The Phoenix Academy of Art and Science school program has been developed on research- backed foundational teaching and learning practices and with the intent of offering a curriculum that is more experiential and personally appealing to students. Phoenix Academy is a comprehensive tuition-free public K-8 school offering a rigorous academic program while integrating the visual and performing arts. Phoenix Academy is a unique learning environment with smaller classrooms, lower student to teacher ratios, and a hands-on approach to teaching and learning. Phoenix Academy students receive all necessary academic support, and participate in advanced learning opportunities during enrichment hour classes that take place each semester or trimester.
Supportive Classroom Design
Each Phoenix Academy classroom is designed to provide high levels of support to all students by providing regular small group and individualized instruction on a daily basis. Regular small group instruction is made possible through the use of highly trained instructional assistants (IAs) and by using rotation based instructional strategies. We follow a data-driven instructional model using frequent assessment tools to evaluate how well students are learning and then to plan how to provide individualized instruction until each student masters each topic.
Benchmark Literacy Curriculum
Benchmark Literacy curriculum provides our students with exposure to non-fiction and science based material, and fits well with the Daily 5 and guided reading that we will be implementing. Daily 5 is a “structure that helps students develop the daily habits of reading, writing, and working independently that will lead to a lifetime of literacyindependence.”
Experiential Learning Focus
A comprehensive and highly experiential or “hands on” FOSS science curriculum. We believe that science is a topic that must be experiential. Kids should be doing experiments on a regular basis and the FOSS curriculum includes all of the labs and experiments that accompany each topic learned.
Research Backed Curriculum
Singapore Math is a research-based curriculum that aligns with core standards. Originally created by the Curriculum Planning & Development Division of the Singapore Ministry of Education, the Singapore program has now been implemented successfully in over 1500 schools in the U.S.
Why Integrate The Arts?
Research strongly supports the notion that arts education and integration can help struggling students to better learn the topics. For example, (Fiske, 2002) found that the arts provide students with authentic learning experiences that are real and meaningful to them. Others have discovered that when the arts are integrated into academic instruction, the learning experiences can become enhanced with discovery, improving the conditions for learning. Over the past two decades, ample research has been conducted establishing direct correlations between sustained involvement in arts programs and the development of cognitive and meta-cognitive capacities or “habits of mind,” associated with high student achievement and college readiness. These capacities include focused perception, analysis, elaboration, problem solving, motivation, active engagement and critical thinking skills.
We do not believe that simply increasing art activities alone is a silver bullet in achieving academic success. The Phoenix Academy school program also incorporates practices of schools that have been labeled “highly successful.”
For example, we offer:
• Smaller class sizes
• Research supported curriculum
• Small group instruction daily
• Uniform policy to enhance a strong school culture.
• A team teaching approach
• Connected classrooms that allow for daily team teaching.
• High levels of professional development for teachers;
• Instructional assistants that are highly trained;
• Staff that possess (and demonstrate) attributes of flexibility, optimism, adaptability, and the ability to problem solve.