A.C.E. Academy

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Academics

A.C.E. Academy is proud to create an educational environment that enables kids to become creative, self-directed, lifelong learners. While our curriculum aligns with Common Core North Carolina State Standards, our approach is project-based and student-centered. This approach empowers students to connect instruction to real-to-life experiences and links subject matter into themes to enhance retention.

At A.C.E., we believe that character education and entrepreneurship crosses all business and life boundaries. Therefore, we have woven both into every student activity—from classroom instruction and projects to our civic and cultural programs. Our educators reinforce the real-world importance of character education and entrepreneurship (which includes financial literacy, leadership, and problem solving) through mentor-ship and project-based learning. We set high expectations for our children, and we help them achieve those expectations, because we know, with the right tools, every child can succeed!
 
The school’s mission states that, “ A.C.E. Academy will equip students from all backgrounds to succeed in the college and career of their choice by driving academic excellence, developing strong character, and instilling an entrepreneurial mindset. ” The mission is the starting point for the school’s education plan, one in which academics, character, and entrepreneurship are integrated into a rigorous research-based curriculum. Student centered learning at A.C.E. Academy not only promotes critical thinking, increases student engagement, and empowers students to take ownership of their learning, but is also at the heart of academic, character, and entrepreneurship integration at the school. When combined with highly effective teaching strategies, data driven instruction, and instructional support, this model ensures achievement of academic goals and post-secondary success.
 
Academics
A.C.E. Academy teachers will utilize research-based curriculum that aligns to the NC Standards to drive academic excellence and best meets the learning needs of the students at the school. The ACE Academy instructional leadership has adopted specific curriculum in English Language Arts (ELA), Math, and Science. The curriculum is consistent with college preparedness expectations to allow for a smooth transition from A.C.E. Academy to high school. The goal of all instruction at A.C.E. Academy is to shift the responsibility of learning from the teacher to the student.
 
ELA The school has adopted Wit & Wisdom for Kindergarten - 8th grade ELA instruction. Wit & Wisdom integrates liberal arts and science into a text-based ELA curriculum through daily reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and vocabulary study.
 
Math In Kindergarten-2nd grade math, the school has adopted EngageNY. Through the integration of discovery based lessons and the use of manipulatives, EngageNY builds math knowledge in a logical and thorough manner that develops a deep understanding of math concepts. In 3rd-8th grades, the school has adopted the National Training Network (NTN) for math instruction. Through the integration of SOLVE (a five-step problem solving paradigm that develops students skills for reasoning), manipulatives, pictorials, graphic organizers, engaging activities, formative assessments, and systematic reviews, NTN builds deep conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts.
 
Science and Social Studies A.C.E. Academy has adopted Teachers Curriculum Institute (TCI) for Science and Social Studies in 5th-8th grades. TCI incorporates literacy into Science and Social Studies through a technology based program that utilizes informational texts, as well as discovery based lessons and hand-on investigations and activities.

Instructional Day
In both the Lower (Kindergarten-4th Grade) and Upper School (5th-8th grades) students begin their day with a morning meeting. During the morning meeting, students greet one another, share information in a structured format, and discuss a daily message and the weekly character trait (will there be a schedule provided? Part of the pacing guide?). The morning meeting supports social, emotional, and academic learning by establishing trust, building relationships, encouraging collaboration, giving students a sense of
belonging and making students feel significant; therefore, the morning meeting is powerful and sets a respectful tone for the school day.
 
In the Lower School , students receive 150 minutes of literacy instruction each day. In the literacy block, there is a heavy focus on reading and writing instruction. Students participate in whole and small group reading, vocabulary study, phonics instruction as
well as socratic seminar. While science and social studies are integrated into literacy instruction, time is alloted for daily science and social studies instruction. Each day, students participate in 90 minutes of math instruction that is divided into whole group math instruction, math centers, and math journal time. Students are enrolled in the following exploratory classes at A.C.E. Academy: Spanish, PE/Health, Music, Art (K-4) STEAM (K-4), Creative Writing (5th-6th grades), Coding (5th-8th grades) and  entrepreneurship Education (7th-8th grades).
 
Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, A.C.E. Academy will offer a Partial Dual Immersion Program for one class of kindergarten students. Over a five year period, the immersion program will grow to include one immersion class per grade level in kindergarten through 4th grade. In the Partial Dual Immersion Program, content is delivered in both the target language, which is Spanish, and English.
 
 
A.C.E. Academy's instructional design and program components are grounded in best practices for achieving academic success for all students. Through differentiation, guided instruction, project based learning, and collaborative learning, student learning is
stimulated and academic performance is improved.

● Differentiation is a strategy for meeting the variety of learning needs of students at A.C.E. Academy. Differentiation at A.C.E. Academy may include, but is not limited to, providing students with reading materials at varying reading or Lexile
levels, presenting materials in both an auditory and visual format, utilizing small groups to re-teach or extend content, providing students with options to express learning, offering manipulatives or other hands-on supports for students, and
providing material that reflect a variety of cultures. Whether the teacher differentiates content, process, product, and/or learning environment, differentiation is an essential practice for increasing student understanding and achievement.

● Guided learning fosters an active learning environment and provides students with the opportunity to learn from their experiences and interaction with the world through inquiry-based and discovery-based learning. Guided learning allows students opportunities to collaborate, exchange ideas, learn how to work together towards a common goal, take ownership of their education, and challenge and push students outside of their comfort zone, which are all skills necessary for an entrepreneurial mindset. Guided learning at A.C.E. Academy consists of reading groups, discussions, workshops, collaborative learning, project-based learning, role plays, and debates.

● Project-based learning provides student-centered and authentic learning opportunities by engaging students in in-depth projects developed around standards-based questions. At A.C.E. Academy, project-based learning allows students to make real-world connections as students investigate, acquire new knowledge through inquiry, and develop critical thinking skills. While students
complete two entrepreneurship projects each year, project-based learning at A.C.E. is not limited to the entrepreneurship projects as this type of learning gives students the skills, behaviors, and content needed to be successful entrepreneurs.

● Collaborative learning increases student interest and promotes critical thinking. In order to increase student “talk time” and decrease teacher “talk time”, the school supports increased partner work rather than groups of three or more. Recognizing that collaboration is essential in business, students work collaboratively with the goal of achieving increased social interaction and oral
communication skills, simulating real life social and employment situations, as well as developing a greater ability to view situations from others’ point of view. A.C.E. Academy offers a variety of student support services, including but not limited to Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), Exceptional Children Services, and related services.