Schoolwide Enrichment Model
As part of our Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) students at Ascent Academies of Utah (AAU) will participate in Type I introductory enrichment activities such as speakers, presentations, and videos, and Type II, project-based activities designed to enhance student’s critical and creative problem-solving skills. Also, all AAU students will participate in Enrichment Clusters. “Enrichment Clusters allow groups of students who share a common interest to come together each week during specially designated time blocks to produce a product, performance, or targeted service based on that common interest” (Renzulli, Gentry & Reis (2003) Enrichment Clusters; a practical plan for real-world, student-driven learning). Weekly, 90-minute (45 for kindergarten) Enrichment Clusters at AAU schools will focus on students’ strengths and interests and provide unique opportunities for students to develop their talents.
Additionally, each student at AAU has the opportunity to take a learning profile. The profiler helps students to identify their learning style, expression preference, and areas of interest. Once the survey is complete, a profile generates that students and teachers use to guide their selection of enrichment clusters and SEM expression projects.
Guided Reading – Literature Study
Ascent Academies of Utah is excited for our students to engage in guided reading or literature study at their developmental reading level. Students will learn to use purposeful reading to support their thinking, deepen comprehension, improve vocabulary, and develop fluency. Students are exposed to many different genres including nonfiction and expository texts, biographies, folktales, historical fiction, and narrative fiction. Teachers will choose books and develop lessons using Benchmark Advance and Novel-Ties. Additionally, students in grades K-6 have access to online, leveled reading programs.
Writing – Spelling – Word Study
All AAU students will engage in writing throughout the curriculum. Teachers utilize the explicit instruction provided by Benchmark Advance that includes integrated reading, writing, speaking, spelling, grammar, and listening instruction. Four Square Writing Methods are also utilized to help students become proficient readers, writers, and spellers.
Kindergarten thru 9th-grade students at Ascent Academies of Utah will enjoy hands-on science lessons selected by their teacher and aligned with Utah’s core curriculum. Using Science A-Z, Mystery Science, Generation Genius and other research-based curriculum teachers create rich and powerful science lessons while also having the ability to assign science reading material based on the student’s developmental reading level.
AAU secondary teachers develop engaging, hands-on science lessons using resources provided through the Utah State Office of Education and the use of Science Explorer.
History and Geography
Lessons in history and geography align to the Utah Core Standards and often include field trips, role-playing, and hands-on learning. In addition, students in grades 4th and 7th participate in Utah Studies supported by the 7th grade Utah Journey and the 4th grade Utah, Our Home programs.
Ascent Academies of Utah teachers will use Eureka Math as our core math program for grades K-8. 9th Grade utilizes MVP. Eureka and MVP’s math program was developed with strict adherence to the core state standards to ensure students develop the foundations and mathematical rigor required by the Utah Core Mathematics Standards. Additionally, Eureka and MVP math provide teachers with the scaffolding necessary to meet the needs of English Language Learners, Students with Disabilities, Students Performing above Grade Level, and Students Performing below Grade Level.
Students in grades 1st – 6th will spend approximately 90-minutes each day in math instruction including fluency practice, teacher-directed instruction, guided practice, independent practice, and student debriefing which invites reflection and active processing of the learning experience. Our 7th – 9th-grade students will attend class on an A/B Block schedule and will attend math class daily on BOTH A and B days.
Homework will align 100% with the problem sets students practiced in class. Homework will also be available on Canvas for parents to download just in case your student misplaced his or her homework worksheet. Additionally, teachers will be able to post instructional help in Canvas for students to review at home.
To supplement our core math program teachers will utilize Differentiated Math Exemplars which allow students to work on real-world math tasks in collaborative groups based on their level of math skill.
Accelerated math students in grades 3-9 (performing at two or more grades above their current grade level) will have access to an online math program that allows students to work independently and at their own pace to acquire new math skills (although with teacher oversight). Students are selected for this program based on teacher recommendation and test data.
Patriotic, Civic, and Character Education
Ascent Academies of Utah will promote student character education to reaffirm values and qualities of character which promote an upright and desirable citizenry. The civic education will help cultivate informed students, encourage responsible participation in political life, and promote the fundamental values and principles of representative democracy in Utah and the United States.
We will teach patriotic education as part of the social studies curricula. Examples of civic education include:
Exemptions to civic education are outlined under Utah Rule.