Brevard Academy Curriculum
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It is the mission of Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy to provide high quality education for a diverse community of students, Grades K-8, in a nurturing environment that motivates children in the pursuit of personal excellence. As a partnership between teachers, students, and parents, the school is dedicated to the development of the whole child and to the enhancement of the values of respect and responsibility.
Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy is a public charter school that provides the K-8 foundation to fulfill the mission of the North Carolina State Board of Education, "Every public school student will graduate from high school, globally competitive for work and post secondary education and prepared for life in the 21st Century" (N. C. State Board of Education, 2006) BA-CFA strives to assure that its graduates are literate, articulate and competent in information communication and technology, creative across the curriculum, globally aware, and ready to access the many high school opportunities available to students in North Carolina. To this end, the school curriculum aligns Core Knowledge and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
Developed at the University of Virginia under the leadership of E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Core Knowledge provides children in grades K-8 with a substantial body of shared knowledge and ideas that enable them to communicate with their fellow citizens and to thrive in the modern world (Hirsch, 1998, xiii). Core Knowledge is structured to allow teachers ample opportunity to develop investigative study, hence critical thinking and problem solving skills. It forms a sound base for high school success. Core Knowledge incorporates: language arts, history and geography, fine arts (visual arts and music), mathematics, and natural sciences. To ensure genuine breadth and balance in learning, students at Brevard Academy take courses in Spanish designed to have them ready to complete Spanish I for high school credit in 8th grade, information communication and technology/computing so that they will complete the computer literacy assessment requirement by 8th grade, and a physical activity program that focuses on movement and physical activities in an outdoor environment.
The North Carolina Standard Course of Study, first established in 1898, provides every content area a set of competencies for each grade and high school course. Its intent is to ensure rigorous student academic performance standards that are uniform across the state. It is based on a philosophy of teaching and learning that is consistent with current research, exemplary practices, and national standards. Earlier in 2008, following extensive input from a Blue Ribbon Commission, the State Board of Education adopted the Framework for Change, which will be implemented fully in 2013.
The Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy's core curriculum is enhanced by art, music, Spanish, and physical activity with an outdoor education emphasis. The Art program is provided to all students in grades K-8. Activities and projects are aligned with the content of core courses and Core Knowledge. The Music program is offered to all students. Grades K-3 are exposed to a wide range of options so their young minds develop a love of music at an early age. Grades 4-8 students are all required to choose an instrument with the option of a jazz ensemble for middle school students. The elements of music, as defined by Core Knowledge and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, are melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, texture, and form. Younger students enjoy learning a musical concept, singing, and playing instruments in their music class. Students in grades 4-8 build on their K-3 knowledge and put those skills to use in a formal band program continuing to expand their knowledge of musical instruments and the contributions of music in our history. Jazz ensemble students study music theory, compositional techniques, and improvisation with a strong emphasis on performance. Every year, Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy presents a school musical that showcases the scope of student talent and artistic understanding in our school community. The Spanish program is offered as a high school credit in grade 8. The content is aligned with the content in core courses. Field trips at Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy are set at one field trip per quarter and include an opportunity for students to eat in a Latino restaurant and order in Spanish. Fluency in another language will provide a multitude of opportunities to BA-CFA students in high school and beyond. The beautiful campus of the Brevard Music Center where Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy is located lends itself to physical activitiy in the outdoors, as do the many parks and camps in Western North Carolina. North Carolina Public School Standards require 150 minutes of physical activity for K-5 students and 225 minutes for 6-8 students. Those minutes are fun filled, providing knowledge and skills that will be useful for a lifetime of outdoor activity and enjoyment.