Big Picture Curriculum
Meeting Street Academy’s curriculum considers the whole child, including the full range of academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of the child. For this reason we call it Big Picture Curriculum. Big Picture Curriculum takes the long view; it considers what the child needs today to be prepared for the next years in school, career, and community. Big Picture Curriculum is developmentally appropriate, academically rigorous, socially-emotionally significant, and whole-child focused.
When curriculum is developmentally appropriate it dictates how a child learns as well as what a child learns. In developmentally appropriate curriculum, how and what a child learns is related to cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of individuals, rather than simply prescribing outcomes by age or grade. Developmentally appropriate curriculum aligns to individual needs so that children can receive the support and challenge that best serves them.
When academics are rigorous, curriculum goes beyond the memorization of facts and procedures. Rigorous academics require students to synthesize and apply what they are learning. It allows time for students to question and create so that they can fully engage in inquiry, discovery, and production. When students are required to participate in academic curriculum in such active ways, they learn content and the requisite skills and strategies to be successful in school, career and community for the long run.
We know that people need more than academic skills to be productive and happy. Our Path to Success is designed to address the social and emotional needs of students. Addressing these needs means we teach students how to be self-aware, socially aware and socially responsible. In addition, we know that there are certain character traits that are key indicators of success. Student character is developed over time through strong models, direct instruction, and frequent feedback as students practice our 8 key character traits. We actively develop these eight character traits in our core classes so that students practice these skills during the school day and throughout the school year.
No one is growing faster than the young child. During this period of rapid growth, children need expert medical attention, solid nutrition, frequent exercise and periods of rest and renewal. While the family has the greatest influence on successful physical development, students spend a large number of hours in school. Therefore, our schools provide the wrap around medical services many young children need: dental, health and vision screening; occupational, physical, and mental health services; and nutrition education. We provide two nutritious meals and three healthful snacks each day. We provide ample fresh air breaks and extended instruction in swimming, yoga, and physical education.
We want big things for our students. Sure, we want high test scores. But we also want productive, happy, life-long learners who are good citizens. That means we need to do more than most schools. Our Big Picture Curriculum is how we provide more… so children can achieve more.