Both the North and South Campus offer comprehensive teaching and learning methods geared toward providing every student with personalized learning based on their individual learning style, strengths and weaknesses. Using a fully blended model, FFA teachers oversee student progress on APEX Learning Systems courses while meeting individually, in small groups and in full classes to provide direct instruction as well as necessary tutorials. In doing so, all professional staff remained focused on the life skills required to succeed AFTER high school. FFA students will achieve through use of all of the following:
(1) Strong Curriculum Plan
The academic objectives for the School are:
- Provide a relevant and rigorous core academic curriculum that meets all students’ needs;
- Provide ongoing opportunities for students to accelerate their learning in a variety of ways;
- Use varied assessment methods that are mastery-based and performancebased;
- Integrate technology to enhance the teaching and learning environment;
- Offer ongoing support for students through tutoring sessions, small group and full class, direct instruction; and
- Provide FCAT / ACT / SAT /EOC preparation so that all students demonstrate increases in learning levels as required for graduation
The School will give each student a first-rate, quality education aligned with the Florida State Standards, while also:
- Counseling the student in regards to personal and social issues that might be prohibiting that student from learning
- Teaching the student valuable life management skills
- Training the student for, and placing the student in, gainful employment
- Preparing the student to pursue postsecondary opportunities by teaching him/her how to learn, and by equipping each student with career employability skills and career opportunities, thereby empowering him/her along the path to success
(2) Enriched Learning Experiences
The instructional software that will be used by the School will deliver a broad curriculum to support teachers in creating rich, in-depth learning experiences for their students. Each course will provide a complete scope and sequence with original instructional content that will not only guide students in mastering critical skills and developing an understanding of key concepts but will also encourage them to extend their learning beyond required content. Multimedia tutorials will provide students with opportunities to explore and discover new concepts. Images, sound tracks, short movies, animations, charts, maps, and graphs integrated throughout the text will provide alternative representations and address different learning styles. Varied activities will challenge students to explore further, extend their understanding, think critically, apply skills and concepts to new situations, and develop and express their points of view. Students will be actively engaged in learning as they read, watch, listen, inquire, write, discuss, explore, and manipulate objects and data. The curriculum will go beyond asking students to memorize facts; instead, it will focus on requiring students to identify causes, changes, and trends. In addition, the School will integrate district-adopted textbooks and supporting resources to enhance each student’s learning experience.
(3) Technology-Enhanced Core Academics
The School understands that “one size does not fit all” and high need students require a plethora of learning activities and opportunities. As such, the School will use a variety of technology-enhanced courses and research-based learning programs aligned to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS). Courses offered by the School will help students achieve the NGSSS and prepare them to be college and career ready. These programs may include Apex Learning, Carnegie Learning, Jamestown Reading Navigator, Reading Plus, Bridges, and School Connect. By using content from multiple providers, we will be able to offer standards-based courses in mathematics, science, English, social studies, world languages, electives, Honors, and Advanced Placement for grades 9 through 12.
Apex Learning courses serve as the School’s primary curriculum and provide foundational, comprehensive, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. Apex Learning courses and instruction may be supplemented with curriculum lessons from Your Teacher, Jamestown Reading Navigator, Reading Plus, Bridges, and School Connect. The program from Your Teacher will provide focused instruction in high school math courses, including pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry. Reading programs from Jamestown Reading Navigator and Reading Plus will help students achieve proficiency in reading. Bridges will be used for career planning and preparation, and School Connect helps students develop social/personal skills.
Apex Learning (accredited by the Commission on Schools of the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools)provides comprehensive online instructional content and assessments that help teachers individualize instruction, ensuring each student has the opportunity to achieve to his or her potential. Online diagnostic assessments pinpoint student strengths and weaknesses. Detailed reports provide teachers with performance information for an entire class and individual students. Study plans help teachers guide students to relevant instructional content that engages them in active learning experiences to master skills and develop conceptual understanding. Apex Learning gives teachers the flexibility to determine how to most effectively use these online curriculum resources to enhance classroom instruction.
Apex Learning helps teachers create active learning experiences that keep students alert and engaged. Interactive, original subject material is presented in a step-by-step fashion that is designed specifically to appeal to students. Multimedia tutorials provide opportunities to explore and discover new material. Manipulative tools encourage hands-on interaction to master concepts. Interactive exercises and self-checks give frequent opportunities to confirm understanding and apply new concepts. Multiple representations help teachers reach each student. Apex Learning provides teachers with online content based on time-tested, research based pedagogical principles. Teachers can use introductory material to create an anticipatory set. Guided-inquiry and direct instruction activities help teachers engage students in focused instruction. Practice and application exercises can be assigned to reinforce skills and deepen conceptual understanding. Progress can be assessed throughout the instructional phase with formative assessments that provide feedback to both students and teachers.
Assessment opportunities – including formative, summative, and diagnostic assessments – are integrated throughout Apex Learning’s digital curriculum. Each lesson begins with the learning objectives for the lesson. Assessments address each learning objective and are designed specifically to test students at various levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Formative and diagnostic assessments provide opportunities to gauge student progress on an ongoing basis. Summative assessments require students to demonstrate content mastery at the end of each unit and semester. Each Apex Learning online course provides a complete scope and sequence based on state and national standards. Courses are organized into semesters, units, lessons, and activities. A typical semester includes 5-6 units, each with 5-6 lessons. A typical lesson comprises a number of activities including studies, practices, readings, journals, labs, discussions, projects, web explorations, reviews, and both computerand teacher-scored assessments, including unit diagnostics. Each semester has an average of 750 pages, 1,000 images, 250 multimedia tutorials, 250 interactive exercises, 50 computer-graded assessments, and 85 vetted web links.