1. Serve students from kindergarten through eighth grade
Many schools do not use one coherent curriculum across all major subjects and grade levels. As a result, there are gaps in the instruction that students receive when they move from one grade to another or from elementary to middle school. By implementing a single school design, Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock ensures that students do not have any gaps in their education.
2. More focused learning time using an interdisciplinary schedule
Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock offers an instructional calendar of about 200-days, which is 2 weeks longer than most surrounding public schools. We also offer a school day that is 20%-30% longer than most surrounding schools. Students arrive at 7:00 a.m. and are picked up at 4:00 p.m. The longer day allows for deeper, higher-quality student learning.
Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock has an interdisciplinary schedule that provides students with the opportunity to learn across subjects in a broader, more holistic way. For example, it would be common for students to integrate math, art, geography and literacy into a project for their Global Studies course. This kind of project increases students’ capacity to think critically, solve problems, and synthesize information into knowledge.
3. Multi-modal learning environment
Individual students learn in different ways and at different rates. In addition, all people learn in different ways when they participate in different modes of instruction. For example, students process and retain information in different ways when they listen to a teacher-delivered lecture, read a book, deliver a presentation, or engage in a cooperative group project. That is why it is important for students to learn in different modalities throughout the school day.
The key to learning is to actively engage students in the learning process. By having students learn in different modalities, Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock seeks to maximize student engagement throughout the day.
4. Embedded Standards & Assessment
Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock continually assess student learning every 5 to 10 lessons to ensure that students are mastering every subject. We do not place students into courses or push them through from one grade level to the next without the skills they need to be successful.
Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock assesses students between 3 and 4 times a year to determine how they stack up against their peers nationally and against Arkansas state standards. We use the test results to specially design individualized instruction for every student so that we can assure that students are learning exactly what they need to learn to be successful.
5. Greater Teacher Ownership & Opportunity
Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock seeks to recruit the best and brightest teachers! Our school is run by a team of educators who are gifted, hard-working, and accountable for student learning. Currently, our leadership team will have defined areas of authority and subject expertise. All members of the teaching team are part of a curriculum and/or grade level team.
At Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock, we set our teachers up for success! We provide our teachers with 2 weeks of training in the summer, training every Wednesday afternoon and several full day professional development trainings throughout the school year. This is so that the teachers are firmly grounded in our instructional methods, academic programs and behavioral system.
Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock has 2 teachers in every elementary classroom! This co-teacher model allows for small student-to-teacher ratios for most of the day and encourages greater teacher collaboration around lesson planning and delivery. It also reduces the time that teachers have to work on-site so that there is less burnout and greater job satisfaction.
6. Enhanced Use of Technology
Our teachers use interactive white boards, document cameras, and projectors to deliver multi-media lessons. We have a fully networked computer lab and a computer cart for each grade level. We use computer-adaptive assessments to develop a learning profile of each student that we can use to develop lessons and provide an individualized education.
7. Focus on Competitive Colleges & Advanced Careers
Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock prepares students for competitive colleges and advanced careers through a liberal arts education. To us, “liberal arts” means a focus on developing the broad foundation of knowledge, skills and attributes needed to succeed in competitive colleges, advanced careers or other paths that they may choose.
8. Structured Leadership Development
Exalt Education has developed a curriculum and positive behavior support system that helps our student grow into productive citizens and leaders. EASW students have opportunities to speak publicly and deliver presentations to the school and their classmates. Students learn character values that help shape them into tomorrow’s leaders. We believe that all students deserve only the best education.
The 8 elements in our design have been proven effective in preparing students for college at exemplary public schools all across the country. However, to our knowledge, no school has ever merged all 8 elements into one school model until now!