Watershed Public Charter School (WPCS) uses innovative hands-on curriculum in core subjects, and links disciplines together into larger multidisciplinary projects.
What makes WPCS’ curriculum unique?
WPCS curriculum is organized into multidisciplinary units that end in meaningful projects completed primarily at school. Our curriculum meets all BCPS standards and performance measures, and is adapted constantly by our teachers in large due to the interest and academic needs of the students based on their observations and, subsequently developed inquires. Arts, technology, sustainable agriculture, and physical education specialists facilitate the incorporation of their disciplines across the curriculum. 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 is available outside of core subjects?
Art, music, 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 does WPCS utilize?
Classes are smaller than a traditional public school (approximately 22 students per class) which helps create a strong community of learners. WPCS uses 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 utilizes a variety of assessments to chart our students’ 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 are teachers be supported in this type of hands-on curriculum?
We prioritize our educators having the time and space to collaborate and 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 micro-farm enhance lessons and are an integral part of instruction. A Media Center and Innovation Lab also encourages experimentation, collaboration and creative problem solving.