The mission of the Country Gardens Charter Schools is to nurture academic, social and emotional success for all students, to prepare them for a life-time of learning as productive, well-rounded citizens.
The philosophy of the Country Gardens Charter School is based on the integration of hands-on experiential learning and technology. The belief that all children can learn is manifested in the methodologies which incorporate the different learning modalities and individualization of instruction. A combination of the use of learning centers, labs, technology and individual skills work is utilized.
Curriculum & School Design
The school environment is structured around interactive learning centers, science labs, computers and small group instruction. The students are grouped on a multi-age basis and may interact with many ages within the school. Application level projects are designed to integrate the many skills within the Arizona State Standards in real life situations. Math and Science coupled with technology are a major focus for these projects. Outdoor learning labs are an integral part of the learning experience and are evidenced in the sites which are chosen for our school.
The curriculum is based upon the Arizona State Standards with enhancement through learning projects. Students are assessed through the standardized SAT 9′s, Criterion Referenced Test and a nationally known pre and post test which is used to determine an overall look at yearly growth in the basic core areas. Students in grades 3-12 are graded with a typical report card and grades in all subjects. Learning centers and projects are developed with the integration of content themes in Science, Social Studies, Literature, and the State Standards. These centers offer students a wide range of learning activities, spanning many ability levels and focusing on all the different modalities, so that each child may experience success. The projects use the basic skills in real life situations and utilize problem solving, reasoning, evaluation and synthesis skills. Interaction among students is crucial to the success of the projects and through design students learn social and emotional skills. This positive learning environment fosters motivation and a love of learning.
Discipline is based upon guiding students how to behave appropriately in changing environments. Individual conferencing, group discussions and conflict resolutions are all utilized to accomplish this goal. Peer mediation is used throughout the school for conflicts which students are able to handle. Working closely with families, our school continually forges solid bonds for student success.
Textbooks are not used and work sheets are used on a limited basis. Students engage in center activities which cause them to create their work from scratch. This forces students to spell, write, punctuate and use grammar as they create their work. Therefore, the constantly practice basic core skills. Activities cross over into many academic areas and are written on an application level of learning. Problem solving and decision making are key to most activities and students learn to become independent learners who can not only do the problems, but can figure out what processes to use to solve problems. Students engage in reading many different authors and literature throughout the year. Upper grade students are also able to read and interpret different readings and understand the author’s objective.
All students in the upper grades run a business on campus and have a job in that business. A learning center in the classroom extends the business into family budgets, mortgages, taxes, etc. Many areas of Math and Social Studies are contained in this curriculum and it is very successful in teaching and using Math in real like situations.
The use of animals and plants in the curriculum is extensive and students take care of animals so as to learn compassion as well as Science and Math. Students frequent our Science Lab which features over 50 different animal classifications in both vertebrae and invertebrate classes, inclusive of saltwater and freshwater marine life.