Watershed Public Charter School (WPCS) will use innovative hands on curriculum in core subjects and link disciplines together into larger multidisciplinary projects.
What makes WPCS’ curriculum unique?
WPCS will use many resources, but the curriculum has been developed by our very talented opening team. That curriculum will continue to grow and develop with our teachers in large due to the interest of the students based on their observations and, subsequently developed inquires. Our curriculum is organized into multidisciplinary units that end in meaningful projects completed primarily at school. Arts, technology, sustainable agriculture, physical education and language integration specialists will facilitate the incorporation of their disciplines across the curriculum. The specialists will help to brainstorm and make connections to facilitate lesson preparation and coordinate across multiple subjects, and may assist with classroom instruction as needed. Additionally, Artists, Farmers, Scientists and Makers In-Residence will work collaboratively with students on multi- week projects. Student-directed exploration, physical activity and time spent outdoors will be opportunities for learning, skill-building, and social development in all grades. WPCS values play, exploration, imagination, socialization and unstructured outdoor activity.
What type of instruction will be available outside of core subjects?
Art, drama, dance, music, language and physical education (specials) will be available on a rotating basis. Students will also participate in “Innovation Time” weekly, giving them the opportunity to self direct a project in our Innovation Space. Our instructional team has worked hard to ensure that these special subjects are also integrated into core content areas as well.
Will my child receive adequate instruction in core subjects?
Yes, students at WPCS will learn all of the same grade level standards that they would learn at any public school.
What type of classroom management will WPCS utilize?
Classes will be smaller than a traditional public school which will help to create a strong community of learners. WPCS will use the Responsive Classroom approach, which is a method of teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. Developed by classroom teachers, the approach consists of practical strategies for helping students build academic and social-emotional competencies day in and day out.
What tests will my child take at WPCS?
WPCS will a variety of assessments to chart our student’s growth over time to augment the required standardized testing. Our assessments will consist of individual and group projects, purposeful writing samples, standardized assessments, state mandated assessments and authentic teacher created portfolio assessments to create a comprehensive picture of how your student is developing. Often, your student will not even be aware they are being assessed, they will just be working on solving a problem. We will comply with the minimum testing required by the state.
How will teachers be supported in this type of hands-on curriculum?
We prioritize our educators having the time and space to collaborate and will facilitate that process with increased co-planning time. We have built in robust support and training for our educators to ensure that they have the tools and skills necessary to make our school special.
Will the campus contribute to the curriculum?
Outdoor space and a working farm will enhance lessons and be an integral part of instruction. A Media Center and Innovation Lab that includes a workshop space with cutting edge digital 3D printing technology will encourage experimentation, collaboration and creative problem solving.