Academic Standards & Access To A Broad Course Of Study
Communication is key to the next generation of learners and Darnall Charter School is committed to fostering speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in all learners and across all curricula. Our TK-5 program emphasizes Foundational Skills as described in the CCSS. In all grades, we will strike a balance between fiction and informational text for reading and writing knowing that student literacy needs to be well-rounded. Text and media provide the common experience from which teachers will draw to create learning opportunities that authentically engage students in collaboration and communication. We understand the value of student discourse in face-to-face settings and through the tools of social media. We believe that through discourse students will develop a deeper understanding of concepts as well as the ability to think creatively and critically, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, and develop social and cross-cultural skills. Likewise, a focus on student discourse authentically supports the academic language development of our ELs.
Implementation of the Eight Mathematical Practices provides the foundation of our mathematics instruction while fostering the 21st Century learning proficiencies of communication, and critical and creative thinking.
History/Social Science, Science, and Technical Subjects
In Transitional Kindergarten through Grade 5 History/Social Science and Science are integrated in the Reading/Language Arts curriculum. Students engage in literacy instruction and experiences that develop their skills and abilities to comprehend content material while learning about important events and people in history and foundational concepts in science. In grades 6-8 students engage in deep exploration of the State Standards in History/Social Science, Science, and Technical Subjects.
Darnall Charter School has begun transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California Public Schools. Students are asked to make sense of phenomena and problem-solve using the three dimensions of science: crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. Darnall Charter plans to adopt a new Science curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year once the CDE issues its list of new Science adoptions.
Bilingual Education - Spanish and English
Darnall Charter School has a transitional Bilingual Program, more fully elaborated later in this petition. The Bilingual Program utilizes the student’s primary language to teach academic content in order for students to access the core curriculum. The main goal of Darnall’s Bilingual Program is English proficiency, while building upon unique cultural and linguistic attributes of our Spanish speaking students.
Introducing fitness at a young age raises youth’s awareness of the important role fitness plays in living a healthy lifestyle. At Darnall Charter School, all TK-6th grade students participate weekly and 7-8th grade students daily in standards-based physical education classes guided by the California Physical Education Framework and California Physical Education Standards. Our physical education program strives to provide instruction that increases fitness, develops physical skills, cognition, sport, and affective domains of attitude, interest, and cultural acceptance. Darnall Charter School’s master schedule ensures that students receive the minimum number of physical education minutes recommended by the state.
Visual and Performing Arts
Darnall Charter School students are given opportunities to think critically and creatively beyond academic areas. We offer students exposure to the visual and performing arts through weekly Art and Music classes. Students work independently and collaboratively on a variety of artistic endeavors and performances.
Art: Many TK and kindergartners arrive at school knowing how to operate tablets and smartphones before they can read. This phenomenon emphasizes the importance of learning through visual representation and our comprehensive art program provides this opportunity. Through lessons based on the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards, students learn such concepts as line, color, and composition and work with a variety of media while fine tuning their motor skills. Our art program enhances students’ development of 21st Century learning by engaging students in creative expression, communication using artistic language, and decision making. Students study and are inspired by the work of classical and contemporary artists and have many opportunities to express themselves. Our students will develop an understanding and appreciation of art as a form of communication and its relationship to the outside world. We believe that it is important to foster a child's artistic creativity because creative thinking, problem solving, and questioning foster the development of a creative individual and prepares them for success in tomorrow's world.
Music: Our general music program is designed to expose students to the power and passion that listening to and creating music can ignite. Music lessons are based on standards for the Visual and Performing Arts and executed with an understanding and consideration of developmentally appropriate instruction. Students will develop rhythm and an understanding of melody and harmony through singing and instrumental lessons. They will learn basic skills for percussion, keyboards, and string instruments, while developing the 21st Century skills of collaboration, communication, and creativity. Students will deepen their understanding of music as a cultural phenomenon through listening to music from around the world and engaging in the study of music history. Further, students will have the opportunity to develop confidence and presence when performing for family and friends at school events.