Whitesburg Christian Academy
Monday, November 20, 2017

Curriculum

 
The Academy’s curriculum reflects the methodology and materials of a classical school.  Although not fully classical, the Academy uses a classical approach to education.  Our mindset is from a Christian perspective, building in our students a Biblical worldview.  The study of God’s Word and principles is the foundation for all that is taught in the academic curriculum.  All academic subjects are taught from a Biblical viewpoint.  Teachers reference Scripture throughout the academic day in order to Biblically support and reinforce the academic subject(s) being taught.
 
Curriculum supplies such as textbooks, notebooks, paper, pencils, and pens are supplied by the classroom teacher.  The curriculum fee covers these costs.  Supplies for projects outside of the classroom are provided by parents.  Parents provide backpacks and lunch boxes for their students.  
 
 
The Grammar School Curriculum
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
 
Curriculum refers to the means and materials with which students will interact for the purpose of achieving identified educational goals.  Curriculum alignment creates a seamless flow of instruction from one grade level to the next.  It is also a process that helps teachers and administrators track the content standard across grade levels.  Curriculum pacing is developing an understanding of what is being taught and how it is being taught.  Curriculum mapping is a process that helps teachers keep track of what has actually been taught throughout an entire year.
 
The Scope and Sequence is an outline of skills that are organized by grade level and communicates to the grade level what stands are above and below and describes what skills and content a student should have mastered by the end of the year.  It allows a teacher to know if a concept has already been taught in the previous grade level and if so, it probably would not be approached as if it were a new skill.  It is kind of "connecting the dots" to make instruction relevant for all students. 
 
Standards help to delineate what matters.  They provide a common language through which an educational community can engage in conversations bout educational improvement, system effectiveness and achievement.  They serve as a foundation for planning and implementing improvement strategies and activities for measuring success.  A high quality and effective educational system has services, practices, and curriculum that ensure teacher effectiveness.  Research has shown that an effective teacher is a key factor for learners to achieve their highest potential and be prepared for a successful future.  Research also suggests that quality educators must have a variety of quantifiable and intangible characteristics that include strong communication skills, knowledge of content, and knowledge of how to teach the content.
 
Whitesburg Christian Academy has found that a successful institution implements a curriculum based on clear and measureable expectations for student learning, that the curriculum provides opportunities for all students to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes.  Teachers use proven instructional practices that actively engage students in the learning process.  Teachers provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills to real world situations.  Teachers give feedback to improve their performance.  Using results to guide continuous improvement is the key to an institutions success.  Data can shed light on existing areas of strength and weakness and also guide improvement strategies in a systematic and strategic manner.  Key strategies that performance driven systems are 1) building a foundation for data-driven decision making, 2) establishing a culture of data use and continuous improvement 3) selecting the right data 4) building institutional capacity for data-driven decision making and 5) analyzing and acting on data to improve performance.
 
AdvancED/ACSI commented, "Whitesburg Christian Academy has written excellent curriculum guides along with excellent scope and sequences/curriculum mapping which include course standards to ensure that vertical and horizontal alignment are present.  The school's use of Curriculum Trak is a wonderful tool that allows the Academy to continuously check for mapping and proper alignment of curriculum."  (Accreditation Spring 2015)
 
For a complete listing of the curriculum used in grammar school by grade level,  click here.  For brochures on each grade level, click on one of the following:  Transitional Kindergarten (PreK 4), Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade.
 
The Upper School Curriculum
In using a classical approach, the instructional goal for Upper School students is to wisely relate and apply their knowledge. The academic program is organized on a traditional eight period schedule. Eight (8) credits per year is the maximum course load.  The program is a college preparatory program and requires one English, Math, Science, History, and Bible course each year in grades 9-12. The English program incorporates grammar, vocabulary, and writing along with the study of literature. A Shakespeare unit is integrated into each grade level English class. History is taught as a survey of events with a Christian emphasis. Bible courses focus on understanding our faith and how to defend it. The science curriculum shows God’s design in the life and physical sciences. The math program encourages students to apply concepts to solve problems. The Dual Enrollment Program enables juniors and/or seniors to enroll in freshmen courses and earn college credits at local institutions of higher education.  In addition to the classes listed above, logic is incorporated with the Bible class in grades 7 and 8. A year of rhetoric is required in grade 10. Seniors take a thesis class to develop college level writing and research skills through the completion of an extensive research paper. Students also have required and free electives that enhance their education. Choices include foreign language, band, physical education, health, drama, art, chorus, computer, yearbook, and creative writing and writing seminars. These electives vary year by year. Please consult with the Upper School office for a complete list of available electives for the current year.

Students at Whitesburg Christian Academy may participate in Student Leadership Institute (SLI) and Student Leadership University (SLU).  SLU is held in the summer, and SLI meets during the school year to reinforce what students learned at SLU.