In preparation for workforce or post secondary education, Alee Academy challenges students to fulfill their academic and personal potential.
Alee Academy provides former dropouts and at-risk students an opportunity to develop vocational skills, gain employment and earn a high school diploma. Their options are earn a high school equivalency through the GED/HSCT Exit Option or credit recovery in preparation for returning to their zone school. Alee Academy believes that all students can achieve excellence in a positive and challenging educational environment that stimulates their interest, channels their energies and develops their ability. Recognizing the individual strengths and intrinsic worth of all students, Alee Academy will provide specific skill development opportunities for all students to increase self-confidence and achieve self-discipline. Students participate in a non-traditional learning environment, completing courses requirements meeting the Sunshine State Standards.
Instructional program overview
Instructional methods will be direct teacher instruction, tutorial, work site training and computer assisted learning. Because of the unique design and implementation, martial arts curriculum will provide an effective means for enhancing the motivational climate of the educational experience. Realistic and practical correlation between the academy and the work site will further motivate students. In consideration of age and functioning level, preparation and encouragement of the GED will be offered at this center. Students gain employability skills through vocational courses and work site partnerships. The computer lab will provide computer-assisted instruction for remediation in the basic academic skills. The primary academic emphasis will be on the reading lab. Enrichment activities will be incorporated throughout the curriculum utilizing the martial arts thematic approach while enhancing discipline and self-confidence. This affords the opportunity for students to engage in team-building and communication skills.
Instruction will be individualized. The students will progress at their own level as the instruction will not be guided by seat time but by what it is that students are supposed to know or be able to do. This shift requires that teachers at Alee Academy plan instructional time around the learning goals for each student and around moving each student toward the intended skills and knowledge necessary to achieve a GED.
While direct instruction is an important teaching strategy, through the work-study program the students will learn through interaction and active hands-on learning experiences. Alee Academy will focus on providing pre-employment and employment skills training, incorporating transitional work features into regularly scheduled school activities. This will be accomplished by integrating core subject content with business training requirements, using the work-study program.
The Vocational Instructor will coordinate business partners as part of the work-study and vocational training curriculum. This role will be to identify business partners, provide career counseling for students thus creating an opportunity for the students to gain meaningful employment. This instructor will supervise these internships and work closely with the students, parents and business partners assuring that the vocational curriculum is meeting the needs of the students.
The Martial Arts Liaison will instruct the students on a daily basis in physical fitness curriculum, self-esteem and self-discipline.
The instructional materials (text publishers and software) for GED prep courses will be Steck-Vaughn GED Comprehensive Review Book, Cambridge GED Program Mathematics, Cambridge Pre-GED Program in Science, Cambridge Pre-GED Program in Social Studies and a computer assisted learning system for Reading Remediation, GED preparatory software, HSCT preparation workbooks, and PASS material.
Student Assessment and Grading
Student performance will be assessed through the use of Standford Diagnostic Reading Test (SDRT) and the Standford Diagnostic Math Test (SDMT) as measured by pre and post testing. Assignments will be accumulated through teacher observation, daily assignments, teacher-made tests, and practical application including daily logs and business partner observations and weekly work site evaluations. Pre and post-tests when compared along with vocational assessment will determine the degree of student progress.
For the first year individual progress and goals will be measured by individual students gains. The first part of the "success equation" which will assure that Alee Academy provides an opportunity for the students to succeed is attendance. As with any opportunity to learn, a student must first be present to gain understanding and knowledge. The program is designed to lure back to the classroom those who have dropped out and provide another route for these students to gain academic skills of a general education nature and proficiencies in a vocational area. As the students who will attend Alee Academy have dropped out of the traditional school environment and are not attending any formal education program, Alee Academy will expect/accept no less than 80% attendance. The second part of the "success equation" will be performance based.
The system of achieving a specific number of credits for graduation has been replaced with performance standards which must be mastered in reading, writing, math, science, social studies and a vocational area. The academic proficiencies are demonstrated when a student can pass the GED and HSCT. The vocational skills are mastered when a student can perform the skills demanded for a particular vocational area and can demonstrate employability skills.
Several key ingredients motivate these students who were previously unmotivated by the traditional course of study. The success in the academic areas is attributed to the computer-assisted instruction using the A+Learning program. Students are tested to determine their ability levels in each of the five areas (reading, English, math, science and history) and based on the test results, are given individualized programs tailor-made for their needs. The teacher designs courses of study based on prescriptions given by the computer curriculum for each student so that he/she is working at his/her own level. The student logs onto the computer with an identification code and receives instruction and practice via the computer. The student works at his/her own pace while a certified classroom teacher circulates in the area to give individual help when it is needed.
The computer-assisted instruction accomplishes what a classroom teacher cannot possibly achieve in a room with twenty to thirty-five students who have low motivation and different skill levels. Besides having an individualized program at his/her own skill level, the student is given instant, positive feedback upon completion of each question and activity. The role of the classroom teacher is enhanced, not replaced, as many may fear. The computer has become the "authority" figure, telling a student when he/she is right or needs more work, and the teacher is the facilitator who is viewed positively by the students as one who can help them "beat the computer." It is expected that discipline problems in this computer-assisted environment will be minimal.
Good assessment practices are necessary to measure student performance and incremental change. Properly created assessment sets meaningful standards to which the school, teachers and students aspire. The standards provide direction for instructional efforts and models of good practice. Assessment results provide feedback on instructional strengths and weaknesses and suggest prescriptions for action at all levels of the system. Assessment can motivate students to learn better, teachers to teach better and the school to be accountable and educationally effective.
The most typical forms of assessment are tests that measure the student's ability to understand and remember the content of what is taught. The form of assessment, which is the emphasis of traditional multiple-choice testing, measures level skills and rote memory. Over half the content is memorized for the test and forgotten within two weeks.
Whenever possible, Alee Academy will use alternative forms of assessment with the following common elements:
Students will perform, create, produce, or do something
Tasks will require higher-level thinking and /or problem solving skills
Tasks will provide measures of metacognitive processes and attitudes as well as the more usual intellectual products
Tasks will represent real-world applications
Tasks will include a component of group participation
Tasks will include the uses of SCANS competencies
Each student will have a Personal Education and Goal Plan (PEP) as a result will have individual baselines from which to determine success. For example, if a student is doing math at a 6th grade level, yet is only reading at 4th grade level, success for the student will be measured more on the student's incremental change than on norm referenced baseline standards. All students entering Alee Academy will be given a standard achievement test (Brigance or TABE) to determine their math and reading achievement levels. This will help establish a goal basis for the student and give basis for the pre and post grade.
The staff at Alee Academy will develop the specific tools to be used for assessment in each course. Some of the criteria that will be used to develop the tools and methods of assessment are as follows:
The tool should have positive consequences instead of unintended effects such as narrowing the curriculum or adverse effects of disadvantaged students.
The tool should consider fairly the cultural background of the students and make certain all students have had an equal opportunity to learn problem-solving skills.
The tool should reflect and draw on critical, enduring aspects of the content.
The tool should have assessment tasks that represent the full curriculum.
The tool should engage students in meaningful problems, resulting in worthwhile educational experiences and greater motivation for performance.
Assessment of core academic areas will be conducted in accordance with district, state and federal guidelines.
The curriculum will incorporate the Core Knowledge and Sunshine State Standards. Statewide and national assessment test will be used to assess students' strengths and needs, as well as to determine how well students have met educational goals and standards.
Each student will have his or her own Personal Education and Goal Plan (PEP). In a collaborative effort between a staff advisor, the student, the student's parents and the student's teachers, a plan will be developed. The PEP plan sets out a student's strengths and weakness and lists the student's goals for improvement.
When assessing the student's strengths and weaknesses the following areas are to be taken into consideration:
The student's prior school performance and GPA.
Any current or prior achievement testing.
Examples of the student's work.
The personal account of the student.
Information and suggestions from the parents of the student.
Current grades and current performance will be evaluated for each student at least four times per year by the staff advisor. The student will meet with monthly in advisory group meetings and will set regular academic goals that are realistic and include an action component as to how the goals will be accomplished.
Alee Academy Alternative School is a Charter School organization
No. of Schools: 1
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