At Prospect Schools, we believe in strong student culture. Creating an environment that is warm, orderly and joyful helps our students get in the right frame of mind for learning and builds a sense of community and belonging amongst students, teachers and faculty. We know our students don’t just learn from their teachers — they learn from each other, too.
For that reason we put a lot of emphasis on maintaining respectful and positive relationships, working hard to ensure our teachers and faculty have the tools they need to build those kinds of relationships with students and their families, and with each other. We communicate often and early. We partner with parents to ensure students learn and develop both academically and emotionally.
Every point of contact is an opportunity to teach students the skills they need to be successful, so we devote ample time to helping our students develop the socioemotional skills that are critical to their health and happiness. And when it comes to resolving disciplinary issues, we utilize restorative justice practices while holding all students accountable to the same standards of behavior and pre-established norms on a consistent basis.
When it comes to education, we take the long view. We know that developing a deep appreciation for learning doesn’t happen in a day, a month, or even a year, and we are more concerned with a student’s success in college and beyond than we are with this year’s test scores. Our K-12 curriculum, modeled after the renowned International Baccalaureate program, helps us facilitate this kind of teaching and learning.
The IB program helps our students become well-rounded critical thinkers who tackle problems by looking at the whole picture. It helps them approach learning with confidence and independence. We don’t ask our students to regurgitate facts or memorize pages and pages of material; instead, we use the tenets of the IB Program to teach them how to solve problems using a variety of perspectives and a sense of curiosity. Our favorite projects are those that ask our students to draw on diverse disciplines, skill areas, languages and cultures to reach a solution, demonstrating that their approach to learning is dynamic, never static.
Our curriculum is largely shaped by two mindsets:
We want our students to think globally and put themselves in the shoes of other cultures and viewpoints so they can truly be prepared for our increasingly global world.
- Lifelong learning
We know our students can become the people they want to be through intentional practice, openness to hard work over talent, and a consistent desire for growth.
As an organization, we’re committed to giving our students a rich array of academic offerings and opportunities. To ensure those offerings address the needs of each student, we embrace the use of a variety of performance measures to evaluate learning and quality of instruction.
We view the required state tests as just one small piece of how we measure student learning and our effectiveness. We don’t shape our curriculum to fit the test and we never view scores as a barometer of a student’s academic potential or trajectory. Instead, we view those tests as opportunities for us to ensure our methods of teaching are on track and to help identify any students who might be struggling. To us, assessments are most helpful when they can be used to determine the skills and content knowledge a student has mastered, allowing us to tailor our teaching strategy to meet our students where they are in their educational journey and set them up for success down the road.