Promoting academic mastery and social learning at CCS

The Charlotte Central School (CCS) staff is undertaking a number of activities to improve social and academic learning and proficiency this year. On the academic front, CCS is engaged in a design/build implementation that is moving the instructional system from a standards-based system to a system that measures proficiency at each level. The teachers and staff are well along in this process, which provides students a choice of instructional activities leading them to the proficiency of curricular standards.

Students explore how they wish to meet standards by choosing particular lessons along a tiered system. This approach responds to the wide variations in learning among students in each classroom and gives them more responsibility for their own learning. In order to design and implement such a program, teachers must be experts in their subject matter and must be precise in their selection of learning activities that lead to mastery of standards.

In the area of social-emotional learning, the school has instituted a number of initiatives to improve peer and adult connection. These lessons involve both communication skills and the development of empathy. Changes in scheduling, the introduction of a social-learning curriculum, advisory morning meetings and multi-age classrooms are all improving the school climate. These academic and social initiatives are moving students to mastery in the four areas defined by the Champlain Valley School District (CVSD) as important habits of mind: problem solving, effective communication, self-direction, and informed thinking and responsible citizenship.