Please note that we will be reviewing the updated Governor’s guidance as of 12/16/20 along with updates to the state Safe Learning Plan and making an announcement regarding return to school sometime the week of December. We anticipate that return to school will be gradual beginning with early elementary grades beginning on January 19th. Please look for confirmed timelines and further details next week.
K-8 Academics & Instruction
FIT Academy believes children must have a healthy foundation in order to achieve academic excellence!
FIT Academy believes that academic achievement requires a rigorous academic experience challenging students beyond their comfort zone. Our curricular focus is to implement research based instructional practices in delivering content rich instruction in all academic areas. Our goal is to accomplish this focus in a coordinated effort supporting interdisciplinary learning and the establishment of foundational knowledge.
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
- Effective and data guided coaching
- Incorporation of healthy habits such as brain breaks
In response to our needs assessment as defined by internal benchmarking instruments, teachers’ observations, and state test data, Fit Academy leadership studied student performance on state-specified math content, identified programming gaps, and researched strategies and curricular resources that (1) were appropriately rigorous and (2) targeted areas of student need as revealed by standardized test results.
From 2017-2019, FIT Academy used the Envision Math curriculum (by SAVVAS/Pearson) in elementary grades. To better meet identified improvement objectives and the skills necessary to succeed in the sequence articulated for grades 6-12, all K-5 teachers received materials from Dimensions Math (by Singapore Math) to support their math instruction beginning in school year 2020-2021. (Additionally, intervention support was provided to students by a Math Corps volunteer in 2018-2019.)
Please email our Curriculum Lead Mr. Kalenze with any questions.
English Language Arts
Based on evidence from cognitive science, as well as from schools/districts that have produced strong results in student literacy, Fit Academy’s English Language Arts (ELA) programming is continuously improving to ensure the following:
- Building students’ abilities to successfully decode written language as soon as possible
- Widening and solidifying students’ supplies of background knowledge
- Preparing students to succeed in whichever setting they choose beyond graduation
These broad objectives guide the school’s choices of curricular materials, ongoing professional development, and internal coaching supports.
National Geographic’s REACH text series has been at the center of Fit Academy’s elementary-grades literacy instruction since the school’s inception, and we are focusing on explicitly enhancing the teaching of phonics and systematically building students’ background knowledge.
To more explicitly build K-1 students’ phonological and phonemic awareness, we have incorporated Heggerty instructional resources and directed to integrate related exercises into their reading blocks. Additionally, in 2020-21, school leaders began the process of moving Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) programming into the core of their ELA instruction. This series, long noted for its premiums on building (1) basic reading skills (decoding, vocabulary, etc.) and (2) strong, wide bases of background knowledge, will move from supplementary to foundational over the next two to three school years. (NOTE: Due to complications created by the COVID-19 pandemic, full implementation of the CKLA sequence at Fit Academy will be phased in as seems appropriate/feasible.) As well, the school added a reading intervention instructor for the 2018-19 school year and have also been awarded a Reading Corps volunteer to support young readers in grades K-3.
Please email our Curriculum Lead Mr. Kalenze for additional information.
Read FIT Academy’s Literacy Plan
FIT Academy believes that learning other languages is very beneficial to the literacy development of children. For that purpose, we have introduced several world language opportunities in recent years. In 2020-21, we will be offering French to all of our students in the elementary school. We offer world languages for several reasons including:
- Children have an especially high capacity to learn new languages at a young age
- Research shows that learning multiple languages improves overall literacy
- Offering several languages supports our goal of embracing the global community
- Exposing students to several world languages early will help them choose a language of focus as they enter secondary school
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 2020-21:
- Kindergarten through grade 3: Two classes
- Grades 4 – 11: One class per grade
School capacity is established by school board policy
Class Size Limits:
Special note: During the hybrid learning mode in response to the pandemic, all onsite classes will be limited 10 18 students.
- Kindergarten: 23
- First Grade: 25
- Grades 2 & 3: 26
- Grades 4-10: 28
- Grade 11: 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: 8:10am
End Time: 2:10pm
Please note that these times may be impacted and modified by scheduling related to COVID.
Please note that the daily schedule has been modified for distance and hybrid learning in response to the pandemic. Please see our Back to School Page for additional information.
General K-5 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 & Music: 40 minutes once a week each
Recess/Extended Brain Breaks: 30 minutes per day
All-Star Training: 40 minutes per day
World Languages: 30 minutes, three times a week
General 6-8 School Schedule:
English / Language Arts: 58 Minutes
Mathematics: 58 Minutes
Social Studies: 58 Minutes
Science; 58 Minutes
Health & Physical Education: 58 Minutes (alternating days)
World Languages or Art & Music: 58 Minutes
Recess/Extended Brain Breaks: 20 Minutes per day
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 once a day for students in need of additional support.
How Will We Support Challenging Our Advanced Students?
Students in grades K-5 who qualify for advanced math are allowed to take the next grade level’s math class. This is accomplished by scheduling math at the same time. For other content areas and middle school, advancement is achieved through independent assignment or student schedule adjustments allowing students to take higher level classes. Students selected for this advancement will be based on a combination of standardized testing, teacher recommendation, and parent approval.
Don’t Forget About Field Day!
On Wednesdays, students in grades 3 through 8 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. Please note that our current programming supporting COVID Hybrid scheduling does not allow for Field Day.