We are committed to student success in the core subjects that define the knowledge every student should gain in their school years. We promote Great Expectations in our Community of Learners, encouraging every student to strive to better themselves academically.
We use a system of standards-based grading so that students can see each skill they need gain on the way to mastering a subject. Once a student has shown mastery on a subject, we ask them to exceed that standard, because we have Great Expectations for each and every student at TLC!
We follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for all subject areas. The College and Career Ready standards are designed to prepare students to succeed in today’s global society and have increased emphasis on critical thinking and 21st Century Skills. The Learning Center has an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Agriculture, Math) focus. Students in elementary and middle school will frequently participate in a problem/project-based, cross-curricular approach to learning.
How we grade
We assess students using a Standards Based Grading system in which students receive a score for each standard, not an overall subject score. Students will receive a numeric score indicating their level of mastery on individualized standards as follows.
4: Exceeds Mastery - Student demonstrates solid command of content and consistently takes thinking to a deeper level beyond completion of assignments, often exceeding grade level expectations.
3: Mastery - student consistently demonstrates basic command of grade level content.
2: Near Mastery - student demonstrates limited or inconsistent command of grade level content.
1: Remediation - student demonstrates almost no command of grade level content.
We believe that this type of assessment allows us a far more nuanced look into a student's understanding of the subject matter, and allows us to figure out exactly what we need to do move them towards mastery.
Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning, or PBL, allows instructors so many avenues for assessment, which is one the many reasons we love it! Through a project, a student is able to show his or her understanding in a variety of ways.
During the project's conception, we can see a student formulating meaningful questions, and tackling research towards getting the answers. During the making phase, we can see how the student is using the tools at hand to create a piece that displays their understanding. We often see that understanding sharpen and become more nuanced during this phase. Once the project is complete, we have a range of factors to use to see how much the student gets the standard we're working toward.
This method also is crucial in allowing us to reach all different types of learners. Students who might not be as adept at showing what they know through writing can shine through visual or engineering projects.
MAP® Growth™ measures what students know and informs what they’re ready to learn next. By dynamically adjusting to each student’s responses, MAP Growth creates a personalized assessment experience that accurately measures performance. Timely, easy-to-use reports help teachers teach, students learn, and administrators lead.
At The Learning Center, we utilize MAP testing with every student, three times per year, to get an in depth look at their progress. As the students grow throughout their time at The Learning Center, we can track their progress over time and create meaningful growth and instruction through the years.
MTSS stands for multi-tiered system of supports. It’s a framework we use to give targeted support to struggling students.
MTSS is designed to help us identify struggling students early and intervene quickly. It focuses on the “whole child.” That means it supports academic growth, but many other areas, too. These include behavior, social and emotional needs, and absenteeism (not attending school).
Enrichment Through the Arts
We embrace learning through the Arts as an essential part of a holistic, E-STEAM curriculum. Our classrooms and grounds swell with art projects from across the grade levels and subject areas. Our teachers use the arts, both visual and dramatic, in the classroom to teach core standards in an engaging and memorable way.
We know the Arts are a crucial component of education for 21st Century Students. Through our classroom arts emphasis, weekly art instruction in the elementary school, Art electives for the middle school, and extracurricular activities in the Arts, we are creating the kind of learners that can excel in any field they choose.
The Learning Center Board of Directors requires that all special education programs that are operated in our school comply with Procedures Governing Programs and Services for Children with Special Needs as adopted by the State Board of Education. As a TItle 1 school, we are dedicated to meeting each student's unique needs and providing a quality education for all learners.
At TLC we have one class per grade, giving students who need differentiated instruction an incredible opportunity to receive frequent one-on-one attention from their instructor. In addition to the differentiation our teachers provide, our Exceptional Children (EC) staff works with students both in the classroom, and in special one-on-one or small group sessions to make sure that each student is reaching their fullest potential.
During the 2017-18 school year, we decided to implement monitored, online
therapy services to provide Occupational and Speech Therapy to our students.
Similar to traditional on site therapy, online therapy enables students to visit their therapy room and meet the same therapist every week. During the online sessions, trained and licensed therapists deliver learning experiences that are highly engaging and drive student success. The online activities that are used during therapy are exciting and different from most students day-to-day activities, which increases their level of engagement. As students go through the therapy process the technology becomes invisible to them; it is like the therapist is sitting in front of them, right in the room and they connect on a personal level.
An onsite monitor is present with the student as the online therapist works with him or her. The monitor assists the student with tasks and facilitates the process.