Education at Community Prep is a partnership between the school and the family. Together we help students work toward success in every aspect of life. While the school's curriculum focuses primarily on preparing students to meet the high demands of college-preparatory high schools, we also encourage social and emotional learning using the Responsive Classroom™ approach. Parental interest, involvement and support of students (as exemplified in the school's core values of RESPECT), are essential. The school's core values of RESPECT (Responsible Role Model, Enthusiasm, Support, Preparedness, Effort, Challenge and Communication, and Trustworthiness & Truthfulness) are outlined in the student-parent-teacher contracts. In these contracts, we promise to make the most of the Community Prep educational opportunity and to honor its core values.
A Summary of the Curriculum
The school is divided into four learning families (3rd-5th grade, 6th, 7th, and 8th). Each learning family has a faculty team responsible for teaching the four core disciplines: language arts, math, science and social studies. Our students use Chromebooks, which are fully integrated in the curriculum, in their classrooms. In addition, all students have Spanish, health, creative arts, and physical education classes.
At the outset of every marking period, students, parents, and teachers meet to set personal goals for the child. Students regularly review progress toward these goals. All members of the student-parent-teacher team must contribute toward achieving these goals, and the goals are assessed and modified at subsequent meetings.
The math curriculum at Community Prep is rigorous. Students in grades three through six study Math in Focus: Singapore Math. This program is fully aligned with the Common Core, and students apply the big ideas from each unit of study to solve challenging, real-world problems. Community Prep students take pre-algebra in grade seven and Algebra in grade eight.
Community Prep’s middle school language arts department recently adopted the Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing from the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project. These units are Common Core aligned and bring together thirty years of research on best practice. Teachers give students the tools they need to self-assess their writing, so they can write confidently in any genre and craft highly effective arguments.
The school uses the Responsive Classroom™ approach -- a collection of teaching practices designed to enhance the quality of both academic and social skills development. The Responsive Classroom™ includes a balance of teacher-directed instruction and child-initiated learning, and it fosters caring behavior and problem-solving ability both socially and academically. Students begin each day with a 30-minute classroom meeting to build community and learn social skills.
Community service has a special place in Community Prep's curriculum. Many of the community service projects are conducted in the immediate neighborhood - some are local, school-based projects while others reach into the surrounding community. Projects have included: collecting canned goods for needy families, being "guest readers" at a local Head Start program, teaching younger students, supporting a school in Maasai Mara, collecting toiletries for Amos House, participating in the Broad Street Initiative's community clean-up, and a school-wide recycling program.
At Community Prep, there is far more to teaching than reading, writing and arithmetic. Through inspired teaching, our dedicated faculty instills in students a quest for knowledge that lasts a lifetime.