Wilson Preparatory Academy will effectively teach and challenge all students regardless of proficiency level, exceptionality or learning strength. Wilson Preparatory Academy will improve the ability of each student to think logically, present thoughts persuasively and translate mastery of curriculum content to applied post-secondary pathways. Through the blended Common Core Curriculum and Essential Standards, supportive Educational Curriculum, integrated character education and WPA’s Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO), student learning will be improved by leveraging student’s natural intellectual development with digital teaching and learning tools and innovative, accountable, data-driven instructional models.

The Instructional Program at Wilson Preparatory Academy will help the school reach its goal of educating students and preparing them for college and their future career. There will be eight components include: Blended Model for Educational Success, and the use of 1:1 ratio of technology starting in the 4th grade; teacher designed curriculum; the consistent use of academic assessments to drive instruction; Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) for students, the focus on the whole child; instruction plans individualized to each student; project-based learning and the implementation of brain-based learning strategies.

Blended Model for Educational Success. Wilson Preparatory Academy will be the first “blended learning” Charter School approved by the NC State Board of Education in Wilson, NC beginning the 2014-2015 school year.  Being a “blended learning” school, there will be an emphasis on educational technology. Wilson Preparatory Academy will afford the community a needed choice in education by facilitating an alternative blended model of learning.  A blended model for educational success ensures vertical alignment of a curriculum and instructional methodology along with an applied knowledge of core elements as an integral component of its educational plan for grades K-8 its first year.

1:1 Technology Program. Technology will be a key component to the instructional program at Wilson Preparatory Academy. Starting in the 3rd grade, students will be introduced to technology as an instructional tool. Beginning in the 4th grade, the students will move to a 1:1 technology program for use throughout the remainder of their years at the school.  This 1:1 ratio will allow teachers to more easily individualize their instruction and employ the most up-to-date teaching techniques. We plan to use a “blended” learning environment in several of our core subjects. There may be times when a teacher finds it more useful to have students watch a lecture on the day’s lesson on their own time to allow for more time in class to work through the material in group settings. This technique allows teachers to use classroom time to assess each student and make sure that each idea and standard is being understood before moving forward.

Teacher designed curriculum. As a school, we will have curriculum models and classroom formats that all teachers will follow, but the daily curriculum will be designed by the teachers as a team. Once a week, the teachers will have scheduled collaborative planning time, where they work with their Lead Teacher to plan their daily curriculum lessons, and map their curriculum to ensure that all of the components are being covered in each academic area. Wilson Preparatory Academy will use various assessment tools as the baseline standard for every grade level. These assessment tools will prompt teachers to create individual lessons that allow students to dive deeper into each standard, while challenging the students to become critical thinkers. Grade levels will use themes throughout the school year and these themes will be integrated across all subject areas.

Academic assessments.  Wilson Preparatory Academy’s teachers and Administration will rely heavily on the data from academic assessments, which will be performed at regular intervals throughout the year. These assessments will support WPA’s focus on timely progress assessment for purposes of strategic student intervention measures to provide for curriculum mastery and optimum learning success.  Regular assessments will provide additional data for teachers as they consider whether a student could benefit from academic interventions or from moving up to the next academic level. Wilson Preparatory Academy will ensure that teachers will be trained to interpret and understand all of the assessment data and use this information in developing their daily lesson plans. Additionally, Wilson Preparatory Academy will fully integrate the educational curriculum sequence as a research-based program for improved student performance as measured by standardized tests.

Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO). All WPA students will experience the gains of integrated ELO immersion regardless of level of proficiency, exceptionality or learning strength. ELOs are a broad variety of instructional delivery opportunities such as college and career pathway experiences in job shadowing and internships and a student government structure that enables them to apply democratic, self-governing principles learned through the curriculum as well as values and traits taught through character education programs and strands. The following ELO instructional practices, in addition to those cited above will routinely be implemented to provide enriched learning opportunities that would address the needs not only of grade-level students, but also those at-risk and academically gifted students. They include, but not limited to: Academic remediation, Curriculum acceleration, Applied learning opportunities, One-on-one teacher/parent academic planning, One-on-one tutoring conducted during and after school, Peer, secondary and post-secondary school mentorship, etc.

Individualized instruction plans.  At Wilson Preparatory Academy, we believe each student is an individual and should be taught as an individual, so these plans will look different for each student and will take into account each individual’s learning style. A Customized Learning Plan (CLP) will ensure that the individual needs of each student are met and will provide parents the opportunity to participate in educational goal setting and monitoring of their child’s academic progress. The teachers at Wilson Preparatory Academy will have the ability to individualize instruction plans for students based on the data derived from the various assessments given.

Project-based learning.  Using project-based learning projects will allow students to expand their understanding as they dive deeper into each core subject. Wilson Preparatory Academy students will be challenged to develop their critical thinking abilities and creativity by participating in project-based learning. Each class will complete projects that are directly related to the current theme. Projects and experiments will be done during school hours, allowing students the opportunity to ask questions, collaborate with their teammates and receive help from the teacher. To allow for the development of presentation skills, all students will be expected to present their projects to their class each year, beginning in kindergarten, all the way through senior year. We will challenge all students to develop their writing and rhetoric skills from day one of school.

Brain-based learning strategies.  Brain-based learning strategies will be utilized by all teachers at Wilson Preparatory Academy.  Teachers will be trained in the latest neuroscience research on how the brain learns. This approach will guide all educational practices at Wilson Preparatory Academy and provide the optimal learning environment. Our teachers will be instructed in the latest research through professional development sessions and will use that information to help them create and design their curriculum and assessments. This will ensure that all students enrolled at Wilson Preparatory Academy demonstrate academic growth.