Hampden Charter School Of Science

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Curriculum

Curriculum

The HCSS curriculum addresses four major academic areas: science, mathematics, language arts and social studies. Each area will be developed in alignment with national standards and with the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Academic Standards.

The curriculum selections are aligned with the school’s mission: they are designed to introduce students to scientific approach of learning. Teachers present problems sets and inquiries that students are likely to encounter in the real world.

Our curriculum provides an enriched and focused study of science and math. Four years of science study and math are required at the HCSS. Students interested in the study of science and math will have opportunity to take advanced courses in science and math offered in the later years.

The curriculum also accounts for the school’s mission to raise well-rounded and active members of the local community. The opportunities offered for service and leadership development by the encouragement of active participation in the student government thus supporting the mission of the school. Our curriculum is designed to meet and exceed the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (MCF) standards.

Alignment

The HCSS believes that curriculum should be aligned and integrated as much as possible. Activities in science are designed to integrate appropriately with other subject areas. Students practice language art skills when they communicate their thoughts by writing and presenting speeches. They use mathematical skills by graphing or calculating. Social studies are integrated when students study the impacts of science and technology on the environment. Science curriculum is integrated with the latest scientific and technological improvements by introducing them into the curriculum as soon as they appear. It is aimed for the students to follow and become aware of latest scientific improvements all over the world by the HCSS via science and technology clubs.

The curriculum is developed to reflect the Massachusetts Academic Standards, and with the aim of pre-paring students to succeed in the most challenging college environments. A vital component of effective teaching lies in articulating specific content and skills standards, and placing them in a format which is easily understood and accessible by other faculty, parents, and students.

The collections of standards are an invaluable aide to teachers in organizing instruction, to administrators in evaluating teacher performance, and to families and students in previewing and reviewing material. While certain standards may be written to supplement material in the Academic Standards, the Standards will serve as the primary source of content.

Teachers will annually review the school Standards in relation to the State Standards to ensure their alignment.

Technology Integrated Education (TIE)

Use of multimedia devices and other technology resources in all classes enable powerful learning situations that aid students in extracting meaning out of complexity. Technology Integrated Education (TIE) is the distinguishing program of Hampden Charter School of Science, which integrates Math, Science, Social Science and Language Arts classes with technology education in a fun and comprehensive way.

Technology Integrated Education (TIE) aims to teach basic knowledge of computers and teach skills while integrating computers with core classes. Students gain an understanding of how computers operate and learn basic skills to successfully use programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

HCSS believes that the latest technologies can improve and serve the education system as well as enhance students’ performance. HCSS will use a computer-based math and science instructions and a Personal Response System (PRS).

PRS is a wireless electronic student response system where each student selects an answer to the multiple choice questions asked by the teachers and instantly records the results. The usage of PRS promotes active learning, encourages the participation of each student to answer the questions and provides immediate feedback for the teachers.

There are numbers of studies indicating that computer-enhanced education is important to support thinking processes, stimulate motivation and self-esteem, promote equity, prepare students for the future, and explore technology capabilities.

In HCSS, computer technology will become a prominent part of the classroom experience; computer usage will make learning more interactive, with responsibility shared among teachers and students. Thus, students will play more active role in their own learning, while teachers become facilitators of learning.

The extensive use of the in-class technology is an example of the school’s philosophy and its alignment with the school’s mission.

HCSC believes that technology is important in today’s highly digitalized world and makes it a priority to enhance technological literacy of the students. We are determined to promote usage of the computers as an educational tool in the classroom whenever and however it is appropriate and efficient.

Teachers can use computer's unique features to combine different media, such as sound, animation, color, picture, and interactivity, in one environment to create presentations that are visually appealing to their students and illustrate new concepts from different perspectives.