RFPCS JUNIOR HIGH PROGRAM
RFPCS is enrolling 7th & 8th grade students for the 2017/2018 school year.
The Robert Frost Public Charter School’s middle school curriculum places the child at the center of the educational experience. Consideration of critical developmental needs of adolescents is integrated with the Montessori philosophy and Project-Based Learning experiences. Woven throughout are Common Core State Standards in Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, in addition to 21st Century skills. Educators continue in the RFPCS tradition of meeting each student where they are academically, emotionally and socially, helping each individual to move forward at his or her own pace.
Our Junior High students experience an iterative approach to learning content (depth over breadth). Students learn about a topic through instruction, then ask questions, research, evaluate answers uncovered (citing sources and evaluating quality of sources), share the information found, ask new questions based on the new information, research, and continue this process until individual students are able to share or demonstrate their accurate knowledge of a topic.
The Montessori philosophy expects adolescent students connect to society in an adult capacity by igniting curiosity on how society functions and building motivation and opportunity for real world interactions. In keeping with the Montessori philosophy our junior high program provides opportunities to:
- Take on adult-like responsibilities
- Establish social relationships in a larger society
- Understand and participate in economic activity reflective of society
- Deepen the relationship between one’s actions and the needs of others through the exploration of morality and justice
- Find the ability to synthesize questions and find answers on their own
- Foster the exploration of topics of personal interest to promote inquiry
- Develop independence and inner evolution of the individual
- Understanding self-discipline as an aspect of individual liberty and the chief factor of success in life
- Recognize the importance of realizing one’s own value
Project-Based Learning provides practice of 21st Century Skills, as students are required to think creatively, communicate their ideas, work collaboratively and take responsibility and ownership of themselves and their work. Project-Based Learning takes key academic concepts to a deeper, more meaningful level through student-led exploration. In keeping with the Project-Based Learning principles our Junior High program provides opportunities to:
- Generate a “driving question” that is reflective of the student’s interest to frame their exploration
- Make choices about the final product created to demonstrate knowledge
- Develop skills such as time management and collaboration
- Practice continual inquiry to develop the answers needed to create a final product
- Present work to others and share the knowledge gained
- Learn the process for and value of constructive criticism that leads to revisions or further research
DEVELOPMENAL NEEDS OF THE ADOLESCENT
In keeping with the Robert Frost Public Charter School’s commitment to provide an educational setting that meets the developmental needs of the child, our Junior High program supports the following developmental needs:
- Movement toward social and economic independence
- Development of identity
- Acquisition of skills needed to carry out adult relationships and roles
- Capacity for abstract reasoning
- Awareness of the role of social context during this time of development
Robert Frost Charter School Junior High students develop the skills required by the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math, as well all the New Hampshire learning outcomes in Science and Social Studies.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are explored as inter-related topics. STEM project-based learning experiences provide students with opportunities to demonstrate understanding of concepts learned through a combination of experiences with community experts, research, and teacher instruction. Responsible and appropriate use of technology, experiment design, concept creation and evaluation, and systems thinking will be emphasized.
Social Studies focus on Civics, History, and Economics. Language Arts serves as a vehicle to examine these topics through a human experience lens, examining the relationship between one’s actions and the needs of others. Through Socratic questioning, research and literature (fiction and non-fiction) students will explore and create personal responses to concepts explored that demonstrate student understanding of these concepts in addition to their language arts skills. Economic concepts are explored through concrete experiences connected to our local community. RFPCS Junior High students will leave our program well prepared to take on the challenges of High School and life as a contributing community member.