Student Experience

The Moving Everest student experience is driven by the three pillars of our school design:

Personalization

Moving Everest will provide students with a student-centered and individualized learning program. Each student will have a personalized learning plan (PLP) that is unique to his or her individual academic and behavioral needs. The PLP will be used regularly by teachers, students and, at times, parents as a tool to discuss progress, demonstrate mastery of standards, and set long- and short-term goals. Students will have a dedicated teacher with whom they meet to review their PLPs every six weeks. PLPs are dynamic tools that will be updated continuously with minor adjustments that take place on a daily and weekly basis.

The Moving Everest school design also utilizes technology to foster personalization. During a 90-minute humanities block and a 90-minute STEM block, students will rotate through three activities: direct instruction, targeted small group learning and individualized computer instruction. At a minimum, students will spend 60 minutes per day working independently in the computer lab setting. During the computer instruction, students will utilize programs such as ST Math and Lexia that are Common Core aligned, adapt to their individual needs and promote progress at an optimal pace. Through technology, students will have the opportunity to accelerate or remediate based on their individual mastery of the skills and content. The information gained through the utilization of technology also influences the make-up of the flexible small groupings.

To learn more about Lexia visit:http://www.lexialearning.com/
To learn more about ST Math visit: http://www.mindresearch.org/programs/

Character Development

Moving Everest students will participate in character building activities on a continuous basis. The school’s core values are based, in part, on the work of Carol Dweck and Paul Tough and include:

  • Curiosity
  • Perseverance (grit, hard work and persistence)
  • Respect and self-control
  • Self-confidence
  • Courage and a growth mindset

As is shown repeatedly throughout the work of both Dweck, Tough and others, developing a school culture and explicitly training students in non-cognitive skills and habits of mind yield substantial results in the lives of children. Moving Everest will provide explicit instruction in these areas through the weekly character development class and will utilize weekly all school assemblies to further embed the core values into the school’s cultural norms. The character development class will be taught by the lead teachers, apprentice teachers and specials teachers. The curriculum for the character development class will be based on the National Heritage Academy Moral Focus curriculum. The character development activities that occur during the school day will be further reinforced during the after school program through Moving Everest’s partnership with By The Hand.

Partnership

Partnerships are a cornerstone to our success at Moving Everest. Students will benefit from a strong and engaged community. First and foremost, we firmly believe that parent engagement is a critical component to student academic and personal growth and achievement. In addition, students will benefit greatly from our partnership with an after-school provider that effectively extends the learning that takes place during the school hours. The currently designated after-school provider is By The Hand Club For Kids (BTH).

The relationship with BTH is supplemental to the robust services offered by Moving Everest during the school day. BTH will provide after-school services to Moving Everest students, whose parents have chosen to enroll them, to further their social, emotional and academic development. Should parents choose this option for their children, Moving Everest students will experience a transitional period at the end of the school day that marks the end of the school day and the beginning of after-school programming. There will be opportunities for the school to collaborate with BTH in a variety of ways just as they do with the sixteen CPS schools that currently partner with BTH.

Parents whose children are enrolled in the Moving Everest school will be provided with information about the By The Hand after-school program that is consistent with the information that parents receive in the sixteen current CPS schools that partner with By The Hand.

The services offered by BTH include:

  • reading support including instruction in a blended learning environment
  • read-alouds
  • one on one tutoring with staff and volunteers
  • enrichment activities (art, music, drama)
  • chapel / religious instruction - for all families who have chosen this option
  • dinner and snack
  • etiquette and speech training
  • life skills training
  • college preparation assistance
  • mental health counseling
  • eye care
  • dental care
  • transportation home

School Culture

Moving Everest’s culture is founded on four core principles:

Physical and Emotional Safety and Security

“The part of the brain most affected by early stress is the prefrontal cortex, which is critical in self-regulatory activities of all kinds, both emotional and cognitive. As a result, children who grow up in stressful environments generally find it harder to concentrate, harder to sit still, harder to rebound from disappointments, and harder to follow directions.” [1] Paul Tough, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Through our years of experience coupled with the primary research conducted by Brandtrust, we have learned that students’ primary need is to feel safe and secure in their school environment. According to their research, Brandtrust found that before students can begin to understand that learning is the purpose of school they must first feel secure in their physical environment and then they must feel socially secure.

Character Development

As Carol Dweck states, “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.” [2]

As is shown repeatedly throughout the work of Dweck, Tough and others, developing a school culture and explicitly training students in non-cognitive skills and habits of mind yield substantial results in the lives of children. Character development at Moving Everest will focus on our five values which build on the research of Paul Tough and Carol Dweck:

CURIOSITY: Always working to learn more in order to become the best

  • Students are motivated to explore and find innovative ways to solve problems and master content
  • Students are always looking for ways to become their best
  • Students have a cage busting mindset

PERSEVERANCE: The ability to bounce back and navigate through taxing times

  • Students push on when faced with challenges
  • Students never give up and push their classmates to never give up
  • Students are confident there is a solution to every challenge and do not give up until they find it

RESPECT AND SELF CONTROL: Treating others the way you want to be treated

  • Students treat their teammates how they would want to be treated
  • Students treat their teachers how they would want to be treated
  • Students treat their school as if it were their own home

SELF-CONFIDENCE: The belief that we each have the power to make change

  • Students believe in their own abilities and know that everyone at Moving Everest Charter School believes in their ability to succeed
  • Students are confident in their ability to master new ideas and concepts
  • Students know that their personalized track will lead them to success

COURAGE & THE GROWTH MINDSET: Doing the right thing, even when it is not easy

  • Students must hold themselves and one another accountable
  • Students stand up for what they know is right, even when they have the chance not to
  • Students ask for help when they do not know how to do something

Character development will be embedded in the curricula as well as the school-wide discipline policy and is consistent with our instructional strategies, which teach students to become increasingly independent and self-motivated learners. There will be a weekly character development class for students at all grade levels, which will complement the character development, etiquette, and life skills curriculum that students will experience should they choose to attend the program provided by our after-school partner. We will post the cultural values throughout the school and include them in the school chant, which will be recited every morning.

Measure and Celebrate Success

Through their primary research, Brandtrust found that students need tangible and meaningful rewards that recognize them for their hard work to increase their intrinsic motivation. Rewards and recognition that validate student effort in school lead them to a place where they begin to become intrinsically motivated. We will provide students with regular and ongoing feedback on their work both through the digital content and classroom instruction. In addition, we will regularly celebrate student success both in the classroom and during our weekly assemblies.

Reading Focus

It is our experience that promoting a culture of reading is a key driver of student success. As such, we include a reading focus as part of the school culture. In order to promote a reading culture, we will:

  • Provide all students with a book of their choosing on the first day of school
  • Host parent read-along nights
  • Design our physical environment to have multiple spaces for reading
  • Incorporate daily reading opportunities into the weekly school schedule; there is a dedicated 30-minute independent reading period as part of the schedule four days per week.

[1] Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.
[2] Dweck, Carol. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Random House, 2006. Print.