GEO Foundation schools utilize a variety of cutting-edge and proven methods to increase our students' academic success. We aim to prepare each child to not only graduate from high school, but also ready to enter into college and earn a degree.
The fundamental premise of Core Knowledge, a coherent and content specific foundation for learning, is that "knowledge builds on knowledge."
The Core Knowledge Sequence provides our schools with a detailed outline of the specific content and skills to be taught year-by-year, grade-by-grade, in an age appropriate sequence. This Sequence helps us prevent the many repetitions and gaps in instruction that may otherwise result from independently created teacher curriculum guides.
Our schools utilize Core Knowledge in grades K-8. The Sequence acts as guardrails for our curriculum, providing a coherently organized plan for the content and skills instruction, while remaining flexible enough not to exclude essential state standards or locally determined content and skills. The end results are a well-aligned curriculum that ensures our teachers have adequate time to not only teach the state-tested material, but also incorporate the background knowledge necessary for student to connect information across multiple disciplines.
It is important to note that music and art are essential elements of the Sequence, not add-ons. By infusing the arts within the daily curriculum students are exposed to a rich array of not only visual arts and music, but also other arts such as dance or drama. The Core Knowledge Sequence helps GEO ensure the development of the whole child.
Blended learning is a purposeful and fundamental design element of our instructional model to accelerate learning towards college and career readiness.
To us, blended learning represents an opportunity to develop schools that are better positioned to reach the right students with the right resources and interventions at the right time.
"Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at lease in part through the online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, path and/or pace." Innosight Institute
Our schools are fully implementing blended learning. This will allow teachers to help students to "catch up," "keep up," or "speed up."
Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs.
PPP students that choose to enroll in Project Lead the Way courses have the opportunity to participate in daily lessons that allow them to apply whay the learn to solve real-world challenges. These students participate in an engaging and thought-provoking curriculum that empowers them to develop teh problem-solving and critical-thinking skills necessary for success in life beyond high school.
Project Lead the Way offers three different programs:
- Gateway to Technology Program is intended for grades 6-8.
- The Pathway to Engineering Program is intended for grades 9-12.
- Biomedical Sciences Program is intended for grades 9-12.
The middle and high school programs are aligned with both the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, yet flexible and customizable so that our schools can meet both state and local curriculum needs. Presently, high school students may participate in the Pathway to Engineering Program. In the 2013-14 school year, we will begin offering the Gateway to Technology Program for all middle school students.
Advanced Placement courses are offered through the College Board, the same organization that administers and scores the SATs.
These are designed to push students further than the traditional classroom helping students acquire higher level skills necessary for college.
AP courses allow students to explore a subject area more fully. These courses delve in to the content deeply and more thoroughly than the general curriculum. The projects, research, readings, and assignments give students the opportunity to stretch their thinking and their knowledge base.
AP courses can have a financial benefit as well. At the end of the course, students take an AP test. This test can help students earn college credits, and save in tuition fees, if students score high enough on the exam. Take for example, the U.S. History exam which is scored out of 5. Students who earn a 3 on the exam, will generally find that the college they are accepted to will release them from taking U.S. History 101 their first year of college. This frees up the students schedule to take other classes. A student who earned a 5 on the exam, will most likely not only be released from taking these two courses, but will also earn the credits, meaning this student can start college with 3 or 6 college credits! That can be the difference between having to take a semester with 21 credits in order to graduate on time or having to take summer classes – which charge extra.