School Lane Charter School’s Elementary academic program boasts a rigorous curriculum that aligns with the PA Core Standards of Learning. Students focus on writing, reading, math, humanities, science, Spanish, STEM, and the arts to discover and develop their unique abilities, master core subjects, and prepare for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.
SLCS academics are frequently cross curricular – meaning a skill that is explored in one subject is reinforced in a different way when studying another subject. As an example, when students are learning about a specific time period in history or social studies classes, classical literature or stories from that time period may be studied in English and Language Arts.
Every classroom has 25 students and has a second teacher providing extra support for approximately half of the school day. Small class sizes and added teaching support ensures each child receives the individual attention he or she needs to excel. Teachers use small group instruction to differentiate lessons for students of all levels in each classroom.
The inquiry-based learning model is modeled after the IB principals that students will continue to learn once they enter the Middle Years Program. At every grade level students experience hands on and engaging project based learning that help them answer essential questions about the world around them.
What can a parent expect from project based learning? Here is an example of one of the projects completed by SLCS Grade 5 students:
Grade 5 students were tasked with the project of creating Environmental Action Plans. Throughout the course of the unit, small groups learned about different environmental issues the Bensalem community faces. Each group chose an issue they were passionate about to research, learning different facets of the issue related to concepts of science, economics, environmental studies and even math. Groups established a knowledge base surrounding the problem they wanted to fix and created plans to do that. The plans were presented to a panel of Bensalem community leaders, such as an environmental specialist and members of the Bensalem Police Department. One project was selected by the panel of community leaders to put into real life action with the help of the entire fifth grade class. The winning project looked at creating more green space in Bensalem and planting more trees in key areas around the community.
SLCS approaches math instruction much differently than most schools. There is minimal memorization or rote repetition in the classroom. Instead students approach math through theory and ideas and learn the skills needed to solve problems in practice.
During events like the annual Fraction Fest, parents are invited to interact with students as they demonstrate real life situations where fractions are used. From determining the amount of baskets made during a game of trashcan basketball to creating their own specialty pizzas by adding fractional amounts of pizza toppings, these activities reinforce the concepts learned in the classroom and showcase how they are used in real life.