School in solar-powered town earns an A on its first state report card
Babcock Ranch, Florida – From the day that Babcock Neighborhood School (BNS) first opened its doors, there’s been little doubt that the school’s project-based curriculum was inspiring a passion for learning among students who arrived each day filled with energy and anticipation. The annual Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) results demonstrate the school also delivers measurable gains in student learning. The new public charter school located at the heart of the nation’s first solar-powered town earned an A from the state and is ranked as the top performing elementary school in Charlotte County.
“Babcock Ranch is a town where learning is a passion,” said town founder Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners. “The innovative curriculum allowed us to attract truly outstanding teachers who are inspiring the next generation of leaders and innovators who will grow up at Babcock Ranch.”
Months before the first residents were due to arrive in the new town, BNS welcomed a full roster of students from Kindergarten through Grade 6. This August, the school population will more than double when classes open in the brand new, full-size K-8 facility that was fast-tracked to accommodate the many families who are now moving in. BNS will add 7th grade for the 2018-19 school
year, and 8th grade the following year.
“The most important measures of our success are the individual learning gains of each individual student, and we quantify that progress in a number of ways,” said BNS Principal Shannon Treece. “The FSA results are a testament to both our project-based curriculum and the outstanding faculty who are excited about the opportunity to innovate and customize the learning experience to meet the individual needs of their students.”
In addition to the school’s A grade in the FSA school ratings released on Wednesday, BNS learned earlier this month that its 3rd grade students outperformed all other Charlotte County Schools in the Florida Standards Assessment-English Language Arts (FSA-ELA) test. While baseline testing done at the beginning of the year showed a number of students at risk of being held back, they ended the year with every student meeting the grade level requirements to advance to 4th grade in the fall.
“The FSAs are just one of the ways we evaluate student progress and they can be a challenge, particularly for new schools with a high percentage of students who are coming into the school system for the first time from home school or private school environments,” Treece said. “The baseline assessments we conducted at the beginning of the year allowed us to identify areas where students were struggling and then help them catch up.”
Next fall, BNS teachers will have another tool for customizing the learning experience based on student needs. The school will be the first in Florida to introduce the nationally-acclaimed Summit Learning platform at the elementary and middle school levels.
“Over the past year our teachers have done an incredible job of developing a unique curriculum to implement project-based learning,” Treece said. “The digital platform provides tools for teaching and reinforcing the academic disciplines that are embedded into the classroom projects, and is also a great tool for students and parents to track progress on a daily basis.”
Summit Learning is part of a national charter network that has emerged as a leader in personalized learning. The software centralizes every student’s goals, drafts, tests, self-reflections, grades and feedback from their teachers to provide a continuous feedback loop that encourages students to take ownership of their own progress.
As for the progress of the students – Treece gives all credit to her teachers.
“I knew from the moment I met each one of them that they were the rockstars of their profession,” Treece said. “With the Summit Platform providing them with even more time to work one-on-one with students to develop habits of success – I can’t wait to see what they achieve in year two.”
To learn more about BNS, visit www.babcockneighborhoodschool.org.
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