The Prepared Mind Pillar at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud is centered on academic programs that will prime students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills they need to excel. The curriculum provides opportunities for students to construct meaningful connections and deeper understanding of core content. Our teachers use instructional strategies that promote curiosity, collaboration, and a culture of positivity. We believe having a Prepared Mind is as much about learning how to learn and succeed as it is about academic knowledge.
Athlos Academy will use a literacy program that is based on thirty-five years of literacy research called Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Reading and Writing. Published by Columbia's Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, the curriculum develops engaged, proficient readers. Through well-scaffolded reading workshops, students read a range of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, to learn critical reading strategies regarding fluency, purpose, craft, and meaning. Using relevant materials, the program fosters confident readers who value time spent with a good book.
Focused on the power of a student's voice, the Lucy Calkins writing program encourages young storytellers to become empowered, published authors. Using classroom structures to support the writing process, students engage in complex decisions to craft compelling insights and meaningful memoirs. They are immersed in the research process to develop informative and persuasive pieces, utilizing topics relevant to a child's world. With intentional teaching of the writing traits, a student becomes a proficient writer who can harness their voice to address any task and audience.
What does it mean to have mathematical literacy? It means that a student understands the important role math has in the world and becomes a citizen who can make informed decisions. Developing mathematical literacy begins with building mathematical thinkers, which is at the core of the Bridges math program used at Athlos Academy.
Bridges promotes a deeper understanding of math concepts, proficiency and fluency with computational skills, and the ability to reason and persevere through complex problems. Its approach blends direct instruction along with investigation and exploration using contexts and real world connections. The program presents information supported by a progression of learning: kinesthetic materials, powerful visual images, and symbolic notation. Pressed to make connections within the strategies and models, students develop a rich cognitive framework for the structure of mathematics.
Our intrinsic attraction to the natural world invites learners to engage in life, physical, and earth science content and practices. Through observation and experimentation, we come to better understand the scientific processes that impact the world in which we live. Athlos Academy will use selected Full Option Science SystemTM (FOSS) kits to support the science program and rich investigations. These hands-on, active science investigations promote analysis, deep conversations, and connections. In alignment with the Next Generation and State Science Standards, the Athlos science program will also incorporate the engineering practices of analyzing a problem, developing a solution, and redesigning the proposal after evaluation.
In addition to FOSS, Athlos Academy will utilize original science units, developed with purposeful connections to the Healthy Body Pillar. All units are built around intriguing guiding questions, essential science concepts, inquiry-based activities, and meaningful connections. Our budding scientists will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills through engaging projects.
The social studies program is founded on the idea that developing civic competence is the basis for full participation in a democratic society. Aligned to state standards, Athlos Academy will use units framed by central topics such as family, community, and citizenship. Deeper investigations into pivotal historic events and eras such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the settlement of Minnesota will cultivate historical inquiry skills and an appreciation for our past. Students will consistently make connections to modern day global issues.
Beginning with guiding questions and essential understandings, the units include activities to pique curiosity and spark excitement. Throughout the grade levels, there are intentional connections made to Performance Character traits rooted in the deeds and words of significant historical and modern figures.
The Fine arts curriculum includes visual arts and music exploration integrated thematically with other curriculum content. Students will participate in 2-3 fine arts sessions each week.