I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well – Psalm 139:14
The First Academy recognizes that all students are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and strives for all of our students to experience academic success, become useful members of the body of Christ, and reach their highest potential in both of these areas. The First Academy is committed to offering students an educational opportunity in line with the mission of the school:
The First Academy is a Christ-centered, college-preparatory school whose mission is to prepare children for life as Christian leaders who choose character before career, wisdom beyond scholarship, service before self, and participation as a way of life.
Learning-i.e. Enrichment classes are designed for academically talented and gifted students in Grades 1-5. Kindergarten classes begin the second half of the school year. Students are invited to attend based on standardized test scores as well as classroom achievement. This program is self-funded and not covered as part of tuition or grade-level activity fees. Therefore, there is an additional yearly fee to be a part of the program.
Enrichment Classes meet one time per week. Students come as a grade level and class sizes are limited to 14 students. With the exception of shortened weeks, students will always come on the same day and time.
How are students selected to be a part of Learning-i.e. Enrichment Classes? The following evaluative data is considered when inviting students to be a part of Learning-i.e. Enrichment Classes:
Outside psychoeducational evaluations must have been conducted within the last two (2) years. Current teacher input is also required in addition to the evaluation. The First Academy reserves the right to make the final decision on Learning-i.e. invitations after documentation has been submitted to the school and reviewed by qualified staff.
All students are considered for Learning-i.e. Enrichment Classes every year.
Inductive Reasoning: A bottom-up approach of reasoning in which students work from the specific to the general; from observations to conclusions.
Deductive Reasoning: A top-down approach to reasoning in which students work from the general to the more specific; from known facts to conclusions.
Mathematics: Studying and explaining numbers, quantities, measurements, shapes, patterns, and how they are related.
In Learning-i.e., students will take the mathematical skills they have learned in the general education classroom to solve more complex problems. They will spend extensive time studying the relationships between numbers, including different forms.
Sunshine Math is the program used in all grade levels. Students complete weekly problems that range in difficulty from 1-4 stars, and are encouraged to show positive growth in the number of problems they can solve correctly each week as the year progresses.
Analogies: Students explore word relationships and expand those same relationships to new word pairs.
Word Classifications: Students study word definitions and practice classifying them using different relationships, including past/present tense verbs, singular/plural nouns, contractions, synonyms, antonyms, homophones, rhyming words, and compound words. Students are exposed to the most common words encountered frequently in a school setting.
Greek and Latin Roots: Students in grades 3-5 study different word parts, including roots, prefixes, and suffixes. They are responsible for learning between 5-10 new words every two weeks.
Students apply their critical thinking skills and engage both sides of the brain with the left side analyzing patterns while the right recalls previous information. These activities offer a different approach to developing inductive and deductive reasoning skills.
Throughout the school year, students will complete shorter units of study in the areas of literacy, science, social science, and math. These are designed to be fun and engaging activities that will broaden the students’ knowledge and interests. Different units of study vary from year-to-year but may include the following:
Learning-i.e. students in Grades 2-5 will each have a personal KidBlog page. Students will have monthly assignments to work on both inside and outside of class. Topics for blog submissions will include items such as book reviews, top 10 lists, and different types of poetry. This outlet will allow students to simultaneously express themselves in a creative way while sharing their ideas with one another.
Throughout the year, the students will complete hands-on problems as well as spontaneous verbal problems. The goal of these exercises is to foster creative problem solving and cooperation.
Learning-i.e. students will be using technology on a weekly basis in class. A class set of iPads are available to the students to help enhance their learning. Students are expected to be responsible with the classroom technology, and any student who misuses it will lose the privilege for a specified period of time.
Students are responsible for making up all work missed in the grade level classroom while at Learning-i.e. All work must be completed and returned to the teacher by the following school day. At times, students may be required to complete graded classwork at another time during the school day at the teacher’s discretion.
Students are also responsible for maintaining exemplary grades. At any point, students may be required to miss Learning-i.e. classes if it is determined by the Learning-i.e. instructor and grade level teacher that the student would better benefit from remaining in the grade level classroom.
Students are expected to honor the following rules during Learning-i.e. class:
Any student having trouble following the classroom rules will receive a warning first. If the student continues to have trouble, he/she will receive a Learning-i.e. Behavior Notice. This notice must be returned to Learning-i.e. signed by a parent before the student can return. Any student who repeatedly creates a disruption to the learning environment may lose the privilege of being a part of Learning-i.e.
Learning-i.e. work is not graded and is not a part of The First Academy report card. Each student will receive a progress report at the end of each semester (December and May). That will detail the student’s performance in the different areas emphasized as part of Learning-i.e.