K-8 Academics & Instruction
We believe that children who are healthier, happier, and primed for learning will succeed academically. That is why we begin the journey of teaching and learning by paying attention to the whole child first. Convention tells us to focus on teaching and curriculum but common sense tells us to begin by ensuring that children are primed for learning. At FIT Academy, this means providing a strong foundation of health & fitness.
Many people ask about our curriculum. Curriculum means content but implies much more so we like to talk about instruction. Instruction combines alignment to state standards, selection of content, and use of effective instructional strategies ensuring student learning. Think of curriculum as the WHAT and instruction as the HOW. The HOW is at least as important as the WHAT.
In order to provide quality instruction supporting this focus, we will provide professional development for teachers in the following areas:
- Selection of content & curriculum that aligns with state standards
- Paying special attention to the foundations of knowledge
- Teaching literacy across content areas
- Responsive classroom management
- Best practices in differentiated and individual learning
- Effective use of data practices to guide instruction
- Incorporation of healthy habits such as brain breaks
FIT Academy uses the Envision Math curriculum to provide math instruction that is fully aligned with the Minnesota State Standards. In addition, we have been awarded a Math Corps volunteer to help students who need a little more support in math.
Language and Literacy Curriculum
In accordance with the Minnesota English & Language Arts state standards, our goal is to integrate literacy throughout all content areas. With this in mind, we have selected the National Geographics curriculum. The curriculum is captivating and has received rave reviews from educators.
View a brief video on Reach for Reading
We are adding a reading intervention specialist to our staff for the 2018-19 school year and have also been awarded a Reading Corps volunteer to support young readers in grades K-3.
School Capacity & Class Sizes
Research on class size varies quite a bit and there are a number of factors impacting what might be the optimal class size for a group of learners. However, much of the research discourages classes that are too large or too crowded. There is also much research that indicates that a class that is too small (under 20) does not provide the rich learning environment that a slightly larger group might benefit from. We have established our class limits as follows:
School Capacity / Enrollment Cap for 2018-19:
- Kindergarten: Two classes
- Grades 1 – 3: Two classes per grade
- Grades 4 – 9: One class per grade
School capacity is established by school board policy
Class Size Limits:
- Kindergarten: 23
- First Grade: 25
- Grades 2 & 3: 26
- Grades 4-8: 28
- Grade 9: 20
School Calendar & Daily Schedule
Our calendar of school days is identical to the District 196 calendar.
Our school hours will be as follows:
Start Time: 8:20am
End Time: 2:40pm
General K-4 School Schedule:
Morning Meeting: 20 Minutes
English / Language Arts: 90 Minutes
Mathematics: 60 Minutes
Science & Social Studies: 40 minutes (alternating days)
Health & Physical Education: 30-40 minutes (alternating days)
Art & Spanish: 40 minutes (alternating days)
Recess/Extended Brain Breaks: 30 minutes per day
All-Star Training: 40 minutes per day
Music: 30 minutes per day, twice a week
General 5-8 School Schedule:
Advisory: 10 minutes
English / Language Arts: 50 Minutes
Mathematics: 50 Minutes
Social Studies: 50 minutes
Science: 50 minutes
Health & Physical Education: 50 minutes (alternating days)
World Languages: 50 minutes (alternating days)
Project Lead the Way STEM: 50 minutes (alternating days)
Art, Music, All-Star Times, and Honors: Wednesdays
Recess/Extended Brain Breaks: 20 minutes per day
NEW: We just added Project Lead The Way! STEM Program for grades 5-9
What is All-Star Training?
All-star training is not (as the name may imply) sports related. It is a time dedicated to academic intervention and extension in grades K-8. Through our use of information (data) driven informal assessments, our teacher will identify the needs of each student for review or reinforcement in specific academic areas. Others who show mastery will need additional opportunities to extend the depth of their learning, often referred to as Gifted & Talented. At the elementary level, this will be accomplished through daily All-Star Time where students work individually or in small guided groups in their specific area of focus. Using All-Star Time for this purpose ensures that teachers can stay on schedule during their regular academic blocks. At the Middle School level, All-Star Time will be scheduled on Wednesdays.
How Will Honors Be Added to the Middle School
Students who are ready to accelerate from the regular classroom will be scheduled for an Honors All-Star period on Wednesdays. This will allow students to increase their depth of knowledge and exploration of content and topics covered during the week.
Don’t Forget About Field Day!
On Wednesdays, students in grades 3 through 9 will be bused in groups to a nearby indoor turf sports facility to participate in one hour of field activities and sports. There will be no cost to the families for Field Day. This will take up to 90 minutes of the day and modify that day’s schedule for students. Grade levels will rotate throughout the day so there should never be more than 56 students at the facility where our two licensed physical education teachers will lead activities.