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 6-8 students (depending on class and grade level) are receiving direct instruction from the teacher, another 6-8 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.
As a private school, we have the freedom to choose our own curriculum without governmental interference. Our curriculum selections are based on proven scientific research – not fads. We choose curriculum that is relevant and matches our learning goals. For the core subjects of reading, writing, and mathematics, here are our research-based choices in curriculum:
Rowland Reading Foundation’s Superkids curriculum is a research-based, highly-engaging language arts curriculum that has proven successful in developing our kindergarten, first, and second-grade students’ reading and writing abilities. Most notably, our SAT-10 reading scores increased in K-2 with the addition of the Rowland Reading curriculum. Our students and teachers alike find this curriculum to be incredibly enjoyable as well. Rowland Reading is entirely aligned to current standards and provides students with a comprehensive, systematic way to engage with literacy. We are confident that this program will provide the excellent foundation primary grade learners need for lifelong success in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Step Up to Writing At Legacy
we are equipping our students with the ability and desire to write with purpose. One of Legacy’s stated LEAD goals is for students to be "Accelerated Achievers” – to articulate thoughts clearly through systematic writing. One way we have targeted this learning goal is by adopting the program Step Up to Writing (SUTW). This organized system is used school-wide and is integrated across all grade levels, in enrichment classes and even during math lessons. Teachers model correct processes of organizing thought into writing in a systematic way, allowing students to take the abstract art of writing and make it concrete. SUTW utilizes color coding, drawing, outlining and systems for revisions and edits. Students use these same tools from grade to grade and across content areas. You’ll be impressed by how this curriculum inspires confidence in even the most hesitant of writers. As students learn how to systematize their writing, they feel more equipped as a writer to branch out creatively and explore different genres of writing. Narrative (stories), expository (paragraphs and reports) and opinion/persuasive writing are each specifically targeted at all grade levels. With SUTW we equip our students to LEAD in their understanding and analysis of excellent writing.
The Accelerated Reader (AR) Program is a computer program that motivates students to read independently and helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor students’ reading practice. A student picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, the student takes a short quiz on the computer. AR gives children, teachers, and librarians feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help the child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. Since they’re reading books at their reading and interest levels, students are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Incentives are also given to students who reach their point and quiz average goals. But best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.
Created by MIND Research in collaboration with more than 13 universities, including University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, Medical University of South Carolina, East China Normal University, University of Montreal, University of Victoria, UCLA and University of California, Irvine, ST Math games use interactive technology and graphically-rich animations to visually represent mathematical concepts to improve conceptual understanding and problem solving skills. The ST Math K-8 courseware is a research-proven, comprehensive, grade level math instructional program that utilizes Spatial-Temporal (ST) reasoning [or the innate ability to visualize and manipulate images through a sequence of steps in space and time]. ST Math has also been identified by the CEO-led Change the Equation as one of just four STEM programs ready to scale nationally. ST Math incorporates the latest research in learning and the brain and promotes mastery-based learning and mathematical understanding.
Library Volumes of new books and eBooks are showing up every day on the Legacy Christian Academy campus. Destiny Quest, our library management system that is available online and through the Destiny Quest App, will facilitate students checking out eBooks and hard-copy books. Through Destiny Quest, Legacy students can also view lists of popular books, see what other students are reading at Legacy and even post reviews of books, viewable only by our Legacy family. The "universal search” feature allows students to research or surf the web safely at school or at home. Students will be able to type in a topic and receive a full online listing of Legacy books, eBooks and a comprehensive listing of student-friendly websites and links. This is a huge benefit for Legacy students for two distinct reasons. First, it is a boon for internet safety. Second, it provides a big boost to efficiency. The filtered sites direct students to educational resources instead of advertisements or wikis, so students spend more time reading authentic text and less time searching and filtering content themselves.
(For current Legacy students and parents)