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Philosophy and Goals

 
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Contents:

(Click on the following links to see the full text)

Educational Philosophy

Educational Strategy

Standards

Goals

 

 

Educational Philosophy


We believe learning best occurs when education is:

Integrated: Life is an integrated experience, not a series of compartmentalized activities. Education should mirror life, not just connecting the various realms of knowledge, but also intertwining them.

Sequential: We understand our personal life as a series of integrated sequential events. Education should help us to understand our world in a like manner.

Demanding: Life gives us increasingly demanding challenges. As we master those challenges, we are strengthened. Education should accord us similar challenges and provide the means by which we can master them.

Diverse and Individual: The world is comprised of people with diverse interests, talents, and abilities. Education should recognize this diversity and provide opportunities for individual development.

Mental and Physical: In life, we must exercise both the mind and the body to become a well-balanced individual. Education should serve and enhance both the mental and physical sides of our nature.

Theoretical and Practical: Success in life is dependent not only on the knowledge we have acquired, but also on the skills we have mastered. Education should encompass both the theoretical and the practical.

Intellectual and Emotional: We experience life with the head and heart, intellect and emotion. Education should help us to develop both.

Empowering: In life, knowledge is power. Education should empower us to lead free and independent lives, acting responsibly on behalf of our families, our community, and our nation.



Educational Strategy


Starting with History and English as a foundation, students will round out their education with studies in these additional areas of emphasis: (1) Science and Technology, (2) Philosophy and Government, (3) Logic and Mathematics, (4) Arts and Literature, (5) Communications, (6) Self-Reliance, and (7) Family and Community.

History provides the context for all other inquiries. It furnishes the background necessary to understand all human achievements, whether mental or physical, intellectual or emotional. History is that element which connects us to our fellow human beings and to our collective past. English skills provide us with the means to articulate our thoughts in all areas of knowledge. The ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner allows us to make use of the knowledge we have gained. The additional areas of emphasis are intertwined with history and English in real life, and will be fully integrated within the curriculum.

All subjects will be addressed in a setting that allows the free flow of ideas across artificial academic boundaries. Faculty and students will be encouraged to explore the connections between the subject matter in one area with that of another. Ideas discussed in one class will be elaborated upon in others, but from a different perspective.

The curriculum will seek to open doors, not close minds. Within each field of study, students will be given choices for further exploration. Individual research, in areas of interest to the student, will stimulate a greater enthusiasm for the topic and give the student a sense of ownership in the work. Students will be encouraged to challenge old notions and seek out new explanations.

The lines between home, school, and community will be blurred as students spend time outside of class, and off campus, working on projects related to their education. Students may participate in seminars, labs and independent research on campus. They may work on projects at home and take field trips with relatives to museums, historical sites, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and commercial establishments. They may assist local charities and non-profit organizations and participate in internship programs with local businesses. Students may also take classes at local community colleges to supplement their high school curriculum. They will learn that the entire world around them is a classroom, and that learning is not limited to the time spent at school.



Standards


The Board of Directors of Sun Valley Charter School ("Board") will adopt academic standards consistent with the California State Content and Performance Standards. Standards for subjects outside these core areas will be developed by the faculty and approved by the Board of the Charter School. Students wishing to enroll in a public university in California will have the opportunity to pursue a course of study at Sun Valley Charter School which meets the "A-G Requirements." In addition to attaining specific content area and grade/skill-level standards, students will also demonstrate their overall progress toward graduation readiness through a series of "benchmark" performances at various points throughout their experience at the School. These benchmark and classroom-level skills will be developed prior to the School commencing instructional operations.




Goals

In the field of academic knowledge, students will:

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Enjoy reading, be good at it, and use it to gain knowledge

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Be exposed to and appreciate great literature from around the world

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Speak English clearly and correctly, and communicate ideas effectively

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Write English clearly and correctly, communicate ideas effectively, understand different writing formats, and be able to use a word processor

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Calculate basic mathematical equations accurately

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Be able to apply an appropriate level of mathematics, in accordance with their life goals

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Be familiar with the basic laws of nature through a study of the fundamental earth sciences

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Comprehend the framework of world and national history within which we operate

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Place themselves in historical context through an exploration of family history

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Understand the principles upon which our government is founded, the mechanics of government, and the reality of politics

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Appreciate the influence of ancient and modern philosophies and religions on cultures, governments, and individuals worldwide

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Be exposed to, and participate in, a broad range of art, music, and drama

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Pass the High School Exit Exam

 

In the field of practical skills, students will:

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Employ modern technology for research, communication, and other practical applications

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Be able to grow, store, and prepare a variety foods, efficiently and safely

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Understand the fundamentals of proper nutrition and cleanliness

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Participate in regular exercise and organized physical activities

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Develop the fundamental skills necessary for independent living

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Be exposed to a variety of building and mechanical trades

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Participate in small business operations on campus and through internships in the community

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Prepare to take standardized tests

 

In the field of personal development, students will:

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Develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information

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Seek creative and innovative ways to address challenges

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Take the initiative to act and think independently

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Develop the organizational skills necessary to establish reasonable long and short-term goals

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Act responsibly, exercising free will in accordance with the rules of society

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Be tolerant of viewpoints, cultures, and religions different from their own

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Strengthen family relationships and develop a better understanding of their families' values

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Expand their appreciation for others by participating in community service

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Develop a lifelong commitment to learning

Copyright 2002 Sun Valley Charter High School

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