A Balanced Curriculum
Aspire uses a combination of adopted and internally developing curriculum to build basic, higher-order thinking, and life skills to meet Aspire standards. The curriculum is clearly articulated as a K-12 system.
- Language Arts: APS uses Early Literacy Learning Initiative (Ohio State) to develop basic literary skills for K-2 students through both phonics and contextual reading. Six Traits of Writing (North West Regional Laboratory) emphasizes ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions in developing writing skills in all grades.
- Mathematics: Harcort Math is used in grades K-5, and College Prep Math (CPM) is a nationally recognized curriculum for math at the secondary level.
- Science: At the elementary level, science content is covered through projects and thematic units that are integrated with social studies content. The science portion of the units requires investigation using the scientific method (generating hypotheses and designing experiments to test the hypotheses), and application of the scientific method to the students’ everyday lives. At the secondary level, Aspire uses a variety of curriculum materials and text, including: Aims, Foss, and AHA.
- Social Science: Aspire’s history and social studies curriculum ensures that students are historically literate (including culture, geography, politics, economics, and ethics) and become active, informed citizens (including U.S. policy and effective research techniques). At the elementary level, social studies are integrated with science in projects and thematic units. At the secondary level, Aspire uses materials and texts including: History Alive, Glencoe, Interact, and Facing History.
- Spanish Language: Students will work with the fundamentals of language structure, pronunciations, grammar, vocabulary, idioms and phrases in Spanish to develop competency in oral and written Spanish. Students will work with Spanish texts to develop an understanding and appreciation of the various Spanish-speaking cultures. Although Aspire currently only offers Spanish as a foreign language, secondary students can take advantage of courses on-line or at local colleges.
A Variety of Teaching Methods
All educators at Aspire Public Schools use a variety of pedagogical strategies in combination, depending on how students best learn different topics. Aspire educators are also trained to adapt these strategies to maximize each child's educational experience. The major strategies used include: explicit instruction, massed and distributed practice, problem solving, inquiry, project-based instruction, and apprenticeship.