The Mission of the Innovation Academy Charter School is to provide students with a challenging, interdisciplinary education that will prepare them for the 21st century through an emphasis on holistic learning, higher order and critical thinking skills and practical application and integration of curriculum areas.
Read read or download the full charter, or read the executive summary below. At the time of the charter, the name of the school was The Chelmsford Public Charter School. The school is now called Innovation Academy Charter School and is no longer located in Chelmsford.
The Chelmsford Public Charter School will focus on making learning relevant for its students through practical, hands-on applications of higher level knowledge. The core values are:
- Students should be challenged to approach their maximum potential as social and intellectual individuals.
- Comprehensive learning is best achieved through hands-on participatory instruction.
- Education must constantly adapt to an ever-changing world.
- Education at this level should produce enthusiastic, life-long learners.
- Effective administration of education must include continual reassessment of curriculum, teaching methods and student and teacher performance.
- Critical-thinking, problem solving and examination of problems through systems analysis are the basic foundations of learning which will carry students into the 21st century.
- Community and parental involvement are essential to student success.
- Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
- Social and emotional development at this age level are as important as academic development.
Systems Thinking and System Dynamics, as articulated by Jay Forrester and Peter Senge, among others, will provide a conceptual framework and guiding force in the development of curriculum. System dynamics encourages learners to look beyond just the facts and focus on broader principles. It is widely used in the business world and it is being successfully pioneered in some school systems around the country. Individual learning will be important, but students will also be expected to work with peers to analyze complex relationships.
Our charter school organizational structure would be very similar to the public schools:
- Class size will be about the same.
- The grade levels will reflect those of the public schools.
- The curriculum is comprehensive.
- Budgetary requirements are the same.
- The replicability of the charter school will be ensured by:
- The home-school partnership as a driving force for effecting change.
- Dialogue with the public school administration and school committee.
- Maintaining high visibility and open communication with the community and the school administration.
- As the cornerstone of the charter school depends upon teacher as facilitator and teachers being fully trained in system dynamics, they will necessarily bring those skills and attitudes with them when they return to the public schools.