Implementing creative, efficient, student-focused, research-based methods of meeting the needs of students has been an integral part of the Falcon Elementary Schools of Technology's professional culture. Designating the school as an innovation school enabled this groundbreaking work to flourish and to serve as a model for others.
Innovation status allows us at Falcon Elementary School of Technology the ability to restructure our curriculum to focus on the skills, and learning styles of our students; which enables us to provide a variety of learning opportunities to our students. This freedom allows us to make instructional decisions that are in alignment with our Colorado State Standards and allow us to provide rigorous, appropriate grade level instruction to reach the needs of our diverse learners. Our School Advisory Committee reviews, analyzes and selects new curriculum based on student needs. Student data and academic growth aides us in determining the curriculum components that support student achievement. We bring new curriculum changes to our School Accountability Committee for approval. The following areas are used in determining the appropriate curriculum:
- Colorado Academic Standards and Common Core Standards
- Data Driven Instruction
- Common Formative Assessments Based on “Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning”
- Response to Intervention
- Professional Learning Communities
Curriculum changes are guided by data driven instruction and the use of common formative assessments during our professional learning community conversations.
Our Unified Improvement Plan outlines specific areas of focus regarding student achievement in the areas of reading, writing, math and science. According to our data within our UIP, academic gains have occurred over time; however, with innovative control of curriculum decisions, Falcon Elementary School of Technology is able to tailor curriculum needs to greater increase student achievement. Our current writing curriculum adoption of Every Child a Writer impacts student achievement in writing and also identifies major improvement strategies around other various curriculum areas. The action steps illustrate specific programs and instructional methods that can be used to enhance student achievement. With additional control of curriculum, the staff at Falcon Elementary School of Technology are able to further develop these action steps and use a research-based curriculum that meets the educational needs of our students.
With waivers approved, Falcon Elementary School of Technology is establishing a protocol for oversight and accountability to ensure compliance with the state. With autonomy of curriculum, we're ensuring that appropriate groups within the school community are involved for accountability. Our staff is exploring the education decisions related to these innovations and reporting their findings and ideas to various teams within their building. Ultimately our advisory and leadership team makes decisions as to the systems that will be implemented. This team is composed of teachers from each grade level. The administration team takes their ideas to the School Advisory Committee to ensure accountability to the school's mission and vision. The SAC members also ensure that the components relate to the objectives of our Innovation plan.