The HSADSM educational program model brings together best-practices in math and science education, helping us to achieve our goal of empowering students with high intellectual standards as they prepare for college, careers and citizenship in the global economy. At Concept, we believe an education rooted in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) best prepares students to be successful in college and careers beyond high school.
Over the past 20 years, Concept Schools has developed its own curriculum that includes summative unit assessments that will be utilized to gauge areas in need of remediation. HSADSM implements a standards-based, college-preparatory curriculum giving the staff flexibility to adapt instructional strategies in order to meet the needs of the students. Curriculum maps and unit plans provide the framework for the detailed weekly lesson plans that the teachers complete with their grade-level partners. These plans specify the daily activities and assessments that teachers use to teach and measure progress and to ensure that all homework and class work is aligned to Iowa standards.
The HSADSM curriculum is aligned with all Iowa learning standards and meets all state expectations. HSADSM will utilize Iowa state assessments to guide curriculum revisions as needed on a year-to-year basis. All students will receive instruction in all core content areas (English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies). Students will also participate in a rotation of special classes like Physical Education, Art, Music, and Technology.
HSADSM will also administer Northwest Educational Assessments Measures for Academic Progress (MAP) and other relevant assessments to set and monitor individual academic growth goals in reading and math.
Concept Schools Curriculum Directors are instrumental in this process. They create the scope and sequence, guide teachers with the pacing, and select and review the resources. They provide continuous professional development to teachers throughout the school year. Teachers are responsible for collaborating and creating their lesson plans and assessments according to the curriculum provided. Concept Schools Curriculum Directors update and revise the curriculum according to new data, programs, needs, and resources every year. Teachers provide feedback about their experiences with each unit in the curriculum.
Concept network schools take a whole-child approach to learning where all students deserve to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. HSADSM offers parents/guardians and families various opportunities that many students may not have otherwise in traditional public schools. These include a program of learning opportunities to keep our students involved that extend beyond the school day and include, but are not limited to: clubs, special interest groups, competition teams, sports programs, trips, cultural events, summer and winter programs, and mentorships.
Key elements of the K-12 Concept educational program include:
- STEM-focused education
- College & Career Readiness Programs
- Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Support
- Free tutoring, clubs, and sports
- Concept Young Scholars Program (CYSP)
- Concept network-wide programs and events
- Cultural and educational trips
- Summer enrichment programs
HSADSM envisions a more productive and peaceful society by setting high standards for all students to unleash their potential. HSADSM provides more instructional time than traditional public schools, rigorous graduation requirements, and promotion policies, a nurturing school culture, and positive behavioral expectations. We create a culture of learning that translates into success.
HSADSM strategically builds a culture that promotes success and focuses on effort. It is a culture that revolves around relationships with students, families, and the larger community so that everyone is involved in student success.
HSADSM creates a motivating school culture by promoting programs such as:
- Social-emotional learning program
- Research-based positive behavioral intervention system
- Culturally responsive teaching and trauma-informed practices
- Annual staff, parent/guardian, and student surveys
- Data-driven, multi-tiered systems of support approach - to monitor attendance, SEL, behavior data, and activities and to provide interventions aligned to develop students’ areas of growth
- Clubs and advanced study teams
- Student assemblies
- Family/Community Events
All Concept network schools like HSADSM provide student-centered learning. HSADSM will feature smaller class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios compared to many other traditional district schools. Our talented and committed teaching staff provide a personalized educational experience for our students in an environment with a student-centered focus. Using a multitude of data points, the performance of each student is analyzed and effective strategies are developed to ensure learning is mastered.
HSADSM offers more instructional time in math and science with highly qualified subject expert teachers and promotes cross-discipline, project-based learning, and hands-on extracurricular activities. Its STEM-focused culture encourages curiosity, problem-solving, forward-thinking, and robust literacy, so students can enter college and the world equipped with the 21st-century skills they will need.
Nationally recognized programs such as Project Lead the Way, Gateway, and Launch are part of the Concept model. Interactive science classes, science fairs, math competitions, and robotics and engineering programs give our students a competitive edge and help them pursue college degrees and careers in STEM fields.
Features of HSADSM’s STEM-Focused curriculum include:
- Completion of more credits in STEM subjects than the state requirements with 4 credits of science, 4 credits of math, and 1 credit of technology/engineering
- Career Tech Education, Launch, Gateway, and Project Lead the Way programs
- Annual in-school science fair and/or interdisciplinary project fair
- Local, regional, and state-wide competitions in math, science, and technology
- Post-secondary, business/industry, and community partnerships
- Hands-on STEM activities and demonstrations
- STEM Certification
As the number of grade levels increases and enrollment in HSADSM grows, the school will emphasize college and career readiness beginning in middle school grades. Research shows that a college degree can make all the difference. HSADSM will provide various resources to prepare students for ACT/SAT, college applications, scholarships, and career readiness programs.
Beginning in middle school, the College/Career Readiness aspects of HSADSM will include:
- Individualized attention - College counselors provide one-on-one college and career guidance customized for the student's needs and ambitions with a variety of tools and activities
- Concept College Readiness Program that focuses on student preparedness for college throughout high school years
- Assistance with FAFSA and scholarship applications
- Annual college/career fair
- College application tracking system
- College visits
- Internships and apprenticeship programs
HSADSM believes in an equitable approach to learning where each child should have access to relevant and challenging academic experiences and educational resources necessary for success across race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, disability, religion, family background and/or income. The Concept Schools’ model ensures all children can achieve their academic potential despite personal, social, and cultural circumstances.
HSDSM supports equity by emphasizing:
- High standards for all students to challenge/support them
- Network-wide Committee to create/implement/evaluate an equity plan and facilitate training
- Progress monitoring of each student subgroups with a focus on narrowing the gaps among them
- Differentiation according to students’ levels, interests, and needs
- Free clubs, sports, and tutoring are available to any student
- Collecting feedback and data via student/staff/family surveys
- Ongoing communication with feedback loops with all stakeholders
Concept Schools Curriculum Directors, regional Directors of Teaching and Learning and classroom teachers make up a curriculum committee that reviews state standards, assessments, curriculum, and curriculum resources annually to ensure that all students will be able to be exposed to grade level expectations.