Our Redeemer’s curriculum was carefully chosen to ensure that what the students learn and take away from the school with them is in alignment with our goals and mission as a school. We carefully thought about what life skills we wanted to teach our students and the lessons that they would need to become successful adults. What we ended up with is a program that encompasses the body, mind and spirit and uses education of all three to complement and strengthen each aspect.
Using this as a baseline for evaluation, we selected a full academic curriculum including technology, music, art, Spanish, computer and Religion. We emphasize personalized classroom attention — a teaching and testing method that uses the following philosophy:
- Active: Teachers use interactive and engaging methods to introduce and demonstrate new skills and concepts. Students then learn by applying, practicing, extending and demonstrating.
- Iterative: Students are repeatedly exposed to the same learning situation. This may include the teacher defining an extra word, highlighting a different aspect of the challenge or presenting a situation that’s similar but more complex.
- Contextual: Teachers use concrete, relevant situations and challenges in a dependable familiar context and ensure that the promise of learning is explicit to the student.
- Grounded in Research: Teachers apply state-of-the-art understanding about how young children learn and the ways they use media, but through online activities and video.
We accomplish this by using three important tools that students bring home every night (click below to see examples):
All our teachers instruct students to think in a way that gives them a life-long love of learning.
These tools help children make connections between essential curricular content and the world they know, including:
- Connecting Passion with Learning: We start with topics and tales that grab their interest and use these to present concepts and skills that help them dig deeper and construct richer understandings.
- Connecting Learning with Real-Life: We provide learning opportunities in places that children know and in contexts they could encounter on any given day.
- Connecting Learning to New Experiences: We help children make their own connections as they investigate their world and communicate their findings.
To monitor the success of our curriculum, we employ the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and Cognitive Abilities Test. Students have historically tested 2.5 years above grade level on ITBS. The grading system is on a percentile basis. Parents are given mid-quarter progress reports, quarterly report cards and semi-annual teacher conferences.