Academics

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet “

We Are An Expeditionary School

LEARNING IS ACTIVE
Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists. They investigate real community problems and collaborate with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions.
LEARNING IS CHALLENGING
Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. Excellence is expected in the quality of their work and thinking.
LEARNING IS MEANINGFUL
Students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and make positive change in their communities. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated by understanding that learning has purpose.
LEARNING IS PUBLIC
Through formal structures of presentation, exhibition, critique, and data analysis, students and teachers build a shared vision of pathways to achievement.
LEARNING IS COLLABORATIVE
School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.

Design Principles


Learning is a partnership between parents, students, and teachers. In order to be utilize time effectively, ten design principles were defined to teach and to learn better.

Magnifying Glass

THE PRIMACY OF SELF-DISCOVERY

THE PRIMACY OF SELF-DISCOVERY

Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the necessary support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. You should undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement.

lightbulb

THE HAVING OF WONDERFUL IDEAS

THE HAVING OF WONDERFUL IDEAS

Your teachers are here to foster curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what you observe.

Responsible Kindergarteners

THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEARNING

THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEARNING

Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of Manara Academy encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

Students Form Heart

EMPATHY AND CARING

EMPATHY AND CARING

Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in our school, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students should mentor younger ones, and students should feel physically and emotionally safe.

Success & Failure

SUCCESS AND FAILURE

SUCCESS AND FAILURE

All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for you to learn from your failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

Collaboration & Competition

COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION

COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION

Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. You are encouraged to compete, not against each other, but with your own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.

One World

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. You should investigate and value your different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures. Schools and learning groups are heterogeneous (different).

Natural World

THE NATURAL WORLD

THE NATURAL WORLD

A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. You should learn to become supervisors of the earth and of future generations.

Solitude & Reflection

SOLITUDE AND REFLECTION

SOLITUDE AND REFLECTION

Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They should also exchange their reflections with other students and with adults.

3rd Grade Service

SERVICE AND COMPASSION

SERVICE AND COMPASSION

We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of important service to others, and one of our school’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service.

EL Core Practices

The core values represent the framework in which all EL benchmarks are designed and measured. They are important in defining the dimensions of Expeditionary Learning.

core_practices

curriculum

Our approach to curriculum makes content and skill standards come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. Academically rigorous learning expeditions, case studies, projects, fieldwork, and service learning inspire students to think and work as professionals do, contributing high-quality work to authentic audiences beyond the classroom.

instruction

Our classrooms are alive with discovery, inquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. Teachers talk less. Students talk and think more. Lessons have explicit purpose, guided by learning targets for which students take ownership and responsibility. In all subject areas, teachers differentiate instruction and maintain high expectations in order to bring out the best in all students and cultivate a culture of high achievement.

culture_and_character

Our schools build cultures of respect, responsibility, courage, and kindness, where students and adults are committed to quality work and citizenship. School structures and traditions such as crew, community meetings, exhibitions of student work, and service learning ensure that every student is known and cared for, that student leadership is nurtured, and that contributions to the school and world are celebrated. Students and staff are supported to do better work and be better people than they thought possible

assessment

Our leaders, teachers, and students embrace the power of student-engaged assessment practices to focus students on reaching standards-based learning targets and drive achievement. Students continually assess and improve the quality of their work through the use of models, reflection, critique, rubrics, and work with experts. Staff members engage in ongoing data inquiry and analysis, examining everything from patterns in student work to results from high-stakes tests.

leadership

Our school leaders build professional learning communities that focus sharply on student achievement and continuous improvement, use data wisely, and boldly shape school structures to best meet student needs. Leaders celebrate joy in learning and build a school-wide culture of trust and collaboration. Leadership in our schools goes beyond a single person or team – it is a role and expectation for all.

Measuring Success


We design success on an individual level. Every student has different qualities and skills and they will be measured based on their achievements. At Manara, we measure knowledge and character. Knowledge is measured using grade benchmark tests, MAP(Measuring of Academic Progress) tests, and classroom grades. While Character is defined by actions and self-evaluations. Success is determined by how much a student grows in character and knowledge throughout the year.

Gifted/Talented

The foundation for Manara Academy’s gifted and talented program is PAL, which stands for Program for Advanced Learners. PAL currently services a small group of students from 4th-8th grade. Beginning in the fall of 2015, the PAL program will expand to serve a highly qualified group of young learners from 3rd-8th grade. Students are eligible for nomination at the end of 2nd grade. PAL is a motivating and challenging experience that lasts over multiple years of a student’s education. The PAL program provides an engaging, creative, and rigorous learning environment to nurture the unique academic and social – emotional needs of students requiring gifted and talented services. The PAL program focuses on gifted academic experiences and personal development.

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