INCREASED ACADEMIC AND SOCIO-EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
ACE's academic program is designed to provide increased foundational supports that increase the likelihood of student success in all levels of high school coursework. Informed by our extensive work in full-inclusion settings where students arrive underprepared, our program is designed to increase time spent building foundational skills, increase supports and timeliness of action when students struggle, and provide students with an adult partner who will reflect with them on their overall progress:
Double-period Freshman English and Math classes to build foundational skills: In their first year of high school, students at ACE will receive twice the instructional hours typically offered in New York City high schools. Our approach is designed to provide students with a solid academic foundation by giving increased time for the development of the numeracy and literacy skills that are the gatekeepers to advanced coursework. We believe that this investment in time will pay off in the form of readiness for more challenging classes, which will in turn result in better prepared students.
- Two-year extended Algebra track for students who struggle: Following the same line of thinking, ACE believes that students who demonstrate low incoming Math proficiency should be afforded extra time to master the basic skills that serve as building blocks for other Math classes. Select students will be supported with an Algebra curriculum that allows teachers to offer students extended opportunities for practice by splitting the Algebra curriculum over two years.
Student Prep/Tutoring Period built into the school day: ACE believes that all high school students should have a space that encourages the habits of dedication to study outside the classroom, and to immediately stem misunderstanding/academic difficulties. Twice a week, students at ACE will have a Student Prep Period. During this time, students who have met their learning targets in core classes during the previous week will have structured study or work time, whereas students who do not meet academic targets will attend mandatory small group tutoring in the subjects in which they demonstrate difficulty.
Four-year Mentorship program: At ACE, every student will be part of a small Mentorship group that will remain together for four years, under the guidance of the same teacher-mentor. Ours is designed to build small supportive communities which are grounded in our common values of Commitment, Community, Grit and Reflection. The mentor’s role will be to serve as a partner in monitoring the “big picture” of student academic and socioemotional growth- including monitoring student academic performance, structuring opportunities for reflection and goal-setting on a weekly basis, and coaching students to persist through challenges.