The Robert Frost Public Charter School offers an approach to instruction that places each child at the center of the educational experience. Caring educators meet each student where they are academically, emotionally and socially, helping them to move forward at their own pace.
Our approach to instruction is a blend of the Montessori Method and Project-Based Learning. Student’s academic goals are drawn from the Common Core Standards and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21). This unique, blended framework of curriculum guides instruction in all traditional academic areas as well as in the development of personal skills (critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration) that students will need to be successful in the 21st Century.
At Robert Frost Public Charter School, each child is empowered to take ownership of his or her own learning with guidance from educators. Teachers guide students in setting academic goals and support students as they develop daily work plans for accomplishing those goals.
Within our mixed-age classrooms, children have the opportunity practice emerging skills for as long as necessary in order to confidently apply new concepts. They are also free to move on to new skills as soon as they are ready. Skills are introduced using Montessori materials and are most often presented in a small-group lesson. Lessons are given to students as they become ready for a new skill. In our mixed-age classrooms it is common for students of a variety of ages and grade levels to be in the same lesson. By moving students forward academically at their own pace, our students develop confidence in their abilities and demonstrate a true love of learning.
Montessori materials support student’s independent practice of new skills. Abstract concepts such as addition, and even quadratic equations, are presented through hands-on materials that invite students to explore, discover and practice. This independent practice keeps students engaged and actively learning throughout the day. As student understanding grows, their use of materials decreases and they experience a tangible sense of success.
Success in today’s global environment requires more than skill mastery. Students also need to be able to apply those skills to real world situations. Students also need to be able to think creatively, communicate their ideas, work collaboratively and take responsibility and ownership of themselves and their work. At Robert Frost Public Charter School we foster these critical 21st Century Skills through project experiences. Students engage in a variety of Project Based Learning experiences. Some are student-driven, based on a child’s own curiosity or passion. Others are structured by teachers and challenge students to work with diverse individuals, reach into the community, apply new knowledge or gain a deeper understanding of important topics. All project experiences provides students with opportunities to develop organizational, leadership, communication and personal management skills.
All Robert Frost Public Charter School students also benefit from language instruction and the integration of the foreign languages within the core curriculum. Students also gain exposure to the variety of different cultures and traditions that exist throughout the world. Speaking a second language is an important skill in today’s global economy and having an appreciation of different cultures will serve our students well as they make their way through our increasingly global society.
EXTRA CURRICULAR EXPERIENCES
Both the Montessori tradition and Project-Based Learning offer a wealth of opportunities to bring art and music experiences into the daily classroom experience. Movement is also an important part of the classroom experience, as students are free to move about the classroom throughout the day. In addition to classroom experiences, the Robert Frost Public Charter School brings in area experts to provide additional opportunities to engage more deeply in a variety of extra curricular areas. For example, music instructors from the community often provide choral, instrument or music appreciation experiences to students. Physical Fitness trainers have been brought in to support physical education experiences, and each winter our students participate in the Eastern Slope Ski Club (ESSC) seasonal ski program.