Our goal at Legacy is to meet the individual needs of every student that walks through our doors-to help ensure each student reaches their full potential as lifelong learners.
Each child at Legacy knows without a doubt that they are deeply cared about –that their teachers and administrators want what is best for them and want them to be successful. They are not just a “number” in a large class size. Often times, most school classes can have as many as 35 students with only 1 teacher. Most school teachers are frustrated that no matter how hard they try to meet the needs of each of their students, they walk away each day feeling like they are only able to teach to the “whole group” targeting the middle/lower end of her class.
In this type of environment, instead of being pushed to their full potential, the advanced kids are typically left to come along and “tutor” the kids who were struggling.
This environment is in stark contrast to Legacy. From K through 5th grade, our classrooms have both a teacher (credentialed) and an assistant teacher (most of whom are credentialed). For these younger grades, our class size is limited to 26 or at most 27 students. Having two gifted teachers during core instruction periods creates that 13:1 student to teacher ratio. Although this is certainly an impressive ratio in and of itself, what we are able to do with that ratio is even more impressive.
In order to ensure that every student is reaching their full learning potential, we know that students need to be given the opportunity to progress at their own rate. Students need to be met where they are currently at and then encouraged to excel still more to that next level of learning.
The way we accomplish this is through our small group instruction. Here’s how it works…..
Based upon the results of frequent and thorough assessments by the teacher, students are placed into small groups according to their ability level in the areas of both Reading and Math. For example, in Kindergarten, students are placed in 4 leveled reading groups (allowing for a 1 to 6 ratio) and for Math they are placed in 3 leveled groups (allowing for a 1 to 8 ratio).
When students enter Kindergarten, they frequently come in with a wide range of reading abilities. Some know only their letters and sounds, others are in the beginning stages of blending, and some are already reading at a 2nd grade level and beyond. Separating them into leveled groups allows the teacher to provide direct Reading instruction in both comprehension and fluency according to their specific ability level (again meeting where they are currently at and then moving them onto that next level).
Each of our K-6th grade classrooms include an Assistant Teacher miniature classroom. During our center rotations, while a group of 6-9 students (depending on class and grade level) are receiving direct instruction from the teacher, another 6-9 students are with the Assistant Teacher in her back room. The Assistant Teacher reviews phonics, spelling, and penmanship skills associated with the lesson using multiple modalities and again gearing instruction to the specific level of the group.
Every 15 minutes students rotate to each of the different centers to receive instruction that is geared specifically to their ability level. This prevents exasperation (too difficult) and boredom (too easy), and allows each of our students to reach their full academic potential. When instruction is geared to their individual level, learning becomes a true joy.