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About TLC Charter School
Summary Information

Mission Statement

In partnership with parents, teachers and community, the school mission is:
a. To motivate our children to seek excellence in themselves and their endeavors.
b. To create an educational environment where learning is enjoyable.
c. To instill values that are fundamental to the well-being of the individual, to meaningful relationships and to a healthy society.

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Admission Policy

a. Open enrollment - Eligibility not based upon ethnicity, gender, income level, etc.
b. No tuition (Charter Schools are Public Schools).
c. Timely submission of a complete application.
d. Preference given to returning students and relatives of returning students.
If by application deadline the application is not completed and/or submitted, or the number of applications exceeds the capacity of class, program or building code (oversubscribed), applicants will be placed on a waiting list and any future openings will be assigned through a lottery process to randomly selected applicants.

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Schedule Type

Schedule types will be the traditional one-teacher-per-classroom for elementary and a hybrid “block” for middle & high school. Teacher-student ratio will average 1 to 15. Block schedule classes will be taught in roughly 75 minute “Blocks” instead of the traditional day where five to eight different subjects are taught for 40-50 minutes each. Best practices in education for middle & high school indicate fewer classes for longer periods are better suited for learning. This type of schedule will:
a. Allow our instructors to utilize classroom discussion, team learning, manipulatives and interactive material to deepen learning.
b. By reducing the number of periods in a day we also believe that the overall pace of the school will lesson and this will reduce stress in our students lives.
c. There will be a M-W-F schedule and a T-Thu schedule of classes. For example:

Semester I – Middle School
* M-W-F Period 1 (Math), Period 2 (Science), Period 3 (Social Studies/History).
* M & F Period 4 (P.E.- YMCA)
* W Period 4 AIMS Preparation

* T-Thu Period 1 (Language Arts/Reading), Period 2 (Technology/Workplace Skills), Period 3 (Art/Music), Period 4 (AIMS/SAT-9 Preparation), Period 5 (Life Skills)

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Class Composition

A multi-age, cooperative structure will be used. Students will be assessed, a grade level will be determined and an individualized educational plan will be designed and implemented. Some cooperative strategies employed to assist the learning process are:
a. Multi-age,
b. Class discussions,
c. Small group breakouts,
d. Peer mentoring.

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Goals

a. Motivation to learn.
b. Mastery of the basic skills.
c. Acquisition of a deep knowledge base.
d. Competence of skills,
e. Understanding and incorporating society’s values.

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Curriculum

TLC Charter School’s educational program uses traditional public school text and materials and its philosophy is loosely based on the work of Dr. Earnest Boyer and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. As explained in his book, The Basic School, the four priorities are:
a. The School as Community
b. Curriculum with Coherence
c. A Climate for Learning
d. A Commitment to Character

The Basic School strategy provides a frame for tried and true tenets of effective schooling. It pulls learning from cognitive research and developmental theory together with understandings of policy, organizational theory and school change. It is comprehensive and cohesive, yet flexible enough to encourage individual schools to develop their own unique programs.

The goal of the Basic School is not only to prepare students for careers, not only to give knowledge to students, but to also help channel knowledge to develop students’ capacities to live with dignity and purpose, to enable students to judge wisely and to act responsibly in matters of life and conduct. The of the Basic Schools’ philosophy is to nurture in each student the desire to contribute and make meaning out of life.

Specific Curriculum Highlights Featuring Arizona Standards Based Education:

Language Arts/Reading: An emphasis on quality literature, children’s classics, a variety of publishers and approaches to literacy, classes in writing and journalism, and the publishing of finished work in technology classes.

Mathematics: Various text and workbooks, math manipulatives, supplemental problem solving, each student will work at his or her own level to acquire expertise in all area of mathematics.

Social Studies/History: Various text and workbooks, involvement in multi-cultural events including fairs with booths and food from different countries, story telling, cultural dance and plays based, and art projects linked to the study of cultural and historical periods.

Technology/Workplace skills: Students will be prepared to live, work and learn in a technologically advanced, global community that is constantly changing through the learning and use of computers, electronic media, the internet and job skills training.

Science: A strong emphasis is placed on both scientific literacy and the use of the scientific method. Lab and fieldwork will be incorporated.

Visual and Performing Arts: In additional to the arts focus mentioned above (Social Studies) and traditional mediums of art expression (painting, sculpting, drawing), students may attend local “School Time Matinees” sponsored by Partners in Education and the Tucson Arts Connection at the University of Arizona Centennial Hall. They will have opportunities to attend various presentations at The Muse Center for the Arts (formerly the International Art Center) and they will also have opportunities to perform in musicals, skits and plays.

Physical Education: Students are placed in traditional PE activities at the elementary grades and recieve a free YMCA membership during middle and high school. Both programs emphasize strength & conditioning, stamina, balance & coordination and health & nutrition. Both programs incorporate and test for the President’s Fitness Program.

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Student Pledge

Each day, in my words and deeds, I will do my best to live these seven virtues:
Honesty
Respect
Responsibility
Compassion
Self-Discipline
Perseverance
Giving

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Comprehensive Program of Intruction
The Curriculum
The curricular philosophy of Transformational Learning Centers is that students learn best in small school settings through engagement in challenging ideas, concepts, and skills contained in a core curriculum – English, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, health and physical education, and foreign language. Given the appropriate conditions of learning, this curriculum can be mastered by most students.

Existing Models
Research shows that both competitive and cooperative interactions are a healthy part of a child's repertoire of behavior. By second grade, however, urban children have effectively extinguished their cooperative behavior and persist in competition, even when it's counterproductive. By developing deliberately cooperative techniques, our educators aim to correct the unconscious societal and educational bias that favors competition. Research has also found an interesting racial implication in cooperative learning: Minority children are more likely to retain these cooperative strategies. With appropriate adult help, children can often perform tasks that they are incapable of completing on their own. Vygotsky called this difference the zone of proximal development.
Cooperation, multiage structures and brain-based learning are some of the learning strategies that will be employed at our Charter School to assist each student in mastering the concepts and skills delineated in the Arizona State Academics Standards. Brain-Compatible Learning combines old concepts with new research. Learning-friendly uses of music, lighting, plants, and color in the classroom have been strategies that teachers have used for centuries. In the last decade, researchers have discovered the impact of those strategies and how they affect the brain and the learning process. These concepts enable teachers to design teaching approaches conducive to the brain's natural abilities in order to promote student learning and achievement. Research indicates that brain-based learning techniques foster immersive, highly challenging environments while simultaneously reducing fear. Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat; therefore our Charter School will endeavor to provide physical, emotional and mental safety.

Technology
If Transformational Learning Centers are to embrace the best practices in education, we must, and will utilize contemporary technology. Each classroom will have the necessary peripheral equipment designed to accommodate the latest in educational communications – Internet, e-mail and computer research. Student will learn how technology can be used as a valuable tool in learning important research skills, e.g. formulating appropriate questions, finding related information, sorting out solid research from unsubstantiated opinion, summarizing, synthesizing and interpreting scientifically.
Our purpose is to prepare each student to live, work, and learn in a technologically advanced, global community that is constantly changing. In addition, emphasis will be placed on personal and social development so that students will leave school prepared to accept and fulfill the responsibilities of each stage of development and eventually become law-abiding citizens, productive workers, caring neighbors and nurturing human beings.


 

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