. The inquiries in this unit will familiarize students with
tools and techniques critical to future science lessons. Students explore weight and position
using a fulcrum and beam, and extend their learning by building mobiles. Later, they put
objects in serial order using a balance they assemble and calibrate.
In Motion and Design, a physical science unit, students learn why objects go and stop.
Students use K’NEX construction sets to build model cars from accurate technical
drawings, and design them to meet specific challenges. Not only will students learn how to
make a car go fast or far, but also how to carry a load, resist air, and more. As part of the
final design challenge, K’NEX pieces are assigned a price, and students are asked to build
a car not only to specifications but also at the lowest price.
Experimenting with Forces and Motion allows students to investigate the nature of energy,
the different forms it can take, the nature of different forces, and how those forces affect the
motion of objects. Students begin by exploring elastic, magnetic, frictional, and gravitational
forces. Learning from experimentation that force affects the motion of objects, students turn
their attention to energy and motion, learning about kinetic energy, how to calculate speed,
and the relationship between forces, energy, and motion. Throughout Experimenting with
Forces and Motion, students develop skills in making precise measurements, recording
detailed observations, applying scientific terminology, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting
data, drawing conclusions based on evidence, and working collaboratively to complete
investigations.
iCPALMS has a wealth of resources for teachers to build and develop their core content
curriculum using shared resources aligned to the Common Core. Also, iCPALMS has
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launched a platform with over 14 great STEM web apps that includes services, contents
and professional development. All this is in an effort to bridge the standards, curriculum and
instruction to include the Common Core. iCPALMS resource collection is organized by the
Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCRSTEM) and in collaboration with educators from school districts around the State of Florida.
All the resources are reviewed by peer educators and subject matter experts working on
the project. iCPALMS is a collection that was started in 2010 and targets creating/aligning
resources to Florida's math and science Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and
the Common Core State Standards.
Additionally, the School will use Foss (Full Option Science System) Kits as a vehicle for
deeper learning in the middle school. FOSS is a proven inquiry-based, active learning
science program that allows students to expand their science knowledge and strengthen
their thinking skills through investigations, the use of technology, science centered
language development, outdoor studies, and engineering problems. The School projects
that it will cost $35,000 to bring on the FOSS lab kits the first year and $5,000 to cover
replacements each succeeding year.
d) Overview of M/J Social Studies Programs
The Social Studies portion of the curriculum will incorporate several fields, using literature,
science, technology, and the arts to enrich learning. Personal and global perspectives are
essential elements for students facing a rapid changing world. Both perspectives will be
presented throughout the social studies strands of History, Government, and Economics.
Embedded within these strands are themes ranging from cultures to environments, to
provide for the integration, extension, and application of knowledge for active participation
in a global society.
Pearson’s Florida myWorld History, Florida America: History of Our Nation and myFlorida
Civics will be JSMA’s middle school program series. The series require students to ask
essential questions based upon the Understanding by Design (UbD) model created by
Wiggins and McTighe (1998). The essential questions are the basis for coverage of FL
State Standards for literacy and social studies. Students are supported with 21st Century
skills as they are asked to transfer content into action.
The foundation for all course material will be taken from the Florida Department of
Education Course Directory and will use FL DOE course coding.
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e) Student Leadership and Personal Growth:
Leadership and personal improvement concept will focus on goal setting and planning.
Students will be taught that goals are dreams with deadlines. We will help them establish
concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment goals. When students
measure progress, they stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration
of achievement. When they identify goals that are most important to them, students begin
to figure out ways to make them come true. They develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and
capacity to reach them. Our program will be unlike any other.
The content is taken from the Medal of Honor Character Development Program and
incorporates the ideals of courage and selfless service into the middle and high school
curriculum to build character and promote responsible citizenship. Under a grant from the
General Electric Foundation, the Medal of Honor Foundation worked with the Erie and
Wattsburg Area School Districts in Pennsylvania and a group of educators for more than
two years to establish Medal of Honor-related lesson plans drawing upon the ideals
embodied in the Medal of Honor, and their application in daily life. It is an authorized
middle school development under the auspices of the JROTC program.
The School will also adapt the JROTC-Plus program which allows for establishing a Middle
School Student Corps (MSCC) to motivate young people to be better citizens. To
accomplish this mission, the program of instruction (POI) includes courses such as
citizenship, leadership and a numb r of other courses designed to help the students
succeed in middle school and prepare for high school. The MSCC program is a
cooperative effort between the DOE and the DOD to provide middle school students the
opportunity to develop leadership and discipline.
Our students will be made to feel like adults who have many opportunities to learn and
apply real-life skills and become confident and competent leaders in the process. The
program can effectively train students to come out of their shell of confusion and decide
what they want to do with their life. It can help make them self-reliant and strong. It can also
imbibe in them qualities of leadership, determination and a winning attitude that makes
them stand apart from conventional students. As compared to conventional schools, we will
compel our students to follow rules and meticulously complete their assignments. To that
end, our students will not be allowed to have no scope of incomplete assignments and it
becomes a habit not to neglect any academic assignments.
Our students will have a positive peer atmosphere and little opportunity to stray away. For
them, it can become more of an issue of honor than just simple code of conduct. With such
a structured environment in place, it greatly helps under-motivated youth to seek purpose.
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When at last such students compete in the world with other students, they tend to stand out
and defy all odds and surprise others with their talented and structured approach to
problems with a greater sense of responsibility.
5. High School Courses
High school students will receive instruction in language arts, mathematics, science and
social studies. Instruction in fine and performing arts, speech and debate, practical arts,
physical education, and electives classes will be in accordance with state statutes and
rules, and graduation requirements. Instruction will be focused on ensuring that all students
demonstrate mastery of the State Standards as determined by performance on the new FL
State Assessment, including End of Course exams.
In accordance with s. 1003.4282, F.S., beginning with students entering grade 9 in the
2013-2014 school year, receipt of a standard high school diploma requires successful
completion of 24 credits, an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced
International Certificate of Education curriculum.
Course Requirements for a 24-Credit Standard Diploma*
Subject
Credit Requirement
English Language Arts (ELA)
4
Mathematics
4
Science
3
Social Studies
3
Fine and Performing Arts, Speech and Debate, or Practical Arts 1
Physical Education
1
Electives
8
*for students entering grade nine in the 2014-15 school year
(http://www.fldoe.org/bii/studentpro/pdf/1415freshmenFlyer.pdf)
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The high school curriculum will include the following core courses. Full course descriptions
can be found in the Attachments.
JSMA Core High School Courses
Math
Algebra I
English
English I
Algebra II
English II
Algebra I/Honors English III
Algebra II/Honors English IV
Calculus
Geometry
English I/Honors
Geometry/Honors English II/Honors
Social Studies
American
Government/
Honors
Economics
Economics/Honors
Global Studies
American History/
Honors
Government
Psychology
Science
Biology
Biology/Honors
Chemistry
Chemistry/Honors
Earth Science
Earth Space
Science/Honors
Health
Integrated Math I English III/Honors Geography
Integrated Math II English IV/Honors US History
Environmental Science
Marine Science/Honors
Integrated Math
III
Integrated Math
IV
World History
Physical Science
World
History/Honors
Physics/Honors
Pre-Algebra
Physics
Pre-Calculus
Trigonometry
Statistics
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Advanced Placement
 AP Biology
 AP Calculus AB
 AP Computer Science A
 AP English Language and
Composition
 AP English Literature &
Composition
 AP Environmental Science
 AP Human Geography
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
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AP Macroeconomics
AP Microeconomics
AP Psychology
AP Spanish
AP Statistics
AP United States Government &
Politics
 AP United States History
JSMA may offer these courses
based upon interest.
The JSMA high school curriculum will include unique classes such as ACT/SAT Prep and
College Path. These classes will prepare juniors and seniors for college. College Path is
designed to walk students through the college application process in a lab setting.
College guidance, starting during the freshmen year, will ensure that JSMA students are on
the right track and stay on course until they finish high school.
Language Arts:
English 1 (#1001310)
The purpose of this course is to provide English 1 students, using texts of high complexity,
integrated language arts study in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language for
college and career preparation and readiness.
GENERAL NOTES
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:
o active reading of varied texts for what they say explicitly, as well as the logical
inferences that can be drawn
o analysis of literature and informational texts from varied literary periods to
examine: o text craft and structure
 elements of literature
 arguments and claims supported by textual evidence
 power and impact of language
 influence of history, culture, and setting on language
 personal critical and aesthetic response
o writing for varied purposes o developing and supporting argumentative claims
 crafting coherent, supported informative/expository texts
 responding to literature for personal and analytical purposes
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writing narratives to develop real or imagined events
writing to sources using text- based evidence and reasoning
o effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use
of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions
o collaboration amongst peers
English 2 (#1001340)
The purpose of this course is to provide grade 10 students, using texts of high complexity,
integrated language arts study in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language for
college and career preparation and readiness.
GENERAL NOTES
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:
o active reading of varied texts for what they say explicitly, as well as the logical
inferences that can be drawn
o analysis of literature and informational texts from varied literary periods to
examine: o text craft and structure
 elements of literature
 arguments and claims supported by textual evidence
 power and impact of language
 influence of history, culture, and setting on language
 personal critical and aesthetic response
o writing for varied purposes o developing and supporting argumentative claims
 crafting coherent, supported informative/expository texts
 responding to literature for personal and analytical purposes
 writing narratives to develop real or imagined events
 writing to sources using text- based evidence and reasoning
 writing to sources using text- based evidence and reasoning
o effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use
of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions
o collaboration amongst peers
English 3 (#1001370)
The purpose of this course is to provide grade 11 students, using texts of high complexity,
integrated language arts study in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language for
college and career preparation and readiness.
GENERAL NOTES
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:
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
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o active reading of varied texts for what they say explicitly, as well as the logical
inferences that can be drawn
o analysis of literature and informational texts from varied literary periods to
examine: o text craft and structure
elements of literature
arguments and claims supported by textual evidence
power and impact of language
influence of history, culture, and setting on language
personal critical and aesthetic response
o writing for varied purposes o developing and supporting argumentative claims
crafting coherent, supported informative/expository texts
responding to literature for personal and analytical purposes
writing narratives to develop real or imagined events
writing to sources using text- based evidence and reasoning
writing to sources using text- based evidence and reasoning
o effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use
of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class
discussions, and extended text discussions
o collaboration amongst peers
English 4: Florida College Prep (#1001405)
This course incorporates reading and writing study through writing a variety of informative
texts using grade-level writing craft and through the in-depth reading and analysis of
informational selections in order to develop critical reading and writing skills necessary for
success in college courses. This course prepares students for successful completion of
Florida college English courses. The benchmarks reflect the Florida Postsecondary
Readiness Competencies necessary for entry-level college courses and are also related to
the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards, the exit standards of Florida's
K -12 Common Core Standards.
GENERAL NOTES
The content should include, but not be limited to, the following:
 demonstrating successful reading of argument, including recognizing bias and
supporting details
 demonstrating successful reading of fact and opinion, including recognizing
inferences and main ideas
 demonstrating knowledge of a variety of organizational patterns and their
relationships in the comprehension of text, including recognizing purpose and tone
of informational reading
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demonstrating successful understanding of vocabulary in context and through writing
effective sentence structures
implementing patterns of paragraph development effectively
recognizing and solving common sentence development problems
reading and modeling mentor essays;
understanding and using language, grammar, and mechanics effectively
Mathematics:
Course Title: Algebra 1
Course Number: 1200310
Description:
The fundamental purpose of this course is to formalize and extend the mathematics that
students learned in the middle grades. The critical areas, called units, deepen and extend
understanding of linear and exponential relationships by contrasting them with each other
and by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend, and students engage in
methods for analyzing, solving, and using quadratic functions. The Standards for
Mathematical Practice apply throughout each course, and, together with the content
standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and
logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations.
Unit 1- Relationships between Quantities and Reasoning with Equations: By the end of
eighth grade students have learned to solve linear equations in one variable and have
applied graphical and algebraic methods to analyze and solve systems of linear equations
in two variables. This unit builds on these earlier experiences by asking students to analyze
and explain the process of solving an equation. Students develop fluency writing,
interpreting, and translating between various forms of linear equations and inequalities, and
using them to solve problems. They master the solution of linear equations and apply
related solution techniques and the laws of exponents to the creation and solution of simple
exponential equations. All of this work is grounded on understanding quantities and on
relationships between them.
SKILLS TO MAINTAIN:
Reinforce understanding of the properties of integer exponents. The initial experience with
exponential expressions, equations, and functions involves integer exponents and builds on
this understanding.
Unit 2- Linear and Exponential Relationships: In earlier grades, students define, evaluate,
and compare functions, and use them to model relationships between quantities. In this
unit, students will learn function notation and develop the concepts of domain and range.
They explore many examples of functions, including sequences; they interpret functions
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given graphically, numerically, symbolically, and verbally, translate between
representations, and understand the limitations of various representations. Students build
on and informally extend their understanding of integer exponents to consider exponential
functions. They compare and contrast linear and exponential functions, distinguishing
between additive and multiplicative change. Students explore systems of equations and
inequalities, and they find and interpret their solutions. They interpret arithmetic sequences
as linear functions and geometric sequences as exponential functions.
Unit 3- Descriptive Statistics: This unit builds upon students prior experiences with data,
providing students with more formal means of assessing how a model fits data. Students
use regression techniques to describe and approximate linear relationships between
quantities. They use graphical representations and knowledge of the context to make
judgments about the appropriateness of linear models. With linear models, they look at
residuals to analyze the goodness of fit.
Unit 4- Expressions and Equations: In this unit, students build on their knowledge from unit
2, where they extended the laws of exponents to rational exponents. Students apply this
new understanding of number and strengthen their ability to see structure in and create
quadratic and exponential expressions. They create and solve equations, inequalities, and
systems of equations involving quadratic expressions.
Unit 5- Quadratic Functions and Modeling: In this unit, students consider quadratic
functions, comparing the key characteristics of quadratic functions to those of linear and
exponential functions. They select from among these functions to model phenomena.
Students learn to anticipate the graph of a quadratic function by interpreting various forms
of quadratic expressions. In particular, they identify the real solutions of a quadratic
equation as the zeros of a related quadratic function. Students expand their experience
with functions to include more specialized functions—absolute value, step, and those that
are piece wise-defined.
Course Title: Geometry
Course Number: 1206310
The fundamental purpose of the course in Geometry is to formalize and extend students'
geometric experiences from the middle grades. Students explore more complex geometric
situations and deepen their explanations of geometric relationships, moving towards formal
mathematical arguments. Important differences exist between this Geometry course and
the historical approach taken in Geometry classes. For example, transformations are
emphasized early in this course. Close attention should be paid to the introductory content
for the Geometry conceptual category found in the high school CCSS. The Standards for
Mathematical Practice apply throughout each course and, together with the content
standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and
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logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. The
critical areas, organized into five units are as follows.
Unit 1-Congruence, Proof, and Constructions: In previous grades, students were asked to
draw triangles based on given measurements. They also have prior experience with rigid
motions: translations, reflections, and rotations and have used these to develop notions
about what it means for two objects to be congruent. In this unit, students establish triangle
congruence criteria, based on analyses of rigid motions and formal constructions. They use
triangle congruence as a familiar foundation for the development of formal proof. Students
prove theorems using a variety of formats and solve problems about triangles,
quadrilaterals, and other polygons. They apply reasoning to complete geometric
constructions and explain why they work.
Unit 2- Similarity, Proof, and Trigonometry: Students apply their earlier experience with
dilation and proportional reasoning to build a formal understanding of similarity. They
identify criteria for similarity of triangles, use similarity to solve problems, and apply
similarity in right triangles to understand right triangle trigonometry, with particular attention
to special right triangles and the Pythagorean theorem. Students develop the Laws of Sines
and Cosines in order to find missing measures of general (not necessarily right) triangles,
building on students work with quadratic equations done in the first course. They are able
to distinguish whether three given measures (angles or sides) define 0, 1, 2, or infinitely
many triangles.
Unit 3- Extending to Three Dimensions: Students' experience with two-dimensional and
three-dimensional objects is extended to include informal explanations of circumference,
area and volume formulas. Additionally, students apply their knowledge of two-dimensional
shapes to consider the shapes of cross-sections and the result of rotating a twodimensional object about a line.
Unit 4- Connecting Algebra and Geometry Through Coordinates: Building on their work with
the Pythagorean theorem in 8th grade to find distances, students use a rectangular
coordinate system to verify geometric relationships, including properties of special triangles
and quadrilaterals and slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines, which relates back to
work done in the first course. Students continue their study of quadratics by connecting the
geometric and algebraic definitions of the parabola.
Unit 5-Circles With and Without Coordinates: In this unit students prove basic theorems
about circles, such as a tangent.
Science:
Biology
This course provides students with general exploratory experiences and activities in the
fundamental concepts of life. The content includes scientific method, scientific
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measurement, laboratory safety and use of apparatus, cell biology, cell reproduction,
basic principles of genetics, biological changes through time, classification and taxonomy,
microbiology, structure and function of plants, animals, human body, and ecological
relationships.
Semester 1 Topics
Ecology, Water Cycle, Specific Heat,
Aquatic Ecosystems, Human Impact
Plants, Capillary Action, Adhesion &
Cohesion, Universal Solvent
Energetics, Carbohydrate Structure and
Function
Cells, Organelles, Prokaryotes &
Eukaryotes, Plant
Molecular
Genetics
& Nucleic
Acids,
& Animal, Cell
Theory,
Microscopy,
Proteins,
Transport& Enzymes.
Semester 2 Topics
Mendelian Genetics
Mutation
Evolution, Origin of Life, Classification,
&Hominid Evolution
Human Body (Brain, Reproductive
Anatomy, Pregnancy, and Immune
Response) Human Disease
(Cardiovascular, Infectious Disease &
Public Health)
Capstone Lessons
EOC Intensive Preparation
Chemistry
This course provides students with the study of composition, properties and changes
associated with matter. Content: Classification and structure of matter, atomic theory,
periodic table, bonding, chemical formulas, chemical reactions and balanced equations,
behavior of gasses, acids, bases, and salts and energy associated with physical and
chemical changes.
Semester 1 Topics
Introduction to Chemistry & Data Analysis
Atomic Structure
Electrons
The Periodic Table
Bonding
Chemical Nomenclature
The Mole
Chemical Reactions
Semester 2 Topics
Stoichiometry
States of Matter
Gases
Solutions
Thermochemistry
Nuclear Chemistry
Acids & Bases
Reaction Rates
Earth Space Science
This course provides opportunities for the student to develop concepts basic to the earth,
its material, process, history and environment in space. The content shall include the
origin of the universe and solar system.
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Semester 1 Topics
Internal Structures
External Structures
Evolution
Atoms
Earth's Cycles
Semester 2 Topics
Climate & Weather
Solar System
Universe & Galaxies
Space Exploration
Physical Science
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a quantitative investigative study of
the introductory concepts of physics and chemistry. The content includes, but is not
limited to: dynamics, classification, and interaction of matter, periodic table, forms of
energy, electricity and magnetism, chemical interactions, nuclear reactions, and career
opportunities in science.
Semester 1 Topics
Nature of Science
Matter
Atomic Structure
Periodic Table
Molecules & Compounds
Chemical Reactions
Acids & Bases
Nuclear Chemistry
Semester 2 Topics
Chemistry in the Environment: Water
Chemistry in the Environment: Atmosphere
Alternative Energy Sources
Kinematics Motion
Speed of Light
Dynamics Forces
Work, Power & Energy
Waves
Electricity
Physics
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introductory study of the
theories and laws governing the interaction of matter, energy, and the forces of nature.
The content includes, but is not limited to: kinematics, dynamics, energy, work and
power, heat and thermodynamics, wave characteristics, light, electricity magnetism and
nuclear physics.
Semester 1 Topics
Measurement
Motion
Forces
Gravitation
Rotational Motion
Momentum
Work, Energy & Power
Thermal Physics
Semester 2 Topics
Waves & Sound
Fundamentals of Light, Reflection &
Refraction
Electricity
Magnetism
Modern Physics
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Social Studies:
United States Government - The grade 9-12 United States Government course consists
of the following content area strands: Geography, Civics and Government. The primary
content for the course pertains to the study of government institutions and political
processes and their historical impact on American society. Content should include, but is
not limited to, the functions and purpose of government, the function of the state, the
constitutional framework, federalism, separation of powers, functions of the three branches
of government at the local, state and national level, and the political decision-making
process.
World History– The grade 9-12 World History course consists of the following content
area strands: World History, Geography and Humanities. This course is a continued indepth study of the history of civilizations and societies from the middle school course, and
includes the history of civilizations and societies of North and South America. Students will
be exposed to historical periods leading to the beginning of the 21st Century. So that
students can clearly see the relationship between cause and effect in historical events,
students should have the opportunity to review those fundamental ideas and events from
ancient and classical civilizations.
United States History – The grade 9-12 United States History course consists of the
following content area strands: United States History, Geography, and Humanities. The
primary content emphasis for this course pertains to the study of United States history from
Reconstruction to the present day. Students will be exposed to the historical, geographic,
political, economic, and sociological events which influenced the development of the United
States and the resulting impact on world history. So that students can clearly see the
relationship between cause and effect in historical events, students should have the
opportunity to review those fundamental ideas and events which occurred before the end of
Reconstruction.
Economics with Financial Literacy – The grade 9-12 Economics course consists of the
following content area strands: Economics and Geography. The primary content emphasis
for this course pertains to the study of the concepts and processes of the national and
international economic systems. Content should include, but is not limited to, currency,
banking, and monetary policy, the fundamental concepts relevant to the major economic
systems, the global market and economy, major economic theories and economists, the
role and influence of the government and fiscal policies, economic measurements, tools,
and methodology, financial and investment markets, the business cycle, and making wise
financial decisions.
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5. High School Curriculum Resources
Our high school college and career ready curriculum will be based upon Florida’s State
Standards in order to prepare all students for success in a two- or four-year college without
remediation. Our course material selections, from Pearson Publishing, are approved
aligned with the FL Standards.
a. Reading/Language Arts
Prentice Hall Literature Online (PH Lit Online) is our selection for our high school program.
It is aligned with FL State Standards is well suited for a one-to-one digital learning
environment. Both teachers and students have full access to their digital texts, while online
tools help teachers differentiate the literature curriculum with assessment-based, interactive
learning activities. PH Lit Online administers assessments (formative, summative,
diagnostic) and generates records for data-driven decision making.
b. Mathematics
Pearson Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 are selected as JSMA’s comprehensive
online digital courses that help students develop a deep understanding of mathematics
through thinking, reasoning, and problem solving. All are aligned to FL State Standards.
The flexibility of the program components and leveled resources enables teachers to adapt
to the changing needs of their classrooms with online access to a student edition with
audio, complete teacher’s edition, instruction and presentation tools, editable worksheets,
activities and videos.
c. Science
The School has selected a variety of curriculum resources to support the digital science
program. Pearson’s Miller & Levine Biology is JSMA’s selection for Biology. It is aligned
with FL Standards and includes complete online and mobile compatible Student and
Teacher’s Editions with audio; editable worksheets; online student explorations; and digital
inquiry activities, interactive visuals, study guides, games, and online assessments with
remediation.
Pearson Chemistry offers complete online student and teacher editions, a comprehensive
classroom management center, customizable lesson plans, editable resources, hundreds
of lab worksheets, interactive animations and simulations, tutorials, videos, virtual labs, and
assessments in one place.
The Prentice Hall Physical Science: Concepts in Action features relevant content, lively
explorations, and a wealth of hands-on activities help students understand that science
exists throughout the world around them.
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Pearson's Environmental Science: Your World, Your Turn is based on real, current, and
relevant content that brings the world of environmental science to life.
Pearson’s University Physics, 13th Edition is JSMA’s physics selection with effective
teaching and research-based innovation. It hosts uniquely broad, deep, and thoughtful set
of worked examples—key tools for developing both physical understanding and problemsolving skills.
d. Social Studies
Prentice Hall United States History 2013 is a complete online curriculum that allows
students to experience dynamic, interactive technology that brings history to life with
exciting sights and sounds, personal accounts, and dramatic human emotions.
The Prentice Hall World History program provides students with various pathways into
content for all levels and types of learners. Bridging the gap between the digital way
students live and learn, this program delves into a larger pool of content that is hands-on,
digital, and customizable.
Prentice Hall Economics is a complete digital course that blends technology, integrated
hands-on activities, and a student text providing students with multiple ways to connect,
experience, and understand the content they are learning.
Pearson’s Civics: Government and Economics in Action offers students a strong
introduction to government, citizenship, and the American economic and legal systems. An
accessible narrative and compelling design work hand-in-hand with interactive technology,
study guides, and activity-based resources to motivate students to actively participate in
government.
e. Student Leadership and Personal Growth:
The focus for the Student Leadership and Personal Growth curriculum will be the same for
middle and high school students. However, this instructional area will include a spiral
curriculum with increasing expectations for students and the development of more intense,
complex, and rigorous skills for older students. The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
(JROTC) provides the FLDOE accepted curriculum for the School’s leadership program.
Leadership and personal improvement concept will focus on goal setting and planning.
Students will be taught that goals are dreams with deadlines. We will help them establish
concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment goals. When students
measure progress, they stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration
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of achievement. When they identify goals that are most important to them, students begin
to figure out ways to make them come true. They develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and
capacity to reach them. Our program will be unlike any other.
Our students are made to feel like adults who have many opportunities to learn and apply
real-life skills and become confident and competent leaders in the process. The program
can effectively train students to come out of their shell of confusion and decide what they
want to do with their life. It can help make them self-reliant and strong. It can also imbibe in
them qualities of leadership, determination and a winning attitude that makes them stand
apart from conventional students. As compared to conventional schools, we will compel our
students to follow rules and meticulously complete their assignments. To that end, our
students will not be allowed to have no scope of incomplete assignments and it becomes a
habit not to neglect any academic assignments.
Our students will have a positive peer atmosphere and little opportunity to stray away. For
them, it can become more of an issue of honor than just simple code of conduct. With such
a structured environment in place, it greatly helps under-motivated youth to seek purpose.
When at last such students compete in the world with other students, they tend to stand out
and defy all odds and surprise others with their talented and structured approach to
problems with a greater sense of responsibility.
f. STEM Integrated at High School
Through Project Lead the Way's Pathway To Engineering (PTE), high school students will
learn and apply the engineer design process, acquire strong teamwork and communication
proficiency, and develop organizational, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Along
the way, students will investigate a variety of careers in STEM fields.
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Design: The School will incorporate engineering processes into the curriculum and
instruction. The School understands that its primary role is to teach students how to
solve problems. To do that, they need a disciplined process. The imbedded
engineering design process will reinforce this capability.
Engage: STEM cannot be taught through lectures, but rather through experiences.
The School recognizes how important it is to capture the attention of students so that
they take control of their learning and are invested in the ideas they are exploring.
The best way to do this is to make learning relevant, authentic, and meaningful.
Integrate: STEM will be implemented by integration. Integrating science with math,
integrating curriculum with projects, integrating technology with teaching, and
integrating classroom learning with real world problem solving. The School will be
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creative with how teachers will prepare students for the 21st Century and for their
future.
Enrich: The School will place a distinct effort on enriching the school day with afterschool programs, pullout programs for gifted and talented students, and
supplemental education services for school improvement. The School recognizes
the huge opportunity available to having an impact on student achievement and
engagement in STEM subjects. Examples include LEGO Robotics, environmental
education, and GIS (global information systems) applications.
1) Aerospace Engineering Track (AE):
Science
9th Grade
Alg1 or
Geometry
Physics
10th Grade
Geometry or
Trig/Alg 2
Biology
11th Grade
Trig/Alg 2 or PreCalculus
Chemistry
12th Grade
Pre-Calculus or
Calculus
Health
English
English 1
English 2
English 3
English 4
Social
Science
Elective
Social
Science
PTE POE
World History
American History
Econ/Civics
PTE DE
PTE AE
PTE EDD
Elective
PTE IED
Foreign Lang
Foreign Lang
AR Robotics II
Elective
CADesign
Adv CADesign
AR Robotics I
AP or Dual
Enrollment Course
SUBJECT
Math
Notes:
 Pathways to Engineering via Project Lead the Way
 POE is Principles of Engineering (POE): This survey course exposes students to
major concepts they’ll encounter in a postsecondary engineering course of study.
Topics include mechanisms, energy, statics, materials, and kinematics. They
develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to
create solutions to various challenges, document their work and communicate
solutions.
 FLDOE Course Code 8600520 Principles of Engineering
 Digital Electronics (DE): This course provides the foundation of all modern electronic
devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players, laptop computers, digital cameras and
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high-definition televisions. Students are introduced to the process of combinational
and sequential logic design, engineering standards and technical documentation.
 FLDOE Course Code 8600530 Digital Electronics
Aerospace Engineering (AE): AE explores the evolution of flight, navigation and
control, flight fundamentals, aerospace materials, propulsion, space travel, and
orbital mechanics. In addition, this course presents alternative applications for
aerospace engineering concepts. Students analyze, design, and build aerospace
systems. They apply knowledge gained throughout the course in a final presentation
about the future of the industry and their professional goals.
 FLDOE Course Code 8600620 Aerospace Engineering
Engineering Design and Development (EDD): In this capstone course, students work
in teams to design and develop an original solution to a valid open-ended technical
problem by applying the engineering design process. Students perform research to
choose, validate, and justify a technical problem. After carefully defining the
problem, teams design, build, and test their solutions while working closely with
industry professionals who provide mentoring opportunities. Finally, student teams
present and defend their original solution to an outside panel.
 FLDOE Course Code 8600650 Engineering Design and Development
Introduction to Engineering Design (IED): The major focus of IED is the design
process and its application. Through hands-on projects, students apply engineering
standards and document their work. Students use industry standard 3D modeling
software to help them design solutions to solve proposed problems, document their
work using an engineer’s notebook, and communicate solutions to peers and
members of the professional community.
 FL DOE Course Code 8600550 Introduction to Engineering Design
CADesign is Computer-Aided Design (CADesign): CAD is the use
of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization
of a design. Students use CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the
designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through
documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD design is used all
over the place; one has to design something to build it. From that standpoint, it's
important to give students the tools they need, and one of those tools is design
software.
o FLDOE Course Codes:
 8401010 Technical Design 1
 8401020 Technical Design 2
 8401030 Technical Design 3
Automation and Robotics (AR): Students trace the history, development, and
influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy
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transfer, machine automation and computer control systems. Students use a robust
robotics platform to design, build, and program a solution to solve an existing
problem.
o FLDOE Course Codes:
 9410110 Foundations of Robotics AR I
 9410120 Robotic Design Essentials AR II
 9410130 Robotic Systems AR III
 9410140 Robotic Applications Capstone AR IV
2) Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Track
Science
9th Grade
Alg1 or
Geometry
Physics
10th Grade
Geometry or
Trig/Alg 2
Biology
11th Grade
Trig/Alg 2 or PreCalculus
Chemistry
12th Grade
Pre-Calculus or
Calculus
Health
English
English 1
English 2
English 3
English 4
Social
Science
Elective
Social
Science
PTE POE
World History
American History
Econ/Civics
PTE DE
PTE CIM
PTE EDD
Elective
PTE IED
Foreign Lang
Foreign Lang
Robotics II
Elective
CADesign
Adv CADesign
Robotics I
AP or Dual
Enrollment Course
SUBJECT
Math
Notes:
 Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM): This course relates to how are things
made? What processes go into creating products? Is the process for making a water
bottle the same as it is for a musical instrument? How do assembly lines work? How
has automation changed the face of manufacturing? While students discover the
answers to these questions, they’re learning about the history of manufacturing,
robotics and automation, manufacturing processes, computer modeling,
manufacturing equipment, and flexible manufacturing systems.
 FLDOE Course Code 8600560 Computer Integrated Manufacturing
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3) Civil Engineering & Architecture Track
SUBJECT
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
Math
Alg1 or
Geometry or
Trig/Alg 2 or PreGeometry
Trig/Alg 2
Calculus
Science
Physics
Biology
Chemistry
12th Grade
Pre-Calculus or
Calculus
Health
English
English 1
English 2
English 3
English 4
Social
Science
Elective
Elective
Elective
Social
Science
PTE POE
PTE IED
CADesign
World History
American History
Econ/Civics
PTE DE
Foreign Lang
Adv CADesign
PTE CEA
Foreign Lang
Robotics I
PTE EDD
Robotics II
AP or Dual
Enrollment Course
Notes:
 Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA): Students learn about various aspects of
civil engineering and architecture and apply their knowledge to the design and
development of residential and commercial properties and structures. In addition,
students use 3D design software to design and document solutions for major course
projects. Students communicate and present solutions to their peers and members
of a professional community of engineers and architects.
 FLDOE Course Code 8600590 Civil Engineering and Architecture
4) Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Track
SUBJECT
9th Grade
10th Grade
Math
Alg1 or
Geometry or
Geometry
Trig/Alg 2
Science
Physics
Biology
11th Grade
Trig/Alg 2 or PreCalculus
Chemistry
12th Grade
Pre-Calculus or
Calculus
Health
English
English 1
English 2
English 3
English 4
Social
Science
Elective
Social
Science
PTE PBS
World History
American History
Econ/Civics
PTE HBS
PTE MI
PTE BI
Elective
PTE IED
Foreign Lang
Foreign Lang
Robotics II
Elective
CADesign
Adv CADesign
Robotics I
AP or Dual
Enrollment Course
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Notes:
 Principles of the Biomedical Sciences (PBS): Students investigate various health
conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease,
hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. They determine the factors that led
to the death of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical
treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects
introduce students to human physiology, medicine, and research processes. This
course provides an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences program
and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.
 FL DOE Course Code 8708110 Principles of the Biomedical Sciences
 Human Body Systems (HBS): Students examine the interactions of human body
systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis.
Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human
body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle
movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action,
students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting
real world cases and often play the roles of biomedical professionals to solve
medical mysteries.
 FL DOE Course Code 8708120 Human Body Systems
 Medical Interventions (MI): Students investigate a variety of interventions involved in
the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the life of a
fictitious family. The course is a “How-To” manual for maintaining overall health and
homeostasis in the body. Students explore how to prevent and fight infection; screen
and evaluate the code in human DNA; prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and
prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through these scenarios, students
are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics,
pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics
 FL DOE Course Code 8708130 Medical Interventions
 Biomedical Innovation (BI): Students design innovative solutions for the health
challenges of the 21st century. They work through progressively challenging openended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical
engineering, and public health. They have the opportunity to work on an
independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, research
institution, or the biomedical industry. Throughout the course, students are expected
to present their work to an audience of STEM professionals.
 FL DOE Course Code 8708140 Biomedical Innovation
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B. Describe the research base and foundation materials that were used or will
be used to develop the curriculum.
Curriculum is more for us than simply the tools and books that will be used in the
classroom. Kerr (1983) defined curriculum as, "All the learning which is planned and guided
by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school"
(p. 203). Moreover, we view our curriculum as being consistent with the School mission,
and as a vehicle that provides a clear and concise framework for teaching and learning.
It is researched based and an instructional approach which is based on a variety of
teaching techniques and programs, which is appropriate for all cadets at all levels, and
when presented, based upon the tenets of an effective school, will enable its students to
attain FL State Standards and receive a year's worth of learning for a year’s attendance.
1. Rigorous Curriculum
Section, 1003.42, F.S. provides for required courses and instruction to ensure that students
meet State Board of Education adopted standards. Most specifically, members of the
instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education
and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and
materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historic
accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of
instruction.
The FL Standards will require Schools to do more than they may have in the past. One of
the new focus points is that teachers are being asked to engage students more in the
learning process by having them work in groups or individually and come up with answers
on their own. This does not mean that teachers are not teaching; in fact, they are, but they
are also facilitating the learning process in a new way.
In addition, increasing the reading level of ALL students is another point of emphasis.
Teachers are required to have their students read high level texts, which require deep
reading and higher level critical thinking, in order to get all students ready for career and/or
college expectations. While students may be struggling with this transition, it is through this
struggle to achieve that we will see greater growth throughout the learning process.
Success in the classroom will require students to meet the teachers half way and do work
outside of the classroom.
The School’s curriculum follows the research based FL Standards and an instructional
approach which is based on a variety of teaching techniques and programs, which are
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appropriate for all students at all levels, and when presented, based upon the tenets of an
effective school, will enable students to attain FL Standards and receive a year's worth of
learning for a year’s attendance.
Fundamentally, JSMA will follow the State of Florida State Standards as the basis for the
core curriculum. The objectives of the courses offered will be in alignment with the course
descriptions provided by the Florida Department of Education. The Core Subjects will
include all necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required to earn a FL Standard
Diploma.
We will reflect on our curriculum to judge its success in accomplishing the desired results.
Feedback will be taken from students and appropriate reform will be introduced. Curriculum
planning is not a onetime task but it requires continuous assessment and reform according
to the changing needs of our students.
Determining Effectiveness
Additional learning opportunities are allocated and measured using a Response to
Intervention (RtI) model. This model is a multi-tiered approach to providing services and
interventions through the School’s Problem Solving Team (PST) to our students at
increasing levels of intensity based on progress monitoring and data analysis, which is
aligned with all Federal and State of Florida laws. The School’s Response to Intervention
(RtI) correlates with the FLDOE Statewide Response to Instruction/Interventions
Implementation Plan, to ensure all students are educated using an approved curriculum to
ensure learning gains.
The School’s RtI model includes:
 Tier 1 – Core, Universal Instruction & Supports: all students will participate in
general education learning that includes: universal screenings to target groups in
need of specific instructional and/or behavioral support, implementation of the Next
Generation Sunshine State Standards and Florida Standards through a standardsbased classroom structure, differentiation of instruction including flexible grouping,
multiple means of learning, and demonstration of learning, progress monitoring of
learning through multiple formative assessments, and positive behavior supports.
 Tier 2 – Targeted, Supplemental Interventions & Supports: targeted students
participate in learning that is different by including: a standard intervention protocol
process for identifying and providing research-based interventions based on student
need; on-going progress monitoring to measure student response to intervention;
and guided decision-making aligned with the core academic and behavior
curriculum. This includes additional instructional time within the subject area of need.
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Tier 3 – Intensive, Individualized Interventions & Supports: increased time, narrowed
focus, reduced group size instruction and intervention based upon individual student
need, provided in addition to and aligned with Tier 1 and 2 academic and behavior
instruction and supports, specialized programs, methodologies, or instructional
deliveries. There is also a greater frequency of progress monitoring of student
response to intervention(s). Students are provided instruction using a curriculum
resource that is different from their core instruction.
RtI is centrally about optimizing language and literacy instruction for the particular students
in each tier, therefore administrative monitoring for effective instruction will maximize
instructional time. Differentiated instruction, based on instructionally relevant assessment,
is essential. Depending on the tier, students will receive instruction from the classroom
teacher, pull-out/push-in teacher, or tutoring teacher. The School’s reading curriculum
ensures that instruction will address the needs of all students, including those from diverse
cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The Supplemental Intervention Reading Program and
Comprehensive Intervention Reading Program are aligned to meet the needs of the
students in each tier. The tutoring block on the sample schedule (earlier) is included to
provide time for differentiated instruction to students in small-groups based on their ability
levels and needs. This tutoring is RtI based.
Using the education model and data collected from the classroom, School, and state –
mandated assessments, the teacher can work with all stakeholders in developing an
effective plan for covering learning gaps. Progress monitoring for additional learning
opportunities will be measured using resources from the Progress Monitoring and
Reporting Network. Programs for comprehensive intervention that meet the state’s rigorous
guidelines for scientifically-based interventions may come from the Florida Center for
Reading Research. Overall success of the extended learning will be measured through
impact on student’s annual state test results and formative assessment scores.
The classroom teachers will remain in continual contact with all stakeholders by updating
the IAP, electronic gradebook, progress reports, and report cards, using data derived from
formative assessments, ongoing progress monitoring, and the benchmark testing results.
Teachers will collaborate with resource professionals and administrators to continue the
process while devising and executing a successful plan for the remedial student.
Involving parents and students, and engaging them in a collaborative manner, is critical to
successful implementation of the education model. Initiating and strengthening
collaborations between school, home, and communities, provides the basis for support and
reinforcement of students’ learning. The plan for assisting remedial students accounts for
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continued collaboration between all stakeholders as well as continuous monitoring of
progress throughout the learning process. Both parents and students will take part in the
Individual Academic Plan (IAP) process and the Progress Monitoring Plan process. Parents
will be required to sign both, to provide evidence of awareness of current student level and
the plan for improvement.
2. Curriculum that works.
In What Works in Schools, Robert J. Marzano discusses three types of curricula: the
intended curriculum, the implemented curriculum, and the attained curriculum. The
intended curriculum is the Florida Standards and the NGSSS still in effect, the content
specified by the state of Florida to be addressed in a particular course or grade level. The
implemented curriculum is the content actually delivered by the teacher, and the attained
curriculum is the content actually learned by the students. The School’s Curriculum is
mapped to the NGSSS and Florida Standards and is designed to eliminate the possible
discrepancy between the intended curriculum and the implemented curriculum for all
students.
The School’s curriculum, considered from the framework behind What Works in Schools,
provides for teachers the intended curriculum sequenced and organized in a manner to
ensure the essential content is addressed in the instructional time available, thereby
creating for students the greatest opportunity to learn the content expected of them at each
grade level or subject. Curriculum planning begins with a decision about what students
need to learn. The content that is considered essential for all students for college and
career readiness is identified and communicated to teachers. A month-by-month scope and
sequence within each curriculum map is created for all subjects aligned to the NGSSS and
Florida Standards.
The curriculum also includes essential questions, objectives, evidence of learning, item
specifications, vocabulary, and resources to provide further guidance on how to effectively
ensure students master the curriculum. Curriculum implementation is supported through
the following:
 Instructional Focus: Teachers, in conjunction with the School’s leadership team,
plan together and schedule learning objectives aligned to a data driven calendar.
The calendar is developed based on the data provided by each formative
benchmark assessment, which teachers analyze to determine what standards the
students need to be re-taught, or taught more in-depth than previously expected.
The calendars include targeted standards, plans for instruction, and weekly
assessments. A reflection space is designated for teachers to note the results of the
assessment, as well as thoughts on the instruction or activities to be considered for
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revision. Classroom teachers will develop the calendars several times throughout
the year to adjust instruction based on results. The instruction is thereby
differentiated to meet the needs of the students while maintaining rigorous pacing
and high expectations. These calendars are developed for both ELA and
mathematics, and teachers will be encouraged to post and track results within the
classroom to motivate and challenge their students.
Evidence of Understanding: To ensure mastery, students will complete carefully
designed higher-order, real-world performance tasks to demonstrate an
understanding of the critical content and skills within a unit of instruction. These can
include assessments from the designated textbook series or other research-based
resources being used. Projects, presentations, and teacher-created tasks will also
be used. All assessments that are used are designed to require students to employ
critical thinking skills to increase rigor, as the School’s mission is to create academic
rigor within the classroom. These performance tasks are reflected on the gradebook,
which provides teachers, parents, students, and school leadership visibility to the
level of progress.
Common Assessments: In addition to the aforementioned assessments, the
School will use bi-monthly mini common assessments which are created from a data
bank and used to determine students’ progress on mastery of the priority standards.
The assessments are aligned to FL Standards, and include short-term review, as
well as spiral review, to check for mastery. This is to provide a uniform tool to
monitor progress of mastery of grade level standards more frequently between
benchmark assessments administered by NWEA MAP.
Data Chats: Student work and data are considered collaboratively in weekly data
chats with school leadership team and teacher cohorts. The level of student mastery
of FL Standards is analyzed in order to drive instruction. Instructional focus plans,
progress-monitoring plans, and any other instructional facet are discussed at these
meetings to ensure needs of all learners are met. Decisions can also be made at
these meetings regarding students who will participate in push-in/pull-out, tutoring,
or any other additional support period.
USDOE research estimates college-level remediation can cost millions of dollars in a single
state, driving up overall college costs and discouraging students from applying and
attending. USDOE also indicates that a challenging common core curriculum for all
students leads to higher and more equitable achievement gains.
When students take challenging courses in high school, they have more options when they
graduate. What used to be thought of as “college-prep” curriculum is now the basic level of
preparation all students need to be successful in college and the workplace.
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ACT testing (2012) analyzed all Common Core domains, strands, and clusters and found
only one third to one-half of the 11th-grade students are reaching a college and career
readiness level of achievement. Moreover, for each Common Core domain, strand, and
cluster, the percentages of Caucasian students who met or exceeded the performance of
college- and career-ready students were uniformly higher than the corresponding
percentages of African American or Hispanic students. These results indicated that schools
must begin immediately to strengthen teaching and learning in all areas of the Common
Core, with particular focus on raising college and career readiness rates of African
American, Hispanic, and other underserved students. As a school which may support
underserved and at-risk students, JSMA must get its application of FL State Standards
right. Standards alone do not do this. State Standards promise is kept only if the tests are
sound and the classroom implementation is meticulous. The Florida Standards represent
an opportunity to dramatically increase the rigor of standards, upgrade the tests and
accountability systems, and make necessary mid-course corrections to curricula,
instruction, and standards implementation.
Existing research has shown that students who take high-level course sequences learn
more in high school and are more likely to attend and perform better in college than
students who do not take these classes. A rigorous, college preparatory curriculum has
demonstrated valuable equity benefits; they must be complemented with quality high
school instruction. In particular, that curriculum must start by solving the problem of
engaging students in coursework. Student academic behaviors (e.g. attendance, studying)
in their classes are more predictive of student success in high school than many other
factors. Engagement is a key component and will be center to STEM Academy instruction.
Research suggests that students held to high standards in high school feel—and are—
more prepared for the demands of college and the workforce than students held to
moderate or low standards. For example, a study in Florida found that students who had
taken college preparatory mathematics courses in high school—Algebra I, Geometry, and
Algebra II—were less likely to require postsecondary mathematics remedial education than
those who had taken a less challenging course sequence. Students who had taken English
I, II, and III had less than half the probability of needing remedial courses in college than
students who had taken no college preparatory classes.
Research also suggests that participants in the State Scholars Initiative, which requires
students to take Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, four years of
English, three and a half years of social studies (including economics), and two years of
foreign language, are twice as likely to be college-ready as students in a less challenging
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course of study. Students in the initiative were also more likely to receive their associate’s
or bachelor’s degree and tended to earn more after high school.
Using a national sample, research found that the academic intensity of a student’s course
load is the most powerful predictor of earning a bachelor’s degree. Teaching all students
the same core curriculum is a promising way of improving performance and reducing
inequities. Research also showed that schools with more academic and fewer remedial
courses had higher graduation rates, regardless of the students’ own academic background
and school performance. Texas and New York have introduced a rigorous core preparatory
curriculum for all students and both states have exhibited rising test scores.
Some of the most influential research on high school academic rigor is found in U.S.
Department of Education analyses.10 These studies provide evidence that the intensity of a
student’s high school curriculum is the single best predictor of college degree completion.
Using the High School and Beyond (HS&B) cohort of 1982 high school graduates and the
National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) cohort of 1992 high school graduates,
Adelman investigated the pathways that contribute to college completion. His findings
describe how academic intensity in high school curricula (measured by course level
Carnegie units, highest math course taken, the need for remedial course work in English
and math, and enrollment in Advanced Placement courses) is a stronger predictor of
students’ college degree attainment than student test scores or class rank. More
specifically, Adelman (1999) found that a student’s highest level of mathematics taken in
high school has the strongest influence on college completion relative to any other
predictor. “Finishing a course beyond the level of Algebra II (for example, trigonometry
or pre-calculus) more than doubles the odds that a student who enters postsecondary
education will complete a bachelor’s degree” (p. 16–18).
This result suggested that “requiring or encouraging students to enroll in even one rigorous
course in their first two years of high school can substantially improve graduation and fouryear college enrollment rates” (Long et al. 2012, 315). Following a college preparatory
curriculum under FL Standards provides a more rigorous set of high school courses to lead
to better postsecondary success. The program includes:
 A rigorous course of study in high school with richer curricula, exposing students to
material they may face in college and improving their college readiness.
10
Adelman, C. (1999). Answers in the Tool Box (Report No. PLLI-1999-8021). Washington, DC: National Institute on
Postsecondary Education, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 431363) and
Adelman, C. (2006). The Toolbox Revisited. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and
Adult Education.
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Rigorous courses (such as honors and AP) taught by more skilled teachers (often
with additional credentials, more experience, or specialized professional
development), than less rigorous courses.
A rigorous course of study can serve as an important signal for college admission,
particularly at more selective institutions, and enrollment at a more selective college
is positively associated with student outcomes.
The relationship between rigorous course-taking and student outcomes is not causal
at all, such that the observed positive correlation is driven by a third underlying set of
traits shared by academically successful students, such as drive or motivation.
There is a causal relationship between rigorous high school course-taking and improved
educational outcomes, it is imperative for high schools to ensure that all students have
access to an academically rigorous course of study (Tierney et al. 2009). We will reflect on
our curriculum to judge its success in accomplishing the desired results. Feedback will be
taken from students and appropriate reform will be introduced. Curriculum planning is not a
onetime task but it requires continuous assessment and reform according to the changing
needs of our students.
3. STEM Curricula
Research funded by the National Science Foundation has identified three categories of
STEM-focused schools that possess the potential to meet U.S. educational goals in STEM
areas:
• Selective schools, which enroll small numbers of highly motivated students with
demonstrated talent and interest in STEM areas.
• Inclusive schools, which serve students from all backgrounds, focusing on lowincome, minority, and other traditionally underrepresented youth.
• Career and technical education programs, which help a broad range of students
explore the practical applications of STEM subjects and prepare for STEM-related
jobs.
Tagging on the research, STEM Academy has selected an inclusion model to meet the
needs of an expanded heterogeneous population.
Recently, both the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
(CCSSM) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have called for more and
deeper connections among the STEM subjects. The NGSS explicitly includes practices and
core disciplinary ideas from engineering alongside those for science, raising the
expectation that science teachers will be expected to teach science and engineering in an
integrated fashion.
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The importance of quality STEM education is gaining national attention. Almost 30 percent
of students in their first year of college are forced to take remedial science and math
classes because they are not prepared for college level courses. The Program for
International Student Assessment (PISA) test shows that U.S. students are behind students
in other industrialized nations in STEM critical thinking skills (NSB, 2007). Success in math
and science education programs also affects U.S. living standards, economic growth, and
national security.
There is evidence that U.S students are not receiving sufficient academic preparation in
STEM education and for STEM fields (Farmer, 2009; Laird, Alt, & Wu, 2009; Lips &
McNeill, 2009; NSB, 2007). Having well prepared and highly qualified STEM teachers is
crucial for success and should be a focus for the future (Chen & Weko, 2009; Lips &
McNeill, 2009; Moore, 2007; NSB, 2007). Increasing the number of students that take
STEM courses and increasing the number of students that pursue STEM fields is
important. (Chen & Weko, 2009; Farmer, 2009; Laird et al., 2009; Lips & McNeill, 2009;
Moore, 2007; NSB, 2007).
A number of studies have pointed to the influence of teacher’s self-efficacy beliefs on
student’s achievement and success at school. Teachers with a strong sense of efficacy are
good at planning and organization, open to new ideas, willing to change their teaching
methods to meet the needs of students, exhibit enthusiasm, and are committed to their
profession. (Caprara et al., 2006)
4. College Preparation and Career Readiness
Here are some of the research findings that explain the correlation between a coherent,
specific approach to knowledge and the development of higher-order skills.
 Learning can be fun, but is nonetheless cumulative and sometimes arduous. The
dream of inventing methods to streamline the time-consuming activity of learning is
timeless. In antiquity it was already an old story. Proclus records an anecdote about
an encounter between Euclid, the inventor of geometry, and King Ptolemy I of Egypt
(276-196 B.C.), who was impatiently trying to follow Euclid's Elements step by
laborious step. Exasperated, the king demanded a faster, easier way to learn
geometry—to which Euclid gave the famous, and still true, reply: “There is no royal
road to geometry.”
Even with computer technology, it's far from easy to find short-cuts to the basic human
activity of learning. The human brain sets limits on the potential for educational innovation.
One cannot, for instance, put a faster chip in the human brain. The frequency of its central
processing unit is timed in thousandths rather than millionths of a second; An absolute
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limitation of the mind's speed of operation is 50 milliseconds per minimal item. A. B.
Kristofferson, (1967), “Attention and Psychophysical Time,” Acta Psychologica 27: 93–100.
Nor can we change the fundamental, constructivist psychology of the learning process,
which dictates that we humans must acquire new knowledge much as a tree acquires new
leaves. The old leaves actively help nourish the new. The more “old growth” (prior
knowledge) we have, the faster new growth can occur, making learning an organic process
in which knowledge builds upon knowledge.

Because modern classrooms cannot effectively deliver completely individualized
instruction, effective education requires grade-by-grade shared knowledge. When an
individual child “gets” what is being taught in a classroom, it is like someone
understanding a joke. A click occurs. If you have the requisite background
knowledge, you will get the joke, but if you don't, you will remain puzzled until
somebody explains the knowledge that was taken for granted. Similarly, a classroom
of 25 to 35 children can move forward as a group only when all the children have the
knowledge that is necessary to “getting” the next step in learning.
Studies comparing elementary schools in the United States to schools in countries with
common core knowledge systems disclose a striking difference in the structure of
classroom activities; the data in this paragraph come from H. Stevenson and J. Stigler,
(1992), The Learning Gap, (New York: Summit Books). In the best-performing classrooms
constant back-and-forth interaction among groups of students and between students and
the teacher consumes more than 80 percent of classroom time. By contrast, in the United
States, over 50 percent of student time is spent in silent isolation, Stevenson and Stigler,
pp. 52–71. Behind the undue amount of “alone time” in our schools stands a theory that
goes as follows: Every child is a unique individual; hence each child should receive
instruction paced and tailored to that child. The theory should inform classroom practice as
far as feasible: one hopes for teachers sensitive to the individual child's needs and
strengths. The theory also reveals why good classroom teaching is difficult, and why a oneon-one tutorial is the most effective form of instruction. But modern education cannot be
conducted as a one-on-one tutorial.
Consider the significance of these facts in accounting for the slow progress (by
international standards) of American elementary schools. If an entire classroom must
constantly pause while its lagging members acquire background knowledge that they
should have gained in earlier grades, progress is bound to be slow. For effective, fair
classroom instruction to take place, all members of the class need to share enough
common reference points to enable everyone to understand and learn—though of course at
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differing rates and in response to varied approaches. When this commonality of knowledge
is lacking, progress in learning will be slow compared with systems that use a core
curriculum:
 Just as learning is cumulative, so are learning deficits. As they begin 1st grade,
American students are not far behind beginners in other developed nations. But as
they progress, their achievement falls farther and farther behind. This widening gap
is the subject of one of the most important recent books on American education, The
Learning Gap by Stevenson and Stigler.
 This progressively widening gap closely parallels what happens within American
elementary schools between advantaged and disadvantaged children. As the two
groups progress from grades 1–6, the achievement gap grows ever larger and is
almost never overcome, W. Loban, (March 1964), Language Ability: Grades Seven,
Eight, and Nine, (Project No. 1131), University of California, Berkeley; as expanded
and interpreted by T. G. Sticht, L. B. Beck R. N. Hauke, G. M. Kleiman, and J. H.
James, (1974), Auding and Reading: A Developmental Model, (Alexandria, Va.:
Human Resources Research Organization); J. S. Chall, (1982), Families and
Literacy, Final Report to the National Institute of Education; and especially, J. S.
Chall, V. A. Jacobs, and L. E. Baldwin, (1990), The Reading Crisis: Why Poor
Children Fall Behind, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press).
 The reasons for the parallels between the two kinds of gaps—the learning gap and
the fairness gap—are similar. In both cases, the widening gap represents the
cumulative effect of learning deficits. Although a few talented and motivated children
may overcome this ever-increasing handicap, most do not. The rift grows ever wider
in adult life. The basic causes of this permanent deficit, apart from motivational ones,
are cognitive. Learning builds upon learning in a cumulative way, and lack of
learning in the early grades usually has, in comparative terms, a negatively
cumulative effect.
Research from large-scale longitudinal evidence, particularly from France, shows that this
gap between haves and have-nots can be closed, S. Boulot and D. Boyzon-Fradet,
(1988), Les immigrés et l'école: une course d'obstacles, Paris, pp. 54–58; Centre for
Educational Research and Innovation (CERI), (1987), Immigrants' Children At School,
Paris, pp. 178–259. But only one way to close it has been devised: to set forth explicit,
year-by-year knowledge standards in early grades, so they are known to all parties—
educators, parents, and children. Such standards are requisites for home-school
cooperation and for reaching a general level of excellence. But, equally, they are requisites
in gaining fairness for the academic have-nots: explicit year-by-year knowledge standards
enable schools in nations with strong elementary core curriculums to remedy the
knowledge deficits of disadvantaged children.
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High academic skill is based upon broad general knowledge. Someone once asked
Boris Goldovsky how he could play the piano so brilliantly with such small hands. His
memorable reply was: “Where in the world did you get the idea that we play the
piano with our hands?” It's the same with reading: we don't read just with our eyes.
By 7th grade, according to the epoch-making research of Thomas Sticht, most
children, even those who read badly, have already attained the purely technical
proficiency they need. Their reading and their listening show the same rate and level
of comprehension; thus the mechanics of reading are not the limiting factor, T. G.
Sticht and H. J. James, (1984), “Listening and Reading,” In Handbook of Reading
Research, edited by P. D. Pearson, (New York: Longman). What is mainly lacking in
poor readers is a broad, ready vocabulary. But broad vocabulary means broad
knowledge, because to know a lot of words you have to know a lot of things. Thus,
broad general knowledge is an essential requisite to superior reading skill and
indirectly related to the skills that accompany it.
Superior reading skill is known to be highly correlated with most other academic
skills, including the ability to write well, learn rapidly, solve problems, and think
critically. To concentrate on reading is therefore to focus implicitly on a whole range
of educational issues, A. L. Brown, (1980), “Metacognitive Development and
Reading,” in Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension, edited by R. J. Spiro, B.
C. Bruce, and W. F. Brewer, (Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Earlbaum Associates).
The FL Standards are designed to prepare all students for success in a two- or four-year
college without remediation, as well as prepare them to be career ready. Our use of FL
Standards will respond to the growing concern that students are graduating from high
school without the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college, postsecondary
education, or postsecondary careers. Nearly a third of all first-time college students enroll in
a remedial reading, writing, or math class freshman year. The FL Standards heralds a
stronger correlation between what’s being taught in high schools and what colleges want
students to know.
Research regarding a college and career ready curriculum has shown evidence that early
academic skills beget later educational attainment and labor market success, it is critical for
policymakers and practitioners at all levels of the education system to consider ways of
improving the academic rigor of high school course-taking (National Conference of State
Legislatures, 20110). Wiley, Wyatt, and Camara (2010) developed an Academic Rigor
Index (ARI) based on course-level enrollment in English, mathematics, science, and social
studies each year of high school, with additional points allocated to the index for honors,
AP, and/or dual enrollment course work. Similar efforts to measure the academic rigor of
students’ high school experience for use in assessing college readiness are widespread.
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As such, researchers (Brookings Institution, 2012) concluded that there are several key
principles for increasing the quantity and quality of rigorous course work among high school
students:
 Better alignment.
Many stakeholders (e.g., Achieve, Inc.) have argued for better alignment between
high school and college and the labor market. In fact, the Common Core State
Standards are chiefly about developing standards at the secondary level that are
aligned with career and college readiness. Common Core works to align students’
expectations for college and careers with their curricular offerings in high school.
Key is keeping students informed about what it takes to succeed in college and in
the various careers they might consider. Better alignment between the content they
face in high school and what they will likely encounter in college and in many jobs
would fill the information gap and may improve students’ postsecondary outcomes.
 Raising standards for all students
Even if some students do not intend to go to college, high schools need to provide
more rigorous academic course work offerings. It is clear that college-bound high
school students require such course work in order to arrive at college better
prepared. In addition, the payoffs from such rigorous courses in the workplace are
clear even for those entering the labor market directly, so additional rigorous course
work should not be reserved for only those who are college bound.
 More is not necessarily better
Simply taking more courses in high school does not necessarily yield better
outcomes. Several researchers have posited a “credentialist” theory suggesting that
the national trend toward more rigorous course enrollment has been largely in name
and, as a result, has not resulted in improvements in college readiness (Geiser and
Santelices 2004). Having all students enroll in courses that are merely labeled at a
higher level, but with instruction or content that is unchanged, or offering more
sections of calculus when there are no qualified teachers to staff these sections is
unlikely to bring about desired improvements in student outcomes.
 Monitoring access and Equity
Given persistent racial/ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in course
enrollment and in educational attainment, educational leaders and policymakers
need to monitor the extent to which opportunities for enrolling in rigorous academic
courses are distributed equitably. Several studies have emphasized that availability
of such course work can go a long way to reducing the educational attainment gap
between different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status students (Conger et al.
2009; Klopfenstein 2004).
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5. Pearson’s 1:1 Learning Platform
As mentioned above, the school’s collaboration with Pearson Publishing will provide
students with a digitally based adaptive platform of materials that are fully aligned with FL
Standards. The Pearson materials are designed with the intention that all students obtain
those skills necessary to be successful in colleges or universities and/or career readiness.
The Pearson’s 1:1 Learning Platform was designed based on principles of effective
instruction.11 Specifically, these include:
 Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction, a research-based description of external
conditions that optimize internal learning processes
 Visual Literacy, how material is organized to optimize retention
 Cognitive Load Theory, learning principles that utilize a research-based
understanding of cognitive learning processes to create effective learning materials
and environments
 Integrating Technology into the Classroom using Instructional Strategies
based on the research from Classroom Instruction that Works, by Robert J.
Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock
The Nine Events of Instruction are grouped into the three (3) stages of a lesson:
Preparatory Set, Instruction and Practice, and Assessment and Transfer. The Preparatory
Set involves gaining the attention of the learner, stating the lesson objective, and
stimulating recall of prior knowledge. Instruction and practice are presenting a stimulus,
providing learning guidance, eliciting learner performance, and providing feedback to the
learner. Assessment and transfer are assessing the learner’s performance and enhancing
retention and supporting transfer of the information learned. This instructional model has
been used as the basis for lesson development in Pearson’s 1:1 Learning Platform.12
 Visual literacy is supported in Pearson’s 1:1 Learning Platform through the use of
contrast among visual elements, alignment of information that is connected,
repetitive design so that learners develop understanding and expectations about
lesson structure, and proximity of information to provide visual connections.
 Cognitive load theory looks at how information is structured that supports the
effective processing of information.13 Pearson’s 1:1 Learning Platform integrates
recommendations from cognitive load theory to “…ensure the learner is able to
efficiently and effectively move through the program” (Pearson, no date, p. 9). There
11
Pearson. (no date). Leveraging Visual Literacy to Promote Mastery of Online Curriculum,
http://www.pearsonschool.com/pdl/national/120295/docs/GP_WhitePaper2_Leveraging_Visual_Literacy.pdf
12
Pearson. (no date). Nine Critical Elements for Effective Online Learning,
http://www.pearsonschool.com/pdl/national/120295/docs/GP_WhitePaper1_Nine_Critical_Elements.pdf
13
PSTEM ACADEMYs, F., Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2003). Cognitive load theory and instructional design: Recent
developments. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 1-4.
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are three (3) types of cognitive load: intrinsic load, germane load, and extraneous
load.14
Intrinsic load, the complexity of a concept or cognitive challenge, is managed in
Pearson’s 1:1 Learning Platform by breaking content down into manageable chunks
and thoughtfully planned sequences.
Germane load, the processing required to meet the desired outcome, is managed in
Pearson’s 1:1 Learning Platform using a variety of strategies. First, progress is
measured against objectives and reported back to the student. Second, interactive
elements within each lesson directly align to the lesson’s objectives. Third, guided
practice directly aligns with the lesson’s objectives.
Extraneous load, unnecessary elements unrelated to the lesson objectives, are
omitted from the lessons. Lesson design ensures that text, visuals, and audio all
support the learner’s attention to the critical information and avoid distraction.
Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative (BWLI), is a pilot program that provided 1:1
technology access to all students and teachers across five public and private middle
schools in western Massachusetts. Using a pre/post comparative study design, the study
explored a wide range of program impacts over the three years of the project’s
implementation. The study detailed how teaching and learning practices changed when
students and teachers were provided with laptops, wireless learning environments, and
additional technology resources. The results found that both the implementation and
outcomes of the program were varied across the five 1:1 settings and over the three years
of the student laptop implementation. Despite these differences, there was significant
evidence that the types of educational access and opportunities afforded by 1:1 computing
through the pilot program led to strong measurable changes in teacher practices, student
achievement, student engagement, and students’ research skills. 15
Clark outlined that the use of the notebook computer as a learning tool influenced the
learning strategies employed by the teachers and assisted in the construction of the
content rather than just the delivery of content, Clark, R. E. (1991) “When researchers swim
upstream: Reflections on an unpopular argument about learning from the
media,” Educational Technology, 31(2), 34-40. The practice of constructivist pedagogical
principles was found to provide better outcomes than other models of instruction by Berg,
Benz, Lasley, and Raisch, who also found that exemplary technology using teachers used
and integrated technology, employed teaching strategies, used class based activities and
applied resources in a constructivist manner, Berg, S., Benz, C. R., Lasley, T. J., & Raisch,
14
Pearson. (no date). Improving Middle and High School Learner Performance with Cognitive Load Theory,
http://www.pearsonschool.com/pdl/national/120295/docs/GP_WhitePaper3_Improving_Learner_Performance.pdf.
15
Bebell, D & Kay, R. (2010). One to one computing: A summary of the quantitative results from the Berkshire Wireless
Learning Initiative. The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(2), 1-60.
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C. D. (1998) “Exemplary technology use in elementary classrooms,” Journal of Research
on Computing in Education, 31(2), 111-122. Students of these teachers were engaged,
involved in activities that were problem oriented, collaborative and based on authentic
assessment. When teachers and students work within a wireless network, using portable
computing devices, school management, teacher computer competency, curriculum design
and the pedagogy of the teacher are focused on maximizing the use of the notebook,
combined with appropriate structures for supporting teacher and technology, a
constructivist learning environment will emerge. The practice of constructivist
pedagogical principles provided better outcomes than using other models of instruction,
Newhouse, P. C. (2002, July 29 - 3 August), “Networking the learner: Computers in
education.” Paper presented at the Seventh IFIP World Conference on Computers in
Education (WCCE) 2001, Copenhagen, Denmark.
C. Describe the school’s reading curriculum. Provide evidence that reading is
a primary focus of the school and that there is a curriculum and set of
strategies for students who are reading at grade level or higher and a
separate curriculum and strategy for students reading below grade level.
The reading curriculum must be consistent with effective teaching strategies
and be grounded in scientifically-based reading research.
Students may emerge from elementary and middle school without the reading skills they
need to succeed at the secondary level. A result of their initial difficulty with independent
reading can cause many students to develop a phobia about reading as well as a strong
aversion to taking tests. The goal of our reading program will be to develop a program that
will increase the level of reading for all students, including those at-risk, ELL, and students
with disabilities.
Reading proficiency is usually defined as the ability to understand and learn from gradelevel text. Of course, this is a very complex skill itself, but its most essential elements
involve:
 the ability to read text accurately and fluently;
 enough background knowledge and vocabulary to make sense of the content;
 knowledge and skill in using reading strategies that improve understanding or repair
it when it breaks down;
 the ability to think and reason about the information and concepts in the text; and
 motivation to understand and learn from text.
The School submits that reading proficiency require that students be able to identify the
words on the page accurately and fluently; that they have enough knowledge and thinking
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ability to understand the words, sentences and paragraphs; and that they be motivated and
engaged enough to use their knowledge and thinking ability to understand and learn from
the text (Florida Center for Reading Research, 2007).
The goal of JSMA is to improve the reading achievement of ALL students. To accomplish
this goal the School will establish measureable goals for student achievement in reading.
The School will use the new FAIR-FS Assessments to monitor progress and the MAP and
the Diagnostic Assessment of Reading (DAR). The DAR is used by classroom teachers
and reading specialists to assess student reading ability in five areas: phonemic
awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency and reading
comprehension. The DAR may be used to test older students who struggle with reading.
Teachers need no special training to administer the test, which is un-timed and
administered verbally on a one-to-one basis. The 2015 assessment data will also be used
as a baseline for classroom instruction and initial course placement. The three
administrations of FAIR-FS assessments will also be used with MAP results as predictors
of student performance on the new Florida Standards Assessment and to inform classroom
instruction throughout the year.
Specific Reading Goals are:
 Grade 6:
Goal 1: Decrease by at least 3% the number of students who score more than two
grade levels below expectations on the Florida Literacy Assessments (reduce the
percentage of students scoring Level 1.) as compared to their previous assessment
data.
Goal 2: Increase by at least 5% the number of students who move more than one
grade level as measured on the Florida Literacy Assessments (stronger movement
from Level 2 to Level 3.)
 Grade 7:
Goal 1: Decrease by at least 3% the number of students who score more than two
grade levels below expectations on the Florida Literacy Assessments (reduce the
percentage of students scoring Level 1.)
Goal 2: Increase by at least 5% the number of students who move more than one
grade level as measured on the Florida Literacy Assessments (stronger movement
from Level 2 to Level 3.)
 Grade 8:
Goal 1: Decrease by at least 3% the number of students who score more than two
grade levels below expectations on the Florida Literacy Assessments (reduce the
percentage of students scoring Level 1.)
Goal 2: Increase by at least 5% the number of students who move more than one
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grade level as measured on the Florida Literacy Assessments (stronger movement
from Level 2 to Level 3.)
Grade 9:
Goal 1: Decrease by at least 3% the number of students who score more than two
grade levels below expectations on the Florida Literacy Assessments (reduce the
percentage of students scoring Level 1.)
Goal 2: Increase by at least 5% the number of students who move more than one
grade level as measured on the Florida Literacy Assessments (stronger movement
from Level 2 to Level 3.)
Grade 10:
Goal 1: Decrease by at least 3% the number of students who score more than two
grade levels below expectations on the Florida Literacy Assessments (reduce the
percentage of students scoring Level 1.)
Goal 2: Increase by at least 5% the number of students who move more than one
grade level as measured on the Florida Literacy Assessments (stronger movement
from Level 2 to Level 3.)
The School will fund at least one (1) Reading Coach. Additional coaches will be considered
based upon need to provide for tiered support as delineated by the differentiated
accountability model. For a reading coach to be effective, the role of the coach must be
clear to school administration, teachers, and the coach. The role of the coach is specified in
1011.62 (9) (c) 3, noting that highly qualified reading coaches specifically support teachers
in making appropriate instructional decisions based on student data, and in improving
teacher delivery of effective reading instruction, intervention, and reading in the content
areas based on student need.
The principal and the Reading/Literacy Leadership Team (RLT), which will consist of M/J
and high school ELA lead teachers, ESE Staffing Specialist, ELL Staffing Specialist, media
specialist, intensive reading teachers and the reading coach/s, will work collaboratively to
increase the amount of time the students are reading inside and outside of school. Reading
initiatives with incentives will be a part of the process. AR (Accelerated Reading) and other
pertinent incentive programs will be used. The School will provide “tubs” of books in the
hallways before school, in the cafeteria during lunch, and trips to the public library.
Independent reading will be supported and encouraged. Additionally, many of classrooms
will be equipped with organized, leveled readers for student check-out. Independent
reading be monitored is by student reading logs/journals to integrate reading and writing for
students at all levels.
Supplemental materials will be purchased and implemented, including Hundred Book
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Challenge. Summer reading lists will be shared with students and parents at the end of the
school year to encourage summer reading. This focus on increasing the amount of time
students spend daily engaged in close readings of appropriate text as well as a cross
content focus on deepening understanding of content specific academic vocabulary will be
monitored by the RLT. Additionally the RLT will review quarterly progress monitoring data
from FAIR-FS and MAP benchmark literacy assessments to measure growth and provide
next steps for continuous improvement of students overall reading and writing.
The School’s reading plan includes a reading curriculum based on a foundation of real texts
and text exemplars, per the high rigor put forth by Florida Standards. The FL Standards
curriculum in which the School will group and arrange FL Standards in a particular way to
ensure all grade level standards can be taught within the school year, will be used as the
core curriculum for reading, and it will incorporate a variety of genuine texts, with a 50/50
blend of fiction and nonfiction in all grade levels. As referenced in Just Read, Florida!, an
effective program incorporates a wide range of diverse texts.
The goal of the middle school curriculum is for the students to be presented challenging
comprehension activities that require students to not only read, but to also deliberately reread text multiple times with the intention of pondering and answering higher order
questions resulting in engaging and productive discourse. The School will use complex text
for content-related lessons. A high priority is placed on the close, sustained reading of
complex text with scaffolding in place that permits all students to experience the complexity
of the text, rather than avoid it.
M/J students who are in need of decoding and text reading efficiency skills will be provided
with 100 minutes of DAILY reading instruction, provided by a Reading certified or Reading
endorsed teacher. Teachers will provide differentiated instruction using the Voyager
Journeys Reading Passport (PRJ) or Pearson’s iLIT programs. This instruction will include
(on a daily basis):
 Whole group explicit instruction
 Small group differentiated instruction
 Independent reading practice monitored by the teacher
 Focus on increasingly complex literary and informational texts (exposition,
argumentation/persuasive, functional/procedural documents, etc.)
For High School, the School will also promote text complexity. Our reading coaches will
dialogue with the reading teachers, as well as other content teachers. This is often done in
the professional learning communities setting to ensure rigor and relevance in secondary
classrooms. Scaffolding techniques will be infused to assure the success of all levels of
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readers.
Our reading curriculum will be differentiated to serve students of varying needs. Voyager
Passport Reading Journeys (PRJ), will be used with students who require extended time in
a reading intervention class. This curriculum specifically scaffolds learning and helps bridge
the gap for our students who have text decoding issues, as evident by their FAIR progress
monitoring data. In addition to Voyager PRJ, reading teachers serving students without text
decoding issues will be asked to focus on building necessary background knowledge,
develop both academic and content vocabulary and facilitate close readings of the text.
Pearson Common Core ELA Curriculum will be the instructional framework adopted by the
School to increase rigor and relevance, in alignment with College and Career Readiness/FL
Standards in our ELA classes. Its curriculum is carefully scaffolded from level to level and
unit to unit. Rigor is carefully infused in each activity through the use of higher-order
questions and tasks. In terms of relevance, Pearson incorporates the “new literacies,” an
expectation of Common Core, such as visual texts in video clips, photos, PowerPoint’s and
websites.
Section 1003.428, Florida Statutes, requires students in the ninth grade cohort beginning in
2013-2014, who score at Level 1 on FCAT Reading 2.0 to receive interventions services in
the following courses:
 an intensive reading course and/or
 a content area reading intervention course that is taught by a content-area teacher
who has participated in content –area reading professional development, such as
NGCAR-PD/CAR-PD, that builds teacher capacity to deliver scientifically-based
content –area literacy practices that support low-performing students. Section
1003.428 Florida Statutes, requires students in the ninth grade cohorts for 2011-12,
and 2012-13 who score at Level 1 on FCAT Reading 2.0 to complete an intensive
reading course. Those students who score at Level 2 must be placed in an intensive
reading course or a content area reading intervention course.
A student in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 ninth grade cohort who scores at Level 1 or Level 2
on FCAT 2.0 Reading but who did not score below Level 3 in the previous 3 years may be
granted a 1-year exemption from the reading remediation requirement; however, the
student must have an approved academic improvement plan already in place, signed by
the appropriate school staff and the student's parent, for the year for which the exemption is
granted.
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Passing scores on FCAT and concordant scores on other assessments may not be used to
exempt students from required intervention. The School may use flexibility to provide
intervention to students in grades 11 and 12 who have met the graduation requirement.
Courses that may be used to provide reading intervention to 11th and 12th grade students
include Reading For College Success, English 4-College Prep, or Intensive Reading. Each
of these three courses focus on the goal of providing instruction that enables students to
develop and strengthen reading comprehension of complex grade level texts and
developing independent cognitive endurance while reading.
Other commonalities include a focus on understanding vocabulary in context, analysis of
affix meanings in academic terminology, recognizing various rhetorical structures,
identifying main idea, inferences, purpose, and tone within texts. While all three courses
require the reading of both fiction and nonfiction texts, Reading for College Success
provides a specific focus on informational text while English 4 provides a specific focus on
literature.
High school students who score at Level 1 or Level 2 on FCAT Reading and who have
intervention needs in the areas of foundational reading skills (e.g. decoding, fluency) must
have extended time for reading intervention:
 Students two or more years below grade level should receive a double block of time
for reading to provide a sufficient amount of the following:
o remediation in foundational reading skills
o supportive opportunities to apply these skills
o acceleration in academic vocabulary development and high-level
comprehension of increasingly complex text
 Students less than two years below grade level may receive these services during
the school day or before/after school with teacher support.
Teachers of intensive reading courses should be highly qualified to teach reading or should
be working toward that status (pursuing the reading endorsement or K-12 reading
certification). It is important that the classroom infrastructure (class size, materials, etc.) is
adequate to implement the necessary array of reading intervention service options.
These interventions will host the following characteristics:
 whole group explicit instruction
 small group differentiated instruction
 independent reading practice monitored by the teacher (applicable to reading
intervention course)
 infusion of reading and language arts benchmarks specific to the subject area
blocked with the intensive reading course (biology, world history, etc.)
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a focus on informational complex literary and informational texts (exposition
argumentation/persuasive, functional/procedural documents, etc.).
Beginning with the 2013-14 ninth grade cohort, students who score at Level 1 who do not
have intervention needs in the areas of foundational reading skills(e.g. decoding, fluency)
may be served in content area reading intervention classes. Districts may also continue to
serve students scoring at Level 2 on FCAT Reading who do not have intervention needs in
the areas of foundational reading skills (e.g. decoding fluency). Teachers of these classes
must meet one of the following requirements:
 Content Area Reading Professional Development (CAR-PD)
 Next Generation Content Area Reading-Professional Development (NGCAR-PD)
package
 Reading Endorsement
 K-12 Reading Certification
The School will progress monitor students scoring at Level 1 and 2 on FCAT 2.0 and/or FL
Assessment for Reading. Reading a minimum of three times per year in order to
appropriately plan for subsequent instruction and ensure student learning progress over
time. This progress monitoring should include a Baseline, Midyear, and End of the Year
Assessment. These monitoring opportunities will be conducted through scheduled MAP
testing.
The School will diagnose specific reading deficiencies of students scoring at Level 1 and
Level 2 on FCAT or FL Standards Assessments for Reading. Although formal diagnostic
assessment provide specific information about a student’s reading deficiencies, many
progress monitoring tools and informal teacher assessments can provide very similar
information in a more efficient manner. The School will use a formal diagnostic assessment
to any student is to determine the specific deficit at hand so teachers can better inform
instruction to meet the needs of students who continue to struggle in reading. The decision
to deliver a formal diagnostic assessment should be the result of an in-depth conversation
about student instructional and assessment needs by the teacher, reading coach, and
reading specialist.
Each identified struggling reader must be given the instruction that best fits his or her
needs. The School will implement a placement process that includes a variety of
considerations with protocols, such as the following:
 Historical assessment data results, including prior FCAT scores:
o Level 2 students who scored at Level 3 or above during previous school years
require instructional support that focuses on accelerating development in
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academic vocabulary and high-level comprehension, ensuring that student
development keeps pace with increases in text complexity that occurs from
grade to grade. Further assessment is required to determine whether
remediation is needed.
o Students who have historically scored below Level 3 in numerous past years
will require intervention focused on both remediation and acceleration.
Further assessment is required to determine the appropriate proportion of
remediation and acceleration for each student,
Assessment using grade-level passages: Administer oral reading and
comprehension questions of a grade-level passage:
o Independent student oral reading: For Level 1 or Level 2 students who
struggle to read a grade level passage aloud, distinguish the impact that each
students’ decoding issues have on his or her text comprehension in order to
determine remediation needs:
 Does the student successfully monitor basic comprehension of the
grade-level text in spite of some decoding challenges?
 Does the student struggle to decode the grade-level passage, and
does this negatively impact his or her grade-level text understandings?
o Comprehension questions: Level 1 or Level 2 students who have difficulty
accurately answering several basic comprehension questions (e.g., main
idea, details, etc.), summarizing the passage, or identifying text evidence that
supports the author’s claim will require systematic remediation in such skills
as text structure, summarization, and comprehension monitoring using explicit
instructional strategies such as text-marking/coding.
For the various student profiles referenced above, all will require accelerated instruction in
academic vocabulary and high-level comprehension using complex texts to ensure their
college-career readiness. Research suggests that fluency is not a strong predictor of a
student’s ability to comprehend text in middle grades and high school. Therefore, caution is
recommended in using fluency data as a primary determinant for placement in reading
intervention in the upper grades.
Our proposed program is aligned to the rigor, depth, and intent of Florida Standards and
includes a range of diverse print and media. Within the program there are diagnostic
assessments, leveled texts, intervention and supplemental resources, as well as various
other components to meet the needs of all students. The program provides support in
building a strong foundation in reading and utilizing critical thinking skills within the reading
activities.
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The School will approach reading from a holistic view as students learn to read and read to
learn. The high school reading program will approach each student’s needs with this in
mind and use the following research to bring students to proficiency and accelerate
students for advancement in the content areas. This curriculum is a balanced reading
approach that incorporates a combination of reading and teaching strategies realizing that
students need to use multiple strategies to become proficient readers.
The focus of the School’s reading program is to develop students who:
• Are able to use reading as a primary method of learning
• Are able to learn from increasingly complex content area reading materials
• Are able to communicate effectively using reading and writing
• Are prepared for reading demands beyond high school and in the workplace
• Acquire the habit of reading for enjoyment as a life-long pursuit
 The School’s reading curriculum includes the expectation that all secondary level
students should master the basic skills of reading in terms of:
o Decoding
o Fluency (pace, rate, flow)
o Comprehension (vocabulary and text comprehension)
Our reading program will be contextualized in the FL State Standards and implement the
pillars (including the Comprehensive Research-Based Reading Plan) of Just Read, Florida!
As components, we will use:
 Grade-level reading instruction, highlighting the objectives of the Language Arts
Florida Standards (LAFS);
 Guided instruction in reading using materials at the student’s instructional level;
 Explicit systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, word-attack skills,
grammar, syntax, spelling, and vocabulary building (as and when needed);
 Instruction in the elements of effective writing;
 In-class sustained independent reading and sharing of books selected by the
student and/or the teacher;
 Opportunities for fluency practice throughout the instructional day;
 Reading instruction using ESOL strategies when appropriate; and
 Reading instruction through ESOL classes for English Language Learner students.
Literacy is a "primary focus" within education and at our School as a cornerstone for
instruction in all other subject areas. JSMA will promote this focus by meeting or exceeding
Florida's Reading Program Specifications through the following practices:
• Reading instructional practices will be founded on scientific research.
• A systematic, explicit approach to instruction will provide skill scaffolding
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•
•
•
Students will actively engage in learning during instructional time.
A Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS), including Response to Intervention (RtI),
will be used to identify and correct reading difficulties in a timely manner.
Content area instruction will be infused with effective reading strategies
JSMA recognizes that literacy is the primary instrumental aspect necessary for academic
success. Literacy must be infused campus wide with listening, viewing, speaking, reading
and writing skills emphasized. In elementary school students are learning to read, however,
in intermediate grades and middle school the shift is for students to "read to learn."
Comprehension Development is ... a long-term process. Learning to read is only the first
step. This developmental journey extends from elementary through the middle and high
school grades. Throughout this time, reading tasks and assignments grow increasingly
longer, diverse, and complex (Rand, 2002, p. 176).
It is well-documented that knowing how to read is necessary for academic and career
success. The FLDOE has made the teaching of reading a priority and Florida law requires it
to be a focus of schools. The JSMA curriculum will provide for reading instruction both
directly and indirectly for students at all instructional levels.
Reading instruction will be based on the Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS).
Students will progress through a reading curriculum that emphasizes phonemic awareness
and decoding skills in its early stages and builds towards the ability to read, comprehend,
and interpret prose and poetry of different genres. Close reading, reading to uncover layers
of meaning that lead to deep comprehension (Boyles, 20130); fluency; and comprehension
will be emphasized. Acquisition of an extensive and advanced vocabulary will also be
emphasized at every level.
With the new demands and emphasis on "close reading" and with the LAFS, the
Comprehension Instruction Sequence (CIS) will be used as a multiple-strategy lesson
structure that all teachers can use to scaffold complex text for all students in all content
areas. Teachers will develop CIS lessons in three steps with integrated and sustained textbased discussions and writing used throughout.
 Step one: explicit instruction in vocabulary and close reading through text-marking
and directed note-taking.
 Step two; students generate questions that launch them into collaborative inquiry,
supporting the practice of lifelong learning.
 Step three: students are challenged to use text evidence to validate positions they
have formed over the course of the lesson.
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To that end, our teachers will draw upon a variety of effective scientific research-based
reading strategies to provide effective instruction to all students—including ESE, ELL, and
Level 1 and Level 2 readers. Teachers will employ the Gradual Release method (as
described earlier in Section 3) to aid students through the transition of "learning to read"
into "reading to learn." FL State Standards will provide teachers with comprehensive tools
and resources to aid in their literacy instruction. The standards also provide a proven cycle
of instruction that gradually transitions the responsibility of learning from the teacher to the
student.
JSMA will host five campus-wide literacy initiatives that will permeate all aspects of the
climate and culture of all classes. The five literacy initiatives will be displayed in all
classrooms and are:
 READING. All students will be required to carry an independent reading book, of
their choice, at all times. If there are free minutes during class, students will be
asked to take out their independent book and read. Teachers may schedule
independent reading time into their daily or weekly schedules. Research
recommends reading a minimum of 15 pages a day. Fifteen pages a day is the
minimum suggested in order for improvement to be noticed (Gardner, 2001). The
School will encourage reading more than 15 pages daily. This will gradually
increase for older students.
 WRITING. All content area classes will be writing, at least weekly. Writing will
consist of short answer responses, long answer responses, essays, research
projects, and/or quick writes. Reading and writing are closely related skills. A person
can be a good reader but not a good writer; however, a person cannot be a good
writer if he/she is not a wide reader. Writing requirements will align with the FL State
Standards, including the LAFS.
 VOCABULARY. Since one can only learn and understand the world around them
through language, vocabulary is a vital component of academic success.
Additionally, comprehension and critical thinking require strong vocabulary skills.
 CRITICAL THINKING. Critical thinking transcends subject area divisions; it
examines elements of thought implicit in all reasoning. Critical thinking employs a set
of skills and questioning strategies that help guide students to an enhanced clarity
and better reading comprehension. High level thinking questions are incorporated
into classroom questioning aligning with the FL State Standards.
 READING BY THE NUMBERS. Students need the ability to locate information,
organize, synthesize, and evaluate information from a variety of sources and
interpret the information given within a text, graph or picture. Informational sections
on standardized tests now comprise seventy percent (70%) of the reading material.
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Teachers will be incorporating these skills into all content area classes, aligning with
the FL Standards.
As outlined above, literacy is not the sole responsibility of the Language Arts teacher. All
content classes will focus on career and college ready skills. All students will have ample
opportunity to read through all of their classes. As part of the professional development
plan for the School, teachers and administrative personnel will engage in ongoing
workshops to ensure best practices are used for individual academic needs of the students.
These workshops will center on FL State Standards, research-based content area literacy,
and integrating technology into the classroom.
The Reading Coach will oversee the reading program; and work with students in small
groups and whole group instruction in the context of modeling, co-teaching, and coaching
in other teacher’s classrooms. The Reading Coach will be instrumental in the
implementation of Florida’s Just Read! reading initiative and communications between
home and school.
1. The Reading Leadership Team
The School will establish a Reading Leadership Team with the purpose of creating reliable
reading expertise within the school building and focusing on areas of literacy concern
across the School. The Executive Director will select team members for the Reading
Leadership Team (RLT) based on a cross section of the faculty and administrative team
that represents highly qualified professionals who are interested in serving to improve
literacy instruction across the curriculum. However, it is likely that the team will include the
principal, reading coach, mentor reading teachers, ESE teacher, ELL teacher, and content
area teachers.
The team will meet monthly throughout the school year, but may choose to meet more
often. The RLT will maintain a connection to the School's Multi-tiered System of Support
(MTSS) by using the MTSS problem solving approach to ensure that a multi-tiered system
of reading support is present and effective.
The Reading Leadership Team will meet monthly to:
 Discuss and disaggregate student data;
 Review, plan, and assess the professional development needs of staff related to
reading instruction based on student performance data;
 Develop an action plan that addresses curricular and professional development
needs as they relate to the implementation of the reading plan; and
 Plan and promote school-wide literacy events, among other things.
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
Examine the performances and learning plans for those students not reading at
grade level.
The Executive Director will actively promote school-wide literacy reform by:
 Including representation from all curricular areas on the RLT;
 Selecting team members who are skilled and committed to improving literacy;
 Offering professional growth opportunities for team members;
 Creating a collaborative environment that fosters sharing and learning;
 Developing a school wide organizational model that supports literacy instruction in
all classes; and
 Encouraging the use of data to improve teaching and thus impact student
achievement.
The administrative team will conduct classroom visitations, monitor lesson plans, and
ensure that reading strategies are implemented across the curriculum. Teachers needing
assistance will be supported by reading coaches (when hired). In addition, all faculty
members will be required to address strategies for reading instruction in their annual
Individual Professional Development Plans (IPDP). These strategies must be constantly
updated based on the results and analysis of progress monitoring in reading.
2. Research-Based Reading Instruction for All Students
Research16 identifies the components of daily instruction as:
• Grade-level reading instruction which includes FL State Standard benchmarks.
• Guided reading instruction at the student's instructional level during small group
differentiated instruction based on individual or clusters of need.
• Use of flexible grouping strategies, to ensure small group instruction is fluid and
differentiated.
• Explicit systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics (decoding),
vocabulary (word attack skills to include morphological structures), grammar, syntax,
spelling, fluency, and strategic actions to promote comprehension
• Instruction in effective writing practices.
• In-class sustained independent reading and shared read aloud by teacher and
students.
• Opportunities for fluency practice will take place daily in class.
• Reading instruction to incorporate appropriate ESOL/ELL strategies
16
Pearson, P. David, L.R. Roehler, J.A. Dole, and G.G. Duffy. 1992. "Developing Expertise in Reading Comprehension."
In S. Jay Samuels and Alan Farstrup, eds. What Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction, 2nd Edition. Newark,
DE: International Reading Association.
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•
Reading instruction to incorporate appropriate accommodations to meet the
differentiated needs of students with exceptionalities (ESE).
The goal of our reading program will be to develop a program that will increase the level of
reading for all students, including those at-risk, ELL, and students with disabilities. To that
end, the primary objective of our reading program is to help students understand what they
read, effectively express what they mean, and apply these skills to all areas of the
curriculum. The use of multi-level tests, computer programs, and a wide variety of novels,
can help each student master the skills needed to achieve independence in reading.
The Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR) will be used with students
who have scored Level 1 or 2 on FL Assessments or FCAT 2.0 to further promote the
assessment-instruction relationship and results will be recorded through the Progress
Monitoring and Reporting Network (PMRN). The FAIR uses a broad screening tool to
determine the probability of each student's success on the FCAT Reading.
Students who score in the green zone (85% probability or higher of scoring at or above
grade level) will take a Broad Diagnostic Inventory to provide teachers with more
information regarding abilities and needs. Students who score in the yellow or red zones
(16-84% probability and 15% or below probability of scoring at grade level, respectively) will
take a Targeted Diagnostic Inventory. The data obtained from this measure will be used to
more closely focus in on reading difficulties. These students will require ongoing progress
monitoring. The FAIR is given three times each year for ongoing information to support
teachers in lesson planning and preparing for differentiation of instruction.
Reading results from the baseline testing of all students using the Measures of Academic
Progress (MAP) or SAT-10 will also help us target instruction, particularly for lower level
readers, and measure gains. MAP/SAT-10 will measure and report students’ growth in
Lexiles. Our intent is to match students with text and to monitor reading development on
the individual, classroom, and school level.
Reading is a primary focus of our school and we have a curriculum and set of strategies for
students who are reading at grade level or higher and a separate curriculum and strategy
for students reading below grade level.
3. Reading Curricula and Programs
Our program is designed to support extensive reading and vocabulary development as well
as reading comprehension through exercises and writing. The reading curricula selected for
the School are:
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

Pearson Prentice Hall Literature (Common Core edition) to develop independent
readers
Passport Reading Journeys with eBooks (PRJ) as the intervention curriculum for
grades 6-12
a. Pearson Prentice Hall Literature (Common Core edition)
Pearson Prentice Hall (PH) Literature (Common Core edition) for grades 6-12 is our basic
reading program. It has been built on the “Better by Design” platform. Prentice Hall
Literature (PHLit Online) is a revolutionary digital, personalized learning environment for
middle and high school students that simplify planning, assessing and reporting. It provides
an engaging learning environment that supports all students and teachers at the level of
technology where they are comfortable. It is highly research-based and standards-aligned.
The readings in Prentice Hall Literature comprise the best classic and contemporary
literature, representing diverse authors in the context of a rich literary tradition.
Informational texts are current, and were selected for their relevance to today’s sources
and topics. Together, the literary and informational texts provide extensive opportunities for
students to deepen their understanding of the LAFS. The questioning strategies and
opportunities that surround the readings further encourage students to cultivate critical
thinking. The Critical Thinking questions that appear after selections use appropriate
instructional scaffolding to cultivate students’ ability to interpret, analyze, evaluate,
synthesize, and apply their understanding. Post-reading questions on the After You Read
pages help students develop their critical thinking abilities by applying their understanding
of literary and reading skills to the literature they have read.
Cobblestone Applied Research & Evaluation, Inc. was engaged by Pearson Education to
conduct an efficacy study of the Prentice Hall Literature (2010) curriculum in the 2009-10
school year. The primary purpose of the study was to determine if students using the
program would increase their knowledge of language arts concepts (vocabulary, reading
comprehension, and writing) throughout the year and outperform students using a
competitor language arts program. The study also investigated the extent to which teachers
adhered to the Understanding by Design strategies contained within the program.
While teachers reported liking many of the Prentice Hall Literature (2010) components such
as paired reading selections and the Big Question. Results indicated significantly higher
vocabulary scores for medium and high implementers were due to the specific emphasis on
vocabulary in the Prentice Hall Literature program. Teachers using the Prentice Hall
Literature program emphasized vocabulary more than in control classrooms.
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Reading comprehension scores increased similarly for treatment and control groups which
are also supported by similar student attributions regarding the influence of the textbook on
their reading ability. This is contrasted with treatment students' attributions that the textbook
had a more positive influence on their writing as compared with control groups, which was
partially supported by significantly higher student scores in the higher implementation
treatment group. Enjoyment of reading increased significantly for treatment students but
remained stable for control students despite the fact that both groups’ ratings of their
teachers influence declined.
Prentice Hall Literature provides integrated support for all levels of learners. A hallmark
feature of the program is the ability to differentiate instruction and deliver customized
content. Students are assigned a learner level, and selections and support are based on
this level. This differentiation allows students to develop skills as needed, eventually
allowing them to read more complex texts to prepare them for high school and beyond. The
program also features PHLitOnline - an integrated digital center for teachers and students.
Student success begins with the unique organization of the program that allows skills and
concepts to be taught to mastery through an innovative approach of grouping content
thematically, by skill focus, and genre. Complete coverage of standards has been
incorporated into an effective and manageable teaching plan for our teachers. Highly
engaging visuals and contemporary lesson designs have been carefully crafted into the
program to ensure students will be easily engaged and stay highly motivated as they
experience outstanding literature, poetry, and contemporary media. It includes:
 Leveled Readers
 PHLit Online, used with our 1:1 computer program
 Big Questions
 Engaging Design
 Nonfiction Anthology
b. Struggling Readers
Section 1003.4156, Florida Statutes, requires middle school students who score at Level 1
on FCAT 2.0 Reading to receive intervention services in the following courses:
 an intensive reading course and/or
 A content area course that is taught by a content-area teacher who has participated
in content-area reading professional development, such as NGCAR-PD/CAR-PD,
that builds teacher capacity to deliver scientifically-based content-area literacy
practices that support low-performing students.
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Middle school students who score at Level 1 or Level 2 on FCAT 2.0 Reading and have
intervention needs in the areas of foundational reading skills (e.g. decoding, fluency) must
have extended time for reading intervention:
 Students two or more years below grade level should receive double block of time
for reading to provide a sufficient amount of the following:
o remediation in foundational reading skills
o supportive opportunities to apply foundational skills
o acceleration in vocabulary development and comprehension skills in relating
to increasingly complex texts
 Students less than two years below grade level may receive these
services during the school day or before/after school with teacher
support Intervention course should include on a daily basis:
 whole group explicit and systematic instruction
 small group differentiated instruction
 independent reading practice monitored by the teacher
 infusion of reading and language arts benchmarks specific to the
subject area blocked with the intensive reading course (biology, world
history, etc.)
 a focus on increasingly complex literary and informational texts
(exposition, argumentation/persuasive, functional/procedural
documents, etc.)
Middle school students scoring at Level 1 or Level 2 on FCAT 2.0 Reading who do not
have intervention needs in the areas of foundational reading skills (e.g. decoding, fluency)
may be served in content area reading intervention classes. These teachers must meet one
of the following requirements:
 Content Area Reading Professional Development (CAR-PD)
 Next Generation content Area Reading-Professional Development
(NGCAR- PD),
 Reading Endorsement
 K-12 Reading Certification
In implementing this legislation, make sure that the classroom infrastructure (class size,
materials, etc.) is adequate to implement the necessary array of intervention service option.
These interventions should include the following characteristics:
 whole group explicit and systematic instruction
 small group differentiated instruction
 independent reading practice monitored by the teacher (applicable to
the reading intervention course)
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infusion of reading and language arts benchmarks specific to the
subject area (biology, world history, etc.)
a focus on increasingly complex literary and informational texts
(exposition, argumentation/persuasive, functional/procedural
documents, etc.).
Schools must progress monitor students scoring at Level 1 and 2 on FCAT 2.0 Reading a
minimum of three times per year in order to appropriately plan for subsequent instruction
and ensure student learning progress over time. This progress monitoring should include a
Baseline, Midyear, and End of the Year Assessment.
Schools must diagnose specific reading deficiencies of students scoring at Level 1 and
Level 2 on FCAT Reading. Although formal diagnostic assessment provides specific
information about a student’s reading deficiencies, many progress monitoring tools and
informal teacher assessments can provide very similar information in a more efficient
manner. The only reason to administer a formal diagnostic assessment to any student is to
determine the specific deficit at hand so that teachers can better inform instruction to meet
the needs of students who continue to struggle in reading. The decision to deliver a formal
diagnostic assessment should be the result of an in-depth conversation about student
instructional and assessment needs by the teacher, reading coach, and reading specialist.
Each identified struggling reader must be provided instruction that best fits his or her
needs. The School will establish criteria beyond FCAT 2.0 Reading for placing students into
different levels of intensity for reading intervention to be certain that students are sufficiently
challenged but not frustrated in relating to text of varying complexity. It is recommended
that the School implement a placement process that includes a variety of considerations
with protocols, such as the following:
 Historical assessment data results, including prior FCAT scores:
o Level 2 student who scored at Level 3 or above during previous school years
require instructional support that focuses on accelerating development in
academic vocabulary and high-level comprehension, ensuring that student
development keeps pace with increases in text complexity that occurs from grade
to grade. Further assessment is required to determine whether remediation is
needed.
o Students who have historically scored below Level 3 in numerous past years will
require intervention focused on both remediation and acceleration. Further
assessment is required to determine the appropriate proportion of remediation
and acceleration for each student.
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o Assessment using grade-level passages: Administer oral reading and
comprehension questions of a grade-level passage:
o Independent student oral reading:- For Level 1 or Level 2 students who struggle
to read a grade level passage aloud, distinguish the impact that each students’
decoding issue has on his or her text comprehension in order to determine
remediation needs:
 Does the student successfully monitor basic comprehension of the gradelevel text in spite of some decoding challenges?
 Does the student struggle to decode the grade-level passage, and does this
negatively impact his or her grade-level text understanding?
 Comprehension questions: Level 1 or Level 2 students who have difficulty
accurately answering several basic comprehension questions (e.g., main
idea, details, etc.) summarizing the passage, or identifying text evidence that
supports the author’s claim will require systematic remediation in such skills
as text structure, summarization, and comprehension monitoring using explicit
instructional strategies such text- marking/coding.
For the various student profiles referenced above, all will require accelerated instruction in
academic vocabulary and high-level comprehension using complex texts to ensure their
college-career readiness. Research suggests that fluency is not a strong predictor of a
student’s ability to comprehend text in middle grades and high school. Therefore, caution is
recommended in using fluency data as a primary determinant for placement in reading
intervention in the upper grades.
Each student must participate in the statewide assessment tests required by s. 1008.22,
F.S. Each student who does not meet specific levels of performance in reading, writing,
science, and mathematics determined by the commissioner on statewide assessments at
selected grade levels, will be provided with additional diagnostic assessments to determine
the nature of the student’s difficulty in the areas of academic need, and strategies for
appropriate instruction/intervention.
Our School will comply with Rule 6A-6-054, Florida Administrative Code in serving students
who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading as evidenced by scoring Level 1 or Level 2
on the FL Assessment in Reading, locally determined assessments, other statewide
assessments (such as FAIR), or through teacher observations. Intensive reading instruction
will be provided immediately following the identification of the reading deficiency.
Students who are identified as reading below grade level will enroll in a fifty minute per day
intensive reading class. Immediate intensive intervention will be provided daily for all
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students who have been identified with a reading deficiency. The student will continue to be
provided with intensive reading instruction until the reading deficiency is remedied.
The student's areas of academic need and intervention strategies will be identified through
a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) including a problem-solving, response to
instruction, intervention process. Multiple tiers of increasingly intense
instruction/intervention services will be implemented to support student academic
proficiency. Students needing remediation or intensive instructional support will be matched
to strategic and intensive instruction/ interventions based on screening, progress
monitoring, and diagnostic assessments. If a student has been identified as having a
deficiency in reading, JSMA’s comprehensive reading plan, as required by s. 1011.62(9),
F.S. will include instructional and support services to be provided to meet the desired levels
of performance.
Parents will receive annual student progress reports that describe the progress of the
student toward achieving state and district expectations for proficiency in reading, writing,
science, and mathematics. JSMA will report to the parent the student’s results on each
statewide assessment test. The evaluation of each student’s progress will be based upon
the student’s classroom work, observation, tests, district and state assessments, and other
relevant information.
a. Instruction
Students assigned to intensive reading will engage in:
 The Passport Reading Journeys with eBooks (PRJ) curriculum
 Heavy Reading - Students will be assigned reading assignments that address both
skill and content deficits. Many of the books will be selected from the state
recommended literature lists. Students will engage in individual reading of selfselected books during class time. The major emphasis, however, will be at-home
reading. Parental help will be solicited and encouraged. Students will set goals and
track progress by the difficulty level of the books read, the number of books read,
and reading comprehension scores.
 Vocabulary - Extensive work on vocabulary will be required of all students to build
comprehension. The bulk of the vocabulary work will emphasizes the context in
which the words are used. New vocabulary words will be identified by students from
a variety of sources. The goal is 300 new words, all written on index cards, and filed
in a card box. The students will work together in groups and as a class to master the
words in their files.
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Comprehension - Cooperative class strategies will focus initially on the factual recall
of what was read. With increasing fluency, comprehension activities will expand to
include identification of central themes and interpretation.
Writing - Writing is limited to frequent, short assignments relating to the
comprehension of the materials. Dictated writing is also used.
Assessment - The SAT10 and/or the MAP reading portion will be used to assess the
students’ reading levels before, during, and after the reading program. Multiple
instruments can be used to ensure validity.
b. Response to Intervention (RtI)
JSMA will use the Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) including a Response to
Intervention Model (RtI) for students in need of academic and/or behavioral support. RtI
provides a seamless system of interventions and resources which allows students to make
significant progress whether they are at-risk for failure or are gifted and talented students
not meeting their full potential. We will use it to help students progress and to identify any
student with an exceptional need.
RtI is defined the by the FLDOE as the practice of providing (1) high-quality
instruction/intervention matched to student needs and (2) using learning rate over time and
level of performance to (3) make important educational decisions.17
RtI is an ongoing process of using student performance and related data to guide
instructional decisions and intervention decisions for ALL students. It is a multi-tiered,
problem-solving model of prevention, early intervention, and use of educational resources
to address student needs. RtI matches instructional strategies and supports to student
need in an informed, ongoing approach for planning, implementing, and evaluating the
effectiveness of the curriculum, the instruction, and related supports.
The RtI Model is a problem solving three-tiered system designed to meet the needs of all
students in the academic or behavioral domain. Tier I instruction includes high quality,
research-based curricula and instructional strategies that support curriculum guidelines.
Tier I focuses on core instruction for all students that should meet the academic needs of at
least eighty percent (80%) of the students in a class. Flexible grouping that targets specific
skills are included so that the instructional goals of all students can be met. If fewer than
eighty percent (80%) of the students in a class are demonstrating success, it is the
responsibility of the teacher to adjust the teaching strategies for general instruction.
When a student is not exhibiting success at Tier I, the following will be considered:
17
http://www.florida-rti.org/_docs/GTIPS.pdf
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•
•
•
•
Step I: Problem Identification – What exactly is the problem?
Step II: Problem Analysis – Why is the problem occurring?
Step III: Intervention Design and Implementation – What exactly are we going to do
about it?
Step IV: Response to Instruction/Intervention – Is the plan working?
MTSS is a problem solving process that involves the continuous use of data collection,
analysis, identification and implementation of interventions, and further data collection. At
every point in the process, the Reading Leadership Team will make decisions regarding the
effectiveness of the intervention, whether or not to continue the intervention, other
interventions that may help the student to be more successful, etc.
Documentation of interventions will be reviewed by the RLT team to determine whether the
strategies were successful. If the results are encouraging, then the team will continue to
monitor on a monthly or as-needed basis. If the interventions were not effective, an
additional or different set of interventions will be designed and implemented for another
three weeks.
The RLT team will meet weekly collaborate regularly, problem solve, share effective
practices, evaluate implementation, and make decisions. Specifically, the team will meet to:
 Evaluate data and correlate to instructional decisions
 Review progress monitoring data at the grade level and classroom level to identify
students and their academic levels
 Identify professional development needs to enhance students’ achievement levels
 Facilitate the process of building consensus, increasing infrastructure, and making
decisions about implementation
This problem-solving process is to assist the classroom teacher and parents in designing
and selecting strategies for improving student academic and/or behavioral performance.
Tier II offers more focused and intense instruction in addition to the standards-based
curriculum received in Tier I. The curriculum and instruction at Tier II are designed to meet
the needs of students not progressing as expected in Tier I.
Tier III instruction includes the most explicit, intense, and individualized instruction that is
focused on a specific skill or need.
Our basic reading program will be supplemented with Passport Reading Journeys
with eBooks (PRJ) core reading program for struggling readers. This national recognized
program is designed to meet the needs of those students who simply cannot read at the
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appropriate grade level. The program is for students in grades 6-10 who are reading 1-4
grade levels below their on-level peers, those students who are not making yearly progress
on reading assessments, and those students who may have fallen in the reading gap. PRJ
engages students like no other reading program. Built and delivered on the student’s
personal device, it offers a personalized learning support program based on the student’s
own instructional needs, engaging interactivities, and built-in reward systems that motivate
students and track their progress. Cost is $14,516 to establish each multilevel class.
Given that the District 2014 FCAT Reading found 50% of 6th through 8th graders were
reading below level and 57% of 9th and 10th graders were also reading below level, the
School finds that it will likely host the following for below level readers:
Grade Class
Size
6
22
7
22
8
22
9
25
10
25
Total Students
Number of Intensive Reading Classrooms/Students
Below Level 3
50% grades 6th to 8th and 51% 9th and 10th
Year 1:
Year 2:
Year 3:
Year 4:
Year 5:
2016-17
2017-18
2018-19
2019-20
2020-21
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
3: 66
4: 86
4: 86
4: 86
4: 86
4: 86
4: 86
4: 86
4: 86
4: 86
13:284
17:370
17:370
17:370
17:370
For the 1st year, the School will need 13 sections of intensive reading. With five available
periods, the school will need 3 intensive reading teachers. It will cost $43,548.
For years 2 through 5, the School will need 17 sections of intensive reading. Again with five
available periods, the school will need 4 intensive reading teachers. Cost for expendables
is $4,000 each year and the cost for the additional intensive reading class is $14,516 for
just year 2.
PRJ will be a bridge to the FL Standards for our struggling readers. Passport Reading
Journeys, with Updated Content, is an engaging literacy solution for middle and high school
students reading significantly below grade level. The research-based reading intervention
program uses a blended approach focused on engaging students with age-appropriate
instruction and content that includes real-world relevant, captivating Expedition themes and
technology components that support and enhance instruction. PRJ includes:
 Implementation flexibility—blend of print and digital materials
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interactive eBooks digital curriculum—automatically included in teacher and student
sets
Online Teacher and Student Centers that provide single sign-on to all the tech
components
Scope and sequence specifically design to support instruction that addresses
rigorous reading standards
Content that challenges students with inferential questioning, deep text analysis, and
online extension activities that provide grade-level text with increasing complexity
Expanded and enhanced reading opportunities, including ReadingScape, an online
library of multimedia reading selections to support independent reading
New online assessment component, Power Pass, that increases test-readiness with
passages and questions that mirror high-stakes exams
Scaffolded hints and personalized feedback allows the students to write and re-write
independently, practicing skills in a safe engaging environment before submitting for
grading. It is the only reading intervention program with technology-based writing coaching
Through explicit shared reading of a complex text, the teacher models the fluency and
meta-cognition of a successful reader while teaching important skills and strategies to fill
reading deficiency gaps. Students process daily reading, applying both strategies and
reading themes to daily life, during guided classroom conversation.
4. Students Reading At or Above Grade Level
The goal of our reading program is to provide a variety of methods and materials to develop
strategies and critical thinking skills in reading for students who are reading on or above
grade level which may be transferred to content courses across the curriculum. The skills
and strategies taught will align with the LAFS at the appropriate grade level, specifically
those benchmarks which are assessed by the state assessment.
Students who are identified to be proficient in reading will be identified and instructed
according to their strengths. The School will differentiate instruction. Within the regular
classroom setting, students will have varied instructional methods, activities, assessment
measures, reading material, and support structures. Course work at an advanced level will
be available to above-level students, including courses available through the AP Laureate
program.
JSMA students will progress through our reading curriculum to demonstrable fluent reading
and strong comprehension skills. The acquisition of an extensive and advanced
vocabulary will be emphasized at every level. Students will have regular and frequent
lessons and practice in the writing of Standard English. These lessons will help the student
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master the principles and applications of correct grammar, including knowledge of the parts
of speech, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraph structure. Additionally,
each student will have ample opportunity to practice and reinforce these writing skills via
compositions and essays, while honing both writing style and creativity through original
poetry and prose.
5. Writing
Reading/Literature and Writing will be taught across the curriculum. Our reading coach will
incorporate quarterly thematic units that will encompass the international studies. Students
will read short stories or novels as related to the theme for the quarter, and demonstrate
comprehension and understanding through book reports, oral presentation, etc.
Writing is inextricably linked to the reading process and will be incorporated across the
curriculum as an aid to comprehension in conjunction with the Comprehension Instructional
Sequence Module, Learning Focused strategies, CRISS strategies, Writing Across the
Curriculum and 6+ Writing Traits. As students work through the various strategies, they will
write during “Before Reading” activities to activate background knowledge and make
predictions (Written responses to Lesson Essential Questions, Anticipation Guides, etc.)
They will write “During Reading” and “After Reading” activities and produce various formats
of writing to reflect upon and respond to what they’ve read (Journaling, 2-column notes,
chapter maps, text-to-self connections, exit slips, etc).
Before reading, students will be expected to set a purpose, preview, and plan. During the
planning stage, students will use graphic organizers, Venn diagrams or story webs,
timelines, preview checklists, visualization, and “think aloud.” During reading, students are
asked to read with a purpose and to connect with the text. Students will take notes,
highlight important parts, visualize and connect life experiences to the reading. Students
will be asked to summarize using a plan.
After reading, students will be expected to pause and reflect, re-read and remember.
Activities could include pair and share; write an email, picture making and journal writing.
Other activities will include the use of basic reading skills—prediction, inferences, drawing
conclusions, compare and contrast, cause and effect and evaluation. Writing will be
incorporated as a response to reading, for the enhancement and reinforcement of
comprehension and writing skills. Examples of the reading-writing connection are modeled
throughout the CIS Modules.
The ELA curriculum, based on the Language Arts Florida Standards, incorporates writing
throughout the learning process with the embedded assessment/portfolio requirement as
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the learning outcome measure. Through adopted curriculum, students will have access to
Pearson Common Core Literature Florida Writing resources, which includes on online
writing component and resources.
a. Composition
Students will receive intensive training in English composition, including conventions of
syntax and punctuation, and they will demonstrate competence in written assignments.
Our teachers, with help from the reading coach, will introduce expository writing, with
strong emphases on proper sentence, paragraph, and essay organization; they will also
introduce students to formatting of standard document types (memos, business letters, and
e-mails). Essays that discuss and rely extensively on sources will be required throughout
the curriculum; students will learn how to identify appropriate primary, secondary, and
tertiary sources; organize a paper; use correct citation format; and properly format a
bibliography according to prescribed style guidelines.
Students will have the opportunity to develop the techniques of creative writing and the
composition of poetry in forms commonly found in English-language verse (such as ballad,
blank verse, sonnet, free verse, heroic couplets).
Throughout the language arts curriculum, students will learn basic keyboard skills and
program operations for word processing in the preparation of assignments, including the
preparation of charts, graphs, and tables.
b. Literature
All students at all levels need rich experiences with significant literature. A quality literature
program will include biographies, essays, and other nonfiction, as well as poetry, drama,
stories, and novels. The Literature program will include multicultural selections of classic
and modern works, not restricted to works of fiction, but encompassing as many of the
genres of literature as are reasonably possible to offer to students. Material included in the
curriculum will include, but are not limited to, Greek and Roman mythology, fables and
stories from both Western and non-Western cultures, and stories illustrative of the history of
the United States.
These reading materials will help students develop decoding and interpretive skills and
begin student encounters with great and enduring writings that will form a basis for
advanced literary study and address issues of character, virtue, and citizenship. Students
will read and analyze increasingly challenging and complex works of poetry and prose,
representing a wide range of styles and genres.
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In alignment with the state literacy plan18, the curricula and instructional approaches at our
School will encourage the use of reading, writing, and discussion for authentic purposes
across disciplines and will, thus, prepare our students for success in the college and
university curriculum and result in a decreased need for remedial courses at the college
level. Through active interpretation and evaluation, students will learn to read critically, to
identify stylistic and rhetorical devices of poetry and prose, and will develop understanding
of the relationship between literary form and content. The student reading at grade level
will receive grade level instruction.
6. Purposeful Professional Development
According to Florida's Reading Program Specifications, educators need to expand upon
their initial and comprehensive knowledge base in reading instruction in order to refine their
instructional delivery and increase their effectiveness. This will be achieved through the
Professional Learning Communities that teachers will participate in regularly.
All teachers will attend a workshop on the LAFS and Media Literacy. Teachers will be
involved in decision-making regarding professional development in reading, using student
data as the foundation for professional development needs. Some topics for professional
development specific to reading instruction may include Response to Intervention (RtI),
differentiated instruction, Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR), and
research-based materials or programs.
Professional development may also occur through classroom action research projects,
model lessons, or coaching as professional development effectiveness is increased when it
is job-embedded and ongoing.
The book Learning to Learn: A Guide to Becoming Information Literate in the 21 st Century
will be used as a school-wide resource.
The primary goal of the reading program is to teach our students to understand what they
read, through systematic, direct instruction of the Florida Standards and aligned to the six
(6) components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary,
comprehension, and oral language. In order to make reading a “primary focus,” all
objectives from Florida’s Reading Program Specifications will be implemented at the
School:
 Specification 1: Professional Development
1.1 Comprehensive Initial Professional Development
1.2 Professional Development for Everyone
18
http://www.justreadflorida.com/pdf/StrivingReaders.pdf
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1.3 Frequent and Continuous Professional Development
1.4 Professional Development to Impact Change
1.5 Professional Development Led by School-site Expertise
Specification 2: Administrative Practices in Support of Reading
2.1 Reading as a School-wide Priority
2.2 In-service and Evaluation Processes Focused on Reading
2.3 Resource Focus on Reading Achievement
Specification 3: High Quality Reading Instruction is a Dynamic System
3.1 Propels Student Learning in Essential Reading Components
3.2 Expends Efficient Use of Instructional Time
3.3 Contains Systematic Set of Assessment Practices
3.4 Differentiated Instruction
Specification 4: Reading Text Materials and Resources
4.1 Materials Aligned with Student Reading Levels
4.2 Comprehensive Instructional Materials
4.3 Wide Assortment of Diverse Text
4.4 Flexible Use of Text
4.5 Appropriate Use of Technology
Relative to Specification 1: Professional Development, the School will provide professional
development for all teachers through the model of continuous improvement. All teachers
will be provided research-based professional development based on school improvement
goals. Teachers will meet in professional learning communities regularly by grade level
teams, facilitated by their team leads, to analyze student data and design units and
accompanying lessons. Team leads participate in monthly leadership meetings with
administrators as well. Based on administrative walk-throughs and student performance,
teachers will be provided specific, differentiated professional development from mentor
teachers, administration, curriculum specialists, or curriculum resource teachers.
Professional development will be provided at least monthly, in addition to weekly grade
level meetings, as well as on designated teacher professional development days.
Teachers will meet for data chats with mentor teachers and administrators, after
benchmark assessment periods, to analyze student progress and develop an action plan
for professional development, which will include reading intervention strategies, teaching
reading in content areas, and many other literacy development opportunities.
The School will host a professional development plan for New Teacher Induction. This
event will occur over the span of at least a week. In addition, teachers and administrators
will be encouraged to exemplify the commitment to lifelong learning by seeking professional
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development outside of the requirements of the School. Teachers will also have to
complete required coursework to obtain proper reading and ESOL endorsements, as well
as follow state guidelines for professional certificate renewal.
Relative to specification 2: Administrative Practices in Support of Reading, School leaders
will set high expectations for student achievement in reading and will develop a culture of
excellence with a focus on reading. The weekly administrative walk-throughs will be
targeted to track teachers’ mastery of high-probability instructional strategies. These
measures ensure that teachers implement the reading plan with fidelity and that resources
are allocated and used to deliver the strongest impact on student achievement in reading.
High-quality reading programs and materials will continuously be chosen to meet the needs
of students. Feedback from teachers can be gathered at each data chat, as well as from
results from each FL Assessment and benchmark assessment to evaluate the
effectiveness of each chosen instructional program. Novels and other fiction and nonfiction
texts will also be purchased for students to read within classroom instruction, as well as for
personal reading pleasure, to increase motivation and foster a love for reading in students.
The Leadership Team will clearly articulate the vision, mission, and expectations that all
students can read, and assist in establishing that reading is the primary priority. All students
will be expected to read a specific number of books at their independent level throughout
the year.
Teachers will monitor students’ independent reading through a variety of methods and
celebrate progress toward a school-wide goal. This is tracked on hallway or classroom
displays. Reading challenges will be used for a home-school connection with reading, in
addition to student regular daily homework assignments from core courses. Students will
be encouraged to use their local library or borrow from the leveled classroom libraries.
Relative to specification 3: High Quality Reading Instruction, the School will ensure literary
analysis skills will be taught through direct instruction of content cluster skills, and modeling
of metacognitive, comprehension strategies (Keene and Harvey & Goudvis). This is
supported through guided reading with leveled texts. By providing direct, systematic
instruction for all six components of reading, the School will ensure that all students
achieve annual growth in reading.
To build academic vocabulary, teachers will be guided in choosing the most important
vocabulary words to teach, and following a six-step process to teach new words so that
students develop a deep understanding of the word (Marzano). Students will, at first, be
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provided a description or example of the word (verbally and in non-linguistic form).
Students then restate this description in their own words, and also create a picture or
symbol to represent the word. Students interact with this new word in various higher-order
activities throughout the week, as well as with each other. They may also participate in
games with the word for further motivation and connections.
Relative to specification 4: Reading Text Materials and Resources, the School will teach all
Language Arts Florida Standards. The Florida Standards will be mapped in a way to guide
instruction. This is the core curriculum for the School, and it will incorporate a variety of
genuine texts, with a 50/50 blend of fiction and nonfiction in all grade levels. Within the
program are tools for planning and assessing, intervention and supplemental resources, as
well as various sources of texts and other features to meet the needs of all students. Novel
studies will be incorporated using exemplar texts. The increase in complexity will be
accomplished by exposing students to genuine texts. Blended learning will be utilized for all
learners.
Classroom libraries and/or digital libraries will also be available to meet the diverse needs
of students’ reading levels and cultural backgrounds. Students will have the opportunity to
utilize these resources at school and at home. Supplemental Intervention Reading Program
(SIRP) Materials: the School will meet the individual needs of students during the school
day, by the adding to the core ELA instruction through a Supplemental Intervention
Reading Program. Based on classroom and benchmark data, students will receive
additional instruction and practice on identified skills. Teachers will provide additional
instruction outside of the ELA block in times such as before and after school, through
content area integration, during enrichment activities, and any other opportunity, to support
student achievement of individual learning goals.
D. Explain how students who enter the school below grade level will be
engaged in and benefit from the curriculum.
All students entering the School, particularly those who enter below grade level, will benefit
from the implementation of the education model. The School’s education model, which
includes its FL Standards based curriculum is aligned to specific state standards and
grade-level expectations, is the framework of what is taught at each grade level, and allows
for modifications to the instruction in the classroom to meet the students’ needs. Students
will be engaged by the curriculum, which is designed to introduce core concepts that are
further developed and expanded as our students progress through each grade level. This
process allows them to develop the skills necessary to:
 Comprehend and interpret texts, including written as well as audio and visual texts;
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Compose a variety of types of texts, including critical real world concepts;
Effectively communicate and interact in cooperative learning groups; and
Communicate information through different modes of presentation.
The educational program at our School will emphasize a strong academic foundation based
on a college preparatory curriculum and unique instructional methods that integrate stateof-the-art technology.
JSMA has designed its program to serve students of all ability levels. If a student enters
with previous FCAT or FAIR scores, that data will be used to inform instruction until current
data can be obtained. A student entering with a current IEP, 504, or ELL/LEP Plan will be
serviced according to the plan. Students entering below grade level in reading will be
afforded immediate intervention through appropriate MTSS methods as indicated by
teacher observation and screening/diagnostic assessments. Students will be placed in the
least restrictive environment for instruction.
JSMA will use the Florida Center for Reading Research Progress Monitoring and Reporting
Network (PMRN), a data management system hosted by the Florida Center for Reading
Research, to assist in developing plans for students with reading deficiencies. Information
from the PMRN will be used to plan reading instruction and evaluate student progress. A
team consisting of the regular classroom teacher, special education teacher, and reading
specialist will be formed to evaluate a student displaying reading deficiencies. If indicated,
strategies will be documented on the Individual Academic Plan (IAP). The IAP will be
formulated showing current weaknesses, strategies for remediation, a projected timeline for
the remediation, and appropriate progress monitoring. It is expected that most students will
be placed into regular classes in an inclusive model with reading specialist or special
education teachers using push-in model of support. If additional support is deemed
necessary for teachers or students, it will be provided either by the special education
teacher, reading specialist, or contracted services (behavioral therapy, occupational
therapy, speech therapy). JSMA will comply with federal/state and local regulations/policies
regarding Special Education.
Teachers will support all students, including those who enter the School below grade level,
as they develop a strong academic foundation, critical thinking skills, and the moral
qualities and habits of mind that are needed to be good citizens. Key elements of our
educational program will include:
 Results-oriented focus. What our students learn is what matters most. It is our
foremost responsibility to assist every student to achieve academically.
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High standards. We believe in the potential of every student and will have high
expectations for the achievement of all.
Instruction appropriate for all students. In all of our classes, lessons will be
differentiated for students at all levels of proficiency.
The development of self-reliant learners. Our goal is to graduate students who are
well rounded, inquisitive, thoughtful, concerned for others, devoted to and
knowledgeable about democratic principles, and intellectually autonomous. We plan
to graduate students who are articulate, ethical, healthy, and prepared for further
learning.
Integration of technology into the classroom and curriculum.
A focus on measurement of learning outcomes.
Character development. We believe that positive character development is a crucial
aspect of a quality school. We believe that a school must cultivate a culture of
character in order to be a successful learning community.
Assessments from the previous year or grades from the student’s previous school will be
used to target students who are performing below grade level. The School will analyze
FL Standards Assessments and other previous benchmark assessments to determine
which interventions would best suit the needs of the students. Even after the decision is
made to place students into intervention programs, the process will be monitored by
administration via data chats and observations.
JSMA is dedicated to using an individualized personal education plan to create individual
goals and objectives for all students, and using a research-based College Preparatory
curriculum to guide lessons in order to challenge students and attain maximum student
achievement. This objective will be achieved by ongoing authentic and traditional
assessments and evaluations used to create each student’s individual goals and
objectives. We will demonstrate and promote the essential skills of independent thinking
and critical thinking, ideally enabling every student to succeed in the School.
Individualized education is a necessity for educational equity. Every child deserves the
opportunity to develop his/her talents at a comfortable pace. Lack of academic or
intellectual challenge may lead to disengagement. Student work will be engaging and
differentiated. JSMA proposes to use curriculum that centers around the belief that
learning should be differentiated to meet the individual needs and readiness level of the
learner, since individuals develop at different rates and have varying strengths and
aptitudes. We also believe that academics are only one component of education, and that
communication and sensitivity to social nuances and interactions are other aspects of a
well-rounded education.
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The educational program has been specifically designed to engage students in learning
and benefit from the curriculum. Our use of project-based learning (PBL) will allow us to
shift away from the classroom practices of short, isolated, teacher-centered lessons and,
instead, emphasize learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary, studentcentered, and integrated with real world issues and practices. One immediate benefit of
PBL is the unique way that it can motivate students by engaging them in their own learning.
PBL provides opportunities for students to pursue their own interests and questions, and
make decisions about how they will find answers and solve problems. PBL also provides
opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Students apply and integrate the content of
different subject areas. It helps make learning relevant and useful to students by
establishing connections to life outside the classroom, addressing real world concerns, and
developing real world skills.
By working board problems every day as required in a military model school implementing
the Thayer Method, students are actively engaged in their learning. They cannot sit back
passively as in a traditional lecture setting; they must engage the material every lesson. By
working in groups in class, they learn by sharing their ideas with others, and that this leads
to success. A lot of learning takes place when one is responsible for explaining something
to a classmate. Finally, the Thayer method involves all modes of learning: auditory, visual,
and kinesthetic. This makes for more efficient and lasting learning.
With our laptop initiative and 1:1 learning environment, teachers will harness the power of
the available technology and use interactive texts, videos, animations, and other features in
digital instructional programs to provide more dynamic, personalized lessons with
assessment tools that determine, in real-time, each student’s level of performance. This
information will help teachers quickly identify academic strengths and weaknesses. With
this knowledge at their fingertips, teachers will be able to easily differentiate instruction to
immediately address knowledge gaps and misconceptions, and provide additional practice
on a skill.
Homework and class-work help will be offered during specific open hours throughout the
week to assist students in need of extra practice. Teachers will make themselves available
during a time that is outside of the instructional block. This additional contact with the
student can help provide structured practice environment and further feedback.
Low performing students will be identified through the use of our assessment and
diagnostic tools. Students who score below grade level will be given extra support through
the RtI process to reach grade level FL State Standards. Teachers will use a set curriculum
in small group settings targeted to students’ skill deficiencies as determined by diagnostic
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data. JSMA teachers or teams of teachers may identify a student in need of academic
assistance at any time. In addition, the Principal monitors progress and insures periodic
reviews for all students during progress reporting times (e.g., every three weeks and at end
of grading periods). JSMA is committed to working with students who are achieving below
grade level to help them perform at expected levels.
Teachers will be skilled and able to differentiate materials to best meet the needs of
students who have diverse learning styles, experiences, and abilities. They will do so
utilizing individualized education programs designed to meet the needs of the student while
adjusting for on-going growth and progress.
Each student must participate in the statewide assessment tests required by FS.1008.22.
Each student who does not meet specific levels of performance in reading, writing, science,
and mathematics for each grade level, or who does not meet specific levels of performance
as determined by statewide assessments will be provided with additional diagnostic
assessments to determine the nature of the student’s difficulty and areas of academic
need.
A student becomes eligible for remediation any time he/she fails to make adequate
progress toward mastery based on the FL Standards and/or needs additional help in order
to meet the progression requirements for his/her assigned grade. A student who needs
remediation is given diagnostic testing to determine the area of deficiency and is placed on
a Progress Monitoring Plan (PMP) that outlines the strategies that will be used to help the
student. Available diagnostic tests/interim progress monitoring measures include, but are
not limited to:
 Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR)
 Other District/State mandated assessments
 Response to Intervention
Each student who does not meet state or district levels of performance in reading, writing,
science, and/or mathematics for his/her assigned grade will be provided with additional
diagnostic assessment to determine the nature of the student’s difficulty and area(s) of
academic need. For each student with an identified and diagnosed deficiency, the school
will develop and implement a Progress Monitoring Plan (PMP), in collaboration with the
student’s parent or legal guardian. The PMP is designed to assist the student in meeting
state and district expectations for proficiency.
The Progress Monitoring Plan is a specific, detailed plan tailored to identify the individual
assistance to be given to remedy a student’s individual diagnosed deficiencies. Each plan
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will include the provision of intensive remedial instruction in the areas of weakness through
strategies considered appropriate by the school. When the determination is made that a
child is not working on grade level, no matter what time of year, a PMP that is driven by a
diagnostic assessment will be written. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) will suffice for a
PMP for Exceptional Education. The student will continue to receive remediation until the
level of proficiency, as defined by the criteria for promotion, is reached.
Students who enter the school with a current Individual Education Plan or Section 504 Plan
will receive services as designated on the IEP or 504. The appropriate accommodations
will be made through instruction/consultation by a qualified ESE teacher.
Teachers will monitor progress within each of the programs to ensure fidelity of
implementation, as well as effectiveness of the program, with formative assessments.
Again, our Progress Monitoring Plan is a tool created by the teacher that lists the
accommodations and goals made for students below grade level. Depending on budget
and the needs of the students, the other intervention programs are optional. The School will
provide the follow accommodations for students below grade level:
 Differentiated instruction will support students through the use of innovative,
differentiated instructional methods, which utilizes research- based instructional
strategies, including but not limited to Marzano’s thirteen high-probability teaching
strategies, to enhance the student’s opportunity to learn the specific skills identified.
 Small-group instruction is utilized in different subjects, including ELA and math, in
order to support the needs of students who are struggling with the content. The
reading lesson segments can incorporate differentiated texts—for on-level,
advanced (enrichment), below-level, and ELL students.
 Reading and Math resources will help provide for enrichment, on-level, and reteaching of each lesson. Teachers can differentiate in three ways: with the content
students are learning, the process in which the material is being taught, and the
product that is developed to demonstrate learning. Some best practices with regard
to differentiating include:
o Focusing on the standard for the content being taught; activities may be different,
but the objectives are still the same for each activity. For example, students may
read higher-level text yet still master the same standard as students reading onlevel text.
o Addressing various individual student differences (learning styles, prior
knowledge, and differences). For example, students who are tactile learners can
use manipulatives, whereas students who are visual learners can use pictures.
o Grouping students differently depending on the activity.
o Integrating formative assessments throughout the activity to make adjustments.
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Continuously assessing, reflecting and adjusting content, process, and product to
meet student needs.
Push-in/Pull-out – Certified teachers will be available to pull-out or push-in with
students who are below grade level.
As described in the RtI model, students will also receive extra instructional time
to meet the demands of the curriculum. This additional time for instruction
outside of class time will be crucial for increasing student learning gains, as
increased instructional minutes is the primary drive for catch-up growth, as stated
in Annual Growth for All Students and Catch Up Growth for Those Who Are
Behind. (Fielding, Kerr, Rosier 2007).
Tutoring - For students that require additional intervention, tutoring will also be
available at the School. These sessions will be derived from the operating budget
and be applied to those students requiring extra intervention to bring them up to
grade level expectations. Certified teachers will use a set curriculum in a small
group setting, targeted to students’ skill deficiencies, as determined by diagnostic
and formative data. Tutoring sessions will be targeted by using students’
benchmark data to determine areas of re-teaching. The instructional strategies
will be varied depending on the students’ unique way of learning. The goal of
tutoring sessions is to engage the student and reteach the information in a new
way. Sessions can take place after school, and the School may have the
opportunity to have Saturday sessions as well.
E. Describe proposed curriculum areas to be included other than the core
academic areas. Describe how the effectiveness of the curriculum will be
evaluated.
JSMA will offer electives in order to address a wide spectrum of interests. Two factors
will drive what electives are offered ‐ student interest and staff credentials. Each year,
students will be surveyed to gauge interest for the following year’s classes and thus
determine the staffing needs. Fulltime staff will be utilized to the highest capacity, but it
may be necessary to hire a part‐time teacher for some electives.
Electives to be offered are identified below. Course descriptions can be found in
Attachments.
1. Technology
In today’s world, technology is ubiquitous and touches almost every aspect of our lives,
community, and home. We recognize this importance and will proactively and aggressively
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pursue technology integration in the classroom as described earlier and in a laboratory
setting.
Middle School students will have the opportunity to enroll in courses such as:
 Keyboarding -The purpose of this course is to provide instruction in basic
keyboarding competencies.
 Computer & Business App 1 - The purpose of this course is to enable students to
develop knowledge and skills in computer applications.
 Computer & Business App 2 - The purpose of this course is to enable students to
apply knowledge and skills in computer applications to the design, presentation, and
evaluation of specified projects.
 Introduction to Technology-The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the
world of technology, its development, and its use. Laboratory experiences revolve
around the informational, physical, and biological technologies and will allow
students to explore their technological environment. Through hands-on activities,
students will develop technological literacy, apply basic skills, and increase their selfawareness.
The goal of the technology curriculum is to provide our students with the technology tools
and competencies they need to become independent and effective users of technology.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) serves educators to teach
technology and empower learners to become connected in a connected world. ISTE
achievement levels in relation to its standards assist school leaders in their efforts to
measure and monitor the development of student technology literacy. Specifically:
 Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative
products and processes using technology. Students:
o Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
o Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
o Use models and simulations to explore complex systems or ideas
 Communication and collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively,
including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of
others. Students:
o Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a
variety of digital environments and media.
o Communicate information and ideas effectively and ideas effectively to multiple
audiences using a variety of media and formats
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o Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners
of other cultures
o Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate and use Information.
o Plan strategies to guide inquiry
o Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information
from a variety of sources
o Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the
appropriateness to specific tasks
o Process data and report results
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects,
solve problems and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and
resources. Students:
o Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation
o Plan and manage activities to develop a solution to a complete project
o Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
o Use multiple processes and diverse prospective to explore alternative solutions
Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural and societal issues related to technology and
practical legal and ethical behavior. Students:
o Advocate and practice safe, legal and responsible use of technology and
information
o Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration,
learning and productivity
o Demonstrate personal responsibility for life-long learning
o Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship
Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and
operations. Students:
o Understand and use technology systems
o Select and use applications effectively and productively
o Trouble-shoot systems and applications
o Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies
All coursework for technology will follow the course descriptions for each subject. Mastery
of content will be determined through projects, observation and teacher made
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assessments. The text to be used for technology will be determined by the teacher and the
administrative staff.
High School technology electives will include:
 Pathways of Engineering, grades 9-12, credit 1.0, course #86005500.
 Principles of Engineering, grades 10-12, credit 1.0, course #86005200.
 Introduction to Information Technology, grades 9-12, credit 1.0, course # 82073110.
 Introduction to E-Commerce, grades 9-12, credit 1.0, course #82003400.
 Web Design, grades 10-12, credit 1.0, course #8207100.
 Web Design II, grades 10-11, credit 1.0, course #82071200.
 Web Design III, grades 11-12, credit 1.0, course #82071300.
2. World Languages
Each student will be introduced to Spanish, and encouraged to continue their foreign
language studies throughout high school, ultimately becoming a bi-lingual adult. The
Florida State Board of Education adopted Florida State Rule 6A-1.09401 and with it, the
Sunshine State Standards, Pre-K to 12 Foreign Languages. The Standards document
describes what students should know and be able to do in foreign languages, while the
more comprehensive companion document to FL State Standards, NGSSS, the Florida
Curriculum Framework: Pre-K to 12 Foreign Languages, presents a unified vision for all
foreign language programs. It includes best foreign language instructional practices, a PreK to 12 grade performance-based curriculum and suggestions that address the
implementation of effective foreign language programs.
a) Middle school students will take Spanish as an elective. Coursework may include but
not be limited to:
 M/J Spanish, Beginning
 M/J Spanish, Intermediate - The purpose of this course is to enable students
to begin to acquire proficiency in Spanish through a linguistic, communicative,
and cultural approach to language learning. Emphasis is placed on the
development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills and on
acquisition of the fundamentals of applied grammar. Cross-cultural
understanding is fostered and real-life applications are emphasized
throughout the course.
 M/J Spanish, Advanced - The purpose of this course is to enable students to
enhance proficiency in Spanish through a linguistic, communicative, and
cultural approach to language learning. There is continued emphasis on the
development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills and on
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acquisition of the fundamentals of applied grammar. Cross-cultural
understanding is fostered and real-life applications are emphasized
throughout the course
M/J Spanish for Spanish Speakers, Beginning/ M/J Spanish for Spanish
Speakers, Intermediate/ M/J Spanish for Spanish Speakers, Advanced - The
purpose of this course is to enable students whose heritage language is
Spanish to develop, maintain, and enhance proficiency in their home
language by reinforcing and acquiring skills in listening, speaking, reading,
and writing, including the fundamentals of Spanish grammar. The values and
practices of Spanish culture(s) will be reflected throughout the course.
Section 1007.261(1)(a), Florida Statutes, requires two credits of sequential foreign
language instruction at the secondary level as a prerequisite for admission to all Florida
state colleges and universities. A student whose native language is not English is exempt
of this requirement, provided that the student demonstrates proficiency in his/her native
language. High school credit will be offered to Middle School Students who complete the
appropriate course work.
All coursework for World Language - Spanish for Spanish Speakers and middle school
Spanish coursework will follow the NGSSS/ FL Standards for each course and the course
descriptions for each grade level. Mastery of content will be determined through projects,
observation and teacher made assessments. The text to be used for foreign language will
be determined by the teacher and the administrative staff.
Foreign language electives will include (Spanish primary, other languages based upon
interest and funding):
 Spanish I, credit 1.0, grades 10-12, course #0708340.
 Spanish II, credit 1.0, grades 10-12, course #0708350.Prerequisite: Spanish I.
 Spanish III, credit 1.0, grades 9-12, course #0708360. Prerequisite: C or
better in both semesters of Spanish II and teacher recommendation.
 Spanish IV, credit 1.0, grades 9-12, course #0708370. Prerequisite: C or
better in both semesters of Spanish III and teacher recommendation.
 Chinese I (Mandarin), credit 1.0, grades 9-12, course #FLC301.
 Chinese II, credit 1.0, grades 9-12, course #FLC401.
 Latin I, credit 1.0, grades 9-10; course #FLL101.
 Latin II, credit 1.0, grades 9-11, course #FLL201.
3. Physical Education –all courses are 9 week classes and are available for grades 9/12.
NOTE: HOPE is a graduation requirement, but a student is exempt from the course
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when he/she has two full years of JROTC. Since our students will have met that
requirement, HOPE will not be offered at JSMA. We will offer HOPE until JROTC is
authorized.
 Physical Education electives will include:
 Personal Fitness, credit 1.0, grades 9-12, course #15063200.
 Beginning Weight Training/Fitness Lifestyle Design, credit 1.0, grades 9-12,
course #15013400 / 15013100.
 Intermediate Weight Training/Comprehensive Fitness, credit 1.0, grades 9-12,
course # 15013500 / 15013900.
 Advanced Weight Training/Beginning Power Weight Training, credit 1.0,
grades 9-12, and course #15013600 / 15014100.
 Basic Swordsmanship/Fencing/Kendo, credit 1.0, grades 9-12, course
#15033000 / 15033301.
The School is committed to providing a high quality physical education program for all
students. The programs will offer the opportunity for all students to enhance motor,
cognitive and interpersonal skills along with an individualized assessment of fitness
aptitude. The attainment of these skills and abilities will enable the students to become
lifelong learners and lead healthy, active lives.
The physical education program will follow the FL State Standards, as introduced,
including prescribed times for engagement in physical education, the course code
guidelines and the National Standards for Physical Education instruction. Governor
Charlie Crist signed the Don Davis Physical Education Act requiring the equivalent of
one class period per day of physical education for one semester of each year is
required for students enrolled in grades 6th through 8th.
The program is aligned with Florida’s State Standards, when introduced, for Physical
Education. Health will be integrated into the Physical Education classes. Middle school
students will take M/J Physical Fitness as required for one semester each school year.
The purpose of this course is to enable students to improve physical fitness through
participation in team sports, games, gymnastics, individual and developmental activities,
health education, and to evaluate physical activities in terms of fitness value.
The Physical Education specialist (when hired) will engage the students in thirty-minute
periods of sporting games (kickball, soccer), traditional playground games, races, and
the like. Again, this will not be designated “free time” for students. In addition to
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being, both the Physical Education specialist and the classroom teacher will work to
impart values of good sportsmanship, friendly competition, and inclusion.
The goal of the Physical Education curriculum is to have students, within one year of
beginning the program, demonstrate an interest in continuing their pursuit of personal
fitness or a competitive sport. We will determine the reasonableness of adding afterschool sporting programs to both complement and enhance the in-school program.
Fitness assessments will be a regular component of these classes. All students will
participate in physical education classes, and all students will be encouraged to
participate in after school athletic programs to encourage personal fitness, cooperation
and long-term quality of life. Mastery of benchmarks will be determined through teacher
made assessments, participation and performances.
4. Art
Art electives will include:
 Art 2-D Comprehensive I, credit 1.0, grade 9-12, course #101300D.
 Drawing and Painting I, credit 1.0, grades 9-12, course # 01043200.
 Drawing and Painting II, credit: 1.0, grades 9-12, course #01043300.
 History of Art, credit 1.0, grades 10-12, course #01043000.
Visual and performing arts will be integrated into all areas of the curriculum for both
elementary and middle school students. Art activities will reinforce the exploration of
various cultures and provide students an opportunity to explore their own cultural heritage.
The School will present shows and displays for parents and community members to
celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the community as expressed by the creativity and
talent of the School.
We intend to use the Lovewell Method, an applied interdisciplinary arts education
philosophy. The Lovewell Method is, according to its literature, "an interdisciplinary arts
approach to fostering collaboration and enhancing human interaction ... Encouraged to
express their own ideas, feelings and emotions, the students become active contributors to
the educational process rather than passive learners. Each gains a greater appreciation for
the joy of being a part of something much bigger than them."
Here, the Lovewell Method will satisfy the requirements for the interdisciplinary strand;
"Interdisciplinary" here is defined as instruction that connects and intertwines art forms
while simultaneously connecting and intertwining the arts with other academic disciplines.
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This instructional approach is designed to provide students with the tools needed to
produce artistic products and to learn about the heritage and history of human culture.
Lovewell addresses specific competencies in creative process, performance, production,
history, culture, perception, analysis, aesthetics, technology and appreciation, within and
across the disciplines. The method succeeds with students through its three primary
components: the artistic, the educational, and the social therapeutic.
Each student will learn and hone his/her skills in the visual arts through the artistic
component. In the educational portion of the Lovewell Method, each student will continue to
learn about the arts and how the arts can easily integrate into/with a variety of other
disciplines. Finally, within the social therapeutic piece, each student will recognize
him/herself in society by using the "mode, process, and mirror." The three components
together serve as an instrument of social cohesion ad equanimity through self-validation
and self-respect.
Students’ use of these art forms will be encouraged as a means to discover, enhance and
demonstrate mastery of other core subject benchmarks. The teaching and study of The
Arts will be developmentally appropriate for each grade level. The emphasis will be on
increasing awareness and appreciation of art, their individual talents, and interest in the
talents others. The Arts’ curriculum will also emphasize discovery of the intrinsic value of
art and music through active learning. All coursework in the arts will follow the FL State
Standards, when available, for each component including Music and Visual Arts for each
grade level. Mastery of benchmarks will be determined through projects, teacher made
assessments, participation and performances.
a) Middle school students will have the opportunity to choose a fine arts component as
an elective during the regular school day. The courses that may be offered include:
 M/J Chorus- The purpose of this course is to provide students with the
opportunities to develop skills in vocal production, to participate in music
ensemble, and to develop musicianship skills including reading.
 M/J General Music - The purpose of this course is to introduce music making
through exploration of various performance media such as singing, keyboard,
listening, video recording and computer-generated sounds.
 M/J Beginning Band - The purpose of this course is to provide students with the
opportunities to develop performance skills on a band instrument, to participate in
a musical ensemble, and to develop musicianship skills including reading.
 M/J Band II - The purpose of this course is to provide students with varied
performance experiences in band/instrumental ensemble.
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M/J Art 2-D- The purpose of this course is to enable students to communicate
ideas and concepts through two-dimensional media using basic knowledge of
drawing, painting, and printmaking techniques.
M/J Graphic Art & Design - The purpose of this course is to give the career
student in the visual arts a working understanding of visual design.
5. Other Elective Course Offerings
Actual offerings will be presented based upon interest and available funding and will align
with FLDOE course codes and standards.
 Accounting
 Driver’s Education
 Latin‐American Literature
 African‐American History
 Film
 Engineering
 Personal Finance
 African‐American Literature
 Philosophy
 International Studies
 International Politics
 Sociology
 Journalism
 Speech
 Latin‐American Culture
 Band
6. JROTC
All high school students will be required to take JROTC each year. Character classes will
be integrated to supplement JROTC.
JROTC elective courses will include:
 Leadership Education Training 1 (LET 1) – grade 9 and all students new to
JROTC1st semester, course #18033000, credit 1.0 and grades 9-12.
 Leadership Education Training 2 (LET 2) – grades 10-12, course #18033100,
and credit 1.0.
 Leadership Education Training 3 (LET 3) – grades 11-12, course #18033200,
and credit 1.0.
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Leadership Education Training 4 (LET 4) – grade 12, course #18033300, and
credit 1.0.
F. Describe how the effectiveness of the curriculum will be evaluated.
A well-defined, logically sequenced, rigorous curriculum cannot alone guarantee highquality education; it must be accompanied by equally well-defined, sequenced, and
rigorous assessment. We propose a strong complementary relationship between
curriculum and assessment.
We plan to use four (4) types of measures to assess the School’s academic program:
 Baseline Data will be collected in the first three (3) weeks using MAP from NWEA
that will provide initial information that the School can use to track student progress.
Previous FCAT or common core assessment performance will also be used.
 Comparative Measures will be used to evaluate student achievement relative to
others and will allow the School to judge itself by comparing itself to schools with
similar populations.
 Growth Measures will be used to assess the amount of growth that students have
made toward a standard and will allow the School to judge itself by following the
achievement of both individuals and cohorts of students over time.
 Qualitative Measures will be used to assess student achievement in-depth based
on internally set standards.
The effectiveness of the curriculum will be measured by the student achievement of
specific measurable objectives for the first year of operation described later.
Expectations are that students will progress as well or better than they did before
attending the charter school, and that the specific measurable objectives for the School
will be achieved from year to year.
In years two (2) and beyond, effectiveness of the curriculum will be evaluated based on
achievement of the objectives in the School Improvement Plan, wherein students will be
expected to make annual learning gains toward achieving the FL Standards and Next
Generation Sunshine State Standards still in effect.
Ongoing monitoring and analysis of school-wide assessment data will assist the School
in determining staff development needs, curriculum realignments, and the objectives
submitted in the School Improvement Plan. Student outcomes on standardized and
school-wide assessments, benchmark tests and quizzes, projects, presentations,
exhibitions, and portfolios will help assess the effectiveness of the curriculum
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throughout the school year. Ongoing internal audits of student progress, such as
progress reports; report cards; and beginning year, mid-year, and end-year
assessments will be utilized as tools to evaluate whether the curriculum is effective and
meeting the needs of all students.
Charter schools are required by law to test their students in state assessments. To that
end, JSMA has selected its FL Standards curriculum, in large part, to ensuring student
mastery of the state standards and benchmarks. However, in keeping with the flexible
and responsive nature of the charter school, no single assessment or test will be used
as a single determiner of success. Thus, in order to assure accuracy in reporting, we
will also use independent assessment.
To guide effective teaching and curriculum, at least one highly reliable independent
gauge of student learning must be employed. Independent assessments, such as
SAT10, PSAT, SAT, MAP and ACT will prove equally valuable in measuring curricular
success. These tests are typically norm-referenced rather than curriculum-referenced:
the questions and answers are drawn from what most students in the nation can be
expected to know, regardless of their locale, circumstances, curriculum, etc.
In What Works in Schools, Robert J. Marzano discusses three types of curricula:
 The intended curriculum, the Next Generation Sunshine State
Standards/Common Core Standards-the content specified by the State of Florida
to be addressed in a particular course or grade level;
 The implemented curriculum, the content actually delivered by the teacher; and
 The attained curriculum, the content actually learned by the students.
The curriculum for the School is designed to ensure success for all learners, to assess
student progress and to provide intervention where needed. Parents are provided
immediate access to their child’s progress report and they become a partner in
educating the whole child.
The Governing Board will use the School’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) to
monitor curriculum implementation and effectiveness. The ILT, composed of the
Executive Director, Principal, Reading Coaches, Math Coaches, core Department
Chairs/Lead Teacher will insure that the curriculum is being implemented properly. The
ILT will gather pertinent information about the school’s instructional program, visit
classrooms frequently and meet with teachers throughout, individually as PLCs and as
a whole group. Recommendations will be made, if necessary, to modify implementation,
and follow-up visits will determine if the recommendations are being implemented. The
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ILT will also review information on elective areas, special education programs, bilingual
education programs for English Language Learners and gifted programs.
Additionally, each individual department (language arts/reading, mathematics, social
studies and science) will be monitored by Reading Coaches to determine effective
implementation of the School’s comprehensive research-based Reading Plan and the
school’s curriculum. The process used to monitor curriculum implementation and
instructional practices in language arts and reading classes include both formal and
informal processes. By conducting daily walkthroughs in reading classes, the reading
coaches are instrumental in ensuring the fidelity of implementation of reading programs
and strategies. The Just Read, Florida! office provides a collection of walkthrough tools
for administrators to monitor reading instruction. The instruments will be used in the
School to help view implementation of programs and effective reading instruction.
Teachers and other instructional support personnel are expected to be observed in the
mathematics and science classrooms. The “Things to Look for in a Mathematics and
Science Classroom” National Council of Teachers of Math and Science checklist
provides administrators and support specialist with a useful tool to monitor effective
mathematics and science instruction. New teachers are encouraged to use the checklist
to self-monitor their classroom practices. Items on the checklist include but are not
limited to:
 Evidence of FL Standards
 Math and Science Pacing Guides
 Active Engagement by all Students
 Objectives Displayed on Board
 Focus Calendar
 Print Rich Environment
 Currently Adopted Textbooks are Being Used
 Math Manipulatives are being used
 Evidence of relevant lab activities
 Higher Order Thinking and Essential Questions
 Updated data posted
 Evidence of differentiated instruction and centers-based instruction
The School will use a school improvement program that combines successful,
standards-based instructional practices with technology-based assessment tools; e.g.,
Edmentum Achievement Series, school created assessments using SuccessMaker and
SchoolNet, required District Interim Assessments and State Mandated Assessments.
The assessment tools are used to analyze student performance on state and district
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assessments and to create school-based interim assessments that are aligned to state
standards and paced to the curriculum. The result is a balanced approach to
assessment that combines the benefits of state, district and school-wide assessments
with the instructional value of day-to-day classroom assessments.
The School will create Scope and Sequence calendars and Pacing Guides for Reading,
Math, Language Arts and Science to insure that all aspects of the FL Standards are
being taught in a timely manner. Students will be able to achieve more in the core
subject areas because teachers can:
 Focus on the most important standards (for high-stakes tests and for learning in
the following years)
 Monitor students’ academic performance using interim assessments
 Analyze those assessment results in group meetings and plan appropriate
interventions
By identifying the state-specific standards that students must master in order to move to
the next grade level teachers will determine what students should know and be able to
do to demonstrate proficiency on high-stakes assessments, as well as, in foundational
skills that are important for success in future grade levels. Teachers will plan curriculum
using the FL Standards and they will choose which classroom activities are likely to
produce a greater return—in terms of student achievement—for their investment of
time.
Through the use of Scope and Sequence calendars and Pacing Guides, teachers will
pace essential standards over the school year to ensure proper sequencing and
adequate teaching time is allocated for mastery of the essential standards. This pacing
ensures the School’s teachers spend more time on fewer, but more critical standards.
By integrating data analysis, test questions, research and best classroom practices the
curriculum can continuously be adjusted to meet the needs of the students.
Administrators examine the data and teachers will begin to identify/implement additional
strategies to use for closing the gaps by identifying the following:
 which strategies are already in place
 what resources are needed to implement new strategies
 what new actions are needed
Strategies that support the school’s achievement plan may include the following:
 Identify students who need additional instructional support
 Support students via mentors, tutoring, peer support networks, and role models
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Engage/reach out to students' families
Hire staff from the community who speak families'
home languages
Conduct parenting courses at school
Reorganize the instructional day to maximize time for learning
Extend learning to before- and after-school programs, as well as, summer programs
Use varied, effective strategies to instruct diverse learners
Use test and other information on students' performance in instructional planning
Target literacy and math instruction
Safeguard instructional time
Use research and data to improve practice
Make closing gaps a school-wide responsibility
Set high expectations and provide rigorous, deep curricula
Focus on academics
Provide safe, orderly learning environments for students and educators
Use test data and other research on students' performance to inform instruction
Identify strategies and programs to increase achievement
Develop effective school-wide leadership teams
Provide ongoing professional development for school-based leaders on effective
strategies for closing the achievement gaps
Provide time for faculty to meet and plan
Provide continuous, data-driven professional development
Prepare teacher leaders to be knowledgeable and effective on school reform
Target resources on closing the gaps
Expand school capacity via additional resources
Engage businesses, universities, foundations in schools' work
Student progress will be monitored throughout the school year bi-weekly by subject
area - Math, Science, Reading, Writing alternately. Students are expected to
demonstrate at least one year of growth for each year they attend the charter school.
Teachers will utilize the students’ Developmental Scale Score as part of the formulas
that are included in the Data Chats. This will be used throughout the year by teachers to
determine whether students are making adequate learning gains in the classroom.
Teachers will use the Test Maker item banks to create teacher made assessments.
Therefore, percentage scores on teacher made assessments will truly be comparable to
the collected baseline data. Each time a student is assessed, the Data Chat will be
updated to reflect progress made.
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The teacher will use a FL Standards checklist for each course and level they teach, in
order to record what mastery level the students have achieved on said standards. The
teacher must generate an evaluative tool that monitors learning gains of the students.
Therefore, the teacher must create indicator tests for each 9 week period for all subject
areas. The Principal ensures that each teacher is cognizant of the curriculum presented
at each grade level. This facilitates appropriate scope and sequence continuity between
levels and helps define our pacing calendar. Moreover, our accountability plan
promotes more effective learning on the part of the student, when the teacher is aware
of what the student should have learned the previous year and what information they
need to master in order to be successful in the subsequent year.
Accountability also relates to the supervision of students, in that, hall supervision
between classes and before and after school duties. Our students will be supervised
100% of the time while on campus and when attending school functions/ field trips, etc.
off school grounds.
Other methods to be used:
 Differentiated Instruction is teaching with student variance in mind. It means
starting where the individual students are, rather than adopting a standardized
approach, where "one-size-fits-all" teaching. The teacher proactively plans varied
approaches to what students need to learn, how they will learn it, and/or how
they can express what they have learned in order to increase the likelihood that
each student learns as much as he or she can as efficiently as possible.
 "Holistic Approach to the Total Child": Our teachers will be encouraged to
present their ideas, and enhance the curriculum. The "Holistic Approach to the
Total Child," (Anspaugh, 1984), an educational philosophy, will work well with our
curriculum. This educational/psychological philosophy is based upon the
Developmental Domain Paradigm. The Developmental Domain Paradigm
creates an approach fostering an educational vehicle that carries all students to
their optimum level of development in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor
domains. This philosophy incorporates the various intelligence areas, and neural
pathways of learning along with the tenets of the Developmental Domain
Paradigm. Thus, all students will hopefully reach their optimum level of
development in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. We are
aware that students have varying learning styles.
Our teachers will work tirelessly in diagnosing these styles and endeavor to shape
instruction to meet individual needs (Differentiated instruction). They will look at all
developmental domains when processing their diagnostic/prescriptive approach to
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facilitating each student.
In order to maintain school-wide curricular standards, JSMA will implement a calendar
detailing when each benchmark/objective will be taught. The calendar will reflect time
allotted for both pre- and post-testing to ensure that each student meets and exceeds
the standards established by the State of Florida. If, after the period of post-testing, the
student shows deficiency in any aspect of the Benchmark, s/he will receive further
individualized instruction from the teacher, and will be re-tested after a pre-determined
amount of time. When the student has passed the post-test, s/he will be permitted to
move on to the next Benchmark indicated on the school curriculum calendar.
JSMA students, through direct supervision of our teachers, Curriculum Specialist (when
hired), the Principal, Executive Director and its Board will be successful in attaining the
required FL State Standards by ensuring that the standards are integrated within the
curriculum.
JSMA will place emphasis on FL Assessments preparation and achievement, or other
statewide assessment tools the State of Florida may adopt during the term of this
charter. JSMA will ensure that each of its students is appropriately equipped to apply
knowledge and skill to achieve the best possible outcome on this high stakes
assessment.
 Each teacher will receive specific training regarding the design and structure of
the Assessment and how she/he may best prepare students for maximum
performance on the test(s).
 Teachers in all subject areas will rely on the highly effective Socratic method of
dialogue. This technique involves the teacher asking questions that will require
students to explicate and justify their answers, thus demonstrating true
comprehension of the subject matter.
 JSMA Language Arts teachers will rate and grade student work using the
Assessment and Florida Writes rubrics and provide specific feedback regarding
each student’s achievement level on practice writing prompts. These teachers
will develop and implement questions that are of the same cognitive rigor as
those on the Assessment for class discussions and for tests. In addition,
teachers will generate open-ended questions for classroom assessments that
parallel those question types used on the Assessment: e.g., extended-response,
short-response and gridded-response.
 All content area teachers will support the school-wide reading program by
applying critical reading strategies in their discipline-based textbooks or other
reading selections. All content area teachers will support high math achievement
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by applying creative thinking and problem solving strategies in discipline-based
situations.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of the curriculum will be evaluated by the students’
performance on FL Assessments. The School will focus on meeting and exceeding the
rigorous goals outlined in this application, particularly those that articulate that students
make annual learning gains—a year’s worth of learning for each year enrolled. These
methods of review will allow the School to make changes to the professional
development for teachers, and provide more support for those who may need it to
ensure student academic growth, and will also chart the use of school resources
throughout the school year. This analysis is conducted routinely by teachers and in a
more formal setting with the School Administration after each assessment
administration.
Being able to determine where a student is academically at any point in the learning
process is essential to determining appropriate interventions and ensuring student
success. Learner feedback (formative and summative) will be ongoing to measure both
incremental and annual (school year) growth.
Student performance will be measured in each of the following ways:
 Assessment of foundational reading and math skills levels upon students’ initial
enrollment.
o Foundational reading and math skills levels are essential in the
development of each student’s Individual Academic Plan and placing
students in appropriate content levels or courses. This information will be
derived from standardized test scores, curriculum-based assessments,
and/or teacher-developed and authentic assessments.
 Formative evaluations will be completed to monitor progress in foundation skills
and identify students in need of support.
o Ongoing assessment and evaluation will be conducted through classroom
observations, quizzes, tests, and checklists.
o Benchmarking (which may include the use of district benchmarks, pretests, locally developed mini- assessments, or other diagnostic
assessments) will be used to modify instruction and tutorials for state
assessment success.
o Content mastery will be measured through the achievement of
benchmarks and successful completion of each course.
 Summative evaluations of content mastery.
 End of Course assessments will validate and verify credits earned for promotion
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to the next grade level.
Additionally, through the School’s commitment to pursue and obtain accreditation from
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and AdvancEd within specific
timelines will also serve as a means to evaluate not only of the effectiveness of the
curriculum but also the entire school program. Through the accreditation process, the
School will: validate compliance with numerous AdvancEd learning standards;
demonstrate engagement in Continuous Improvement, including the development and
implementation of foundations for continuous improvement; provide for quality
assurance; and participate in a peer review process.
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Section 5: Student Performance, Assessment and Evaluation
A. State the school’s educational goals and objectives for improving student achievement. Indicate how
much academic improvement students are expected to show each year, how student progress and
performance will be evaluated, and the specific results to be attained.
B. Describe the school’s student placement procedures and promotion Standards.
C. If the school will serve high school students, describe the methods used to determine if a student has
satisfied the requirements specified in section 1003.428, F.S., and any proposed additional
requirements.
D. Describe how baseline achievement Data will be established, collected, and used. Describe the
methods used to identify the educational strengths and needs of students and how these baseline
rates will be compared to the academic progress of the same students attending the charter school.
E. Identify the types and frequency of assessments that the school will use to measure and monitor
student performance.
F. Describe how student assessment and performance Data will be used to evaluate and inform
instruction.
G. Describe how student assessment and performance information will be shared with students and with
parents.
A. State the school’s educational goals and objectives for improving student
achievement. Indicate how much academic improvement students are
expected to show each year, how student progress and performance will
be evaluated, and the specific results to be attained.
It is anticipated that JSMA will reflect the demographics of the District. As a result, we
believe that the students entering the School will possess a wide range of skills. The
extended day, rigorous program of study, extra programming, and parental involvement
will be critical if the students are to achieve our academic goals. The following are the
School’s educational goals:
Focus Area
Academic
Improvement
State Assessment
Performance
With the first year of
School operation
establishing the
baseline, the percent
of students in grades
6 through 10
proficient on FL
Assessments in
reading, math,
science, and writing
How Progress and
Performance will be
Measured
FL Assessments
results including
assessments in
reading, math,
science, and writing
Specific Results to
be Attained
Given school-wide
emphasis on
instruction for mastery
of the FL Standards,
the percent of
students in grades 6
through 10 proficient
on FL Assessments in
reading, math,
science, and writing
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Focus Area
Academic
Improvement
How Progress and
Performance will be
Measured
will improve by 1% or
more each year.
End of Course
(EOC) Assessment
Performance
With the first year of
School operation
establishing the
baseline, the percent
of students’ proficient
on EOC assessments
will improve by 1% or
more each year.
Specific Results to
be Attained
will meet or exceed
the State average for
comparable SES
student populations.
EOC results
The percent of
students’ proficient on
EOC assessments
will meet or exceed
the State average for
comparable SES
student populations.
JSMA students will
meet and/or exceed
the District and/or
State average
(whichever is higher)
of students who
achieve a passing
score (as established
by FLDOE) on all
required End of
Course exams, by its
3rd year, and
sustaining or
exceeding these
levels on the 4th and
5th years.
Learning Gains
Learning Gains for
the Lowest Quartile
Students
demonstrating
learning gains will
improve by 1%
annually.
MAP Assessments
With the first year of
School operation
establishing the
MAP Assessments
FL Assessments
FL Assessments
Eighty percent (80%)
of JSMA students will
demonstrate a year’s
worth of learning
gains.
Fifty percent (50%) of
JSMA students in the
lowest quartile will
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Focus Area
Academic
Improvement
How Progress and
Performance will be
Measured
Specific Results to
be Attained
baseline, the percent
of students in the
lowest quartile
demonstrating
learning gains will
improve by 1%
annually.
demonstrate learning
gains annually.
Graduation Rate
With the first year of
Yearly cohort
School operation
graduation rates.
establishing the
baseline, the percent
of students graduating
with their cohort group
will improve by 5% or
more each year.
By the 5th year of
school operations,
JSMA will exceed the
state cohort
graduation rate for
comparable student
populations.
School Grade
FLDOE School Grade
Calculation
JSMA will achieve a
school grade of “B” by
the 3rd year of School
operation. The School
will NOT fail.
Parent Participation
With the first year of
School operation
establishing the
baseline, the School’s
grade will improve
each year until the
goal is met.
With the first year of
School operation
establishing the
baseline, parent
participation will
improve 2% each
year until the goal is
met.
Sign-in sheets,
teacher logs, records
of parental volunteer
hours, and yearly
parent surveys
By the end of the first
year of school
operation, 70% of all
students’ parents or
guardians will have
participated in parent
conferences, student
presentations, parent
education classes,
committees, and/or
other volunteer
activities.
Professional
With the first year of
The goal and plan for
Each year, each
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Focus Area
Academic
Improvement
Development
School operation
establishing the
baseline, faculty
participation in
professional
development will
improve 2% each
year until the goal is
met.
How Progress and
Performance will be
Measured
accomplishment will
be filed with the
Executive Director by
October of each
school year and the
accomplishment
documented by
written statement
upon completion.
Specific Results to
be Attained
administrator and
teacher will participate
in at least thirty (30)
hours of professional
development activity
to fulfill a selfgenerated goal that
will positively impact
his or her work at
JSMA.
In order to achieve the academic goals, JSMA will implement strategies to achieve these
in‐process measures:
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90% of students requiring after‐school tutoring programs will participate in the
program
90% student retention rate by the end of the second year in operation
93% student attendance rate annually
70% attendance at parent‐teacher conferences by parents annually
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Summary of Key Measurement Methods
Measurement Outcome
Method of Measurement
When
State Content Standards
FL Assessments
Annually
Content Mastery
Unit tests, benchmark exams quizzes, Ongoing
oral presentations, performances,
throughout the
projects, lab reports, and research
year
papers. Also see AP below.
College preparedness
Course enrollments, course grades,
SAT/ACT tests results, PERT, and
GPA
Enrollments and
grades quarterly.
PSAT/SAT
sophomore, junior,
and senior years.
PERT in 11th
grade.
AP Courses
AP tests and examinations
College Level Coursework Final grades earned by students
Annually
End of course
As shown in the chart, Key Summative Student Assessment Goals, progress is objectively
measured by a range of methods including the annual statewide assessments for each
grade, by other adopted statewide assessments, and by AP exam results. The annual
School Public Accountability Report (SPAR) report is made available to parents and to the
public. Progress is also measured by classroom teachers in the traditional manner, such as
through quizzes, essays, projects, performances, portfolios, exhibitions, tests, and exams.
Progress is discussed on a regular basis with parents and students.
Use and Reporting of Data
Assessments are used to inform JSMA regarding the mastery of content by students, the
effectiveness of instruction and when additional and/or different instruction is needed. This
use of assessment data occurs on four levels.
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The first level is to assist JSMA to identify the progress of individual students,
who are making appropriate progress, those who are not, and those who are
excelling. Using this information, teachers and the counseling staff can provide
specific assistance to each student as needed. This also includes counseling
students on accelerated and enriched learning opportunities. Students needing
extra assistance and/or time also have several resources available to them.
Teachers offer "drop in" and scheduled assistance. JSMA will offer a tutorial
program, staffed by qualified teachers. Students seeking more rigorous
academic work will be encouraged to accelerate by taking higher level courses
and may also be encouraged to take courses at local universities.
The second level for the use of assessment data is to identify situations during
the school year where groups of students are not meeting expectations in a
specific class, course or subject area. Teachers and/or departments use
assessment data to identify these situations and determine what steps are
needed to provide additional instruction or re-teach to address the shortcomings.
The third level for the use of assessment data is to evaluate and continually
improve the educational program through a review of the curriculum,
instructional, and evaluation practices. For example, assessment results that
show a broad lack of mastery in a specific topic or skill trigger an evaluation by
teachers, a department or the entire school of what is taught, what resources are
available to teach it, how it is being taught, and the most appropriate manner to
re-teach that specific content area.
Finally, as summarized in the Key Summative Outcome Goals chart,
assessments provide an overview of the success of JSMA's academic program
as a whole. As a college preparatory school, this includes information such as
average GPA, the percentage of students receiving acceptance to their college of
choice, which college students are attending, and the average SAT, SAT 2, and
AP scores of graduates. It may also include information from surveys of JSMA
graduates. In-depth reviews of all aspects of the academic program including
academic achievement on standardized tests such as MAP. New common core
assessments and EOC.
Expected School Wide Learning Results (ESLR) / Outcomes
There are additional academic and non-academic student outcomes and qualities.
However, while these are not objectively measurable, they are still considered vitally
important. The following chart illustrates how JSMA intends to measure the ESLRs:
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ESLR
Student Outcome
Leadership 1)
work successfully
for a greater purpose as a
member or leader of a
team
a.
by sacrificing selfinterest for the overall
success of the team when
needed
b.
by ensuring the
individual success of each
team member
c.
by practicing
organizational, planning,
and leadership skills
Assessment
• Written
assignments
• Class participation
• Class
presentations
• Teacher
observation
• Student Projects
• Leadership
promotion rates
• Athletic Contests
• Outdoor Education
success
• JROTC
Competitions
• Student Corps
Personnel Files
(201 files)
• JROTC Annual
General Inspection
• Roets Rating Scale
for Leadership
(RRSL)
• Everyday
Leadership Skills
and Attitudes
Inventory (ELSA)
Performance Standard
• Public Speaking
rubric
• Age and Gradeappropriate
leadership
promotions
• Annual increases in
percentage of
students passing
Promotion Boards
and testing
• JROTC competition
success rates
• Increases in
students earning
ribbons for
participating in
leadership training
and demonstrating
leadership
• Honor Unit
w/distinction rating
on all Annual
General Inspections
• 80% or more
students above the
50th percentile on
RRSL/ELSA if they
have been enrolled
at JSMA for 2 or
more years
• 50% or more
students above the
75th percentile on
RRSL/ELSA if they
have been enrolled
at JSMA for 4 or
more years
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Academics
1)
think critically and
creatively
a.
by solving
complex mathematical
problems
b.
by designing
experiments to answer
specific questions
c.
by understanding
complex patterns and
symbolism in literature
and art
d.
by applying
knowledge to solve real
world problems
2)
demonstrate
effective oral
communication skills
a. by serving as a student
leader
b. by presenting
academic work orally
c. by learning another
language
3) write coherent,
organized, and
grammatically correct
compositions
a. by writing effectively
in a variety of genres
b. by writing effectively
for a variety of
audiences
c. by writing effectively for
a variety of purposes
4) read, analyze, and
comprehend a wide
variety of written materials
a. by acquiring reading
proficiency in disciplinecentered texts, literature
genres, and media
genres
•
•
Tests
Written
assignments
• Class participation
• Class
presentations
• Teacher
observation
• Student Projects
• Benchmark Tests
• Senior Project
• Research Papers
• Content-based
essays
• Creative Writing
• Portfolios
• Real life math
Problems
• Benchmark Exams
• Classroom
assessments
(tests, projects,
etc.)
• Student ability to
apply concepts and
skills learned to
produce research
papers and
projects
•
•
•
•
Improved passing
rates of students
receiving C or better
grades
70% of students
scoring at level 3 or
higher on
benchmark
assessments
Successful
application of
math skills to real life
situations
Achieving and
sustaining District
performance levels
on FCAT 2.0, EOC
and adapted FL
Assessments
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b. by developing the
academic language
demanded by each
discipline
c. by evaluating and
synthesizing information
from a variety of texts
5) investigate and solve
problems through a
variety of logical means
a. by using
mathematical means to
solve problems
b. by using research and
data to solve problems
c. by using logical
argumentation,
inference, and
deduction to solve
problems
d. by utilizing scientific
method to solve
theoretical and real
world problems
6) possess sufficient
content knowledge to
succeed in postsecondary education
a. by achieving content
knowledge needed for
FCAT 2.0/PARCC
b.
by acquiring
vocabulary and other
content knowledge
necessary for SAT tests
c.
by meeting the FL
College and University
requirements
7) use computers
successfully in an
academic and real- world
setting
a.
by acquiring
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Citizenship
fundamental knowledge
and skills of computer
software and hardware
by evaluating and
analyzing internet
information
1)
be an honorable
person
a.
by examining
one's values
b.
by having the
courage to live by those
values
c.
by making and
keeping commitments
2)
respect
themselves and others
a.
by being
courteous to others
b.
by using the
appropriate language for
school, social, and work
environments
c.
by recognizing
others' physical and
personal space and by
ensuring their own lifelong
physical wellbeing, health,
and fitness.
3)
believe in the core
values of justice,
moderation, wisdom,
patriotism, democracy,
and compassion and by
obeying the student creed
b.
by encouraging
others to live by these
values
c.
by being a role
mode' for others and
by valuing the views and
cultural backgrounds of
others
•
•
•
•
Suspension Rates
Expulsion Rates
Service Projects
Use of military
protocols
•
•
•
•
•
Lower suspension
and expulsion rates
than comparable
District schools
Satisfaction of
community service
project recipients
Analysis of demerit
giving rates and
patterns
Analysis of merit
giving rates and
patterns
Analysis of bullying
and complaints
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4)
support the local
and greater community of
mankind
a.
by participating in
community service
projects
b.
by taking action
for positive change in the
school or local community
c.
by developing
awareness of the needs
of a global society
5)
By respecting the
environment in which we
live
a.
by maintaining
the school campus
b.
by participating in
various environmentally
sound practices such as
recycling
c.
by participating in
environmentally helpful
service projects
B. Describe the school’s student placement procedures and promotion
Standards.
Consistent with the provisions of the approved application, the School will comply with the
District's plan for Student Progression, including requirements for middle school course
recovery and transition to high school to meet high school graduation requirements.
JSMA will administer its own internal placement assessments and evaluations in order to
help determine student placement as deemed necessary. The assessments will be
research- based and will meet state requirements for student placement, promotion and/or
retention. The MAP or Stanford 10 assessment may be utilized as well. See District
website: Instructional Goals and Learning Objectives (Student Progression Plan).
1. Middle School Progression
Promotion from a Florida public middle school to high school requires successful
completion of all grade-level requirements (grades 6–8) in the public school district.
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Promotion from middle school requires that a student successfully complete the following
courses:
 English – 3 middle school or higher courses




Mathematics – 3 middle school or higher courses
Social Studies – 3 middle school or higher courses, including one semester of study
of state and federal government and civics education (beginning in 2014–15, a
passing score on the Civics End-of-Course [EOC] Assessment)
Science – 3 middle school or higher courses
Career and Education Planning – 1 course (students will develop a personalized
academic and career plan)
To be promoted from middle school to high school, students must have a minimum
GPA of 2.0. At the end of each nine week grading period, if a student has a GPA less
than a 2.0, an academic improvement plan must be put into place immediately to
support remediation, monitored throughout the school year, and placed in the
student’s cumulative folder. The School will follow the Sponsor’s SPP policy for
grade level specifics on promotion, retention, and remediation policies.
Grading and Reporting Student Progress K-12 and Adult per Sponsor SPP:
a) Interim Reporting
The School will establish procedures for teachers to notify parents/guardians when it is
apparent that a student may fail or is doing unsatisfactory work in any skill level (i.e. skill
level is below grade placement), course or grade assignment. These procedures should
include the following:
1) Notification of parents/guardians, written or verbal, during the grading period.
2) Documentation by the school of such notification.
3) School attempt, in cooperation with parents/guardians, to assist the student in
achieving at minimum levels.
b) Regular Reporting
Report cards shall be issued to students after each marking period. Only report cards
approved by the Governing Board shall be used. Grades on report cards must clearly
reflect the student's level of achievement, including student performance which is below
established standards for the student's grade placement. No penalty or reward shall be
reflected in a student's academic grade for his/her conduct. Report cards will contain a
separate designation for a student's conduct. Parents of student with disabilities will be
informed of their student’s progress toward IEP annual goals at the nine-week report card
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intervals. Interim progress reports will be given to all students in all subjects at the midpoint of the marking period.
c) Reporting Student Retention
In addition to the notification of parents/guardians noted in sections 1 and 2 through interim
reporting and report cards after each marking period, schools will provide an opportunity for
a conference involving the teacher, guidance counselor or principal and parent/guardian for
any student not progressing appropriately toward standard diploma and graduation.
d) Grading System
Grades will be reported by letter grade or numerical score in recording student progress as
follows:
Letter Grade
A
B
C
D
F
I
Numerical Score
90-100
80-89
70-79
60-69
0-59
N/A
Description
Outstanding Progress
Above Average Progress
Average Progress
Lowest Acceptable Progress
Failure
Incomplete
The grading system and interpretation of letter grades used for students in grades 6-12
shall be as follows:
 Grade "A" equals 90 percent through 100 percent, has a grade-point average value
of 4, and is defined as “outstanding progress.”
 Grade “B” equals 80 percent through 89 percent, has a grade-point average value of
3, and is defined as “above-average progress.”
 Grade “C” equals 70 percent through 79 percent, has a grade-point average value of
2, and is defined as “average progress.”
 Grade “D” equals 60 percent through 69 percent, has a grade-point average value of
1, and is defined as “lowest acceptable progress.”
 Grade “F” equals 0 (zero) percent through 59 percent, has a grade-point average
value of 0 (zero), and is defined as “failure.”
 Grade “I” equals 0 (zero) percent, has a grade-point average value of 0 (zero), and
is defined as “incomplete.”
Honor Roll Format
The Honor Roll will be calculated and listed on the basis of grade point average (GPA) for
each nine weeks. School procedures for yearly honor awards based on grade point
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average will be published in the School's student handbook. Weighted grades as defined
by the Student Progression Plan apply to grades 9-12. Regardless of GPA, no student may
be on the Honor Roll who has made a D or an F during the current grading period. The
following divisions for Honor Roll are recommended:
o - 3.199 Honor Roll
o 3.200 - 3.499 Honor Roll with Honors Recognition
o 3.500 - 3.999 Honor Roll with High Honors Recognition
o 4.000 – above Honor Roll with High Honors with Distinction
MIDDLE SCHOOL (GRADES 6-8) POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
a) Program of Study: General Requirements for Grades 6, 7 and 8
As per s. 1003.4156 F.S., in order for a student to be promoted to high school from a
school that includes middle grades 6, 7, and 8, the student must successfully complete the
following courses:
Middle Grades Curriculum (Grades 6 - 8)
Courses
Required number of courses
English Language Arts
3
Mathematics
3
Science
3
Social Studies
3
b) Language Arts
Three years of successful completion of language arts are required for promotion to high
school. A middle grades student who scores below proficient on the statewide,
standardized assessment for English Language Arts must be enrolled in and complete a
remedial course the following year. Remediation courses will be determined by the
student's test score and progress monitoring data related to decoding and text efficiency.
c) Mathematics
Students are required to successfully complete three middle grades or higher courses in
mathematics for promotion to high school. A middle grades student who scores below
Achievement Level 3 on the state mathematics assessment must receive remediation the
following year determined by the student’s test score and progress monitoring data related
to mathematics skills. Each school that includes middle grades must offer at least one high
school level mathematics course for which students may earn high school credit. To earn
high school credit for Algebra I, a middle grades student must pass the Algebra I statewide,
standardized assessment. To earn high school credit for a geometry course, a middle
grades student must take the statewide, standardized geometry assessment for 30 percent
of the final grade, and earn a passing grade in the course.
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d) Science
Students are required to successfully complete three middle grades or higher courses in
science. Successful completion of a high school level Biology I course is not contingent
upon the student’s performance on the statewide, standardized assessment in Biology. To
earn high school credit for Biology I course, a middle grades student must take the
statewide, standardized Biology I EOC assessment for 30 percent of the final grade, and
earn a passing grade in the course.
e) Social Studies
Three years of successful completion of middle grades or higher courses in social studies
is required for promotion to high school. One of these courses must be at least a onesemester civics education course that includes the roles and responsibilities of federal,
state, and local governments; the structures and functions of the legislative, executive, and
judicial branches of government; and the meaning and significance of historic documents,
such as the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the
Constitution of the United States. Each student’s performance on the statewide,
standardized assessment in civics education constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final
course grade. One course must include career and education planning to be completed in
6th, 7th, or 8th grade, and must be Internet-based, easy to use, and customizable to each
student and include research-based assessments to assist students in determining
educational and career options and goals. In addition, the course must result in a
completed personalized academic and career plan for the student, emphasizing the
importance of entrepreneurship skills, application of technology in career fields, and include
information from the Department of Economic Opportunity’s economic security report as
described in s. 445.07.
f) Physical Education
In accordance with s. 1003.4156 F.S., middle schools are required to provide students
enrolled in grades 6 through 8 the minimum of one class period per day of physical
education for one semester of each year. Students in grades 6-8 are eligible to waive the
physical education requirement if they meet any of the following criteria:
1) The student is enrolled or required to enroll in a remedial course.
2) The student’s parent indicates in writing to the school that:
 The parent requests that the student enroll in another course from among those
courses offered as options by the school district; or
 The student is participating in physical activities outside the school day which are
equal to or in excess of the mandated requirement.
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The comprehensive health education curriculum for students in grades 7 through 12 must
include a teen dating violence and abuse component including, the definition of dating
violence and abuse, the warning signs of dating violence and abusive behavior, the
characteristics of healthy relationships, measures to prevent and stop dating violence and
abuse, and community resources available to victims of dating violence and abuse.
g) Elective Programs
The remainder of the middle school experience will include elective courses. Electives may
include but are not limited to: Fine Arts, World Languages, Technology, and Physical
Education.
h) High School Courses Taken In Middle School
Students in middle grades may enroll in selected senior high school courses for the
purposes of pursuing a more challenging program of study. Such courses are considered
when computing grade point averages and rank in class. Credits earned will be applied
toward the total credits needed for graduation, college admission, or for the Florida Bright
Futures Scholarship Program requirements.
All high school credit courses taken in the middle school will be included in their high school
transcript. Factors to be considered in taking high school courses in the middle school
include the impact on the students’ GPA and subsequent rank in class, the possible lack of
recognition by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for senior high school
courses taken in a grade below grade 9, and the benefit of retaking a course in which skills
have not been mastered. Courses taken will remain a part of a student’s middle school
record, as well as the student’s high school record. The student will earn the high school
credit if they meet the minimum grade required for both semesters of the course, including
any state-mandated assessments.
If a middle school student’s cumulative course average is less than 75% at the end of the
first quarter grading period, the school administrator will request a conference with the
teacher and parent/guardian to develop an individual Progress Monitoring Plan (PMP) to
monitor the student’s improvement. A second conference will be scheduled at the end of
the first semester to reassess performance and placement of the student for the remainder
of the school year.
i) Promotion and Retention
Academic subjects required for promotion per the Florida A++ Legislation are defined as
language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
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Middle School Promotion Requirements (6-8)
To
Course Requirements
Grade
7
Successfully complete four 6th grade core courses. 1, 2
8
Successfully complete four 7th grade core courses. 1, 2
9
Successfully complete four 8th grade core courses. 1, 2
Successfully complete one course in career and educational planning, and a
personalized academic and career plan. 3
1. Core courses are language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
2. Teachers and administrators must provide timely intervention so that students
may recover courses during the academic year.
3. Students enrolled full-time in the Polk Virtual may meet this career and
education planning requirement through a standalone, half credit career course
(M/J Career Education 2305000)
j) Transitional Courses for Middle Grades (Over Age)
In accordance with state statute (s.1008.25 F.S.), an alternative education program option
for students in grades 6 – 8 who are two or more years overage and underperforming is
available in identified schools to address all of the barriers to graduation through a
comprehensive approach. By leveraging federal, state, and local funding sources, this
program will provide individualized support to help students graduate on time and be
ready to fulfill their college and career goals. Eligible students will be identified through
a referral process. This alternative path for progression has been designed to provide
students who have been unable to meet promotional requirements in the basic instructional
program the opportunity to remediate and achieve grade level proficiency. Students will be
provided intensive instruction in numeracy and literacy using research-based, structured
curriculum with measurable outcomes.
k) Alternative Programs for Over-Aged Students to Qualify for Promotion
The district provides alternative programs for students who have multiple retentions to
support an accelerated progression.
l) Good Cause Exemption from Mandatory Retention
Students with disabilities who are following the general education program, take the state
assessment and are pursuing a standard diploma are affected by the same guidelines for
retention as are students in general education.
Retention decisions for students with disabilities who are following Access Points and are
participating in alternate assessment are made on an individual basis by the Principal
based upon the recommendation of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team.
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m) Assessment
As per s. 1008.22 F.S., the primary purpose of the student assessment program is to
provide student academic achievement and learning gains data to students, parents,
teachers, school administrators, and school staff. This data is to be used by the School to
improve instruction; by students, parents, and teachers to guide learning objectives; by
education researchers to assess national and international education comparison data; and
by the public to assess the cost benefit of the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
Participation in the statewide, standardized assessment program aligned to the core
curricular content established in the FL Standards and Next Generation Sunshine State
Standards is mandatory for all schools and all students attending public schools. All
statewide, standardized assessments use scaled scores and achievement levels.
Achievement levels range from 1 through 5, with level 1 being the lowest achievement
level, level 5 being the highest achievement level, and level 3 indicating satisfactory
performance on an assessment. For purposes of the statewide Writing assessment,
student achievement shall be scored using a scale of 1 through 6.
Measurement of student learning gains in all subjects and grade levels, except those
subjects and grade levels measured under the statewide, standardized assessment
program, is the responsibility of the school district. The School will administer for each
course offered in the district a student assessment that measures mastery of the content,
as described in the state-adopted course description, at the necessary level of rigor for the
course. Students requesting placement in an accelerated progression who do not meet the
recommended state assessment scores will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
HIGH SCHOOL (GRADES 9-12) POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
a) Program of Study: General Requirements for Grades 9-12 (s. 1003.428 F.S.)
Graduation requires the successful completion of a minimum of 24 credits, an International
Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE)
curriculum. Students must be advised of eligibility requirements for state scholarship
programs and postsecondary admissions. The 24 credits may be earned through applied,
integrated, and career education courses approved by the Department of Education. The
24 credits shall be distributed as follows:
1) English/Language Arts
Four credits in English, with major concentration in composition, reading for
information, and literature are required for graduation from high school. A high
school student who scores below proficient on the statewide, standardized
assessment for English Language Arts, must be enrolled in and complete a
remedial course the following year. Remediation courses will be determined by
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2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
the student's test score and progress monitoring data related to decoding and
text efficiency.
Mathematics
Four credits in mathematics, one of which must be Algebra I, a series of courses
equivalent to Algebra I, or a higher-level mathematics course. In addition to the
Algebra I credit requirement, one of the four credits in mathematics must be
geometry or a series of courses equivalent to geometry as approved by the State
Board of Education. The end-of-course assessment requirements under s.
1008.22(3)(c)2.a.(I) must be met in order for a student to earn the required credit
in Algebra I.
Science
Three credits in science, one of which must be Biology I or a series of courses
equivalent to Biology I, and the remaining two credits must be equally rigorous
courses, as determined by the State Board of Education.
Social Studies
Three credits in social studies as follows: one credit in United States history; one
credit in world history; one-half credit in economics, which shall include financial
literacy; and one-half credit in United States government.
Fine and Performing Arts
One credit is required in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or a
practical arts course that incorporates artistic content and techniques of
creativity, interpretation, and imagination. Eligible practical arts courses shall be
identified through the Course Code Directory.
Physical Education and Health
One credit is required in physical education to include integration of health.
Participation in an interscholastic sport at the junior varsity or varsity level for two
full seasons shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education if the
student passes a competency test on personal fitness with a score of “C” or
better. The competency test on personal fitness must be developed by the
Department of Education. A district school board may not require that the one
credit in physical education be taken during the 9th grade year. Completion of
one semester with a grade of “C” or better in a marching band class, in a physical
activity class that requires participation in marching band activities as an
extracurricular activity, or in a dance class shall satisfy one-half credit in physical
education or one-half credit in performing arts. This credit may not be used to
satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical
education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan. Completion of 2
years in a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (J.R.O.T.C.) class, a significant
component of which is drills, shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical
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education and the one-credit requirement in performing arts. This credit may not
be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for
adaptive physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 Plan.
7) Elective Programs
Eight credits in electives.
b) System And Reporting Procedures
Students must complete a minimum of 135 hours of instruction in a high school
course before they are eligible to demonstrate mastery of the student performance
standards in that course.
1) Determination of Standard Mastery
A student will have demonstrated mastery of student performance standards for
a district approved course by earning a passing score in the course. This score
(minimum of 60 percent) and the procedures to be used to determine semester
and yearly averages will be in accordance with the procedures as outlined in the
Student Progression Plan.
2) Accommodations and modifications must be in place for students with disabilities
and English Language Learners, as indicated on the student’s IEP and LEP,
respectively.
3) Eligible Students – Mastery of Performance Standards
Students must be present for at least 135 hours of bona fide instruction to be
eligible for a full credit (67.5 hours for a half credit). Students who do not meet
the minimum instructional time requirement for earning credit may be denied
credit. Please refer to the Attendance section of the Student Progression Plan for
additional information.
c) Assessment
Student assessment and promotion in Polk County's public schools are based upon
an evaluation of each student's achievement in terms of appropriate instructional
goals. The basis for making the determination should reflect consideration of the
following: progress tests, classroom assignments, daily observation, standardized
tests, state assessment, and other objective data. The primary responsibility for
determining each student's level of performance and ability to function academically,
socially and emotionally at the next grade level is that of the classroom teacher,
subject to review and approval of the principal.
The assessments a student must pass in order to graduate with a standard high
school diploma are determined by their year of enrollment in 9th grade:
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9th Grade Cohorts
EOC Counts 30% of Final Grade 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14+ Future Cohorts
Algebra 1
NO
NO
YES
Geometry
NO
NO
YES
Biology
NO
NO
YES
US History
NO
YES
YES
d) Acceleration Mechanisms
During the course registration process, the parents of students in or entering high
school will be notified of the opportunity and benefits of accelerated mechanisms.
Florida Statute 1007.27 requires a variety of acceleration mechanisms be available
for secondary students attending public educational institutions. The intent of
acceleration is to shorten the time necessary for a student to complete the
requirements associated with both a high school diploma and a postsecondary
degree, broaden the scope of curricular options available to students, or increase
the depth of study available for a particular subject. Acceleration mechanisms shall
include, but are not limited to, dual enrollment and early admission as provided for in
s. 1007.271, advanced placement, the International Baccalaureate Program, and the
Advanced International Certificate of Education Program.
Students of Florida public secondary schools enrolled in accelerated mechanisms
shall be exempt from the payment of any fees for administration of the examination
regardless of whether or not the student achieves a passing score on the
examination.
1) Advanced Placement (AP) shall be the enrollment of an eligible secondary
student in a course offered through the AP program administered by the College
Board. Postsecondary credit for an AP course shall be limited to students who
score a minimum of 3, on a 5-point scale, on the corresponding AP Examination.
Students enrolled and completing AP courses are required to complete the
associated AP exams unless parent/guardian requests withdrawal from AP
course at the end of the first semester or requests exemption from taking the
exam prior to March 1st. Students failing to take an AP exam for a completed AP
Course after the exam has been ordered from College Board may have their final
course grade dropped one letter grade (equivalent to a no-show for a final exam).
2) The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program shall be the curriculum in which
eligible secondary students are enrolled in a program of studies offered through
the IB Program administered by the International Baccalaureate Office.
3) The Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) and the International
General Certificate of Secondary Education (pre-AICE) programs are
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college curriculum and "A-Level" exams. The AICE and pre-AICE programs are
administered by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.
4) The dual enrollment program is an acceleration program that allows high school
students to simultaneously earn credit toward high school completion and a
career certificate, or an associate or baccalaureate degree at a Florida public
institution. (s. 1007.271 F.S.). Student eligibility requirements for initial enrollment
in college credit dual enrollment courses must include a 3.0 unweighted high
school grade point average and the minimum score on the college placement
test adopted by the State Board of Education which indicates that the student is
ready for college-level coursework. Student eligibility requirements for continued
enrollment in college credit dual enrollment courses must include the
maintenance of a 3.0 unweighted high school grade point average and the
minimum postsecondary grade point average established by the postsecondary
institution. Student eligibility requirements for initial and continued enrollment in
career certificate dual enrollment courses must include a 2.0 unweighted high
school grade point average.
e) Rank in Class and Grade Point Average (GPA)
Procedures for class ranking and determining grade point averages shall be
annually published in the School’s student handbook.
1) Courses in Ranking
All courses taken which are not repeated in pursuit of the 24-credit diploma
option must be used in the determination of grade point average for class
ranking. All courses counted toward fulfillment of graduation requirements must
be a letter grade and/or numerical score as described in the Student Progression
Plan.
Repeated courses may be (a) courses failed, retaken, and completed with a
passing grade, or (b) courses repeated to improve a grade. Upon successful
completion of a previously failed course, the passing grade will be recorded as
the official grade for the course. Likewise, a course repeated to improve a grade
shall have the higher grade recorded as the official grade for the course. Note:
While replaced or improved grades are not utilized in the calculation of the
student’s grade point average, an “X” designation will be assigned to these
courses and appear on the transcript indicating that the course was repeated and
passed or improved.
2) Procedures for Determining Minimum GPA Required for Graduation
A student must have a cumulative unweighted grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
for all courses for graduation. All courses attempted and not repeated shall be
used in the calculation of the GPA with point values for semester letter grades
used as follows:
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A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0
This GPA shall be calculated through the district grading system at the end of
each semester beginning as soon as the student takes and completes a high
school credit-bearing course and shall be cumulative based on semester grades.
Any student with a GPA below 2.0 should be provided assistance in achieving a
2.0 GPA through appropriate counseling on Polk County's forgiveness grade
policy, extended school year programs, peer tutors, school and/or teacher
sponsored help sessions, study skills classes, and after school tutorial programs.
Determination of GPA is made only to three places past the decimal with no
rounding up or down (e.g. GPA of 1.999 will not meet the 2.0 requirement).
Semester letter grades will be used for computing GPA.
The following point values shall be used for computing GPA:
All Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Courses as listed in the
Florida Course Code Directory and dual enrollment college courses in which
there is an honors or AP course in that subject area. (Weighting Factor 1.0)
A = 5.0
B = 4.0
C = 3.0
D = 2.0
F = 0.0
Courses labeled Honors, Advanced or Pre-IB in the Florida Course Code
Directory or the District Course Catalog and other courses designated as
weighted.
A = 4.5
B = 3.5
C = 2.5
D = 1.5
F =0.0
Dual enrollment college courses must be recorded on the student's transcript
according to the Florida common course numbering system for state community
colleges and state universities. All courses attempted and not repeated for
graduation for a regular diploma shall be included in this calculation. There shall
be no difference in the courses used in this calculation and the courses used to
determine the minimum GPA (2.0) for graduation. For courses failed, retaken,
and completed with a passing grade, or for courses repeated to improve a grade,
refer to other sections of the Student Progression Plan. GPA and ranking shall be
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computed at the end of each semester, and again at the end of the twelfth grade,
or when necessary for issuing transcripts. Final class ranking shall be posted on
the student's automated transcript. Class rank shall be determined as follows:
Rank approx. 1
4.000 Joe Doe
1
4.000 Mary Smith
Rank approx. 3
3.978 Julie Jones
3
3.978 Tom Johnson
3
3.978 Sam Williams
Rank approx. 6
3.800 Lucy Ayers
Although 3.800 is the third highest GPA in this example, there are five higher.
3) Graduation Honors
For graduation purposes, honors shall be determined by the following weighted
GPA:
4.000 or higher
Honors with Distinction
3.500 – 3.999
High Honors
3.200 – 3.499
Honors
The class ranking at the end of the twelfth grade shall be used for determining
honors at graduation, or when necessary for issuing transcripts. Each school will
have a valedictorian and a salutatorian with other special honors optional. The
individual high school may add additional honors categories. However, students
receiving honors recognition must have at least a 3.200 weighted GPA. This
information shall be published annually in the school student handbook. To be
eligible for valedictorian or salutatorian, a student must have been enrolled at that
school for at least the entire twelfth grade, to include receiving grades from the
school all four grading periods of the senior year. Full-time Early Admission students
will not be eligible to be valedictorian or salutatorian. Their class rank, however, is
not affected.
Valedictorian and salutatorian are honorary titles given to the top honor students of a
class who have not excluded themselves from being eligible for this honorary title by
other provisions of this Plan (transfer students not enrolled the entire senior year, full
time early admission students). Unless excluded by other provisions of this Plan
apply, a student who obtains rank 1 is valedictorian and a student who obtains rank
2 is salutatorian. A tie for rank 1 produces co-valedictorian and no salutatorian. The
rank 3 student, in the case of co-Valedictorian, may be called an Honorary
Salutatorian. Students graduating under an 18-credit option will be included in the
overall class ranking for their graduation year. All courses taken which are not
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repeated must be used in the determination of grade point average for class ranking.
Students receiving a 3-year, 18-credit diploma are not eligible to be valedictorian or
salutatorian.
Rank in class shall be used for purposes of college admission, scholarship and/or
financial aid application, and identifying honor graduates. Rank in class shall be
given for the above purposes when requested by a college. Rank in class should
only be given to students who request their rank. An aggregate list by rank shall not
be disseminated and shall be used only for the purposes stated above (Reference
School Board Policy 800-8330).
f) Retaking a Course to Improve A Grade
Forgiveness policies for required courses shall be limited to replacing a grade of "D"
or "F," or the equivalent of a grade of “D” or “F,” with a grade of "C" or higher, or the
equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher, earned subsequently in the same or
comparable course. Forgiveness policies for elective courses shall be limited to
replacing a grade of "D" or "F," or the equivalent of a grade of “D” or “F,” with a
grade of "C" or higher, or the equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher, earned
subsequently in another course.
The only exception to these forgiveness policies shall be made for a student in the
middle grades who takes any high school course for high school credit and earns a
grade of “C,” “D,” or “F” or the equivalent of a grade of “C,” “D,” or “F.” In such cases,
the district forgiveness policy must allow the replacement of the grade with a grade
of “C” or higher, or the equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher, earned subsequently in
the same or comparable course. In all cases of grade forgiveness, only the new
grade shall be used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. Any
course grade not replaced according to a district forgiveness policy shall be included
in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average required for graduation.
Rule 6A-1.0955(3), FAC, requires each school district to keep a record of courses
taken and a record of achievement, such as grades, unit, or certification of
competence. Student records cannot be altered at any time unless it has been
determined that the information is inaccurate or in violation of the privacy or other
rights of the student. All courses and grades must be included on the student’s
transcript. The authority for the school board to adopt a forgiveness policy does not
provide the authority to alter a student’s record to delete the forgiven course and
grade. The forgiveness policy authorization is for the express purpose of assisting
students in meeting the requirements necessary to graduate from high school,
including a minimum grade point average and successful completion of academic
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credit or curriculum requirements. The school board does not have the authority to
purge that student’s record to delete the first grade. All forgiven courses must be
included on a student’s transcript as an accurate reflection of the student’s record of
achievement.
The only exception to the Forgiveness Policy shall be made for a student in the
middle grades who takes any high school course for high school credit. The high
school course can be retaken while in high school even if the original grade earned
was equivalent to a C.
g) Grade Classification in Grades 9-12
Students, who for educational or personal reasons, wish to graduate earlier than this
4-year/24 credit plan, may elect to do so. Upon approval by the high school principal
or designee, the early graduation request will be forwarded to the Regional
Superintendent for final approval. All graduating students must meet all
requirements set by Florida Statute in order to graduate.
Definition of grade classification as it relates to class privileges and activities will be
determined by the school principal:
Grade Level Minimum Credits for Grade Promotion
(24 Credit Diploma Option)
9
N/A Promoted from 8th Grade
10
5 Credits
11
11 Credits
12
17 Credits
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h) Requirements for the 24-credit standard diploma option:
4 Credits English Language Arts (ELA)
 ELA I, II III, IV
 ELA honors, Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced International Certificate of
Education (AICE), International Baccalaureate (IB) and dual enrollment
courses may satisfy this requirement






4 Credits Mathematics
One of which must be Algebra I and one of which must be Geometry
Industry certifications that lead to college credit may substitute for up to two
mathematics credits (except for Algebra I and Geometry)
3 Credits Science
One of which must be Biology I, two of which must be equally rigorous
science courses.
Two of the three required credits must have a laboratory component.
An industry certification that leads to college credit substitutes for up to one
science credit (except for Biology I)
An identified rigorous Computer Science course with a related industry
certification substitutes for up to one science credit (except for Biology I)
3 Credits Social Studies
1 credit in World History
1 credit in U.S. History
.5 credit in U.S. Government
.5 credit in Economics with Financial Literacy
1 Credit Fine and Performing Arts, Speech and Debate, or Practical Arts*
1 Credit Physical Education*
 To include the integration of health
*Eligible courses and eligible course substitutions are specified in the Florida Course
Code Directory at http://www.fldoe.org/articulation/CCD/default.asp.
8 Elective Credits
1 Online Course
Students must earn a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
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Special Note: All Florida public universities (and most 4-year institutions) require two years
of a foreign language for freshman admission.
The School will also comply with recent changes to high school graduation requirements
included in Senate Bill 1076, including but not limited to:
 The half credit economics course will include financial literacy.
 Two (2) of the three (3) required science credits will have a laboratory component.
 Electives will include opportunities for students to earn college credit, including
industry-certified career education programs.
i) Additional Graduation Requirements
As JSMA achieves JROTC institute status, all high school students must take
JROTC courses during their time in the School. For example, if a student
attends only one year of school (senior year), the student must take one (1) year
of JROTC LET as a mandatory elective.
j) Methods to Verify Requirements
The School Counselor will track all students through high school. He/she will
meet with 9th and 10th graders annually and on an ‘as needed basis’. Junior and
seniors will have a regular ‘Credit Check’ to make sure the student is on target
for graduation. The Counselor will complete a credit worksheet at the beginning
of the student’s junior year and at the end of each semester during the junior
year and at the 1st of the senior year. The Counselor will verify the student is on
track for graduation and communicate that status with the student and his/her
parent/guardian.
As a student transfers into the School, the Counselor will review the student’s
transcripts and complete a graduation credit worksheet. The Counselor will
verify EOC results and minimum graduation requirements are met. A review will
also occur in March of the student’s senior year to verify the student is still on
track for graduation. The Counselor will advise students to take the PSAT in 9th,
10th, and 11th grades and the SAT and/or ACT at least twice during the junior
year. The Counselor will work with students to help them choose course work to
support timely graduation. He/she will also advise on approved methods for
credit recovery. Finally, the Counselor will assist students with immediate and
long-range educational planning and course selection (secondary).
Fundamentally, JSMA will follow the research-based State of Florida Standards as the core
curriculum. The standards and objectives of the courses offered will be in alignment with
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the course descriptions provided by the Florida Department of Education and the Sponsor
(as applicable). The Core Subjects will include all necessary to gain a FL Standard
Diploma. It is the School’s objective that all instructors will receive FL State Standards
Content Area certification. As such, all teachers will be FL State certified in the content
areas they are teaching. Instructional materials will include, but will not be limited to the
following:
 FL Standards
 Sponsor’s K-12 Comprehensive or curriculum plan
 Sunshine State Standards in Writing
 Pearson’s SuccessNet, GradPoint and SuccessMaker
 Edmentum Study Island
 Florida Writes! Materials
 Materials found to be researched based to enhance student achievement and meet
requirements for IEP/ELL/504/EP
 Hands-on materials
 Laboratory materials
 Strong Technology
 Content area textbooks meeting state requirements, as needed
 Remediation and Enrichment materials for differentiation
C. If the school will serve high school students, describe the methods used to
determine if a student has satisfied the requirements specified in section
1003.428, F.S., and any proposed additional requirements.
At the high school level, the methods to determine if a student has satisfied the
requirements to meet graduation extends to all students progressing towards graduation.
As every credit is crucial to the success of the School’s students, teachers take ownership
of a student’s path towards graduation. During the data chats, teachers will discuss
students that may be in danger of not graduating and discuss individualized solutions for
the students. Students are then provided guidance on creating a graduation plan that
describes the types of courses they will take each year in order to graduate.
Methods to Verify Requirements
The School Counselor will track all students through high school. He/she will meet with 9th
and 10th graders annually and on an ‘as needed basis’. Junior and seniors will have a
regular ‘Credit Check’ to make sure the student is on target for graduation. The Counselor
will complete a credit worksheet at the beginning of the student’s junior year and at the end
of each semester during the junior year and at the 1st of the senior year. The Counselor
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will verify the student is on track for graduation and communicate that status with the
student and his/her parent/guardian.
As a student transfers into the School, the Counselor will review the student’s transcripts
and complete a graduation credit worksheet. The Counselor will verify EOC results and
minimum graduation requirements are met. A review will also occur in March of the
student’s senior year to verify the student is still on track for graduation. The Counselor will
advise students to take the PSAT in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades and the SAT and/or ACT at
least twice during the junior year. The Counselor will work with students to help them
choose course work to support timely graduation. He/she will also advise on approved
methods for credit recovery. Finally, the Counselor will assist students with immediate and
long-range educational planning and course selection (secondary).
In order to satisfy graduation requirements, students must receive credits in all required
coursework and maintain a passing grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Students must
also pass the following state assessments:
 Grade 10 ELA (or ACT/SAT concordant score)
 Algebra I end-of-course (EOC) or a comparative score on the Postsecondary
Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.)
 Students must participate in the EOC assessments whose results constitute 30
percent of the final course grade:
o Algebra I
o Biology I
o Geometry
o U.S. History
o Algebra II (if enrolled)
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Requirements for the 24-credit standard diploma option:
4 Credits English Language Arts (ELA)
 ELA I, II III, IV
 ELA honors, Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced International Certificate of
Education (AICE), International Baccalaureate (IB) and dual enrollment
courses may satisfy this requirement
4 Credits Mathematics
 One of which must be Algebra I and one of which must be Geometry
 Industry certifications that lead to college credit may substitute for up to two
mathematics credits (except for Algebra I and Geometry)
3 Credits Science
 One of which must be Biology I, two of which must be equally rigorous
science courses.
 Two of the three required credits must have a laboratory component.
 An industry certification that leads to college credit substitutes for up to one
science credit (except for Biology I)
 An identified rigorous Computer Science course with a related industry
certification substitutes for up to one science credit (except for Biology I)
3 Credits Social Studies
1 credit in World History
1 credit in U.S. History
.5 credit in U.S. Government
.5 credit in Economics with Financial Literacy
1 Credit Fine and Performing Arts, Speech and Debate, or Practical Arts*
1 Credit Physical Education*
 To include the integration of health
*Eligible courses and eligible course substitutions are specified in the Florida Course
Code Directory at http://www.fldoe.org/articulation/CCD/default.asp.
8 Elective Credits
1 Online Course
Students must earn a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
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Special Note: All Florida public universities (and most 4-year institutions) require two years
of a foreign language for freshman admission.
The School will also comply with recent changes to high school graduation requirements
included in Senate Bill 1076, including but not limited to:
 The half credit economics course will include financial literacy.
 Two (2) of the three (3) required science credits will have a laboratory component.
 Electives will include opportunities for students to earn college credit, including
industry-certified career education programs.
Additional Graduation Requirements
As JSMA achieves JROTC institute status, all high school students must take JROTC
courses during their time in the School. For example, if a student attends only one year of
school (senior year), the student must take one (1) year of JROTC LET as a mandatory
elective.
While the School lists the minimum graduation 24-credit requirements in the chart, we
recommend and encourage our students to strive beyond the minimum requirements. Our
suggested program of study allows for a student to take 28 credits in four years.
Students also have the opportunity to take advanced placement (AP) courses. Once
student’s needs have been determined, the School’s course offerings will reflect AP
courses. Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test (PSAT) is a standardized test that
provides firsthand practice for the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) Reasoning Test. It
also gives students a chance to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)
scholarship programs. The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills
students will need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well students
analyze and solve problems needed for college. The PSAT’s is typically taken by high
school sophomore, but juniors will also be encouraged to take it.
The American College Testing (ACT) Program is a widely accepted college entrance exam.
It assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to
complete college-level work. Based upon student request, the School will either offer and/or
serve as a resource for gathering more information regarding PSAT, SAT and ACT
preparatory classes and the application process.
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D. Describe how baseline achievement Data will be established, collected, and
used. Describe the methods used to identify the educational strengths and
needs of students and how these baseline rates will be compared to the
academic progress of the same students attending the charter school.
In addition to full participation in all state and district-mandated testing and
accountability requirements, JSMA will conduct further analysis of student achievement
through other research-based assessment tools deemed appropriate and necessary.
The school is responsible for all costs associated with the purchase of test materials,
test inventory, test administration, scoring and reporting of the school level
assessments. Currently, MAP or the Stanford 10 assessment may be utilized.
Data analyses will be used to identify students who are not making adequate progress
toward annual learning gains in reading, mathematics, writing and science. Data
analysis will also be utilized to identify students who are meeting and/or excelling in
these areas as well. JSMA will seek to view accountability reports from various
perspectives to target specific areas of weakness. This process may include viewing
data grouped by grade level, teacher, gender, socio-economic background, attendance,
parental involvement, learning style, or any other aspect of the student population that
will enhance understanding of student needs.
1. Collecting and Establishing Baseline Data
Baseline achievement data will be collected from previous year’s FSA/FCAT 2.0/EOC
scores and numerous diagnostic assessments. This data will be used to generate the
student’s IAP which is created by compiling prior rates of academic progress in order to
identify students’ current strengths and areas of need to effectively target instruction.
The School will seek from the Sponsor all student performance data electronically and
cumulative records for all incoming students. Student records from the previous school
attended will be secured and reviewed for baseline data on each student. That data will
include, but are not limited to, standardized test scores, FAIR results, report card grades,
attendance records, and behavioral records (including in school and out of school
suspensions as well as exemplary behavior).
Teachers and other key stakeholders will have access to student performance data
disaggregated by school, grade level, individual teacher, and/or individual student. This
information will be used to determine student placement and students’ background
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knowledge, as well as to make informed decisions about instructional focus and strategies
to best meet the needs of each student.
Prior year FCAT and/or FL Assessments and FAIR results will be analyzed to determine
individual students’ strengths and weaknesses. Strengths and weaknesses of students
will be also established via a fall assessment. We will use Northwest Evaluation
Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), the SAT-10, or similar
instrument, to provide a student baseline and learning gains assessment to guide
instruction, monitor student achievement, and provide a resource to help facilitate
preparation for the FL Assessments and/or FCAT results that are applicable. MAP is an
adaptive highly researched based assessment that mirrors and measures FL Standards
and those NGSSS still in effect. MAP assessments are fixed benchmark tests
constructed using items created on frameworks derived through a thorough review of
Florida state test blueprints, state standards, and information from several national
education organizations.
2. Using Baseline Data
Based on the School’s philosophy of providing ”personalized instruction,” the School will
use baseline data (state and district requirements, report cards, testing scores, past
performance and comportment) as factors for placement in the appropriate course
which best suit each student.
JSMA is dedicated to creating an Individual Academic Plan (IAP), an individualized
personal education plan, to establish individualized goals and objectives for all students
to guide lessons in order to challenge students and attain maximum student
achievement. Baseline data will provide the basis for the development of each student’s
IAP.
Baseline data on each student will be recorded in our School’s Students Information
System, PowerSchool. Teachers will access data via PowerSchool in order to
determine which students might be at risk (due to high/low cognitive skills, levels of
performance, circumstances related to background, etc.) and in need of additional
support.
The compilation of baseline data in the IAPs will aid teachers as they plan instruction,
identify needs for differentiation, select resources and materials, and plan future
assessment strategies. Baseline data will provide a starting point from which to
measure individual progress and achievement, and objectively illuminate gaps where
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interventions and additional support may be needed. The IAP is designed to track an
Individual student's strengths and weaknesses and cumulative progress in attaining a
year's worth of learning, at a specific grade level. The plan's development is a
collaborative effort between the teacher, parent, student, and other staff involved with the
student's academic achievement. IAP’s are updated quarterly, at a minimum. Teachers will
consider the following information when assessing the student’s strengths and
weaknesses:
• The student’s academic performance prior to his/her enrollment
• The results of any achievement testing
• Examples of the student’s work
• Reports and observations from the student’s teachers
• Information and suggestions from the student’s parents
• Projects, assignments, tests and any other information that indicate mastery of
specific skills will be collected in the student’s portfolio as evidence of progress. A
measure of each student's rate of academic gains will be determined at the end of
the year via his/her individual portfolio and the comparison of FL Assessments/FCAT
2.0/ EOC learning gains.
Teachers will be trained on the use of the IAP. Administrators and teachers will compare
the data within the IAP with that of students within the county in comparable populations.
Based on the instructional implications of the data, teachers will differentiate instruction to
remediate any skill deficiencies and provide enrichment to extend learning for students who
demonstrate mastery.
After student assessment results are available from the spring administration of the
SAT-10, MAP, or a similar nationally normed standardized test, student performance
will be compared to individual results from the fall administration and reported to
parents and staff.
The baseline data will be compared to current data at the end of each school year.
Expectations are that students will progress at least as well as they did before attending
the charter school, and that the specific measurable objectives for the school are
achieved. Standardized tests results will be compared from the previous school year to
the current school year.
The overall progress of students in JSMA shall be compared to District schools with
comparable student populations in the August District regression analysis. Initially, we
can predict placement with MAP results as they are comparable to the FCAT. Once we
understand how we measure with other District schools, we will understand our needs.
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3. Benchmark Data
The School will use NWEA benchmarks that are nationally-normed, simulated state
standardized tests in order to provide administrators, teachers, and students with
information on individual student achievement based on a specific set of criteria including
NGSSS and Florida Standards. Utilizing research on feedback, these exams will be openly
discussed with students to assist them in understanding what they have successfully
mastered and what is needed for continuous improvement. Benchmarking is administered
three times a year, prior to the state standardized test, providing teachers with an updated
evaluation of student learning. The Principal will ensure the disaggregation and compilation
of student assessment data, by individual student, by individual skill, by standard, by class
and by grade level. This will give all stakeholders an understanding of what each student
has or has not mastered and will allow for professional discussion about data-driven
instruction in the classroom.
E. Identify the types and frequency of assessments that the school will use to
measure and monitor student performance.
We believe that there is a strong complementary relationship between curriculum and
assessment. Without demonstrated and measurable success, the student is working in
a vacuum. The student must show evidence of real learning, and attainment of
knowledge and/or skill.
Our goal is to not point out what a student does not know, but to encourage each
student to learn, while providing each student with as many opportunities as possible to
demonstrate improvement. As such, assessment is a key component to the learning
process. JSMA will assess student learning in all core subjects as each student
progresses from grade 6 through 12.
Based on the idea of inculcating and accepting personal accountability for personal
gains, and guided by our mission of rigorous individualized education, the internal
assessment system will be a comprehensive set of assessments, including
baseline/diagnostic, formative, and summative to capture as many aspects of each
student’s learning as possible.
The formative assessments, Edmentum, GradPoint and SchoolNet benchmark
assessments provide a digital method to assess students, may include examinations
(tests, quizzes, homework, etc.), participation (class participation, group work), projects
(essay, poster, and research paper), performances (debate, tournament, or
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presentation), etc. Within each course/grade, the assessments will be closely
coordinated to ensure consistency within each subject and between subjects.
Assessment has a teaching function. Students are asked regularly to attempt a variety
of tasks. Assessment of their performance in these tasks provides valuable information
for a teacher about a student’s understanding and developing competencies. This
allows the teacher to tailor his/her approach for this student, and may suggest areas
where a student needs revision, extension or even acceleration. Assessment here is
seen as formative and evaluative – allowing the teacher to form an impression of a
student’s progress and to evaluate the success of his/her teaching approach.
Teachers use assessment data to plot their programs; they ensure that students have
educationally worthwhile tasks to challenge them and sequence the development of
skills. The benefit of assessment to the student comes in the form of feedback from the
teacher on what he/she has done and what he/she has still to do. This is an individual
learner approach.
Summative assessments will include end of chapter or unit tests or projects, and
standardized state tests, including End of Course assessments, FL Assessments and/or
FCAT, SAT/ACT, etc. These norm-referenced assessments put in perspective the
performance and accomplishments of individual learners as it maps individual
achievement against general achievement.
This allows educators to know, to use a sporting analogy, how fast a runner is – in
terms of other runners in his class, in terms of other runners in his year group, in the
school, in his age group across the state, in his age group across the nation or
internationally, and perhaps even how fast he is compared to the fastest adult runners
in the world.
Students and their parents like to know how they are performing against other students.
Norm-referenced assessment gives comparative data, puts individual achievement and
talent in perspective, and can provide challenge to the student to excel. It can provide a
goal for the individual to aspire to, which is its most educationally useful aspect, since
the knowledge that an individual’s performance will be measured against the
performance of others can spur the individual on to greater things.
JSMA will assist its students in preparing for the future by providing the experience of
participation in semester examinations. These examinations help to bring together all of
the facts that one gathers throughout a semester into a comprehensive learning pattern
which should help one retain learning experiences better.
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Exams will be given at the end of each semester. The examinations will be
approximately two (2) hours in duration and will be given according to an assigned
schedule. The examinations will cover the entire semester of work. Taking the
examination is a course requirement. All courses which give one-half (1/2) credit will be
required to give a semester examination. We will participate in the End of Course exam
process as required.
Early, or baseline, testing in the year identifies areas of strength and weakness; spring
testing measures yearly progress. Additionally, we believe that frequency must be
aligned with continuity: student learning is more easily and accurately measured by the
same test(s) over successive years.
In keeping with the flexible and responsive nature of the charter school, no single
assessment or test will be used as a single determiner of success. This balance of
assessment principles underscores the curriculum and its delivery at our School. The
School will use:
Criterion-Referenced Assessments
The School will administer assessments that mirror the state-mandated assessments in
order to ensure adequate progress and preparation for every student.
• State-Mandated Assessments – Students will participate in the administration of the
FL Assessments and FCAT 2.0 (in effect) and /EOC annually, as appropriate. ELL
students will participate in any state or district mandated assessments such as
CELLA.
• Common Assessments: The School will provide bi-weekly “common assessments”
which are created from the Pearson and/or Edmentum data bank and used to gauge
students’ progress on mastery of FL Standards. These assessments are aligned to
FL Standards, and include a short term review, as well as spiral review, to check for
mastery. This is to provide a uniform tool to monitor progress towards mastery of
grade level standards more frequently between benchmark assessments
administered by NWEA.
• Weekly Standards Assessments include objective-based questions that are used for
quick check of content material as well as essay questions that require critical
thinking and writing skills. These assessments are aligned to the curriculum maps
and measure mastery of standards included in the unit.
Project-Based Performance Tasks and Inquiry-Based Projects – Students will participate in
problem solving tasks, hands-on experiments, and other inquiry-based projects as learning
activities for Generating and Testing Hypothesis (Marzano).
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Real World Application – Teachers will ensure deep understanding of standards by
using instructional strategies such as non-linguistic representations, cooperative
learning, comparisons, and other strategies that ensure that students apply
knowledge to real world scenarios.
• Student Portfolios – Student work samples that focus on the development of
reading, writing, and communication skills.
Ongoing Formative Practice Assessments
• Achievement of goals and objectives in the student’s IAP
• Quarterly progress summaries
• Journals
• Teacher observations
• Anecdotal records of the student’s performance
• Attitude inventories
• Tools within software programs
•
Types of Assessments
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) or
SAT-10
MAP or SAT-10
Florida Assessment for Instruction in
Reading (FAIR)
PSAT
SAT/ACT
FL Assessments
EOCs
PERT
CELLA
Informal classroom assessments that may
include, but are not limited to running
records, teacher constructed tests,
classroom assignments, observations and
rating of performance, portfolios of student
work, and computer-assisted assessments
Purpose (s)
Baseline
Grades
6-12
Frequency
Fall
Progress
Monitoring
Summative
Diagnostic
Monitoring
Summative
Formative
6-12
Winter
Spring
6-12
Fall
Winter
Spring
Fall
Spring
Spring
Spring
Spring
Spring
Summative
Summative
Summative
Monitoring
Formative
and
Summative
8-10
11-12
6-10
7-12
11
6-12 ELL
students
6-12
On-going
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The School considers evaluation and assessment to be a broad and continuous effort.
Proper assessment verifies that students have successfully acquired crucial skills and
knowledge. Assessment of student performance in core academic areas will be achieved in
various ways, depending on the subject area. The process includes:
 Proper collection and transfer of student performance data.
o Obtaining all necessary records and student information.
o Parents withdraw student from the sending school and enroll in JSMA.
o Parents signing a release of records form, which is sent to the sending school
with a request for records.
o With the release of records and student enrollment, the student is, entered
into the student information system, and also entered into the district
computer system as enrolled in the School.
o In cases where a student has an IEP, articulation or review meetings will be
scheduled with appropriate district personnel in accordance with the student's
IEP.
 Through analysis and evaluation of data, administrators, teachers, parents, and
students are able to devise an academic plan (IAP) for each student to achieve
learning gains.
 Baseline achievement levels will be referenced.
 Based on areas of mastery and deficiency, students’ IAP goals and benchmarks will
be modified.
 Standards achievement will be tracked as student outcomes are measured and
monitored. Student outcomes will be congruent FL Standards.
F. Describe how student assessment and performance data will be used to
evaluate and inform instruction.
The use of student assessment and performance data is critical to the School’s continuous
improvement process to improve student learning and achievement and to evaluate, inform
and adjust instruction. The data-driven cycle of assessment, analysis, and action is
necessary to improve student achievement and must be embedded in the School's culture
and will be a top priority for school-wide improvement.
1) Data Calendar
The Principal will use a yearly data calendar, which will be available to all
stakeholders. The cycle of assessment, analysis, and action will be schedules
and considered with data chats, teacher mentoring and professional
development.
2) Data Driven Instruction
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Teachers will use the data from MAP benchmark assessments and FL
Assessments to differentiate instruction of specific skills through various
instructional and regrouping strategies in order to ensure that individual student
needs are addressed.
To evaluate student learning and the effectiveness of instruction, the teacher will
give students formative assessments on those specific skills. After itemized
analysis of each assessment, the teacher will report feedback to students and
parents verbally, as well as through the student information system, in order to
update each student’s IAP.
Based on the results of the assessment, the teacher will decide whether to reteach specific skills that have not been mastered or go back to baseline
assessment in order to activate students’ background knowledge on the new skill
to be introduced.
3) Progress Monitoring Plan (PMP)
The Progress Monitoring Plan was designed to provide students, parents,
teachers, and administrators with specific academic intervention information for
students who are performing below grade level in each grade. This is included as
part of the RtI process. The PMP lists students’ areas of academic weakness and
describes interventions that can be implemented in the areas of writing, reading,
mathematics or science. Each student meeting the criteria above must have a
PMP. The PMP must also be reviewed by all stakeholders after at least 12 weeks
of instruction, in order to assess whether implemented strategies are increasing
student achievement in the identified area.
Student data will be compiled which identifies the lowest 25% in the School from
benchmark data and individual student FL Assessments and FCAT 2.0 scores.
o The lowest 25% in reading is generated in order to assist teachers in
targeting students who need remedial instruction. This is not meant to
identify the lowest 25% in the school grade calculation but is meant to
identify students who need academic support.
o The MAP baseline test will be given within the first month of school so that
individual student strengths and weaknesses can be identified quickly and
a PMP generated in order to make sure classroom instruction is geared
toward meeting the needs of every student.
o This allows students, parents, teachers, and administrators to re-evaluate
individual student’s academic achievement in a more time efficient
manner. Recognizing areas of strengths and weaknesses in a timely
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manner is vital to ensure students have enough instructional time and
practice to solidify their understanding before reassessment occurs.
o If a student should need multiple specialized plans, such as PMPs for
reading intervention, Individual English Language Learner Student Plans,
Educational Plans for Gifted Students, or Individual Education Plans for
ESE Students, members of committees will overlap so that communication
among members and alignment of plans can be ensured.
Student assessment and performance data will be used to understand and improve
school effectiveness by targeting those students who need additional support to master
specific grade level skills. JSMA administration, teachers, and families will share in the
understanding that the following are correct:
 Assessment is the collection of information, artifacts, samples of student work
and performance.
 Evaluation is the analysis of the assessment pieces through some form of
scoring or rating.
Assessment and evaluation may be considered in terms of their intended function within
the classroom. For example, Language Arts evaluation serves the following functions
and should indicate information:
 For the individual student and his/her progress and development as a reader.
 For the parents about their child's progress.
 For the teacher as to the needs of the student and the teacher's response to
those needs
 To the administrator about the teacher's accomplishment of instructional goals’
 To the governing board and community about how effectively the curriculum and
materials are reaching their goals (Moffett & Wagner, 1992).
The School Instructional Leadership (ILT) team, consisting of the Executive Director,
Principal, department chairs, ESE and ESOL teachers, Reading Coach, and Counselor,
will monitor and analyze data to maintain a problem solving system that brings out the
best in our students, teachers, and our School. The leadership team will meet weekly
collaborate regularly, problem solve, share effective practices, evaluate implementation,
and make decisions. Specifically, the team will meet to:
 Evaluate data and correlate to instructional decisions
 Review progress monitoring data at the grade level and classroom level to
identify students and their academic levels
 Identify professional development needs to enhance students’ achievement
levels
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Facilitate the process of building consensus, increasing infrastructure, and
making decisions about implementation
To evaluate the data, a teacher/administration Professional Learning Community/Data
Team will be formed.
Meeting 1
Meeting 2
Meeting 3
Meeting 4
Sample PLC/Data Team Schedule*
At the team meeting
In the classroom
(First this)
(Then this)
*Use Pearson’s common
*Administer pre-assessment
formative pre-assessment
*Evaluate pre-assessment & sort
*Agree on common grading
students into proficiency groups
method
*Use pre-assessment results to
*Begin implementation of
chart data
strategies
*Prioritize student needs
*Monitor progress
*Set SMART goal
*Provide feedback to students
*Select common instructional
strategies & determine results
indicators
*Model implementation of
strategies
*Examine student work samples
*Continue instructional strategies
*Discuss implementation of
*Monitor progress
strategies & make adjustments
*Provide feedback to students
as needed
*Administer post-assessment
*Confirm post-assessment data
*Evaluate results, reflect on
*Offer post-assessment feedback
cycle, celebrate growth
to students
*Plan next steps
Department chairs will communicate with teachers to determine the areas of students’
strengths and weaknesses as demonstrated by class work assignments and
assessment results. Each teacher will use data to determine the instructional focus of
whole group lessons. An Item-Analysis of FCAT benchmarks and results of formal and
informal assessment will be used to re-teach questions that students missed most
frequently. Teachers will use data to inform instruction in a variety of ways, including but
not limited to:
 Establishing goals and objectives for lessons
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Identifying the instructional focus of whole group lessons
Grouping students for small-group instruction
Planning assessment options for measuring acquisition of content and skills
Each student's performance on tests, quizzes, project-driven examples of subject
mastery, and verbal classroom participation will be examined in order to attain complete
understanding of each student's individual progression and performance. Teachers will
use assessment rubrics as teaching tools in the classroom by helping students to
interpret their performance and comprehend their results. Daily observation of students
is a skill honed by a reflective and responsive teacher. During the school day, teachers
will have frequent opportunities to observe students. All of these methods of evaluation
will allow staff members to identify areas where extra help, acceleration, and/or
differentiation are needed.
Although we will actively review student performance with the statewide assessments
supported/mandated by FLDOE, we believe that daily evaluation and assessments are
an integral piece of student goal setting and progression monitoring.
Each teacher will initiate a baseline portfolio collection with each student’s initial work
samples, including but not limited to, an independent level reading passage with
comprehension analysis, writing sample, math readiness sample and art sample.
Students will select weekly samples to place in their portfolio. At the end of each month,
the classroom teachers will conference with each student to assist them in the selection
of which samples will remain in the portfolio for the month. Student portfolios will follow
students from grade level-to-grade level as the student progresses through our
program.
High school students will follow the same portfolio evaluation process; however, they
will have a more independent approach as we continue to guide and allow students to
take an active involvement in their work progression and learning opportunities
As part of the portfolio, the student will be asked in a conversation guided by the
teacher about his/her progress in each of the content areas. Students will learn to be
reflective about their learning and realistic about their achievements, needs, and
progress.
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G. Describe how student assessment and performance information will be shared
with students and with parents.
Ongoing communication will occur through progress reports, report cards,
parent/student conferences, and other forms of written and oral communication.
Additionally, progress reports shall be signed by the parent and expected to be returned
to the teacher. Conferencing will be a highly effective way to keep parents apprised of
their child’s progress in all grade levels.
Student performance will be communicated to students, parents and instructors on a
frequent basis. Students and parents will utilize the PowerSchool system that allows
continuous access to grades and attendance. Students and parents will be expected to
login at least once a week and teachers are expected to post grades on a bi-weekly
basis. IEP and accommodations for other special needs children (504 Plan) meetings
will be scheduled accordingly. Student planners will be provide for each student and will
serve as a communication tool for parents as well. The students will be expected to
complete the planner on a daily basis, and when needed, students will be expected to
review the planner and obtain parent signature. Back to school nights will be scheduled,
at least three times a year.
1. Written Communication
JSMA will use a semester/quarter reporting schedule with shared written student
evaluations. Not later than midway between marking periods, a progress report shall be
sent to parents of students who are experiencing difficulty including, but not limited to,
the following: failing, a drop of two (2) or more grades, unacceptable behavior and
excessive absences. All district and state-mandated assessments will be mailed home
on a timely basis and documented in the appropriate site for immediate availability to
instructors and administrators.
Homework assignments will be available each evening at the School website. Grades
will be available weekly via the internet as well. Many of our announcements and
parent communications will also be transmitted via the internet.
2. Conferences
Parent conferences will also be a tool for communication with parents and students.
Parent conferences may be in reference to low or high academic achievement,
attendance, discipline and any other concerns. The reports will coincide with ParentTeacher conferences, during which our staff will discuss the students' progression and
assessments. If a student’s performance is below target (not making adequate progress
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towards the FL State Standards, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be advised in a special
conference if need be, and remediation strategies will be communicated. If a student’s
performance is on target for his or her immediate stage of development, the parents will
be informed. Assessment and performance information will be shared with parents and
evidenced by parental contact logs for every teacher.
3. Open Communication
The GradPoint Dashboard via PowerSchool will be accessible by parents to track their
student’s progress. In addition to these regularly scheduled conferences, parents and
staff will maintain an environment of open communication, which may include but are
not limited to: emails, notes, phone calls, informal meetings, and response to results
achieved on grades and quizzes. Students will bring a folder home each day with all
information deemed necessary for ideal parent-school communication, which must be
signed each day by the parent or guardian.
4. FL Assessments Reports
Student and Parent Reports received from the FLDOE will be sent to parents as soon as
received by the School and shared with students in planning the student’s academic
program for the following school-year.
5. Assessments
Assessment data, including but not limited to MAP or SAT-10 results, FAIR, CELLA, and
PERT, will be shared with parents via conference and written correspondence. FCAT and
FL Assessments individual student results will be shared with parents as soon as they are
available.
We submit that there is a strong complementary relationship between curriculum and
assessment. Without demonstrated and measurable success, the student is working in a
vacuum. The student must show evidence of real learning, of attainment of knowledge
and/or skill.
Our goal is to not point out what a student does not know, but to encourage each student to
learn, while providing each student with as many opportunities as possible to demonstrate
improvement. As such, assessment is a key component to the learning process. JSMA
will assess student learning in all core subjects as each student progresses from grade 6
through 12.
Based on the idea of inculcating and accepting personal accountability for personal gains,
and guided by our mission of rigorous individualized education, the internal assessment
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system will be a comprehensive set of assessments, both formative and summative to
capture as many aspects of each student’s learning as possible.
The summative and formative assessments may include examinations (tests, quizzes,
homework, etc.), participation (class participation, group work), projects (essay, poster, and
research paper), performances (debate, tournament, or presentation), etc. Within each
subject/grade the assessments will be closely coordinated to ensure consistency within
each subject and between subjects. Formal assessment in general must occur, at
minimum, each year. We will offer more frequent internal formal and informal evaluations.
Early, or baseline, testing in the year identifies areas of strength and weakness; late testing
measures yearly progress. Additionally, we believe that frequency must be aligned with
continuity: student learning is more easily and accurately measured by the same test(s)
over successive years.
We will ensure that our curriculum, in large part, works toward student success on the FL
Assessments.
In keeping with the flexible and responsive nature of the charter school, no single
assessment or test is used as a single determiner of success. We will also use
independent assessment to guide effective teaching and curriculum. Assessment is an
important part of the educational process. Typically university places are mostly awarded
on the basis of High School Certificate results. Assessment in this instance is measuring
the performance of students against other students (norm-referenced assessment). This
also helps award places in courses where the number of applicants exceeds places.



Norm-referenced assessment puts in perspective the performance and
accomplishments of individual learners as it maps individual achievement against
general achievement. This allows educators to know, to use a sporting analogy, how
fast a runner is – in terms of other runners in his class, in terms of other runners in his
year group, in the school, in his age group across the state, in his age group across the
nation or internationally, and perhaps even how fast he is compared to the fastest adult
runners in the world.
Norm-referenced assessment gives comparative data, puts individual achievement and
talent in perspective, and can provide challenge to the student to excel. It can provide a
goal for the individual to aspire to, which is its most educationally useful aspect, since
the knowledge that an individual’s performance will be measured against the
performance of others can spur the individual on to greater things.
Students and their parents like to know how they are performing against other students.
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

Assessment has a teaching function. Students are asked regularly to attempt a variety
of tasks. Assessment of their performance in these tasks provides valuable information
for a teacher about a student’s understanding and developing competencies. This
allows the teacher to tailor his/her approach for this student, and may suggest areas
where a student needs revision, extension or even acceleration. Assessment here is
seen as formative and evaluative – allowing the teacher to form an impression of a
student’s progress and to evaluate the success of his/her teaching approach.
Teachers use assessment data to plot their programs; they ensure that students have
educationally worthwhile tasks to challenge them and sequence the development of
skills. The benefit of assessment to the student comes in the form of feedback from the
teacher on what he/she has done and what he/she has still to do. This is an individual
learner approach.
Within an assessment period, there will also be times where norm-referenced
summative assessment is appropriate and necessary. Again to use a sporting analogy,
the school prepares a student to achieve his/her personal best, and then gives him/her
opportunity and experience in pitting his/her personal best against all opposition. This
balance of assessment principles underscores the curriculum and its delivery at our
school.
Exams
All students will be given a nine weeks (mid-term) and semester exam in all subject areas.
A copy of the semester exam will be kept for permanent record in student portfolios.
The student graduating from high school has greater demands placed on him/her. The
general opinion of the public is that many students are not able to perform educationally at
a minimum level. Students entering the skilled trades or other professions will find that
many of their programs require that applicants pass a comprehensive examination to
qualify. Those students planning to enter a college or university will learn that examinations
are important evaluation tools used by all as a measurement for admissions and proper
placement. Therefore, JSMA will better assist its students in preparing for the future by
providing the experience of participation in semester examinations. These examinations
help to bring together all of the facts that one gathers throughout a semester into a
comprehensive learning pattern which should help one retain learning experiences better.
Exams will be given at the end of each semester. The examinations will be approximately
two hours in duration and will be given according to an assigned schedule. The
examinations will cover the entire semester of work. Taking the examination is a course
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requirement. All courses which give one-half (1/2) credit will be required to give a semester
examination. We will participate in the End of Course exam process as required.
Methods of measuring student progress
All students will achieve the student standards by graduation, but not all will progress at the
same rate, nor will they demonstrate mastery through the same methods. Our teachers
shall consider each student’s individual learning styles, abilities, interests, and talents in
utilizing assessments to obtain measurements of student progress.
JSMA shall administer the mandated state assessments and shall also meet any required
state performance standards. We shall conduct an annual evaluation of student academic
performance to determine if students are achieving academic levels that are at least
equivalent to or exceeding those achieved by students in similar type schools both within
the District and across the state.
Additionally, student progress will be assessed through the current state mandated
assessment tool(s) and a variety of the following:
 Weekly review of work,
 Annual portfolios,
 Observation and class participation,
 Norm and criterion referenced tests,
 Student demonstrations,
 Student projects,
 Student work samples,
 Student self-evaluation.
Standardized tests are tests used to identify the “natural” abilities of students in different
skill areas we consider vital for success across our curriculum. These tests are called
“standardized tests” because they measure individual student performance against the
standard performance of the majority of students of the same age.
JSMA will use standard based tests for all students as they enter our middle school.
Students will also be tested in Year 10. The tests strive to identify general non-verbal and
verbal ability, reading skills and mathematics levels. The Year 10 tests will also identify
career aptitudes. The information derived from this testing is used to help teachers plan
effective teaching programs.
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Finally, JSMA will use its own system of internal formal (e.g., tests, quizzes, projects) and
informal (e.g., classroom discussion) assessments to measure student success.
Embedded Assessments were developed to establish where learners are in their learning,
where they are going, and how to get there. The assessments are formative assessments,
meaning that they are used to inform the teacher about student progress and help drive
instruction. These assessments can provide “just-in-time” data that will provide teachers
with individual student progress. From this data, teachers will know whether to remediate,
proceed, enrich, or accelerate instruction based on individual student need.


JSMA students will be assessed using a variety of measures, one of which will
be Embedded Assessments which are a component of GradPoint.
 We will review lesson plans and will use them as a resource to clarify the specific
targeted benchmarks/standards contained in the curriculum and assessed on our
various Embedded Assessments.
 Reading and Social Studies: The Embedded Assessments will cover the
benchmarks taught within the course Scope.
 English/Language Arts (Middle School): The Embedded Assessments will cover
the FL Standards tested priority standards that are identified in each cycle of the
English/Language Arts scope. All students in language arts classes will take the
middle school (grades 6-8) Embedded Assessments for English/Language Arts
(ELA).
 English/Language Arts (High School):
o The Embedded Assessments will cover the FL Standards tested standards
that are identified in each cycle of the ELA scope. All students in English
classes will take the high school (grades 09-10) Embedded Assessments for
English/Language Arts.
o All New Assessment Reading Retake students (grades 11 and 12) in English
classes will take the grade 10 English Embedded Assessment.
Mathematics (Middle School):
o The Embedded Assessments in grade 7 will cover annually assessed
benchmarks in the order in which they appear in the (7th grade) Regular
Mathematics (M/J 2) Scope. All students in 7th grade, regardless of the
mathematics course in which they are enrolled, will take the 7th grade
Embedded Assessment.
o The Embedded Assessments in grade 8 will cover annually assessed
benchmarks in the order in which they appear in the (8th grade) Regular
Mathematics (M/J 3) Scope. All students in 8th grade, regardless of the
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mathematics course in which they are enrolled, take the 8th grade Embedded
Assessment.
Mathematics (High School): Embedded Assessments in grades 9-10 will always align
to the grade specific FL Standards regardless of what course content is taught. This
knowledge is necessary in order for students to be successful on the annual
assessment. In high school mathematics, due to the variety of courses students can
take, lesson plans will be developed for middle school courses and select high school
courses.
o The Embedded Assessments in grade 9 will cover annually assessed
benchmarks in the order in which they appear in Algebra 1 Regular Scope. All
students in 9th grade, regardless of the mathematics course in which they are
enrolled, take the 9th grade Embedded Assessment.
o The Embedded Assessments in grade 10 will cover annually assessed
benchmarks in the order in which they appear in the Informal Geometry
Scope. All annually assessed benchmarks will be addressed prior to the new
state assessment. All students in 10th grade, regardless of the mathematics
course in which they are enrolled, take the 10th grade Embedded
Assessment.
o Mathematics is sequential in nature. As a result, no student can progress in
mathematics without necessary foundational knowledge. Due to the continual
development of mathematical building blocks, students are expected to retain
prior knowledge and build upon that knowledge in future coursework. For
example, students should have learned the distributive property prior to
Geometry. The distributive property is not explicitly taught in Geometry and
yet students are expected to understand this property in order to be able to
perform higher skills. Such items will be included on Embedded
Assessments, but not necessarily included on the Scope.
Science (Middle School):
o The Embedded Assessments in grades 6 and 7 will be aligned to the course
Scope and will cover the current FL Standards/NGSSS. This assessment will
be focused on annually assessed benchmarks tested on the new state
assessment for Science each year.
o The Embedded Assessments in grade 8 will be aligned to the 8th grade
regular science Scope and with annually assessed benchmarks that will be
assessed on the new state assessment in Science in 8th grade.
Science (High School)
o The Embedded Assessments for Integrated Science will be aligned to the
course Scope and the FL Standards/NGSSS. Students (at any grade level)
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taking Integrated Science will take the Integrated Science Embedded
Assessment.
o The Embedded Assessments for Biology will be aligned to the course Scope
and FL Standards/NGSSS. This assessment will be focused on the annually
assessed benchmarks tested on the new state assessment for Science each
year. Students (at any grade level) taking Biology will take the Biology
Embedded Assessment.
o The Embedded Assessments in grade 11 will align with the Integrated
Science II Scope. Normally, this assessment does not align with all 11th
grade course content (e.g., Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology,
etc.). It should align with annually assessed benchmarks that will be
assessed on the new state assessment for Science in 11th grade. All
students in 11th grade, regardless of the science course that they are taking,
will take the 11th grade Embedded Assessment.
The Curriculum Frameworks and Embedded Assessments are designed to ensure that all
students are taught and master the specific grade-level and/or course
benchmarks/standards as set forth by the Florida Department of Education. Teaching and
learning (differentiated instruction) will be facilitated by the Curriculum Frameworks.
Individual Academic Plan
We will offer an educational program designed to support the diverse learning styles of our
students. We will use a strengths-based educational approach that incorporates
differentiated and inquiry-based instruction along with experiential learning. A key
component in our differentiated approach to educating students is the individual Academic
Plan (IAP). The IAP will be developed by each JSMA student, with the help of his or her
teachers, academic advisor and school staff. It will be geared specifically to the student’s
needs and goals and will map out each student’s course through JSMA and beyond.
In addition, students will have the advantage of an extended day program. Our standardsbased approach ensures that teachers, students, and parents always know exactly how
students are progressing and in which areas they need more guided and individualized
instruction for mastery.
We will be designed explicitly to address the diversity of interests, cognitive abilities, and
levels of mastery of the anticipated student population in order to avoid dependence on
remediation or boredom on the part of students. In addition, the school will follow a
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procedure for identifying students who may be at risk of failure or of becoming disinterested
in school.
Our baseline data on each student (including intake interview notes, previous school
records, standardized test scores, and student work samples) are recorded in our school’s
information management system. Items not available in the District’s Student Management
System (SMS) will be available as document workbooks. Teachers will access data via the
information management system in order to determine which students might be at risk (due
to high/low cognitive skills, levels of performance, circumstances related to background,
etc.). To manage or at risk and below level students, we will:
 Form teams to conduct meetings on each student that is likely to need ESL, special
education, counseling, tutoring, mentoring, or literacy support, schedule in class and out
of class services, and meet with parents and students for input.
 Form teams to conduct meetings about students performing above grade level in order
to discuss available support services, including placing students in higher-level classes
(e.g. 7th grade student in algebra) or differentiating work and meet with parents and
students for input.
 Teacher designs curriculum and instruction anticipating specific student needs.
 Teacher assesses student work continuously in order to revise curriculum and
instruction so that it challenges all students appropriately
 Teachers use assessment data to plot their programs; they ensure that students have
educationally worthwhile tasks to challenge them and sequence the development of
skills. The benefit of assessment to the student comes in the form of feedback from the
teacher on what he/she has done and what he/she has still to do. This is an individual
learner approach.
This balance of assessment principles underscores the curriculum and its delivery at our
school. The intra-discipline and grade level teacher teams, coordinated by the
Principal/Executive Director and Department and Grade-level Team Leaders, will be the
prime drivers of our assessment system, data processing, student achievement analysis,
and decision making regarding curriculum development and teaching. The Guidance
Counselor will be in charge of administering standardized testing (FL Assessments, FCAT,
SAT-10/MAP, PSAT, etc.).
We will use Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress
(MAP), SAT-10 or equivalent to provide student baseline and learning gains assessment to
guide instruction, monitor student achievement and provide a resource to help facilitate
preparation for FL Assessments. MAP is an adaptive highly researched based assessment
that mirrors and measures FL Standards. We will use MAP to reach our ultimate goal of
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improving reading scores as measured by the new state common core assessment while
integrating real world connections into curriculum and instructions throughout the day.
MAP assessment are a fixed benchmark tests constructed using items created on
frameworks derived through a thorough review of Florida state test blueprints, state
standards and information from several national education organizations. We plan to
administer the assessment three times during the school year:
 August baseline benchmark,
 January mid-year assessment, and
 May for learning gains.
How academic achievement data will be collected
The academic achievement data for internal and external assessments will be collected in
the form of grades and rubrics for assessments requiring multi-dimensional grading. The
grades/rubrics will be collected using FL Standards/NGSSS and the grading module of our
Student Management System.
 Data will be located on our network server and will be available at any time to
teachers and senior administrators.
 We will adopt quarter and semesters as grading periods. Grades will be
calculated with over all grades for learning standards based on the agreed
upon weighted-grading system.
To evaluate the data we will use teacher/administration Professional Learning
Community/Data Team.
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Sample PLC/Data Team Schedule*
Meeting
1
Meeting
2
Meeting
3
Meeting
4
At the team meeting
(First this)
*Select common formative
pre-assessment
*Agree on common grading
method
In the classroom
(Then this)
*Administer preassessment
*Evaluate preassessment & sort
students into proficiency
groups
*Use pre-assessment results *Begin implementation of
to chart data
strategies
Prioritize student needs
*Monitor progress
*Set SMART goal
*Provide feedback to
*Select common instructional students
strategies & determine
results indicators
*Model implementation of
strategies
*Examine student work
*Continue instructional
samples
strategies
*Discuss implementation of
*Monitor progress
strategies & make
*Provide feedback to
adjustments as needed
students
*Confirm post-assessment
*Administer postdate
assessment
*Evaluate results, reflect on
*Offer post-assessment
cycle, celebrate growth
feedback to students
*Plan next steps
In addition, the school will pursue and obtain accreditation from the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI)
AdvancEd. The accreditation process is rigorous and will provide an additional method for
evaluation of curriculum effectiveness and the school program as a whole.
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Section 6: Exceptional Students
A. Please indicate the level of service that the school will provide to students with disabilities by selecting from
the list below.
o The school will serve students with disabilities whose needs can be met in a regular classroom
environment (at least 80% of instruction occurring in a class with nondisabled peers) with the
provision of reasonable supplementary supports and services and/or modifications and
accommodations.
o The school will serve students with disabilities whose needs can be met in a regular classroom and
resource room combination (between 40%-80% of instruction occurring in a class with non-disabled
peers) with the provision of reasonable supplementary supports and services and/or modifications
and accommodations.
o The school will serve students with disabilities whose needs can be met in a separate classroom
(less than 40% of instruction occurring in a class with non-disabled peers).
B. Describe how the school will ensure that students with disabilities will have an equal opportunity of being
selected for enrollment in the charter school.
C. Describe how the school will work with the sponsor to ensure the charter school is the appropriate
placement for each student with a disability, based on the student’s needs.
D. Describe how the school will utilize the regular school facilities and adapt them to the needs of exceptional
students to the maximum extent appropriate, including the use of supplementary aids and services.
E. Describe how the school’s effectiveness in serving exceptional education students will be evaluated.
F. Explain how exceptional students who enter the school below grade level will be engaged in and benefit
from the curriculum.
G. Provide the school’s projected population of students with disabilities and describe how the projection was
made.
H. Identify the staffing plan, based on the above projection, for the school’s special education program,
including the number and qualifications of staff.
I. Describe how the school will serve gifted and talented students.
A. Please indicate the level of service that the school will provide to students
with disabilities by selecting from the list below.
o The school will serve students with disabilities whose needs can be met
in a regular classroom environment (at least 80% of instruction
occurring in a class with non-disabled peers) with the provision of
reasonable supplementary supports and services and/or modifications
and accommodations.
The School will serve students with disabilities whose needs can be met in a regular
classroom environment (at least 80% of instruction occurring in a class with nondisabled peers) with the provision of reasonable supplementary supports and services
and/or modifications and accommodations.
Students with disabilities enrolled at JSMA shall be provided with services implemented
in accordance with federal, state, and local policies and procedures and, specifically,
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA); Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973; sections 1000.05, 1003.57, 1001.42(4)(1), and 1002.33,
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Florida Statutes; Chapter 6A-6 of the State Board of Education Administrative Rules;
and Florida Department of Education's Special Programs and Procedures for
Exceptional Students.
The School will be responsible for the delivery of all educational and related services
indicated on the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP), including related services
(e.g., speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and
counseling).
We will follow the same rules and procedures regarding the evaluation, identification,
and placement of ESE students as required in the school district. The level (resource) of
ESE services offered will be consistent with providing an education opportunity in the
least restrictive environment.
The School will employ an ESE Staffing Specialist who will oversee ESE and 504 Plan
processes and compliance. This individual will work with special education and regular
education staff to build provision of service schedules to ensure that all students receive
their special education and related services exactly as indicated on their IEP. All special
education and related services providers will consult with general education teachers at
the start of the school year, or following identification of a newly eligible student, to
review the student’s IEP and confirm that the general education teachers understand
their role in implementing the IEP, designing instruction for the student, and progress
monitoring of the student’s IEP goals. The ESE Staffing Specialists will maintain a
school year calendar reflecting each ESE student’s annual IEP date as well as
reevaluation dates that will come due during that school year. This will allow the School
to schedule and hold meetings in a timely manner.
Services will be provided as needed or required to serve the needs of the exceptional
student population and may include, but are not limited to:
 Academic push-in – All students will be included in regular education classes.
However, those students who require extra services or instructional assistance
will be pulled out of the regular classroom for instruction by a certified ESE
teacher. The amount of service and the specific content area to be remediated
will be determined as part of the Individual Education Plan;
 Consultation and collaboration – General education teachers and ESE teachers
meet regularly to plan, implement, and monitor instructional alternatives
designed to ensure that the student with exceptionality is successful in the
general education classroom. All teachers providing support to students via
consultation with the students’ general education teachers will be required to
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maintain a record of the teachers, courses, and ESE students to whom they are
providing services. ESE teachers providing support to students with disabilities
via consultation with the students’ general education teachers will be required to
have any ESE coverage. The allowance for any ESE certificate coverage is
because ESE teachers using consultation are not necessarily providing direct
services to students with disabilities.
JSMA will use the research-supported philosophy that the achievement of all ESE
students increases when they have direct learning experiences and interactions within
the regular education classroom. We will focus on giving every ESE student an equal
opportunity to learn and be included in the regular education curriculum and
environment. The inclusion classroom is designed to allow the regular education
teacher and the ESE teacher to work together to educate all the students in the regular
education environment. In addition, special education and related services will be
provided in an environment that is conducive to meeting the goals, accommodation,
modifications, and services as indicated in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)
including speech therapy, language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical
therapy.
Specific Outcome Objectives:
 Provide students with the least restrictive environment (LRE).
 Assure full educational opportunity to all students with disabilities using the kind
and number of personnel and services necessary to meet this goal.
 Provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to all students with disabilities.
 Promote inclusion.
 Promote cooperative collaboration between the special education teacher,
parent/guardian, regular education teacher, student, and the Sponsor as
indicated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
 Be in compliance with federal and state law that requires that the student's IEP
be followed by all school personnel and staff.
 Work together within the School community to assure that all the ESE students
have the maximum opportunity to reach annual IEP goals as stipulated in the
students’ IEPs.
The Board believes that all students need high quality education. Based upon our
respect for diversity and appreciation of differences, a full inclusion model of education
will be provided. In this model, serving students with social, physical, speech and
learning differences shall be an integral part of the regular classroom program.
Exceptional Student Education services shall be carried out by certified ESE teachers
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and related support personnel with the full cooperation and collaboration of trained and
informed regular classroom teachers.
1. Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)/Response to Intervention (RtI)
As discussed earlier, JSMA will implement a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
that includes a Response to Intervention (RtI) process. The MTSS/Rtl process can be
used for both general and exceptional student education as it applies to students with
and without disabilities of all categorical types who are not progressing adequately in
the core curriculum academically and/or behaviorally.
The Response-to-Intervention (RtI) Model will be used school-wide for students in need
of academic and/or behavioral support. RtI provides a seamless system of interventions
and resources which allows students to make significant progress whether they are atrisk for failure or are gifted and talented students not meeting their full potential. The
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) encourages utilizing the RtI process
as an alternative approach for the identification of students for special education
services.
The MTSS Model is a problem solving three-tiered system designed to meet the needs
of all students in the academic or behavioral domain. Tier I instruction includes high
quality, research-based curricula and instructional strategies that support curriculum
guidelines. Tier I focuses on core instruction for all students that should meet the
academic needs of at least eighty percent (80%) of the students in a class. Flexible
grouping that targets specific skills are included so that the instructional goals of all
students can be met. If fewer than eighty percent (80%) of the students in a class are
demonstrating success, it is the responsibility of the teacher to adjust the teaching
strategies for general instruction.
When a student is not exhibiting success at Tier I, the following should be considered:
Step I: Problem Identification – What exactly is the problem?
Step II: Problem Analysis – Why is the problem occurring?
Step III: Intervention Design and Implementation – What exactly are we going to do
about it?
Step IV: Response to Instruction/Intervention – Is the plan working?
MTSS is a problem solving process that involves the continuous use of data collection,
analysis, identification and implementation of interventions, and further data collection.
At every point in the process, the School Instructional Leadership (SIL) MTSS team will
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make decisions regarding the effectiveness of the intervention, whether or not to
continue the intervention, other interventions that may help the student to be more
successful, etc.
The SIL MTSS team, consisting of the Executive Director, Principal, department/grade
level chairs, ESE and ESOL staffing specialists/teachers, Reading Coach, and
Counselor will identify whether the concern regarding the student is academic and/or
behavioral in nature. Interventions will be established by the team and agreed upon by
the teachers and parents. The interventions will be attempted for a minimum of three
weeks. The SIL MTSS team will frequently analyze the student’s progress.
Documentation of interventions will be reviewed by the SIL MTSS team to determine
whether the strategies were successful. If the results are encouraging, then the team
will continue to monitor on a monthly or as-needed basis. If the interventions were not
effective, an additional or different set of interventions will be designed and
implemented for another three weeks.
The MTSS SIL team will meet weekly collaborate regularly, problem solve, share
effective practices, evaluate implementation, and make decisions. Specifically, the team
will meet to:
 Evaluate data and correlate to instructional decisions
 Review progress monitoring data at the grade level and classroom level to
identify students and their academic levels
 Identify professional development needs to enhance students’ achievement
levels
 Facilitate the process of building consensus, increasing infrastructure, and
making decisions about implementation
Tier II offers more focused and intense instruction in addition to the standards-based
curriculum received in Tier I. The curriculum and instruction at Tier II is designed to
meet the needs of students not progressing as expected in Tier I. Tier III instruction
includes the most explicit, intense, and individualized instruction that is focused on a
specific skill or need.
This problem-solving process is to assist the classroom teacher and parents in
designing and selecting strategies for improving student academic and/or behavioral
performance.
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2. Individual Educational Plans (IEP)
Students will be guaranteed a free appropriate education and implementation of an
appropriate IEP. The written individual educational plan for each student will include all
required elements including measurable annual learning goals and behavioral goals
that may include a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and the development of a
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). Supplementary and related services will also be
identified, and necessary accommodations and modifications will be clearly delineated
in this written plan. The School will ensure that appropriate personnel will be trained in
using the District’s IEP reporting and record keeping system.
JSMA will conduct an IEP meeting with the student's parent(s) for each student with a
disability enrolled in the School. The following additional people will be invited to the
IEP meeting: at least one exceptional student education (ESE) teacher who provides,
or may provide, services to the student; the student’s general education teacher;
someone who understands the evaluations that have been done for the student and
can explain them; someone from the school district who knows about special education
and the school district’s resources (this may be the ESE teacher.); and other people
invited by the parent or the School.
The School will utilize the Sponsor's forms and procedures related to ESE eligibility,
IEP, and placement. The School will invite the Sponsor to participate in all IEP meetings
(including initial staffing and annual IEP review meetings) at the School and will provide
the Sponsor at least two (2) weeks prior notice of such meetings accompanied by a
copy of the Parent Participation Form by mail or in person.
Students with disabilities enrolled in the School will be educated in the least restrictive
environment and will be segregated only if the nature and severity of the disability is
such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services
cannot be achieved satisfactorily. As early as possible in the planning/development
stages, the School's staff will work closely with the Sponsor's staff to discuss the
needed services (including all related services and programs) of the School's students
with disabilities. Parents of students with disabilities will be afforded procedural
safeguards in their native language, which will include the areas of notice and consent,
independent educational evaluations, confidentiality of student records, due process
hearings, and surrogate parents.
Sample accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following:
 A person reads the text aloud to the student. Readers should read to the student
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on an individual basis, not with a group of students.
Recorded books are produced on audiotape, compact discs (CDs), or as
electronic files. A tape recorder, CD player, or MP3 player may be required to
play the recorded books. Some students may experience difficulty with replaying
audiocassette tapes or locating specific information. Audio versions should be
accompanied with a print or Braille version of the text, particularly if graphic
information is included.
A screen reader changes digitized text to synthesized speech (text-to-speech).
Screen reader software provides an audible version of text displayed on a
computer screen.
Equipment with auditory output includes talking clocks, calculators, scales,
thermometers, voltmeters, and timers. Light probes and special adapters are
available to transform visual and digital signals into audio outputs.
Response Accommodations: Students typically respond to classroom tasks by
speaking, writing, drawing, or other types of expression. Response
accommodations allow students to use different ways to complete assignments,
tests, and activities.
Word processor or computer for students who are unable to effectively use their
own handwriting. Assistive technology devices, such as touch screens,
trackballs, mouth or head sticks, and other pointing devices, as well as
alternative keyboards, can be used for typing.
Voice recorders record the student's class work or test responses electronically
rather than writing on paper.
If it is determined by an IEP committee that the needs of a student with disabilities
cannot be met at JSMA, the School will work with the parents and Sponsor to secure
another placement for the student in accordance with federal and state mandates. The
School's staff will work together with the Sponsor's personnel to ensure that the needs
of the students are met. The School's staff will work closely and as early as possible in
the planning/development stages with Sponsor staff to discuss the services needed by
the School's students with disabilities.
IEPs will be reviewed and updated, at least, annually. Students will be re-evaluated
every three (3) years to determine continued need and eligibility for ESE services.
3. Students with 504 Plans
The ESE Staffing Specialist will also ensure compliance with Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that states that no person with a disability can be excluded
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from or denied benefits of any program receiving federal financial assistance. A person
is disabled within the definition of Section 504 if he or she has a mental or physical
impairment, which substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities.
Section 504 requires that a school evaluate “any person who, because of a disability,
needs or is believed to need special education or related services.” If it is determined
that a student is disabled under Section 504, the School will develop and implement the
delivery of needed services and/or accommodations. The determination of what
services and/or accommodations are needed will be made by a group of people
knowledgeable about the student. Appropriate accommodations for 504 eligible
students will be implemented in general education classes and throughout the School
building to meet the student’s needs.
The School will provide reasonable accommodations to students with a physical or
mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, if and to the extent
required to enable such students to have an opportunity to be successful in their
educational program equal to that of their non-disabled peers. The School shall prepare
a 504 Accommodation Plan for all such students who do not have an IEP, in
accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and its implementing regulations.
4. Expectations of the School Community
All students will feel welcome and develop a positive sense of self in our inclusive
school environment. Teachers will determine the needs of incoming students with
special needs in order to plan in advance for the student’s transition to the new school:
 ESE and classroom teachers will carefully review cumulative records to evaluate
past school history, testing previously done, or referrals made.
 ESE and classroom teachers will observe the student in the previous school
environment, if feasible.
 Previous teachers will be interviewed when possible.
 Parents and ESE and classroom teachers will meet to discuss the student’s
strengths and needs.
 Staff will receive training to implement "social awareness programs.”
 Staff will portray a positive and welcoming attitude toward all students, including
students with special needs.
 The School will embrace a culture with a policy of "zero tolerance for bullying.”
 Teachers and staff will be expected to model the School’s six core values
(respect, responsibility, integrity, courage, curiosity and effort) in all behaviors
inside and outside the classroom.
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The School will communicate a whole-hearted belief in inclusion through:
 Interviews with all new hires
 New parent orientations
 PTA meetings and parent training
 Regular discussions with staff about how to make inclusion happen more
effectively throughout the School
B. Describe how the school will ensure that students with disabilities will have an
equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in the charter school.
Provide a clear concise and detailed description of how students with disabilities
will have an equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment
The Governing Board has established as policy whereby the School ensures that
students with disabilities will have an equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment
in the charter school.
All students will be afforded the same application process. We will not discriminate on
the basis of race, religion, gender, color, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or
disability in the admission of students. The School and its Governing Board will not
violate the anti-discrimination provisions of the Florida Statutes.
The School’s admission policy welcomes and encourages the enrollment of students of all
learning profiles. Students with disabilities and students served in English for Speakers of
Other Languages (ESOL) programs shall have an equal opportunity of being selected for
enrollment in the School per Section 1002.33(10)(f). The School’s enrollment application
does not or will not request information on disability status. The School will accept any
student residing within the district who submits a timely application, unless the number of
applications exceeds the School’s enrollment capacity for the given grade level. In such
cases, all applicants shall have an equal chance of being selected through a random
selection process. The School does not discriminate or limit enrollment based on race,
religion, or disability. Furthermore, the School’s marketing strategy materials will reflect that
it is a “tuition-free” public charter school and that it serves students with "exceptionalities,"
"disabilities," and "limited English proficiency.”
If in any given year, more applications are submitted for admission than seats available, a
lottery will be conducted. Each student represented by an application, including those
students with disabilities, will have an equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment
into JSMA via the lottery system.
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C. Describe how the school will work with the sponsor to ensure the charter
school is the appropriate placement for each student with a disability, based
on the student’s needs.
JSMA will adhere to the school district’s Exceptional Student Education Policies and
Procedures. We acknowledge that providing quality education to students with
disabilities in the regular classroom to the greatest extent possible (i.e., least restrictive
environment) is consistent with our beliefs and program.
The School will provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all students
with disabilities in accordance with all state and federal special education guidelines and
regulations as provided in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The School will
implement the same identification, evaluation, placement, and due process procedures
as other traditional schools in the District.
The School recognizes that the services offered to students with disabilities fall within
the full continuum of services offered by the Sponsor. As such, the School will work
with the district to determine the proper placement for students with disabilities within
the full continuum of services that the Sponsor offers.
The School will ensure to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities will
be educated in the least restrictive environment. The IEP team will determine the least
restrictive environment, as well as the special education and related services and
supplemental aids that will be needed for the student with a disability. The IEP team will
determine the educational placement for the student with a disability and this placement
decision will be based on the student’s IEP. Should the IEP team determine that a
student requires services outside of the continuum of services offered by the School,
the School will collaborate with Sponsor on behalf of the student to determine the most
appropriate placement based on the student’s needs.
The School will utilize the Sponsor's forms and procedures related to ESE eligibility,
IEP, and placement. The School will invite the Sponsor to participate in all IEP meetings
(including initial staffing and annual IEP review meetings) at the School and will provide
the Sponsor at least two (2) weeks prior notice of such meetings accompanied by a
copy of the Parent Participation Form, by mail or given in person.
We ask that the Sponsor provides a Staffing Specialist to serve as the Local Education
Agency (LEA) when the IEP meeting is considering an initial placement, a change in
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placement, or a dismissal from a program. The LEA is the IEP team participant who is
responsible for making decisions on behalf of the district. He or she ensures that the
IEP meets compliance with State and federal regulations and is authorized to commit
district resources. The signature of the LEA representative on the IEP ensures that the
program and services specified on the document will be provided within the timeframes
delineated in the IEP. The LEA must attend the IEP meeting in its entirety. At the
completion of the IEP meeting, the LEA is responsible for finalizing the SPED-EMS
Matrix of Services. Though parents attend IEP meetings, school personnel may or may
not choose to complete the Matrix of Services with the parents present. . The Sponsor
will be responsible for the review of the Matrix of Services form following the
completion or revision of an IEP. The Sponsor will make final determinations of the
Matrix of Services scores.
D. Describe how the school will utilize the regular school facilities and adapt
them to the needs of exceptional students to the maximum extent appropriate,
including the use of supplementary aids and services.
The School will use regular facilities and adapt them to the needs of a school and
exceptional students by adhering to Section 504, IDEA, and ADA to ensure that the School
provides a FAPE within the least restrictive environment. The School will implement the
Universal Learning Design model, accommodating to the maximum extent possible for
individuals with special needs. The School is aware that special education spaces should
not be clustered or isolated in a single area of the building. While some special education
functions clearly need to be adjacent or in proximity to one another, the balance will be
dispersed throughout the School. The design of the School will respect the distance
students travel throughout the building. If elevators are required in the design of the
building, they will be centrally located and never placed at the far ends of the building.
The regular school facilities will be utilized and adapted to the needs of exceptional
students to the maximum extent appropriate, including the use of supplementary aids
and services. We will ensure that:
 Accessibility- Students with sensory or physical impairments will have an
accessible location, specific room conditions, or special equipment.
 Students will have physical access to the educational setting with a barrier-free
environment. The building will be equipped with nonslip surfaces, guide rails,
ramps, elevators, and automatic doors for students who have difficulty getting
around. Accessibility standards included in the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) specify requirements for facilities, such as exterior routes, entries into
buildings and rooms, alarms, drinking fountains, and restrooms. This will be
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accomplished within the required building code. Students should be able to use
all parts of the building, including classrooms, restrooms, cafeteria, and media
center and access rooms or spaces on the school grounds.
Accessible workstations, to include desks and tables that are adjustable for
students who use mobility aids, such as a wheelchair, are available when
needed. These workstations provide needed support or allow the student to
change positions.
Adaptive furniture and equipment will include seating systems, standers, gait
trainers, walkers, positioning devices and other types of supports, special
surfaces and matting, and ergonomic equipment, as needed.
Specialized lighting or light filters which may be needed by a student who
experiences unusual eyestrain or fatigue will be available, as needed. The
student may need a natural light source or alternative lighting.
Acoustical treatments to provide a quiet background that diminishes external
noise and distractions within the classroom will be provided, as needed. Window
treatments, rugs or carpets, and soft materials on the walls reduce noise in the
classroom.
The School’s Universal Learning Design sanctions that school furniture should maximize
comfort and minimize the potential for injury, eye fatigue, and distractions by being free of
protrusions and having rounded edges and no glare surfaces. Likewise, pedestrian walks,
bus circulation, car circulation, service deliveries, and parking will be physically separated.
The clear delineation of these traffic patterns enhances everyone’s safety. Pedestrian
routes, including those to and from parking areas and bus loading and drop-off areas, will
be supervised during school hours as well as well-lit during dark hours. Points of transition
such as steps, ramps, intersections, and entry doors will meet all ADA requirements.
For students with disabilities whose needs can be met in a regular classroom environment,
provisions of supplementary supports and services and/or modifications and
accommodations will be provided as outlined in their IEP. The School is aware that some
students’ IEPs may necessitate the need for assistive technology, environmental
adaptations, specialized instructional strategies, peer supports, curricular adaptations or
modifications, and collaborative teaching. The extent to which an individual student
participates in the general education setting with the use of such supplementary aids and
services and/or modification and accommodations is determined on a case-by-case basis
by the IEP team.
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E. Describe how the school’s effectiveness in serving exceptional education
students will be evaluated.
Evaluations of any program are important, but more so for the exceptional education
program due to the specialized needs of this student population. The School will adopt
the Council on Exceptional Children’s (CEC) Standards for Professional Practice
(available on line at
http://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Standards/Professional%20Ethics%20and%20
Practice%20Standards/CEC%20Special%20Education%20Professional%20Practice%
20Standards.pdf ).
Special education personnel will be committed to the application of professional
expertise to ensure the provision of quality education for all individuals with
exceptionalities.
1. Teaching and Assessment
Special Education Professionals:
1.1.
Systematically individualize instructional variables to maximize the learning
outcomes of individuals with exceptionalities
1.2.
Identify and use evidence-based practices that are appropriate to their
professional preparation and are most effective in meeting the individual needs of
individuals with exceptionalities.
1.3.
Use periodic assessments to accurately measure the learning progress of
individuals with exceptionalities, and individualize instruction variables in response to
assessment results.
1.4.
Create safe, effective, and culturally responsive learning environments
which contribute to fulfillment of needs, stimulation of learning, and realization of
positive self-concepts.
1.5.
Participate in the selection and use of effective and culturally responsive
instructional materials, equipment, supplies, and other resources appropriate to their
professional roles.
1.6.
Use culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment procedures that
accurately measure what is intended to be measured, and do not discriminate
against individuals with exceptional or culturally diverse learning needs.
1.7.
Only use behavior change practices that are evidence-based, appropriate to
their preparation, and which respect the culture, dignity, and basic human rights of
individuals with exceptionalities.
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1.8.
Support the use of positive behavior supports and conform to local policies
relating to the application of disciplinary methods and behavior change procedures,
except when the policies require their participation in corporal punishment.
1.9.
Refrain from using aversive techniques unless the target of the behavior
change is vital, repeated trials of more positive and less restrictive methods have
failed, and only after appropriate consultation with parents and appropriate agency
officials.
1.10. Do not engage in the corporal punishment of individuals with exceptionalities.
1.11. Report instances of unprofessional or unethical practice to the appropriate
supervisor.
1.12. Recommend special education services necessary for an individual with an
exceptional learning need to receive an appropriate education.
2. Professional Credentials and Employment
Special Education Professionals:
2.1.
Represent themselves in an accurate, ethical, and legal manner with regard
to their own knowledge and expertise when seeking employment.
2.2.
Ensure that persons who practice or represent themselves as special
education teachers, administrators, and providers of related services are qualified by
professional credential.
2.3.
Practice within their professional knowledge and skills and seek appropriate
external support and consultation whenever needed.
2.4.
Provide notice consistent with local education agency policies and contracts
when intending to leave employment.
2.5.
Adhere to the contracts and terms of appointment, or provide the appropriate
supervisor notice of professionally untenable conditions and intent to terminate such
employment, if necessary.
2.6.
Advocate for appropriate and supportive teaching and learning conditions.
2.7.
Advocate for sufficient personnel resources so that unavailability of substitute
teachers or support personnel, including para-educators, does not result in the
denial of special education services.
2.8.
Seek professional assistance in instances where personal problems interfere
with job performance.
2.9.
Ensure that public statements made by professionals as individuals are not
construed to represent official policy statements of an agency.
2.10. Objectively document and report inadequacies in resources to their
supervisors and/or administrators and suggest appropriate corrective action(s).
2.11. Respond objectively and non-discriminatively when evaluating applicants for
employment including grievance procedures.
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2.12. Resolve professional problems within the workplace using established
procedures.
2.13. Seek clear written communication of their duties and responsibilities,
including those that are prescribed as conditions of employment.
2.14. Expect that responsibilities will be communicated to and respected by
colleagues, and work to ensure this understanding and respect.
2.15. Promote educational quality and actively participate in the planning, policy
development, management, and evaluation of special education programs and the
general education program.
2.16. Expect adequate supervision of and support for special education
professionals and programs provided by qualified special education professionals.
2.17. Expect clear lines of responsibility and accountability in the administration
and supervision of special education professionals
3. Professional Development
Special Education Professionals:
3.1.
Maintain a personalized professional development plan designed to advance
their knowledge and skills, including cultural competence, systematically in order to
maintain a high level of competence.
3.2.
Maintain current knowledge of procedures, policies, and laws relevant to
practice.
3.3.
Engage in the objective and systematic evaluation of themselves,
colleagues, services, and programs for the purpose of continuous improvement of
professional performance.
3.4.
Advocate that the employing agency provide adequate resources for
effective school-wide professional development as well as individual professional
development plans.
3.5.
Participate in systematic supervised field experiences for candidates in
preparation programs.
3.6.
Participate as mentors to other special educators, as appropriate.
4. Professional Colleagues
Special Education Professionals:
4.1.
Recognize and respect the skill and expertise of professional colleagues
from other disciplines as well as from colleagues in their own disciplines.
4.2.
Strive to develop positive and respectful attitudes among professional
colleagues and the public toward persons with exceptional learning needs.
4.3.
Collaborate with colleagues from other agencies to improve services and
outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities.
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4.4.
Collaborate with both general and special education professional colleagues
as well as other personnel serving individuals with exceptionalities to improve
outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities.
4.5.
Intervene professionally when a colleague’s behavior is illegal, unethical, or
detrimental to individuals with exceptionalities.
4.6.
Do not engage in conflicts of interest.
5. Para-educators (when hired)
Special Education Professionals:
5.1.
Assure that special education para-educators have appropriate training for
the tasks they are assigned.
5.2.
Assign only tasks for which para-educators have been appropriately
prepared.
5.3.
Provide ongoing information to para-educators regarding their performance
of assigned tasks.
5.4.
Provide timely, supportive, and collegial communications to para-educators
regarding tasks and expectations.
5.5.
Intervene professionally when a para-educator’s behavior is illegal, unethical,
or detrimental to individuals with exceptionalities.
6. Parents and Families
Special Education Professionals:
6.1.
Use culturally appropriate communication with parents and families that is
respectful and accurately understood.
6.2.
Actively seek and use the knowledge of parents and individuals with
exceptionalities when planning, conducting, and evaluating special education
services and empower them as partners in the educational process.
6.3.
Maintain communications among parents and professionals with appropriate
respect for privacy, confidentiality, and cultural diversity.
6.4.
Promote opportunities for parent education using accurate, culturally
appropriate information and professional methods.
6.5.
Inform parents of relevant educational rights and safeguards.
6.6.
Recognize and practice in ways that demonstrate respect for the cultural
diversity within the school and community.
6.7.
Respect professional relationships with students and parents, neither
seeking any personal advantage, nor engaging in inappropriate relationships.
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7. Research
Special Education Professionals:
7.1.
Do not knowingly use research in ways that mislead others.
7.2.
Actively support and engage in research intended to improve the learning
outcomes of persons with exceptional learning needs.
7.3.
Protect the rights and welfare of participants in research.
7.4.
Interpret and publish research results with accuracy.
7.5.
Monitor unintended consequences of research projects involving individuals
with exceptionalities, and discontinue activities which may cause harm in excess of
approved levels.
7.6.
Advocate for sufficient resources to support long term research agendas to
improve the practice of special education and the learning outcomes of individuals
with exceptionalities.
8. Case Management
Special Education Professionals:
8.1.
Maintain accurate student records and assure that appropriate confidentiality
standards are in place and enforced.
8.2.
Follow appropriate procedural safeguards and assist the school in providing
due process.
8.3.
Provide accurate student and program data to administrators, colleagues,
and parents, based on efficient and objective record keeping practices.
8.4.
Maintain confidentiality of information except when information is released
under specific conditions of written consent that meet confidentiality requirements.
8.5.
Engage in appropriate planning for the transition sequences of individuals
with exceptionalities.
9. Non-Educational Support
Special Education Professionals:
9.1.
Perform assigned specific non-educational support tasks, such as
administering medication, only in accordance with local policies and when written
instructions are on file, legal/policy information is provided, and the professional
liability for assuming the task is disclosed.
9.2.
Advocate that special education professionals not be expected to accept
non-educational support tasks routinely.
The School’s effectiveness in serving exceptional education students will be evaluated on a
continuous basis. The School will:
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 Ensure that procedures for collecting and reporting to the district and the FLDOE
are in place and all required school-based designees are aware of the procedure.
 Have designated a minimum of two individuals responsible for collecting data
within the school.
 Ensure that performance data of all students will be reviewed, including students
with disabilities and gifted students.
 Ensure ESE teachers and the general education teachers will collaborate with
lesson planning and implementation, as well as to review progress monitoring
data on the students that they serve to determine if students are meeting the
goals and objectives of their IEPs.
 Ensure teachers of gifted students will collaborate with general education
teachers related to differentiation of instruction and curriculum compacting for the
School’s gifted students as well as implementation of their EPs.
This will ensure that the focus will be on each student’s progress, by all teachers who serve
exceptional education students within the School. The Principal, teachers and staff will
review all exceptional education student data to ensure that the entire ESE program is
focused on student achievement (i.e., both on learning gains as well as maintaining high
levels of performance). Additional ways to evaluate the progress of the School’s special
education students include:
 Review of their performance data from FL Assessments, EOCs, MAP and
formative assessments.
 For ESE students with significant cognitive impairment who may participate in the
Florida Alternate Assessment (FAA) as deemed necessary by the student’s IEP
team, this assessment data will also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the
School’s ESE program.
 Providing and requiring participation of all teachers in professional development
opportunities that focus on writing quality IEPs/EPs, the use of research-based
instructional strategies for exceptional education students, implementing
accommodations for students with disabilities in the regular education classroom,
and modeling how to use progress monitoring data to analyze whether students
are effectively meeting their IEP/EP goals.
 Observing teacher throughout each school year by the School’s administrative
team. All observations are aligned to Marzano’s teacher level factors and timely,
constructive feedback is provided to teachers following each observation.
The School will follow the sponsor’s processes related to reporting of each student’s
IEP/EP goal progress to their respective parents. In addition, the School will review
promotion/retention rates of students with disabilities and discipline data for students with
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disabilities. Each of these data sources will provide an additional indication of the School’s
effectiveness in serving ESE students.
Families of exceptional education students will be invited and encouraged to participate in
the School’s Open House events that occur twice annually. At these events parents will be
provided with an opportunity to meet all teachers and staff members who provide services
to their exceptional education students and visit their student’s classrooms. Parents will
also have the opportunity to see work samples on a continuous basis, check student
progress through the web-based student information system, contact teachers by phone or
through email, and provide input through parent meetings and surveys.
F. Explain how exceptional students who enter the school below grade level will
be engaged in and benefit from the curriculum.
The educational program at our School will emphasize a strong academic foundation based
on a college preparatory curriculum and unique instructional methods that integrate stateof-the-art technology.
Teachers will support all students, including exceptional students who enter the School
below grade level, as they develop a strong academic foundation, critical thinking skills,
and the moral qualities and habits of mind that are needed to be good citizens. Key
elements of our educational program will include:
 Results-oriented focus. What our students learn is what matters most. It is our
foremost responsibility to assist every student to achieve academically.
 High standards. We believe in the potential of every student and will have high
expectations for the achievement of all.
 Instruction appropriate for all students. In all of our classes, lessons will be
differentiated for students at all levels of proficiency.
 The development of self-reliant learners. Our goal is to graduate students who
are well rounded, inquisitive, thoughtful, concerned for others, devoted to and
knowledgeable about democratic principles, and intellectually autonomous. We
plan to graduate students who are articulate, ethical, healthy, and prepared for
further learning.
 Integration of technology into the classroom and curriculum.
 A focus on measurement of learning outcomes.
 Character development. We believe that positive character development is a
crucial aspect of a quality school. We believe that a school must cultivate a
culture of character in order to be a successful learning community.
JSMA is dedicated to using an Individual Academic Plan (IAP). This is an individualized
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personal education plan, to create individualized goals and objectives for all students,
using research-based curriculum, to guide lessons in order to challenge students and
attain maximum student achievement. This objective will be achieved by ongoing
authentic and traditional assessments and evaluations used to create each student’s
individualized goals and objectives. We will demonstrate and promote the essential
roles of independent thinking and critical thinking, ideally enabling every student to
succeed in school.
Individualized education is a necessity for educational equity. Every student deserves
the opportunity to develop his/her talents at a comfortable pace. Lack of academic or
intellectual challenge may lead to disengagement. Student work will be engaging and
differentiated. JSMA proposes to use curriculum that centers around the belief that
learning should be differentiated to meet the individual needs and readiness level of the
learner, since individuals develop at different rates and have varying strengths and
aptitudes. We also believe that academics are only one component of education, and
that communication and sensitivity to social nuances and interactions are other aspects
of a well-rounded education.
The educational program has been specifically designed to engage students in learning
and benefit from the curriculum. Our use of project-based learning (PBL) will allow us to
shift away from the classroom practices of short, isolated, teacher-centered lessons and,
instead, emphasize learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary, studentcentered, and integrated with real world issues and practices.
 One immediate benefit of PBL is the unique way that it can motivate students by
engaging them in their own learning.
 PBL provides opportunities for students to pursue their own interests and questions,
and make decisions about how they will find answers and solve problems.
 PBL also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Students apply and
integrate the content of different subject areas. It helps make learning relevant and
useful to students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom,
addressing real world concerns, and developing real world skills.
By working board problems every day as required in a military model school implementing
the Thayer Method, students are actively engaged in their learning. They cannot sit back
passively as in a traditional lecture setting; they must engage the material every lesson. By
working in groups in class, they learn by sharing their ideas with others, and that this leads
to success. A lot of learning takes place when one is responsible for explaining something
to a classmate. Finally, the Thayer method involves all modes of learning: auditory, visual,
and kinesthetic. This makes for more efficient and lasting learning.
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With our laptop initiative and 1:1 learning environment, teachers will harness the power of
the available technology and use interactive texts, videos, animations, and other features in
digital instructional programs to provide more dynamic, personalized lessons with
assessment tools that determine, in real-time, each student’s level of performance. This
information will help teachers quickly identify academic strengths and weaknesses. With
this knowledge at their fingertips, teachers will be able to easily differentiate instruction to
immediately address knowledge gaps and misconceptions, and provide additional practice
on a skill.
Our School will implement a 100 minute reading block with differentiated instruction for
specific student learning needs, timely and specific feedback, and high student
engagement to ensure the greatest impact of a full instructional block. Immediate
intensive intervention will be provided daily for all students who have been identified
with a reading deficiency. This intervention will be in addition to or as an extension of
the reading block in a smaller group size setting or one on one. The student will
continue to be provided with intensive reading instruction until the reading deficiency is
remedied.
Homework and class-work help will be offered during specific open hours throughout
the week to assist students in need of extra practice. Teachers will make themselves
available during a time that is outside of the instructional block. This additional contact
with the student can help provide structured practice environment and further feedback.
Low performing students will be identified through the use of our assessment and
diagnostic tools. Students who score below grade level will be given extra support
through the RtI process to reach grade level FL Standards/NGSSS. Teachers will use a
set curriculum in small group settings, targeted to students’ skill deficiencies, as
determined by our diagnostic and formative data.
Teachers will be skilled and able to differentiate materials to best meet the needs of
students who have diverse learning styles, experiences, and abilities. They will do so
utilizing individualized education programs designed to meet the needs of the student
while adjusting for on-going growth and progress.
JSMA will be keenly aware of its special needs population. As such the School will
provide all the necessary services within its capacity to use. The following is a list of
services that may be provided to serve the needs of the exceptional student who enters
below grade level:
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






Academic push-in - since students will be mainstreamed into regular education
classes, those ESE students who require extra attention will be pulled out for
specialized instruction by a certified ESE teacher, or reading and/or math
specialist. The amount of pullout will be determined by the student’s Individual
Educational Plan (IEP), as will the specific skill and content area to be remedied.
Instructional materials and learning seminars will be made available to parents,
family members, and other volunteer tutors.
Weekly meetings among teachers will ensure that appropriate accommodations
are provided during instructional activities and assessments.
A volunteer coordinator will assist in locating volunteers qualified to work with
students in need.
Student progress will be regularly monitored to determine the effectiveness of
interventions and the need to introduce new strategies.
We will also use an inclusion model with "Push In.” The School’s ESE teachers
will enter classrooms to provide instruction and support to students. The push in
teacher will bring materials into the classroom. The teacher may work with the
student/students on math during the math period, or perhaps reading during the
literacy block. The push in teacher also often provides instructional support to the
general education teacher by helping with differentiation of instruction.
“Pull Out” will be used for certain reading intervention and Speech.
G. Provide the school’s projected population of students with disabilities and
describe how the projection was made.
The School projects that 11% (2015 Polk County Percentage) of the students at our
School will require ESE services. This represents 110 students at capacity. This
projection is consistent with reported FLDOE average ESE percentage for the District.
H. Identify the staffing plan, based on the above projection, for the school’s
special education program, including the number and qualifications of staff.
The School will employ teachers who meet all licensure and/or certification
requirements that apply to the area in which the individuals are providing services to the
special education students. Special Education teachers will be hired to provide services
to students with disabilities in accordance with the level of support needed to implement
the related services and specialized instruction detailed on the IEP. The number of
exceptional education staff will be based on the number of ESE students identified upon
student enrollment.
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For ESE students who enter the school with an IEP, the IEPs are implemented. In
addition, the Governing Board is knowledgeable of the placement and service delivery
of students with disabilities. Appropriately certified teachers will serve students meeting
the eligibility criteria for special education in the educational program, as specified in
students’ IEPs. Based on the enrollment of students with disabilities, the School will hire
and train the appropriate number of teachers/para-professionals to ensure adherence to
the federal and state guidelines for class size and caseload and ensure all necessary
IEP services are being implemented.
Special education staff will include an ESE Staffing Specialist who oversees ESE
compliance as one of the position’s responsibilities, as well as ESE certified teachers
based on student’s IEPs. The District ESE percentage is 11%.
Year
Student Populations
ESE Students
Staffing Specialist
ESE Teachers
1
546
60
1
2
2
696
76
1
2
3
846
93
1
3
4
996
110
1
4
5
996
110
1
4
Specific information regarding the five-year staffing plan for the School is included in the
budget. The School will also contract with appropriately licensed vendors to provide
special education clinical services including speech therapy, language therapy,
occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling based on need reflected on
students’ IEPs. During the summer prior to the School’s opening, IEPs of enrolled
students will be reviewed to determine which of these special education clinical services
will be needed and to finalize contracts with vendors to allow services to be in place at
the start of the school year. These positions collectively form the School’s ESE
Department and will allow for the provision of a continuum of services including
consultation, collaboration, and support facilitation in the regular classroom environment
(at least 80% of instruction will occur in a class with non-disabled peers). The Student
Services Coordinator will ensure that students are scheduled in a manner that allows for
implementation of the services identified on each student’s IEP.
The School will also include among its staff, teachers who will be gifted
certified/endorsed and who will participate in staff development opportunities with the
state and with district schools to ensure that guidelines and procedures established by
the district related to meeting the needs of gifted students are implemented and
followed.
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Similarly, all personnel who provide related services (e.g. counseling will be provided by
a school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, or mental professional, etc.) to
students will meet all required licensure and/or certification, as well as background
checks, and requirements pertaining to their area of related service. Speech-language,
occupational, and physical therapy services may be contracted services that the School
will provide for students who qualify for those services
The number of teachers will be based on the number of students identified upon student
enrollment. As noted in the detailed Revenue Worksheet, there is room in the budget to
modify the amount for ESE services under Miscellaneous and in the Budget Surplus,
should the rate of contracted services for ESE increase due to the various needs of the
students once enrolled.
I. Describe how the school will serve gifted and talented students.
An appropriate Educational Plan (EP) will be created for all students who are identified as
gifted as indicated by State Rule 6A-6.030191. During an EP meeting, the plan will be
created to detail the education for the student. Members in attendance of this meeting may
include parents, the regular education teacher, a teacher of the gifted, an administrator,
and a school psychologist. The Educational Plan may include:

Present levels of performance

Goals, or short-term objectives

Specially designed instruction to be provided

How progress towards goals will be measured and reported to parents

Student strengths and other considerations or special needs
Once this plan is in place, it will become the foundation for how that student will be served
and for evaluation of program effectiveness. The School believes that it will be able to
accommodate the needs of the gifted and talented through its many advanced course
offerings.
The AP Laureate program will offer gifted a talented students exemplary opportunities to
advance and grow, as well as be recognized for their talents. Teachers at the School will be
adept at differentiating instruction. Therefore, even regular, grade-level course offerings will
provide for the needs of gifted and talented students, as teachers will adjust the level,
complexity, and pace of the curricula to meet student needs.
The gifted program will focus on areas of strength and need identified on students’ EPs
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in order to support their continued progress and achievement, but will also include
problem solving, critical thinking, and creative thinking activities. Depending on the
numbers of Gifted Students in each grade, the School will decide on one or more of the
following models:
 Resource Room
 Gifted Content Course
 Cluster Grouping in a General Education classroom
 Consultation
The needs of gifted and talented students go beyond what is traditionally offered in a
regular classroom. The nature of their abilities, demonstrated or latent, requires
differentiated learning experiences and opportunities for them to maximize their
potential. Teachers need to develop the depth and quality of their student's experiences
while adjusting the pace to meet the individual needs per their Educational Plan (EP).
Gifted and talented students will be placed in at least one core class taught by a gifted
certified teacher. This teacher will also serve as the gifted case manager for that
student. Gifted IEPs will be reviewed annually in a meeting that will include student,
parent, teachers, and the ESE liaison. Specific, measurable goals will be outlined at this
meeting and will be regularly reviewed by teachers throughout the year. Use of the
GRR instructional model will naturally support the differentiation necessary to serve
gifted and talented students. Gifted students will also be encouraged to participate in a
student- driven culminating project. This project will stretch gifted students in their area
of talent, increase student motivation, prepare students for rigorous high-school
programs, and support implementation of FL State Standards.
Instructional strategies must include an effective and differentiated approach designed
for the abilities of gifted students. The following curriculum differentiation strategies will
be in place to ensure that each individual student progresses in the curriculum to the
maximum extent appropriate:
 Curriculum Compacting - involves eliminating the repetition of work that has
already been mastered and streamlining lessons that can be mastered at a pace
commensurate with the student's motivation and ability.
 Independent Study - opportunity for students to pursue areas of personal interest
or to individually investigate course topics.
 Enrichment Clusters - learning situations that are purposefully designed to
produce a product or service that will have an impact on an intended audience.
 Learning Centers - a physical area of the classroom that is organized with
various materials and learning experiences for specific instructional purposes.
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
Flexible Grouping - grouping of students according to their learning needs,
strengths, and preferences.
The School will emphasize a qualitatively differentiated curriculum based on content,
concepts, processes, and applications through products/projects in language arts,
mathematics, science, and/or social studies. Such a differentiated curriculum will
provide for in-depth consideration of topics and concepts beyond the requirements of
regular courses. The curriculum for the gifted student assures access to the general
curriculum State Standards with emphasis on what the Educational Plan (EP) team
determines will offer opportunities for growth for the gifted learner based on the
student's strengths and present level of performance. Therefore, the curriculum for
gifted students will reflect Florida's State Standards/NGSSS through the implementation
of the Gifted Goals and Objectives identified in the students' EPs.
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Section 7: English Language Learners
A. Describe how the school will comply with state and federal requirements for serving English language
learners, including the procedures that will be utilized for identifying such students and providing
support services.
B. Identify the staffing plan for the school’s English language learner program, including the number and
qualifications of staff.
C. Explain how English Language Learners who enter the school below grade level will be engaged in
and benefit from the curriculum.
A. Describe how the school will comply with state and federal requirements for
serving English language learners, including the procedures that will be
utilized for identifying such students and providing support services.
The mission of the ESOL program at JSMA aligns with the Florida Consent Decree:
The primary goal of all such programming is to develop as effectively and efficiently as
possible each child's English language proficiency and academic potential. Such programs
should also provide positive reinforcement of the self-image and esteem of participating
students, promote cross-cultural understanding, and provide equal educational
opportunities.
We will work closely with our District Sponsor’s division for English Language Learners
(ELL) students and follow the ESOL guidelines as established by the District. We will abide
by the LULAC et al v. Florida Board of Education Consent Decree, including the Settlement
Agreement modifying the Consent Decree, in providing appropriate instruction and services
to ELL students. In accordance with the Sponsor’s policies and procedures, all students will
be surveyed using a Home Language Survey.
Parents will receive registration documents in a language they understand, as is feasible.
District ready registration forms that are available in translation will be used. Primary and
support staffs that are bilingual will be given priority in hiring. These staff members, along
with bilingual parents and personnel, may assist at registration and parent orientation.
All students who attend Polk County Schools register for attendance at the School. District
residency is determined by home address. At the time of registration, students and their
parents/guardians are assisted in their home language by school personnel, unless clearly
not feasible. Also, a translated registration form is available in Spanish and Haitian Creole,
while registration forms in many other languages may be accessed through TransACT.
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TransACT is an online translation library of school forms correlated with No Child Left
Behind available the District ESOL department.
The Home Language Survey (HLS) is part of the student registration process and is given
to the parents when registering new students at our School. Our registrar will assist parents
of students in completing the form. We will seek District help for available forms in other
languages as needed.
The Language Survey form is separate from the general registration form. This form is
written in three languages (English, Spanish and Haitian Creole) and is available in 8
languages through TransACT. The HLS form is administered to all students by the School’s
registrar, secretary or guidance counselor. Parents are encouraged to sign the HLS at the
time of registration. Any student with a “Yes” response to one or more questions on the
HLS will be assessed for ESOL program eligibility within 20 school days.
All HLSs with a “Yes” response are forwarded to the designated assessor, the School’s
ESOL Staffing Specialist, to begin assessment procedures for determining ESOL program
eligibility. Students with “No” answers to ALL questions on the HLS are placed in the
regular program and the HLS is filed in the students’ cumulative record file. A copy of the
HLS is forwarded to the district ESOL office. Once the parent/guardian answers “Yes” to
any of the survey questions, the ESOL contact at the school site is responsible to provide
the parents with information regarding the ESOL program (in the appropriate language
when feasible), which includes goals of the program, different instructional options,
timelines for completion and required content.
Again, any “yes” answers on the HLS will indicate a potential ESOL student, and will
require special handling by our certified ESOL staffing specialist, whom we will hire early.
The School will ensure that the aural/oral assessment is administered within the required
twenty (20) day time period. Our ESOL staffing specialist will administer the test if
delegated by the District.
http://www.scps.k12.fl.us/Portals/46/Assets/PDF/ESOLMETAConsentSummary.pdf, p. 3
Our School is unique in that bi-lingual support staff consisting of para-professionals will be
available to support the students beyond the classroom. They will serve to assist in
translating needs. The District ESOL department, in conjunction with Workforce
Development, developed The ABC Handbook, which is written in eight languages, to assist
schools in communicating with non-native speakers. Also, the ESOL Department has
provided district translation procedures, which include the provision of
translators/interpreters from the District ESOL office when feasible. The District also has
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TransACT, an online translation library of school forms correlated with No Child Left Behind
available to the entire district through the ESOL department. Two of the forms used for
parents enrolling their children are available from the District. The first form is to be posted
at the school site and the second form is available to parents to pick the language they
speak so an appropriate interpreter might be contacted
1. Initial Assessment, Program Placement, Instruction, and Program Exit
All students with a “Yes” on the HLS will be appropriately identified as Limited English
Proficient in order to ensure provision of appropriate services. An administrator or guidance
counselor will complete the Programmatic Academic Assessment form following a thorough
review of each student’s prior school records, transcripts, parent and/or student interview,
results of native language testing and/or other testing, with consideration of age appropriate
placement. All HLSs with a “Yes” response are then forwarded to the designated assessor
at each school to begin assessment procedures for determining ESOL program eligibility.
Each student will be assessed with the Idea Oral Language Proficiency (IPT) Oral Test
within 20 school days. Students in grades 3-12 who test fluent on the IPT Oral test are
administered the IPT Reading/Writing Test within 20 days of the oral test to determine their
English proficiency level. When all assessments are completed and ESOL Program
eligibility is determined, the HLS along with all other forms is placed in the student
cumulative folder, and copies are sent to the district ESOL office.
The assessment will guide the School in determining which students require placement in
the ESOL program and which services each student will need. All students who are
classified as an ELL student will be required to participate in a program for ESOL. The
School will provide an appropriate ESOL program to meet the specific needs of identified
ELL students in language learning, academic achievement, and cultural integration.
a. Student Data Collection
The School’s registrar, guidance secretary or terminal operator will collect and report
student demographic data. Student residence is verified with two proofs of residence to
determine that the student is registering at the zoned school. Health records are reviewed
to determine appropriate immunization history. A birth certificate, record of baptism,
insurance policy in effect for more than 2 years, a doctor’s notarized statement, a transcript
of birth with a parent’s sworn affidavit, a Bible record of birth with a parent’s sworn affidavit,
a passport or certificate of arrival, school records from 4 years prior, or a MSRTS form for
migrant children. A registration packet is handed to each student and/or parent/guardian.
School and district forms are provided in the home language when feasible. When
information has been collected, the school terminal operator enters all information onto the
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student information services database, Genesis. Home language information for student
and parents is entered by the district ESOL office following receipt of the HLS.
a. ESOL Program Entry Criteria
ESOL students will be identified through the registration process. If parents acknowledge
that English is a second language in the home (or if they check yes to any of the
determining questions on the Home Language Survey), then the student will be referred to
the ESOL liaison for testing. Staff with ESOL training will serve students with limited
proficiency in English.
The Home Language Survey (HLS) is the first step in the identification of a potential ELL
student and will be completed upon initial enrollment for all students entering the School.
The School will work closely with the school district to see if enrolling students have already
completed the HLS while enrolled in another school in the district. The HLS includes the
following three questions and is given prior to enrollment during the student registration
process:
1. Is a language other than English used in the home?
2. Did the student have a first language other than English?
3. Does the student most frequently speak a language other than English?
At the time of registration, our registrar, counselor, and ESOL Staffing Specialist, who are
certified and trained, will review student transcripts and other relevant academic data to
determine appropriate grade or course placement. Interviews with the parents and/or the
student are necessary to obtain as much academic history as possible. A bilingual
interpreter will be available at all times to clarify information. Diagnostic test results will also
be used.
b. Aural/Oral Language Assessment
If the student’s parent/guardian answers “no” to the three questions from the HLS, the
student is not considered a potential ELL student and will not be assessed for English
language proficiency. If a parent answers “yes” to any of the three questions from the HLS,
the student will be assessed for aural/oral language proficiency in English within twenty
(20) school days of enrollment in the School.
The following table reflects the IPT Aural/Oral testing Raw Scores, which are the scores the
student needs to score. A raw score represents the number of points a student received for
correctly answering questions on a test.
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Name of Listening and Speaking Instrument(s) Grade Raw Score
IPT Aural/Oral Test
6
Level A/B - <11
Level C - <27
Level D - <44
Level E - <57
7-12
Level A/B - <11
Level C - <27
Level D - <44
Level E - <57
Level F - <78
Our ESOL Staffing Specialist, like a public school tester, will be responsible for testing
students, grading the assessments, and recording the ELL data on the test sheets and the
Student Data Sheets. Likewise, the ESOL Staffing Specialist will be responsible for
entering the scores into the data system.
 The assessment procedures to determine ESOL eligibility begin with the ESOL
assessor. Screening of each student’s oral/aural proficiency shall be completed
within four weeks (20 school days) of the student’s initial enrollment in school.
 Students who have pre-registered for school and who have answered “Yes” on
the HLS will be assessed on the oral/aural instrument for program eligibility within
20 school days of the first day of school. The trained assessor conducts the
oral/aural screening using the IPT Oral Test.
 A child enrolled in grades K-12 who scores NES or LES on the IPT Oral Test will
be placed in the ESOL program and receive services equal in amount, sequence
and scope, to that provided to non-LEP students.
 In Polk County, students in grades 3-12 who score FES on the IPT Oral Test are
also given the IPT Reading/Writing Test within 20 school days of the oral test to
evaluate English proficiency level and eligibility for ESOL services.
 Students who score at or below the 32nd percentile in BOTH reading and writing
will be considered eligible for the ESOL program.
 Students who score at or above the 33rd percentile in reading and/or writing may
be enrolled in the regular program.
 Students who score limited English proficient on the Listening and Speaking Test
are automatically placed into the ESOL Program.
 An ELL Committee meeting may be called to review and determine ESOL
program placement.
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c. Procedures and safeguards to ensure that the Listening and Speaking test is
administered within 20 school days of the completion of the HLS with affirmative
responses:

It is important that eligible students are tested within 20 school days with the IPT
Oral Test. When a student enrolls and completes the HLS, a copy of the Home
Language Survey is immediately sent to the ESOL district office.

All students, with a “Yes” answer, are coded “T” for temporary placement. A
monthly report initiated from the ESOL office notifies schools of students who are
coded “T” with their test date. ESOL assessors are reminded that students with no
test date recorded need to be tested promptly.
d. Procedures to be implemented when the Listening and Speaking test is not administered
within 20 school days of the completion of the HLS with affirmative responses:
If a student is not administered the Aural/Oral test within 20 school days of registration, a
Notice of Assessment Delay form is sent to the parents informing them of the reason for the
delay and the date when the test will be administered. This form is available via the
District’s Public Folders in various languages. This form is also sent to the ESOL District
office, and a copy is filed in the student’s cumulative folder. The ESOL District office
generates a monthly list of students coded “T” who have not been tested within the 20-day
period to the school administration with a request for immediate action.
e. Reading and Writing:
The Reading and Writing assessment(s) used to identify a student as an English language
learner. A norm-referenced test may report a student’s score as a percentile. A score at or
below the 32nd percentile on the reading or writing portion of a norm-referenced test would
qualify a student for entry into the ESOL program.
Reading and Writing Instrument
IPT Reading Test
IPT Writing Test
f. Procedures and safeguards to be implemented to ensure that the Reading and Writing
test is administered to students in grades 3-12 within one year of the Listening and
Speaking test. In Polk County, students in grades 3-12 who score FES on the IPT Oral Test
are also given the IPT Reading/Writing Test within 20 school days of the oral test to
evaluate English proficiency level and eligibility for ESOL services. Students who score at
or below the 32nd percentile in reading or writing will be considered eligible for the ESOL
program. Students who score at or above the 33rd percentile in reading and/or writing may
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be enrolled in the regular program. An ELL/LEP Committee meeting may be called to
review and determine ESOL program placement.
g. Procedures that are followed when the Reading/Writing test is not administered to
students in grades 3-12 within the required timelines:
If a student is not administered the Reading/Writing test within 20 school days of the
Oral/Aural test, a Notice of Assessment Delay form is sent to the parents informing them of
the reason for the delay and the date when the test will be administered. This form is
available to the schools through Public Folders in various languages. This form is also sent
to the ESOL District office and a copy is filed in the student’s cumulative folder. The ESOL
district office generates a monthly list of students who have not been tested with the
Reading/Writing test within the 20-day period to the school administration with a request for
immediate action.
h. ELL/LEP Committee
An LEP Committee will be constituted and operated per the META Consent Decree [page 3
Section I (C) (c), (d) and FSBEAR 6A-6.0902 (2) (a) 3 and 3(b)]. The ELL Committee will
include the school administrator or designee, guidance counselor, classroom teacher(s),
ESOL Staffing Specialist (who is an ESOL certified teacher), parent(s), and other personnel
who have information concerning the ELL student. All School LEP committee members,
excepting parents, will be appropriately certified.
Parents shall be invited to participate in determining appropriate programming for the ELL
student. If parents cannot attend the ELL Committee meetings regarding their child, it is the
school’s responsibility to inform parents of all actions and recommendations by the
committee. Parents must receive copies of all program forms in their native language
where feasible.
The ELL Committee shall be convened at any time during the post-reclassification
monitoring period when a former ELL student shows a consistent pattern of continuing
under-performance on appropriate tests and/or grades. A student who is determined not to
be LEP through oral/aural testing, and who is enrolled in grades 3-12, must be further
assessed as described in the assessment and entry sections of the District’s LEP Plan. A
student, who scores at the 33rd percentile or above in both the reading and writing sections
of the IPT Reading/Writing Test, is determined not to be ELL, and no further assessment is
required. This student may at any time be referred to the ELL Committee if his/her progress
in a regular class is viewed as not appropriate or not equal to that of his/her non-ELL peers.
A student who scores at the 32nd percentile in either reading or writing is referred to the
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ELL Committee for review. In such instances the ELL Committee reviews and recommends
programming.
The ELL Committee will also look at the students’ CELLA Total Proficiency Score and the
CELLA Reading Proficiency Score each year to determine if exiting the student from ESOL
is appropriate. The ELL Committee will use the CELLA Proficiency scores and other data to
make its determination.
The primary function of the committee is to make educational decisions in the best interest
of the student. The LEP committee may not convene if the administrator or designee is not
present. (META Consent Decree Section 1, C).
The LEP Committee will be responsible for discussing:
 Reclassification of former ELLs
 Placement decisions for students in grades 9-12 scoring fluent English
speaking on oral/aural and are at or below the 32nd percentile on reading and
writing assessment
 Review of instructional programs or progress (after one semester)
 Parental concerns
 Exempting students classified as ELL for one year or less from statewide
assessment program
 Review of instructional program of LF students during 2-year postreclassification period with consistent pattern of academic underperformance
 Consideration of exiting a student who scored as fluent English speaking on
aural/oral assessment, but at or below the 32nd percentile on reading and
writing assessment
 Referring an LF student being considered for reclassification to appropriate
compensatory, special and supportive services, evaluations, and programs, if
necessary
 Referring an LY student being considered for extension of services to
appropriate compensatory, special and supportive services, evaluations, and
programs, if necessary
Our School’s process for conducting an LEP Committee meeting is as follows:
 Invite parent.
 Collect educational data.
 Examine data.
 Discuss educational implications/options.
 Decide on appropriate course of action.
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

Make recommendations.
Forward form and supporting documentation to the District ELL office for
review.
Educational data to be used are:
 Current CELLA and state assessment scores
 Current report card/GPA
 Portfolio of student work
 Reading inventory
 Writing samples
 Performance data from core content classes
 Teachers’ written comments of student performance (Include languagespecific information)
 ESE/Target data
If interpreters are needed for the meeting, school-based paraprofessionals (where
available) will be used. Under no conditions will a student translate. Parents will be invited
to participate during LEP Committee meetings in their home language, to the extent
practical, with date recorded on the ELL form and documentation of the invitation will be
maintained. As necessary, District provided translated documents will be used. All
decisions will be approved by a majority of the committee members being in agreement
with the decision.
i. Programmatic Assessment
The LEP Committee Chairperson, ESOL teacher, and other appropriate school personnel
will work together to determine each ELL student’s academic achievement level to ensure
appropriate grade level placement and scheduling. This school team will review prior
school records and transcripts to determine academic knowledge and experience of the
student. Students with limited or no prior school experience will be assessed and
placement will be made based on the student’s age, regardless of English proficiency.
In making decisions, the LEP Committee will consider the following factors: 1) student’s
age; 2) extent and nature of prior educational and social experiences and student interview;
3) written recommendation and observation by current and previous instructional and
supportive services staff; 4) level of mastery of basic competencies or skills in English and
home language according to appropriate local, state, and national criterion-referenced
standards; 5 grades from the current or previous years; 6) other test results; and 7)
parent/guardian and student interview.
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A student enrolling for the first time who has no verifiable scholastic records will be
recommended to have a grade placement that is age appropriate. Any exceptions to
placement must be approved by the school administrator. Exceptions to age-appropriate
placement include those based on programmatic assessment, i.e., a child with no previous
school experience where both the principal and parents agree the child should be placed in
a classroom one grade lower level than age appropriate. The administrator will be
responsible for student placement in age appropriate classes.
Documentation must be entered on Part A of the Student ELL Plan. The grade placement
will be validated through satisfactory completion of academic work within a grading period,
successful completion of appropriate subject or grade level examination, and overall
classroom performance.
j. Academic/Programmatic Assessment
1) The procedures that have been implemented for determining the academic
knowledge and abilities, and the prior academic experience of students identified
as English language learners through the ELP assessments. Include Web links
(URLs) to procedural documents as appropriate:
When awarding credit for foreign students that enroll in the School with prior
credits from non-US high schools, the students’ transcripts from their home
countries are submitted to the District Director of Secondary Education for
translation and verification of grade level and/or credits.
When a transcript lists “English” for students from another country where the
language is not English, this should be accepted as a foreign language transfer
credit. Conversely, when a language course in their native language is listed, this
shall be considered as a language arts credit, as this would have been the course
where the students learned to read, write and analyze literature, etc. in their
native language, which is the same or equivalent to the language arts credit for
students enrolled in a US high school. These procedures will ensure that students
do not fall behind on the learning of English or other credits, simply because they
came from a high school in another country and studied in a language other than
English.
2) Procedures that have been implemented to address the placement of ELLs with
limited or no prior school experience(s):
If no records are available, students will be placed according to the age
appropriate grade level.
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3) Procedures that have been implemented to address the placement of ELLs
whose prior schooling records are incomplete or unobtainable:
At the time of registration, an administrator or guidance counselor will complete
the Programmatic Academic Assessment form following a thorough review of
each student’s prior school records and transcripts (when available), parent
and/or student interview, results of native language testing, if feasible, and/or
other testing.
The results of this assessment will be used to determine grade level placement
and eligibility for remediation, gifted or other categorical programs. Any student
with a “Yes” response to one or more questions on the HLS will then be
assessed with the IPT Oral Test for ESOL program eligibility within 20 school
days. Students in grades 3-12 who test fluent on the IPT Oral test are
administered the IPT Reading/Writing Test within 20 days of the oral test to
determine their English proficiency level.
4) Grade Level and Course Placement Procedures, Grades 6-8. Procedures that
have been implemented and the personnel involved to determine appropriate
grade level placement:
All students identified as ELL shall be provided equal access to appropriate
programs provided by the district to non-ELL students. The School must have a
process in place and established procedures to provide eligible ELL students
with comprehensible instruction equal and comparable in amount, scope,
sequence, and quality to that provided to non-ELL students. Programming shall
be documented in the form of a LEP Student Plan.
Initial eligibility recommendations are made based on the English language
proficiency test results and Programmatic Academic Assessment to determine
academic performance. In some specific cases, the ELL Committee makes the
final decision on students’ placement following the Consent Decree guidelines,
the guidelines state that an ELL Committee may determine a student to be ELL
or non-ELL according to the consideration that at least two of the criteria listed
below, in addition to the results of the assessment in listening /speaking:
 Extent and nature of prior educational and social experiences; and student
interviews.
 Written recommendations and observations by current and previous
instructional and supportive services staff.
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



Level of mastery of basic competencies or skills in English and/or home
language according to appropriate local, state and national criterion
referenced standards.
Grades from the current or previous years.
Test results other than those from the assessment of listening/speaking,
including but not limited to, assessment of reading/writing.
If no records are available, students will be placed according to the age
appropriate grade level.
5) Grade Level and Course Placement Procedures – Grades 9-12, procedures that
have been implemented to determine appropriate grade and course/class
placement:
All students identified as ELL shall be provided equal access to appropriate
programs provided by the district to non-ELL students. The School will have a
process in place and established procedures to provide eligible ELL students
with comprehensible instruction equal and comparable in amount, scope,
sequence, and quality to that provided to non-ELL students. Programming shall
be documented in the form of a LEP Student Plan.
Initial eligibility recommendations are made based on the English language
proficiency test results and Programmatic Academic Assessment to determine
academic performance. In some specific cases, the ELL Committee makes the
final decision on students’ placement following the Consent Decree guidelines,
Section 3, Pages 15-16, Letter C. The guidelines state that a ELL Committee
may determine a student to be ELL or non-ELL according to the consideration
that at least two of the criteria listed below, in addition to the results of the
assessment in listening /speaking:
 Extent and nature of prior educational and social experiences; and student
interviews.
 Written recommendations and observations by current and previous
instructional and supportive services staff.
 Level of mastery of basic competencies or skills in English and/or home
language according to appropriate local, state and national criterion
referenced standards.
 Grades from the current or previous years.
 Test results other than those from the assessment of listening/speaking,
including but not limited to, assessment of reading/writing.
In cases where no records are available for students entering high school in 9-12
grades, students will be placed according to age appropriateness as well as
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parent and/or student interviews. The credits earned from the placement date are
used for graduation.
When awarding credit for foreign students that enroll in Polk County Schools with
prior credits from non-US high schools, the students’ transcripts from their home
countries are submitted to the District Director of Secondary Education for
translation and verification of grade level and/or credits. When a transcript lists
“English” for students from another country where the language is not English,
this should be accepted as a foreign language transfer credit. Conversely, when
a language course in their native language is listed, this shall be considered as a
language arts credit, as this would have been the course where the students
learned to read, write and analyze literature, etc. in their native language, which
is the same or equivalent to the language arts credit for students enrolled in a US
high school. These procedures will ensure that students do not fall behind on the
learning of English or other credits, simply because they came from a high school
in another country and studied in a language other than English.
k. ELL Plan
An ELL Plan will be created for each student by the LEP committee upon initial entry into
the ESOL program to ensure that students are appropriately placed and provided with
instructional options to help them make academic progress in the general curriculum and
acquire English language proficiency. The student’s ELL Plan will provide information on
student ESOL language level, student progression, and meetings convened to discuss
academic progress of the student. The services provided to the ELL student by the School
will also be documented on the ELL Plan.
LEP Plans are prepared when a student first enters the ESOL program. The ESOL teacher
and/or ELL Committee are responsible for initiating and developing the LEP Plan. A Plan
Date is reported as a component of the required ESOL data in the district’s student
information management system (Genesis). The student’s LEP Plan becomes the primary
constituent of the ELL student’s program review and monitoring. A hard copy is kept in the
ELL folder in the student’s cumulative file, and the ESOL office maintains a second copy.
All ELL documents will be kept in the student’s cumulative folder and will be updated to
reflect current services each semester for the middle and high schools.
All LEP Plans will be kept in the student’s cumulative folder and will be updated to reflect
current services. A Procedures Checklist is used following the email notice sent from the
District ESOL office during FTE week as a reminder to print these plans. The District
TRSTs check for current services on the LEP Plan. LEP folders are checked during or after
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Reading Fidelity Checks. The assistant principal of the school is responsible for ensuring
the printing and filing of the LEP Plan.
Specifically, the ELL Plan will contain:
 Student demographic data, eligibility criteria, exit criteria, and a record of ELL
Committee recommendations.
 Student schedule documentation, which will be updated annually and/or when
the schedule changes. Schedules will be computer generated, and inserted
chronologically in the folder. The School will print out the schedule and will
not remove previous schedules. All schedules will be dated prior to FTE week
in October. Total contact time for core academic courses will be at least 1500
minutes/weekly. Academic courses will reflect the appropriate ESOL suffix
(Secondary.06, .56, .26 or Elementary .60, .61, .62, .63, .64, .65).
 Exit data. Student academic progress will be monitored and updated at these
prescribed intervals: first, second, and fourth report cards after exit, and at the
two-year anniversary of the exit date. If at any time during the monitoring
period there are indications of problems, an ELL Committee will be convened
to determine appropriate action (META Consent Decree Section I, F,
FSBEAR 6A-6.0903).
ELL student plans will be updated whenever an LEP committee meeting is held to discuss
the student, annually at the beginning of every school year to reflect current services, on
the anniversary date of the student’s entry into the ESOL program, and any time there is a
change in the student’s educational plan. The ELL Student Plan will be reviewed and
changes recorded whenever a change in the student status, schedule, or program occurs.
This review will occur as needed during the school year, especially at grading periods, and
no longer a period than annually. The ESOL Staffing Specialist will complete the Student
ELL Plan records with the results of the re-evaluation to update the plan.
The Principal’s designee (usually the ESOL teacher) will be responsible for developing and
updating all Student ELL Plans at the beginning/end of each school year and as needed.
All School District English Language Learner (ELL) Plan formats will be used to document
our ESOL efforts, testing, accommodations, and results.
(2) ESOL Instructional Models
The LEP Committee will plan together the means for instruction in the English language
and any specific modifications or accommodations that will be most appropriate for English
instruction. All ELL students enrolled in the School will be entitled to programming that is
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appropriate to their level of English proficiency, their level of academic achievement, and
any special needs they may have. All assessment information and instructional
modifications will be reflected in the ELL Plan.
ELL students will have equal access to appropriate English language instruction in the core
subject areas that is: (1) understandable to their given level of English proficiency; and (2)
equal and comparable in amount, scope, sequence, and quality to that which is provided to
English proficient (non-ELL) students. General curricula and materials will be the same as
those used with non-ELL students. Teachers will have supplementary materials with
pictures in native languages to support instruction. The schedules of ELL students will be
comparable to those of non-ELL students containing the same subject area classes and
are equal in scope, sequence and content.
The School will use one of following allowable instructional model(s) based on the needs of
the students enrolled and requiring participation in an ESOL program:
 Sheltered - English: an ESOL resource teacher provides uninterrupted
ESOL/Reading and/or Writing instruction only for students identified as ELL at
a location other than the ELL students’ classroom.
 Mainstream/Inclusion model – English Language Arts: ELL and non-ELL
students are grouped in a classroom. The language of instruction is English
and native language assistance is provided when feasible. The ESOL
resource teacher comes into the classroom (“push-in”) to provide specialized
English language instruction.
 Mainstream-Inclusion model – Core/Basic: ELL and non-ELL students are
group in a classroom. The language of instruction is English and native
language assistance is provided when feasible. The ESOL resource teacher
comes into the classroom (“push-in”) to provide specialized English language
instruction and/or an ESOL certified/endorsed classroom teacher adapts
instruction to address the language proficiency needs of ELL students. The
academic content is mathematics, science, and social studies.
l. ESOL Strategies
Any teacher with an ELL student will have the ESOL endorsement and document the use
of ESOL strategies in his/her lesson plans. Textbooks and other instructional materials
used with ELL students will be the same as those used with non-ELL students in the same
grade. Teachers of ELL students will supplement their instruction with a wide variety of
materials designed to help students acquire language proficiency and academic content.
Classroom accommodations may include using frequent visuals and graphic organizers,
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providing cooperative learning activities, simplifying the language of instruction without
changing the content, and providing for alternate assessment as necessary.
Additional options for accommodations include, but are not limited to the following:
 Provide a climate of warmth and caring which nurtures a sense of comfort.
 Seat the student close to the front of the room.
 Establish a daily routine in your classroom and prepare the students for any
changes.
 Use as many of the senses (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting)
as possible to present information to students.
 Provide ELL students guidelines for written work and homework assignments.
 Provide alternative instruction whenever the class lessons are extremely
difficult for the ELL student.
 Arrange small discussion and talking activities that permit students to practice
verbal skills.
 Give verbal information and explanations along with a visual presentation.
 Allow the students ample time to complete assignments.
 Keep directions short and simple.
 Assign buddies and peer tutors to the ELL student.
 Clearly explain homework assignments if the ELL student lacks the English
language support at home.
 Allow ELL students to use bilingual dictionaries.
 Utilize learning centers as alternative instruction to provide sufficient
reinforcement of content material.
The focus of instruction shall be substantive subject matter knowledge, parallel and
comparable to that provided to non-ELL students in basic subject areas, consistent with
state-required curriculum frameworks and student performance standards. ESOL
instruction in all academic areas is provided primarily in the basic classroom through the
use of adaptive and modified curriculum materials designed to make instruction
comprehensible.
Research-based instructional strategies for all students include: ESOL strategies,
cooperative learning, flexible scheduling, cross-age tutoring, interest centers, use of
manipulatives and visuals, direct instruction in reading, developmental writing, computerassisted instruction, and other best practices. Both ELL and non-ELL students are served
together in this setting.
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The instruction in Polk County’s program model is aligned with the Florida Sunshine State
Standards, Course Descriptions, Curriculum Framework, and Core Curriculum. Schools
with at least 15 or more students who speak the same language have access to home
language instruction through the use of paraprofessionals or resource teachers proficient in
the native language and trained to assist in ESOL basic subject area instruction. In
instances where there are sufficient numbers of ELL students in a given grade, Language
Arts Through ESOL classes may be provided if needed. ESOL Reading / Writing / Listening
/ Speaking and/or Combined Skills may be offered as an elective credit for the ELL
students who need additional reinforcement of English skills. These elective course
frameworks may reflect the enhancement of language skills through literacy education.
Making academic content comprehensible, challenging, and of interest for the ELL students
will necessitate engaging simultaneously in language-learning and content-learning, an
essential component of sound grade level instruction for ELL students.
ELL students will also benefit from individualized direct instruction provided in a small group
setting to address any reading, math, and state assessment-based gaps to help them meet
state testing requirements. Those ELL students who are LY will receive one on one support
when needed, as well as receive accommodations similar to those of the ESE students (i.e.
extra time on tests, use of dictionary, etc.) The ESOL teacher will progress monitor each
student as well as make sure that proper accommodations are being provided in the
regular classroom setting.
m. Documentation of Strategies
The META Consent Decree requires that teachers document comprehensible instruction.
Lesson plans will include the documentation of the use of ESOL strategies and
methodologies. The ESOL Staffing Specialist, who will be a certified Language
Arts/Reading teacher, will be available for consultation and faculty training (META Consent
Decree Section II, F).
School site administrators will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of ESOL
strategies by the classroom teacher. Evidence will be observed during classroom visits,
through lesson plans, through use of materials and audiovisuals, and through grade book
notations. All teachers of ELL students will document the ESOL strategies used for each
lesson in their plan book.
Each ELL student enrolled in any program offered by Florida schools is entitled to equal
access to programming which is appropriate to his/her level of English proficiency,
academic achievement and special needs. The district’s ESOL Director, along with the MIS
Department personnel and the school ESOL contacts, will monitor the students’ schedules
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to ensure students have been provided equal access to the core subjects. Core subjects
are defined as Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Language, Civics,
Government, Economics, History and Geography.
Four times a year, in October, February, June, and July, the district surveys the names of
students enrolled under particular courses and program numbers along with the minutes of
instruction per week. ESOL weighted funding may be claimed in Language Arts,
Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Computer Literacy for courses (or instructional
time) delivered using ESOL and/or home language strategies when the teacher is teaching
ELL students and has completed or is in the process of completing required training. ESOL
District Staff will implement on-site school monitoring to verify that instruction provided is
equal in amount, sequence and scope to non-ELL students.
Sunshine State Standards are followed in planning and implementing lessons with the
county’s ELL students and non-ELL students. Teachers are required to document in their
plan books the ESOL strategies being used in the classroom.
At the beginning of the school year, ESOL Resource Specialist Trainers meet with teachers
and administrators to address appropriate instructional guidelines. Throughout the school
year additional trainings are offered to address best approaches for incorporating
comprehensible instruction for ELL students.
n. Statewide Assessment
ELL students will participate in the Florida statewide assessment program (state
assessments, End of Course Assessments, CELLA, etc), as applicable, with
accommodations in accordance with the student’s ELL plan. The School testing coordinator
will participate in district training about the requirements for ELL testing and testing
accommodations. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, flexible setting,
flexible scheduling, additional time, assistance in the student’s native language (for math,
science, and writing assessments) including the use of a heritage language dictionary.
Students will also participate in all other assessment opportunities provided for non-ELL
students at the School, as appropriate.
o. Test Accommodation
For statewide assessments, ELL students in the School will be provided with test
accommodations. These accommodations may include, but are not limited to, flexible
setting, flexible scheduling, extended time, assistance in heritage language, and English to
heritage language dictionary. The exact combination of accommodations to be offered to
any particular student will be individually determined, considering the needs of the student
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and availability of linguistic resources at the School. The School ESOL Staffing Specialist
will work with the School District to ensure that all appropriate accommodations are
provided. A letter will be sent to parents explaining the particular accommodations and will
be written in the native language of the parent, to the extent feasible.
p. Comprehensive ELL Assessment
All ESOL students are assessed on listening and speaking (aural-oral) skills in the spring of
each year using the Comprehensive English Language Learners Assessment (CELLA).
The CELLA measures English language acquisition, and is a uniform statewide
assessment for all ESOL students. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires all districts within
Florida to report data to the U.S. Department of Education. CELLA provides uniform
reporting and comparative data among districts.
q. Procedure for ESOL Assessment and Placement of Students receiving Exceptional
Student Educational (ESE) Services.
For those students whose exceptionality is so severe that there is no functional
spoken/written language (such as profoundly mentally handicapped students, severely
language impaired students, low functioning autistic students, or students who are
nonverbal), the examiner may need to report an attempt to assess.
After language assessment is completed, the student will be placed based on available test
scores. However, an IEP/ELL committee can be convened at any time to determine ELL
entry/exit status and a decision by the majority of stakeholders can “override” assessment
results, if necessary.
r. Exit Criteria and Procedures
An ELL student may be recommended to be tested for exit by parents, guardians, or
instructional personnel directly involved with the student's education at any time following
initial classification. ESOL students may only exit as a result of test scores or by ELL
committee action.
As the result of the Florida Consent Decree (META Agreement), certain considerations
should be made when targeting an ELL student for retention. All retentions are reviewed by
the principal and the promotion/retention team at the school; the principal than makes a
recommendation in writing to the superintendent. The superintendent shall accept or reject
these recommendations in writing.
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Retention and Good Cause Indicators for Promotion of ELL students:
Before ELL students are identified for retention the following "good cause indicators" should
be considered:

Students currently in the ESOL program (code LY) who have been receiving
ESOL services for two years or less

Educational background

Time in the country

Academic progress during school year (reference to ESOL strategies)

Cultural adjustment

Home support

Age appropriateness

Progress with Language Arts/ESOL benchmarks

Progress with English language proficiency

Progress based on interventions recommended in Academic Success Plan

Programmatic Assessment data

Mobility (migrant)

Assessment data in the native language
ELL students must not be failed if instructional strategies, materials and assessment have
not been modified to meet their linguistic and academic needs. Documentation shall be
provided to show how comprehensible instruction and second language acquisition
strategies were part of the curriculum provided to the student. Students in the ESOL
program cannot be retained based solely on their English language proficiency because of
the rights of ELL students with regard to retention, promotion, and equal access to all
education programs.
The parents of ELL students must be notified of the student’s academic progress in a timely
manner. Any student who does not meet the District’s expected level of the mastery must
be provided remediation.
Good cause decisions are based upon the rationale that although the student has not
achieved the performance expectations for regular promotion conditions exist that indicate
retention would be more adverse for the student than promotion. ELL students cannot be
retained based solely on their English language proficiency. This is a civil right and
constitutional issue that protects the rights of ELL students with regard to retention,
promotion and equal access to all educational programs.
Any ELL student who is being considered for retention should be referred to the ELL
Committee and an Academic Success Plan must be completed. The ELL Committee shall
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serve as the Academic Success Plan Committee for all LY students if they are being
considered for retention. Parents shall be invited to be part of the ELL
Committee/Academic Success Plan Committee to determine interventions and remediation
strategies for the ELL student. The majority of the members in the ELL Committee must be
in agreement with decisions made. Parents shall be given a copy of the ELL Committee’s
recommendation. The ELL Committee minutes will document the meeting and the
recommendation.
Parents receive an invitation to the ELL Committee meeting and are notified of all decisions
if they are unable to attend. This form is available to the schools through Public Folders in
various languages. Each school holds a student promotion/retention meeting for all
students, including ELL students, if the students are not progressing towards promotion
standards.
A student may be eligible for exit based upon teacher recommendation/observation. When
this happens, the child’s name is given to the ESOL assessor who is responsible for the
reevaluation process and procedures designed to determine exit eligibility. English
proficiency shall be determined by reassessing the student utilizing the Oral/Aural
Assessment for grades K-12 and a Reading/Writing Assessment for grades 3-12. A student
who has been classified as Limited English Proficient and enrolled in an English for
Speakers of Other Languages program may be reassessed utilizing additional information
at the request of a teacher, counselor, administrator or parent.
The ELL Committee may use other assessment information to determine that the student
should be exited from the ESOL program if the committee determines that other
instructional programs or combination of instructional programs better meet the needs of
the student. If it is determined, after reviewing data presented to the committee, that the
student may exit the program, an ELL Recommendation Form must be completed and
signed by the ELL Committee members present at the time of the meeting. The
documentation of the assessment instruments used and the justification for such action
shall be retained as part of the ELL student file. Copies will be given to the parents in the
native language, when feasible.
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Name of Listening and Speaking Instrument(s): Grade Level Raw Score
ITP Aural/Oral Test
6
Level A/B - >10
Level C - >26
Level D - >43
Level E - >56
7-12
Level A/B - >10
Level C - >26
Level D - >43
Level E - >56
Level F - >77
CELLA Listening/Speaking
6-8
Composite Score 2200 & >
Reading Score 759 & >
9-12
Composite Score 2250 & >
Reading Score 778 & >
ELL students will be considered for possible exit from ESOL based on grade level
performance as indicated below.
For students in grades 9, students must:
 achieve scores at or above the proficient level in CELLA listing, speaking,
writing, and reading
 score at achievement level three (3) or greater on the state reading
assessment
For students in grades 10-12, students must achieve a score on the state assessment in
reading sufficient to meet applicable graduation requirements or an equivalent concordant
score corresponding to a proficient level on CELLA Listening/Speaking, Reading, and
Writing.
Scores equal to and greater than746 on the CELLA writing scores is the minimum level of
English proficiency necessary for exit from ESOL.
Scores equal to and greater than the CELLA reading scores in the following table shall be
used to determine minimum level of English proficiency necessary for exit from ESOL:
Grade Reading Score: 9-12 is 778
If exit is based on IPT scores, the Oral IPT must be at Fluent English Speaker (FES)
language classification. The Reading/Writing IPT must be at thirty-three percent (33%) or
above.
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The School LEP Committee will review grade level performance and assessment data to
determine if the student is ready to exit from the program successfully. The following areas
will be reviewed during the ELL Committee meeting for exit:
 State assessment proficiency scores AND
 Academic achievement on grade level in:
o English
o Social Studies
o Science
o Math
o Reading
o Writing
The School’s ESOL contact/designee:
 Identifies students who are eligible to exit the ESOL program based on the
exit criteria.
 Updates the exit information on the ELL folder for exiting students.
 Completes the appropriate section of the ELL folder with the assessment data
used to determine English proficiency, date and signature. If the ELL
Committee needs to be convened, parents must be invited and all members
of the committee must sign.
 Provides the school data processor with required exit data. The required
information is entered in the State Database.
 Notifies the parents.
 Monitors the student for two (2) years from the exit date to ensure success in
the general education classroom.
 ELL students with special considerations that do not meet the exit criteria may
be referred to the ELL Committee for further review and will exit the program
only if the ELL Committee determines the student no longer needs ESOL
services.
 Parents/guardians will be invited to participate in the ELL Committee meeting
to determine whether the student continues to be classified as ELL or is
exited. The parents’/guardians’ wishes will always be taken into
consideration. The findings of the committee and their recommendations will
be kept on file.
 When the student is exited from the ESOL program the parent/guardian will
be notified in writing in the parent’s native language, to the extent feasible.
Exited students’ academic performance will be monitored for two (2) years on
an ongoing basis.
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s. Monitoring
The META Consent Decree requires that schools monitor students for two (2) years after
they have exited the ESOL program (META Consent Decree Section I, F and FSBEAR 6A6.0903). This ensures that the student is making adequate academic progress without the
support of ESOL. The School’s Executive Director will ensure that all former ELL students
will be monitored. The ESOL Staffing Specialist will have the responsibility to ensure that
monitoring occurs.
The monitoring process:
 Classroom teachers or homeroom teachers monitor report cards and refer
students to the ELL Committee for consideration as needed.
 ESOL teachers consult with subject area teachers and may call an ELL
Committee meeting to reclassify students as needed.
 ESOL paraprofessionals or counselors monitor report cards and refer students to
the ELL Committee for consideration as needed.
The academic progress of former ELL students will be reviewed periodically by the ELL
Committee. The official review will take place:

At the end of the first marking period after exiting from the ESOL program

At the end of the first semester after exiting from the ESOL program

At the end of the second semester of the first year after exiting from the ESOL
program

At the end of the second semester of the second year after exiting from the ESOL
program
Upon completion of the two-year monitoring period, if the student is determined to have
reached consistent parity of participation with English proficient peers, the LF code will be
changed to LZ on the district’s data collection system. Any consistent pattern of either
under-performance on appropriate tests, failing grades, or significantly below grade level
academic performance will be recorded on the ELL Committee Recommendation form. The
ELL Committee may recommend the student for additional appropriate programming.
Post-program review reports and ELL student profiles will be generated with information on
ELL students who have exited the ESOL program within the past two (2) years.
Documentation of ESOL-exited students will occur at the end of each student’s first grading
period, first semester, first year, and second year after exiting. Documentation may include:
progress reports, test scores, classroom performance, and other performance reports used
specifically by the School. Teacher conferences, review of test scores, and report card
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analysis are additional tools used to determine if a student is progressing. Special
emphasis will be placed on the area of language achievement. If a student is making
adequate progress, no intervention will be prescribed.
If it is determined that a student is not making satisfactory progress, an ELL Committee
meeting with parental participation will take place. The ELL Committee will review all
pertinent information and recommend an appropriate educational plan. The committee may
recommend initiating an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP), referral for counseling or other
student services, or reclassification of the student as ELL.
t. Parent Notification
Although parent permission is not required for ESOL testing, it is required that parents
receive notification of the results. Students who indicate “yes” on questions two and/or
three of the HLS will be placed temporarily into the program and parents will be sent a
temporary placement letter. (Section 233.058, 228.092 and 228.093, F.S., Section I, 1990
LULAC et. al Vs. State Board of Education, Rules 6A-.60901 and 6A-6.-902, F.A.C., META
Consent Decree Section II (A)(1), NCLB Act of 2001 Section 3302). The letter will be sent
to the parent in English and the home language, as feasible.
When a student qualifies for placement into an ESOL program, a letter, signed by the
district ESOL supervisor, will be sent to inform the parents or guardians of program
placement. This letter must be sent to parents during the first thirty (30) days after the
beginning of the school year and will include program model options and transportation
information. If a student is identified as ESOL during the school year, the parents or
guardians must be notified within the first two weeks of ESOL placement (NCLB Section
3302 (a) (d), META Consent Decree Section II (A) (1). If a student does not qualify for
ESOL services, a letter of notification will be sent to the parent. Copies of all
communications with parents will be maintained in the student’s ELL folder.
As long as the student is eligible to receive ESOL services, a new Parent Notification Letter
will be completed at the beginning of each school year and whenever there is a
programmatic change. The School will keep copies of each of the letters that have been
sent home during the time the student was receiving ESOL services.
Parents will also be notified of assessments and available accommodation, results of
assessments, program delivery model options, retention/remediation, exit from the ESOL
program, reclassification (if needed), and invitations to participate in ELL Committee
meetings to discuss their child. Information that is provided to all parents will also be
provided to parents of ELL students in the parents’ native language to the extent feasible.
This includes, but is not limited to, free/reduced price lunch information, state assessments
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and results, invitations to participate in special programs, parental choice options,
registration forms and requirements, disciplinary forms, information about opportunities for
parent involvement, etc.
u. Re-entry into ESOL Program
When former ELL students are reclassified as ELL through a decision of the LEP
Committee and re-enter the ESOL program, the School will record the decision in the
previous ELL student plan; initiate a new ELL student plan; update the student data; and
ensure the appropriate placement. Students will be provided with an educational program
as recommended by the LEP Committee. The written recommendations of the committee
will be maintained in the student’s file. The Student Plan will be re-evaluated periodically for
continued appropriateness of programming. Re-classified students will be re-evaluated
annually by the School to determine if they should continue in the ESOL program or be
referred to the ELL Committee for review.
v. Personnel Training
Teachers who are required to obtain ESOL training or certification will be notified by the
ESOL Coordinator of training requirements and professional development opportunities
through The School District. It is the teacher’s responsibility to complete each component
within the timelines established by the Florida Consent Decree. Participants may enroll in
courses offered during the first, second, and summer semesters.
B. Identify the staffing plan for the school’s English language learner program,
including the number and qualifications of staff.
The ESOL Staffing Specialist will be responsible for developing the student ELL plan at the
beginning of the student entry and every time there is any change made to the plan. The
ESOL Staffing Specialist will attend training by the District ESOL department.
All teachers instructing ELL students will have ESOL endorsement or certification. One (1)
specialist with strong ESOL experience and state certification, who has strong dual
language fluency will be hired for School opening. This person will serve as the School’s
ESOL Staffing Specialist.
The School expects the percentage of ELL students enrolled to match the school district
rate (The ESOL Staffing Specialist will be responsible for developing the student ELL plan
at the beginning of the student entry and every time there is any change made to the plan.
The ESOL Staffing Specialist will attend training by the District ESOL department.
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All teachers instructing ELL students will have ESOL endorsement or certification. One (1)
specialist with strong ESOL experience and state certification, who has strong dual
language fluency will be hired for School opening. This person will serve as the School’s
ESOL Staffing Specialist.
The School expects the percentage of ELL students enrolled to match the school district
rate (10.8% or 106 students at capacity), which allows us to project our staffing plan as
follows:
Year
1
2
3
4
5
Expected number of ELL students
59
76
92
107
107
Planned number of ESOL staff
2
2
2
3
3
The School’s ESOL needs cannot be established fully until student files are obtained. If,
upon review, it is determined that additional staff services are required, then the School will
either hire more staff or contract for services. Students requiring ESE/ ESOL services will
have a weighted FTE, which will help fund the increase of personnel or services.
The School’s ESOL curriculum provides for the development of the four language skill
areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with emphasis given to academic
language. Our school system recognizes the value of using instructional materials specific
to ESOL. Students are served in their home school by an endorsed ESOL teacher. A
bilingual or other ESOL teaching assistant must work directly under the supervision of and
in the presence of an endorsed ESOL teacher. Services must be delivered during the
regular school day.
Our program will use push-in and pull-out services, and frequency of delivery is designed to
meet the needs of each student. Every effort is made to pull students out of their regularly
scheduled language arts class.
 Generally, 6-8 students at beginning-intermediate level of proficiency receive 35
minutes of daily instruction. Higher intermediate level and transitional students
may receive less frequent instruction/tutorials.
 High school students receive ESOL instruction during a regularly scheduled daily
50 minute class period for which they earn 1 credit annually. They may take
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ESOL I and ESOL II to count for 2 English credits toward graduation
requirements.
 High school students who have completed ESOL I & II and would still benefit from
services may take additional ESOL courses (as available based upon need) for
elective credit or receive tutorials during study hall or other appropriate times.
C. Explain how English Language Learners who enter the school below grade
level will be engaged in and benefit from the curriculum.
Teachers will support all students, including English Language Learner (ELL) students, who
enter the School below grade level as they develop a strong academic foundation based on
a college preparatory curriculum and unique instructional methods that integrate state-ofthe-art technology.
Key elements of our educational program will include:
 Results-oriented focus. What our students learn is what matters most. It is our
foremost responsibility to assist every student to achieve academically.
 High standards. We believe in the potential of every student and will have high
expectations for the achievement of all.
 Instruction appropriate for all students. In all of our classes, lessons will be
differentiated for students at all levels of proficiency.
 The development of self-reliant learners. Our goal is to graduate students who
are well rounded, inquisitive, thoughtful, concerned for others, devoted to and
knowledgeable about democratic principles, and intellectually autonomous. We
plan to graduate students who are articulate, ethical, healthy, and prepared for
further learning.
 Integration of technology into the classroom and curriculum.
 A focus on measurement of learning outcomes.
 Character development. We believe that positive character development is a
crucial aspect of a quality school. We believe that a school must cultivate a
culture of character in order to be a successful learning community.
JSMA is dedicated to using a Learning Achievement Plan (LAP), an individualized personal
education plan to create individualized goals and objectives for all students, using
research-based curriculum, to guide lessons in order to challenge students and attain
maximum student achievement. This objective will be achieved by ongoing authentic and
traditional assessments and evaluations used to create each student’s individualized goals
and objectives. We will demonstrate and promote the essential roles of independent
thinking and critical thinking, ideally enabling every student to succeed in school.
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1. Engaging Curriculum
Individualized education is a necessity for educational equity. Every student deserves the
opportunity to develop his/her talents at a comfortable pace. Lack of academic or
intellectual challenge may lead to disengagement. Student work will be engaging and
differentiated. JSMA proposes to use curriculum that centers around the belief that
learning should be differentiated to meet the individual needs and readiness level of the
learner, since individuals develop at different rates and have varying strengths and
aptitudes. We also believe that academics are only one component of education, and that
communication and sensitivity to social nuances and interactions are other aspects of a
well-rounded education, which will be particularly helpful to our ELL student population.
The educational program has been specifically designed to engage students in learning
and benefit from the curriculum. Our use of project-based learning (PBL) will allow us to
shift away from the classroom practices of short, isolated, teacher-centered lessons and,
instead, emphasize learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary, studentcentered, and integrated with real world issues and practices. One immediate benefit of
PBL is the unique way that it can motivate students by engaging them in their own learning.
PBL provides opportunities for students to pursue their own interests and questions, and
make decisions about how they will find answers and solve problems.
PBL also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Students apply and integrate
the content of different subject areas. It helps make learning relevant and useful to
students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom, addressing real world
concerns, and developing real world skills. This will be particularly effective for ELL
students as they investigate problems, use resources, and seek answers with opportunities
to develop language skills through meaningful and authentic interactions with peers and
teachers.
By working board problems every day as required in a military model school implementing
the Thayer Method, students are actively engaged in their learning. They cannot sit back
passively as in a traditional lecture setting; they must engage the material every lesson. By
working in groups in class, they learn by sharing their ideas with others, and that this leads
to success. A lot of learning takes place when one is responsible for explaining something
to a classmate. Finally, the Thayer method involves all modes of learning: auditory, visual,
and kinesthetic. This makes for more efficient and lasting learning.
With our laptop initiative and 1:1 learning environment, teachers will harness the power of
the available technology and use interactive texts, videos, animations, and other features in
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digital instructional programs to provide more dynamic, personalized lessons with
assessment tools that determine, in real-time, each student’s level of performance. This
information will help teachers quickly identify academic strengths and weaknesses. With
this knowledge at their fingertips, teachers will be able to easily differentiate instruction to
immediately address knowledge gaps and misconceptions, and provide additional
language support and/or practice on a skill.
Homework and class-work help will be offered during specific open hours throughout the
week to assist students in need of extra practice. Teachers will make themselves available
during a time that is outside of the instructional block. This additional contact with the
student can help provide structured practice environment and further feedback.
2. Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
Low performing students will be identified through the use of our assessment and
diagnostic tools. Students who score below grade level will be given extra support through
the RtI process to reach grade level NGSSS and Common Core Standards. Teachers will
use a set curriculum in small group settings, targeted to students’ needs, as determined by
our diagnostic and formative data.
Teachers will be skilled and able to differentiate materials to best meet the needs of
students who have diverse learning styles, experiences, and abilities. They will do so
utilizing individualized education programs designed to meet the needs of the student while
adjusting for on-going growth and progress.
JSMA will be keenly aware of its special needs population. As such the School will provide
all the necessary services within its capacity. In addition, JSMA will use a Multi-tiered
System of Supports (MTSS) including a Response to Intervention Model (RtI) for students
in need of academic and/or behavioral support. MTSS provides a seamless system of
interventions and resources which allows students to make significant progress whether
they are at-risk for failure or are gifted and talented students and not meeting their full
potential. This system will be used to help students progress and to identify any student
with an exceptional need.
RtI is defined the by the FLDOE (on line at http://www.florida-rti.org/_docs/GTIPS.pdf) as
the practice of providing: (1) high-quality instruction/intervention matched to student needs
and (2) using learning rate over time and level of performance to (3) make important
educational decisions. RtI is an ongoing process of using student performance and related
data to guide instructional decisions and intervention decisions for ALL students. It is a
multi-tiered, problem-solving model of prevention, early intervention, and use of educational
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resources to address student needs. RtI matches instructional strategies and supports to
student need in an informed, ongoing approach for planning, implementing, and evaluating
the effectiveness of the curriculum, the instruction, and related supports.
The RtI Model is a problem solving three-tiered system designed to meet the needs of all
students in the academic or behavioral domain. Tier I instruction includes high quality,
research-based curricula and instructional strategies that support curriculum guidelines.
Tier I focuses on core instruction for all students that should meet the academic needs of at
least eighty percent (80%) of the students in a class. Flexible grouping that targets specific
skills are included so that the instructional goals of all students can be met. If fewer than
eighty percent (80%) of the students in a class are demonstrating success, it is the
responsibility of the teacher to adjust the teaching strategies for general instruction.
When a student is not exhibiting success at Tier I, the following should be considered:

Step I: Problem Identification – What exactly is the problem?

Step II: Problem Analysis – Why is the problem occurring?

Step III: Intervention Design and Implementation – What exactly are we going to
do about it?
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Step IV: Response to Instruction/Intervention – Is the plan working?
MTSS is a problem solving process that involves the continuous use of data collection,
analysis, identification and implementation of interventions, and further data collection. At
every point in the process, the School Instructional Leadership (SIL) team will make
decisions regarding the effectiveness of the intervention, whether or not to continue the
intervention, other interventions that may help the student to be more successful, etc.
The SIL team, consisting of the Executive Director, department chairs, ESE and ESOL
teachers, Reading Coach, and Counselor will identify whether the concern regarding the
student is academic and/or behavioral in nature. Interventions will be established by the
team and agreed upon by the teachers and parents. The interventions will be attempted for
a minimum of three (3) weeks. The SIL team will frequently analyze the student’s progress.
Documentation of interventions will be reviewed by the SIL team to determine whether the
strategies were successful. If the results are encouraging, then the team will continue to
monitor on a monthly or as-needed basis. If the interventions were not effective, an
additional or different set of interventions will be designed and implemented for another
three weeks.
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Our SIL team will meet weekly collaborate regularly, problem solve, share effective
practices, evaluate implementation, and make decisions. Specifically, the team will meet to:

Evaluate data and correlate to instructional decisions

Review progress monitoring data at the grade level and classroom level to
identify students and their academic levels

Identify professional development needs to enhance students’ achievement levels

Facilitate the process of building consensus, increasing infrastructure, and
making decisions about implementation
This problem-solving process is to assist the classroom teacher and parents in designing
and selecting strategies for improving student academic and/or behavioral performance.
Tier II offers more focused and intense instruction in addition to the standards-based
curriculum received in Tier I. The curriculum and instruction at Tier II is designed to meet
the needs of students not progressing as expected in Tier I. Tier III instruction includes the
most explicit, intense, and individualized instruction that is focused on a specific skill or
need.
3. Service Options
The following is a list of services that may be provided to serve the needs of the ELL
student who enters below grade level:
 Academic pullout - students who require extra attention will be pulled out for
specialized instruction and targeted interventions by a certified ESE teacher or
reading and/or math specialist.
 Instructional materials and learning seminars will be made available to parents,
family members, and other volunteer tutors in the family’s home language, to the
extent feasible, so the family can provide additional support at home.
 Weekly meetings among teachers will ensure that appropriate interventions are
provided during instructional activities and assessments that take into
consideration the student’s language skills and needs.
 A volunteer coordinator will assist in locating bilingual volunteers qualified to work
with students in need.
 Student progress will be regularly monitored to determine the effectiveness of
interventions and the need to introduce new strategies.
Our School will be an inclusive school community that maintains high expectations for all
students, including those with disabilities and limited English proficiency. Our staff will work
together to ensure that students’ learning and achievement is not unduly limited by either
disability or language proficiency. Our pedagogy will allow students to pursue individual
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tasks toward a larger team objective, and allow for students of differing ability to engage in
appropriately challenging tasks involving the same content. In addition, a number of
supports will be provided for students with special learning needs.
The School’s instructional program will be one of English instruction with home language
support. We will strive to recruit teachers, paraprofessionals, and parent volunteers who
speak the home languages of our ELL students.
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Section 8: School Climate and Discipline
A. Describe the school’s planned approach to classroom management and student discipline.
B. Describe the school’s Code of Conduct, including the school’s policies for discipline, suspension, and
dismissal.
A. Describe the school’s planned approach to classroom management and
student discipline.
The academic and personal success of students is at the forefront of all processes and
procedures. The School recognizes that without a safe and orderly environment for
students and teachers, these extraordinary curricular achievements cannot be made. A
strict code of conduct will be followed at the School to stimulate a productive learning
environment and to promote responsible citizenship.
The School will adopt the Sponsor’s Code of Student Conduct. This will be beneficial for
students who may be transferring to the charter school from within the district. The School
will follow the Sponsor’s matrix of consequences. Systems of rewards and consequences
will be implemented by the School which are aligned classroom teachers and followed
according to code of conduct measures outlined by the Sponsor. Discipline measures will
be fair and consistent, utilizing best practice techniques that promote student ownership of
behavior. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their actions so that they
may learn from their mistakes. The School commits to rewarding the efforts of its students,
including positive reinforcement for students demonstrating exemplary behavior and
conduct.
The discipline measures followed at the School will closely align to the character education
developed through the School’s use of the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by
Stephen Covey. The School believes that this alignment will be a powerful influence that
students will carry with them throughout their lives. As students experience behavioral or
disciplinary issues, their attention will be drawn to these strategies through conferencing
with teachers, administrators, and parents. Some issues to be enhanced by this resource
are:
 Anti-Bullying – Students will value each other and treat each other with respect.
Through learning the value of listening to others, they will be able to value multiple
points of view and communicate effectively.
 Conflict resolution – Students learn to build relationships effectively and turn conflict
into “win-win” situations.
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
Obedience to teachers and attention to coursework – Students will value goal-setting
and prioritizing to achieve these goals. Students learn the connection between their
coursework and their future goals. This promotes respect and collaboration between
teachers and students.
Maintaining healthy habits – Drug and alcohol prevention as well as prevention of
self-harm behaviors (cutting, choking, etc.) will be highlighted through building
healthy habits of body, heart, mind, and soul. Students learn the connection between
decisions made now, whether healthy or not, and future goals and quality of life.
1. Discipline Philosophy
Our philosophy regarding student behavior focuses on the concept of school culture as it
relates to the quality of the School environment. The ideals and attitudes necessary for a
safe and rewarding environment will be fostered. We understand that ideal students go
beyond the boundaries of the School; therefore we will acknowledge and recognize our
students’ cultural backgrounds and give them positive ways in which to balance the two
cultures.
All students will be expected to abide by the rules and regulations of the School and to
adhere to the philosophies of the School. JSMA believes that having qualified teachers in
the classroom and implementing appropriate classroom management practices will
decrease the amount of disciplinary problems that arise.
Our philosophy of an individualized program for each student will provide advanced
education for them with work above the level of their peers while allowing growth potential
in students at grade level. We believe that our tailored educational programs will engage
students in such a way as to minimize classroom disturbances.
The School shall have clearly defined Classroom Procedures and Expectations posted in
all classrooms and distributed to parents and students. Noncompliance to the Classroom
Expectations will result in consequence by either the classroom teacher or the appropriate
administrator. The school will have the expectation of a Drug Free student body. The
Positive Behavior Support (PBS) model will be implemented to promote good decision
making and positive behavior among the students. Rewards and data regarding highincident behavioral concerns will be used to focus proactively on discipline.
The School will not engage in the corporal punishment of students.
We are committed to high academic standards and personal and social behaviors. We will
share an attitude of optimism with our students in order to build morale. The academic
structure will include:
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Preparation of all of our students for post-secondary education. We will hold
them to high expectations and provide the support needed to meet them.
Students will be encouraged to find links across disciplines and to the broader
world outside of their home communities.
Students will be challenged by the curriculum and will learn to foster their skills in
a multicultural and multidiscipline context.
Leader position and student performances will be tied to student behavior and
personal discipline. Character/social/cultural development will be measured
against leadership attributes, including, but not limited to:
o Leadership grades
o Record of community service- students may participate in a certain number of
community service activities held every semester. In a given semester there
may be 6-10 possible community service activities organized and led by
students.
o Knowledge and implementation of the School’s culture of work and
assignments.
2. Student Discipline
a. JROTC
JSMA will support a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) battalion. All students
will be members of the battalion and will hold leadership positions. This sponsorship is not
an official endorsement of U.S. Armed Services. JROTC participation does not obligate
any student for military service. The program allows for personal growth, education,
leadership and builds self-esteem. Many of the School’s student rank promotion policies,
optional programs, and weekend activities will be linked to our association to JROTC.
The format of the Student Corps will be used to manage our leadership programs until we
are approved as a JROTC school. The Student Corps, founded in 1909, is the oldest
nationwide Student program still existing today. Until full JROTC status is achieved, JSMA
will operate as a National Defense Student Corps (NDCC) school. An NDCC school status
means that the School will be able to hire JROTC certified instructors to teach JROTC
courses, except there is no cost share for JROTC instructors. We have budgeted for these
instructors.
Our students will learn by leading. Service on a student staff will give our students
opportunities to apply leadership skills and develop potential. At JSMA, our students will
learn to lead by actually leading, instead of passively receiving knowledge from a lecturer.
Our students will tend to have a higher motivation to learn and develop their potential than
their peers in other programs as promotion, recognition, and awards will be linked to
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behavior, performance, and self-discipline. They will witness a student staff that has a
degree of autonomy that gives them a real stake in the success of the School. JSMA
faculty and staff will share control of the student battalion and will allow the students to
explore the art of leadership by leading junior students. As such, senior members will coach
and mentor the student staff.
The JSMA concept will focus on goal setting and planning. We will ensure that proper goal
setting and planning is accomplished by the student staff for all activities. Our