What is Standards-Based Grading?

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The Learning Center! uses standards-based grading to assess student progress.  A single grade for each subject is not given.  Instead, each subject is broken into standards, or skills, and the student receives a mark indicating his or her level of achievement in that standard.  The student’s score is not an average of all assessments given throughout the grading period, but is awarded based upon the student’s highest level of proficiency of the standard.

All of the standards are year-long goals.  Therefore, as the year progresses and the depth of knowledge of each standard increases, it is possible to see a student’s proficiency level  fluctuate. The goal is for every student to have a solid command of each grade level content area by the end of the school year.

Students will also be assessed on 21st Century Skills and Character and Study Habits.  21st Century Skills include Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Collaboration and Communication.  Character and Study Skills include Responsibility, Conduct and Participation.

Why is Standards-Based grading better?  It lists the most important skills that the student should learn in each subject area providing parents and students a greater understanding of what the student knows and what areas are in need of improvement.  Factors such as effort in class, homework, etc. will now be assessed separately so that parents are informed of their child’s progress in these areas as well.  Just as MAP testing provides clear examples of a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, standards-based grading will provide similar information based on the state’s grade level expectations.  Grading and reporting is more consistent as a result.

Retro Gaming Elective Needs Repurposed Computers

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If you were a kid growing up in the 1980s, you might remember playing video games like Asteroids, Pac-Man, Pong and Space Invaders. Kids today at The Learning Center! Charter School will have the chance to venture back to the 80s with a new retro gaming elective.

This new elective will require students to do more than play retro video game classics — they will be building the actual gaming consoles. The elective is led by IT director, Franklin Shook who joins The Learning Center from Western Carolina University. Under Shook’s direction, students will rebuild old, donated computers to house a console for retro games.

Over the course of this elective, eight students will learn the basics of computer hardware, setup and troubleshooting, installing open source software, and repurposing otherwise obsolete technology.

Shook, who provides technology training for teachers, was asked to teach a computer building class for students. Said Shook about the elective, “I thought the gaming aspect would be an interesting addition for students to take home with them.” Shook is currently finishing his Masters degree in Library Science through East Carolina University.

If you would like to donate an old computer for this elective, contact Franklin Shook at The Learning Center at 828.835.7240 or email at tech@naturallygrownkids.org

You’ve Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers — RESCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 8th

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Our Director, Mary Jo Dyre, offers Director Under the Tent days as a time where parents can access her without getting an appointment. This is a time where you can ask questions, get involved with volunteer efforts, and begin or continue to better understand the big picture vision of the educational opportunities that we offer on The Learning Center campus. Be sure to stop by the tent on Friday, September 8, 2017 anytime between 7:30am and 4:00pm to ask questions and find out more about all things related to The Learning Center Charter School.

Are you part of the Green & Clean Crew?

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Our school Green & Clean Crew is responsible for keeping our grounds looking beautiful. If you like getting your hands dirty, or finding an excuse to be outdoors on a beautiful day, we have a job for you! Contact the office and find out how you can become part of this “growing” group.

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What is Standards-Based Grading?

StandardsBasedGradingGraphic-500x333

The Learning Center! uses standards-based grading to assess student progress.  A single grade for each subject is not given.  Instead, each subject is broken into standards, or skills, and the student receives a mark indicating his or her level of achievement in that standard.  The student’s score is not an average of all assessments given throughout the grading period, but is awarded based upon the student’s highest level of proficiency of the standard.

All of the standards are year-long goals.  Therefore, as the year progresses and the depth of knowledge of each standard increases, it is possible to see a student’s proficiency level  fluctuate. The goal is for every student to have a solid command of each grade level content area by the end of the school year.

Students will also be assessed on 21st Century Skills and Character and Study Habits.  21st Century Skills include Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Collaboration and Communication.  Character and Study Skills include Responsibility, Conduct and Participation.

Why is Standards-Based grading better?  It lists the most important skills that the student should learn in each subject area providing parents and students a greater understanding of what the student knows and what areas are in need of improvement.  Factors such as effort in class, homework, etc. will now be assessed separately so that parents are informed of their child’s progress in these areas as well.  Just as MAP testing provides clear examples of a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, standards-based grading will provide similar information based on the state’s grade level expectations.  Grading and reporting is more consistent as a result.

What is MAP testing?

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You have probably heard your student talking about MAP testing. Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) is a computerized adaptive testing system that tailors tests to a student’s achievement level.

Each student takes a test that is dynamically developed for him or her as the test is being administered. The program instantly analyzes the student’s response to each test question and, based on how well the student has answered all previous questions, selects a question of appropriate difficulty to display next.  If your child answers a question correctly, the test follows up with a more challenging question. If your child answers incorrectly, the test follows up with an easier question.  By delivering precise, real-time information about every student’s learning triumphs and challenges, both teachers and students are set up for success!

Students at The Learning Center MAP test twice a year. Kindergarten and first grade take reading and math. Second through fourth grades take reading, math and language. Fifth through eighth grades take reading, math, language and science.

Cheryl Catuto meets individually with parents to go over results in late September through October. She will meet with all kindergarten through second grade parents. She will also meet with all new families to our school and anyone else with questions. Feel free to contact her at cheryl@naturallygrownkids.org with your questions or to set up a meeting.

School Supplies Donated by Parents Involved and BB&T

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So much of what happens at TLC could not happen without the support of community businesses and partners.  Our very own Parents Involved organization donated the above pictured school supplies valued at $1,500.  Furthermore, our local BB& T Bank provided all the items pictured below with a value of $355. These generous donations will be put to good use in every classroom across our campus. Thank you PI and BB&T partners!

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Community Effort Aids School Garden Project

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The Learning Center! Charter School has for the past ten years placed an emphasis on providing a culture that links school to agriculture. On October 27th, with the help of Lowe’s Heroes and other community donations and volunteer efforts, the school transformed its entire front landscaping into a sustainable terraced planting area.

A large number of volunteers stepped up to the challenge including members of  Lowe’s Heroes Volunteer Program, Nehemiah’s Neighbors (a local Christian men’s group), Franklin Barnett, Vice President Cherokee County Farm Bureau with a funding donation, landscape contractors Wendall and Phillip Chastain and parents of students at the school.

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Part of the grant that was crucial to making the 1st phase of the project happen was to procure in-kind labor costs for terracing, laying timbers for planting beds, installing posts and cable for vertical planting area, and installing a walkway.

The second phase of the project includes a greenhouse the school hopes will be completed with another grant later in the year. The project s­­eeks to provide an outdoor extension of the classroom for staff and students to carry out planting and harvesting, STEM, and other cross-curricular studies. In addition, the terraced garden will directly serve the school’s Nutrition Program.

School Director, Mary Jo Dyre stated, “We feel strongly that students need to understand the connection between the foods that appear on their plates and the farmers who work the soil to produce many of the foods that are necessary to good nutrition.”

The school has a long history of promoting emphasises on good nutrition as part of its overall mission–growing some of its own food for educational purposes such as providing activities that support the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

“The Learning Center! continues our commitment to the greater Community of Learners,” said Dyre. “This project helps prioritize farm-to-school connections and will impact our teaching health and wellness for future generations.”

What is Standards-Based Grading?

StandardsBasedGradingGraphic

The Learning Center! uses standards-based grading to assess student progress.  A single grade for each subject is not given.  Instead, each subject is broken into standards, or skills, and the student receives a mark indicating his or her level of achievement in that standard.  The student’s score is not an average of all assessments given throughout the grading period, but is awarded based upon the student’s highest level of proficiency of the standard.

All of the standards are year-long goals.  Therefore, as the year progresses and the depth of knowledge of each standard increases, it is possible to see a student’s proficiency level  fluctuate. The goal is for every student to have a solid command of each grade level content area by the end of the school year.

Students will also be assessed on 21st Century Skills and Character and Study Habits.  21st Century Skills include Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Collaboration and Communication.  Character and Study Skills include Responsibility, Conduct and Participation.

Why is Standards-Based grading better?  It lists the most important skills that the student should learn in each subject area providing parents and students a greater understanding of what the student knows and what areas are in need of improvement.  Factors such as effort in class, homework, etc. will now be assessed separately so that parents are informed of their child’s progress in these areas as well.  Just as MAP testing provides clear examples of a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, standards-based grading will provide similar information based on the state’s grade level expectations.  Grading and reporting is more consistent as a result.