We achieve our goals by crafting a program that reflects our values: relationship-building, joy, growth and community. 

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Our Values: Detailed Descriptions

RELATIONSHIPS: the basis for all of our work is our relationships with students, families, our staff, school staff, partner organizations, partner individuals, alumni, and others.  We strive to cultivate authentic and strong relationships because we know that the quality and depth of these relationships are the basis for the growth of our students and staff.

1.       JOY and TEAMWORK:   we believe that joy and teamwork must be central in the learning process in order to build relationships and fully invest students and staff in the academic and community work that we are doing, and prepare ourselves to be advocates for social justice.

EXAMPLES:

a.       Program Potluck:  we have a potluck dinner for all students  and staff one evening midway through the program.

b.      Instructional Gaming:  all of our teachers use competitive games in their classrooms as learning activities so that students have fun while they learn.

c.       Team Competition:  all students are part of a team where they compete with other teams to earn the most points through attendance, participation, and winning athletic and academic competitions.

d.      Extracurricular Activities:  students grades K-9 participate in extracurricular activities like soccer, basketball, and art everyday while students 10-11 have the opportunity to participate after school.

f.        Chants and Motivational Media  we chant our slogan "I know I can, be what I want to be..."  every morning to get us all motivated for the day, and we watch other inspirational movies or speeches  

g.       Camp/Classes Hybrid for grades K-9:  we have found a balance between summer camp and school for grades K-9 so that they get quality English instruction in the morning and also have time for fun activities in the afternoon.

2.       COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: we believe that the success of students is predicated upon their engagement with the community, and the community has a key role toplay in the education of a child.  For this reason, we bring the community into the school and we bring the school into the community.

EXAMPLES:

b.       Community Service:  our staff and students go on community service trips to learn about challenges that different parts of the community are facing and contribute to supporting them.

c.      Guest Speakers: individuals from the community come to speak to our students and staff about their work in order to be role models for students.

3.       ACADEMIC and PERSONAL GROWTH: we value growth, both academic and personal.  We push students to focus not on where they are now but on where they need to go in order to achieve their dreams, both in terms of their character and their English skills.  We recognize and award students who grow the most, rather than just those who achieve the highest.

EXAMPLES:   

a.       Growth Goals and Awards for Behavior and Academics:  we set overall growth goals and students set their own growth goals and we track progress over the course of the programming, recognizing those who achieve through feedback and awards. 

b.      Data-Driven Instruction:  we use Grade Cam to grade SAT assessments for 10th-11th graders and provide them specific feedback about what skills they need improvement on.  Our teachers also plan their lessons based on students' needs as shown in the data.  

c.       Support, Coaching, and Feedback:  each program manager observes the teachers at least once per week and provides them with feedback on what they are doing well and how they can improve.

d.      Project-Based Learning:  for our students grades 3-9, teachers plan projects that allow students to apply their learning to real life, like interviewing shop owners to ask them about their business in order to learn about the economy.  

e.      Culturally Responsive Teaching: we strive to plan our curriculum, specifically for grades K-9, so that it is responsive to the experiences of our students and so that the material is engaging and meaningful for them.  

h.      Accountability and Parent Communication:   we hold students accountable for being on time and completing homework in the 10th-11th grade program by keeping them for a "Homework Detention" after school.  We also communicate directly with parents about any issues in school, lateness, missing work, behavior concerns.  They will also gain or lose points for their team based on their attendance and completion of homework.