The Mountain Community School's instructional program reflects our philosophy that each child deserves the opportunity to pursue academic excellence. By having a curriculum strong in basic skills, rich with "core knowledge" and relevant to daily life, children will be inspired to succeed within their personal framework of aptitude and interest. Coherence of curriculum and integration of topics of study will be primary goals. Teachers will coordinate the curriculum across grade levels and use teaching methods which accommodate different learning styles. Additionally, we intend to give children the sense of ownership of their school and of belonging to a greater community, therefore instilling pride, self-reliance and responsibility, which are essential for developing self-directed, life-long learning skills.
The Mountain Community School will utilize the Core Knowledge Sequence as our basic curriculum. The premise of CKS is that schools need a solid, detailed, shared central curriculum to help students build a strong foundation of knowledge, a high level of literacy, and to achieve academic excellence. This concept has been developed by Dr. E.D. Hirsch, Jr., the well-respected educator and author of the book Cultural Literary: What Every American Needs to Know. The Core Knowledge Network provides a variety of technical support programs including lesson plans, teacher training sessions and online services which will help us ensure proper implementation of the curriculum. Additional curricula will be incorporated to complement CKS, with special emphasis on developing critical thinking skills.
Recognizing that students present a range of learning abilities and needs, a wide variety of teaching tools will be employed. Our teachers will be encouraged to utilize other methods including Paideia, didactic and Socratic practices, and other appropriate methods. The teachers will have opportunities to pursue the training necessary for them to become better educators. Recognizing that teachers need time, autonomy and support, we will include parent and community volunteers as helpers and educational resources.
Children need a sense of pride in themselves and their accomplishments if they are to become productive members of a learning community. The Mountain Community School will have school and community service programs through which students will develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and their world. In this way, the children will also encounter a diversity of ideas and career opportunities which will further motivate them to learn. We also hope that those activities which bring the students into the community and the community into the school will promote appreciation of and commitment to education throughout Henderson County.
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