Hope Academy uses a Schoolwide Enrichment Program (SEP) to elevate learning for all scholars. The SEP promotes the use of gifted outcomes for ALL scholars, in contrast the traditional practice of giving gifted students access to learning experiences that are different from those of non-gifted students. We believe that all scholars benefit from these non-traditional approaches to learning.
Classroom and enrichment activities enhance the integration of advanced content and individual scholars' interests, emphasizing higher level thinking skills, problem solving, critical thinking skills, research skills, personal growth and human relations exercises, leadership skills, and creative expression. Enrichment classes include music, visual arts, German, Spanish, leadership, computer science, and physical education. These classes compliment the standard courses, which include math, science, social studies, English, and reading. Gifted outcomes are also used in planning standard course instruction.
“Gifted learners need learning experiences that are rich. That is, they need learning experiences that are organized by key concepts and principles of a discipline rather than by facts. They need content that is relevant to their lives, activities that cause them to process important ideas at a high level, and products that cause them to grapple with meaningful problems and pose defensible solutions. They need classrooms that are respectful to them, provide both structure and choice, and help them achieve more than they thought they could. These are needs shared by all learners, not just those who are gifted.”
--Carol Ann Tomlinson, Ed. D. The University of Virginia
At Hope Academy...
WE CREATE RELEVANT LEARNING EXPERIENCES.
Scholars’ learning experiences are made relevant through well-planned school field trips and educational tours.
Preschool scholars watch live-action plays as they see literature come to life before their eyes.
Kindergarten scholars visit the zoo.
1st grade scholars conduct a service learning project at the Humane Society of South Mississippi.
2nd grade scholars learn about marine biology through interactive tours at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.
3rd grade scholars learn about agriculture and farming through the annual Learning Rodeo.
4th grade scholars learn about Mississippi History throughout the year, and that learning is complimented through their Blues Music curriculum and a three-day visit to the heartland of American blues music, The Mississippi Delta.
5th grade scholars study American History, and culminate that learning through a trip to the American Village and Desoto Caverns.
Middle School scholars have a three-year rotation for educational tours around the United States--
Year 1 - a trip to Boston, Massachusetts where scholars see history come alive at the Boston Harbor and other Boston-area historical buildings and sites.
Year 2 - after learning about how the Constitution of the United States was developed by our forefathers and how our government works, Middle School scholars take a trip to Washington D.C. to see where it all happens.
Year 3 - scholars take a STEM-based trip to Silicon Valley in California where they explore science museums and technology hubs, such as Autodesk, Google, and Apple.
How do we do it?
WE PREPARE SCHOLARS FOR HIGHER LEARNING.
School-wide, our Reading, Language, and Math courses are based on the ACT Standards of Readiness. Scholars in grades 3-8 are required to take the ACT Aspire test each spring. This assessment is not a high stakes test, instead it is used to track and improve scholars' readiness for college and career. Curriculum and instructional strategies are adjusted as needed in response to ACT Aspire results, called benchmarks.
According to ACT.org, fewer than 2 in 10 eighth graders in America are on target to be ready for college- and career-level work by the time they graduate. By monitoring readiness using the ACT Aspire beginning in 3rd grade, Hope Academy scholars have a better chance of success in first-year credit-bearing college courses.