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Golden Gate Academy Curriculum

TRAVERSE

Our world is changing. It has become necessary to change our teaching method and school environment in order to prepare our children for the 21st century. 

he curriculum at Golden Gate Academy is dynamic and diversified, offering humanities, mathematics, science, entrepreneurship and the arts. Mastery of the traditional academic disciplines is interwoven with artistic and practical activities to provide a dynamic and engaging educational experience for every student. 


Central to Golden Gate Academy’s Education is a recognition of and respect for the child's unfolding God-given individuality. The curriculum is designed to meet the child's specific developmental needs at the critical transitional ages of middle school and on through high school. The task of the teacher/facilitator lies in creating a spiritually rich learning environment in which the learner can find age-appropriate nourishment and challenge. In a world in which education is focused on normative, quantifiable outcomes, the uniqueness of the individual learner’s gifts and challenges often must take a backseat to the pressure of general societal expectations. 


We established the Golden Gate Academy CARES Initiative because we believe we are stronger together, Community. We believe there is a direct link between an Agile mindset and innovation, Agency. We believe that leaders are developed through challenges and support, but they must take ownership of each decision made, Responsibility. We believe that learning is the work of a lifetime and a classroom is just one of the places it happens, Education. We believe in diverse, inclusive collaboration within intergenerational environments and helping those less fortunate, Service.  

  

Our education values difference and strives to support developing learners in such a way that they can bring their gifts to fruition while, at the same time, learn to cope with their challenges. They should leave school with a strong sense of purpose based on a clear understanding of both themselves and the world. We are focused on challenging learners in such a way that the emergent ability of independent thinking can lead to a true experience of meaning.


What is TRAVERSE?

verb - 1. travel across or through.


Our curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students with the necessary skills needed to travel in a an upward trajectory through life! 

The 8 competnecies of Traverse

Think - critically with an Agile mindset when managing projects and achieving goals

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1. Projects devised by the Project Management Institute’s Education Foundation form the foundation for high value, experiment-based, and curiosity-driven activities. These self-contained lessons require that students: Define, Plan, Do & Review (D-P-D-R) the subject matter, and present formal documentation to internal and/or external groups.


2. EduSCRUM: Scrum is a detailed method for people to work together in an enjoyable way. It also leads to great results. Scrum was developed for the IT world; it is the answer to apparently uncontrollable and complex IT projects. In eduScrum, learning is the key element: smarter learning, learning to cooperate better, learning to get to know themselves better. 


3. Agile Approach: Learning & expectations are visible, radiating clarity & transparency. Learners are guided through an iterative self-directed learning cycle. Scaffolding empowerment, learning how to choose and choosing how to learn. Learners grow in their capacity to learn as a team, deepening learning & enriching relationships. 

Realize - Utilizing the Olweus Anti-Bullying program as the foundational social and emotional

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1. Utilizing the Olweus Anti-Bullying program as the foundational social and emotional learning platform. 


2. Providing a safe place for students to be themselves and respect others with differing beliefs.


3. Weekly Circle Meetings where classes discuss the social climate of the school and give feedback to teachers, administration and each other on ways to improve.


4. Synergize the home and the school creating congruency and consistency by hosting quarterly parent seminars.

Advance - with a growth mindset to manage failure and keep it in its proper context.

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1. Intelligence is developed and is not static.


2. Students will be provided the opportunity to fail in academics, leadership, nutrition, and entrepreneurship.


3. Students will create business plans and look at solving problems in the community.


4. Students will be responsible for preparing meals each week and cleaning up after themselves. They will have a requirement of hosting a meal for the community. 
5. Adopting the Growth mindset which allows students to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as a path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others. 

Visualize - creative and innovative ways to solve problems.

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1. Music: Develop and express musicianship skills through instrumental and vocal play. 


2. Art: Develop and express Art skills through hands-on projects modeled after the grandmasters’ modus operandi.

3. Performance Arts: Create characters, improvise and project professionalism on stage using proven performance techniques that will boost confidence. And bring communities together. 


4. Craft projects designed to create solutions to community problems.


5. Creating with the use of technology: coding, animation, movie-making, photography, and the use of the software. 

Engage - instilling a sense of community through collaboration.

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1. Our Meeting occurs as a community in the chapel at the start of each day. Welcome, pray, and pledge.


2. Teachers meet individually with each student for a couple of minutes each day to “check-in”.


3. Intentional and focused Bible studies, including personal and group prayer time.


4. Family members donate 2 hours/week on campus, enhancing relationships between home and school.


5. Pathfinder classes, part of the curriculum, focus on working towards honors and take part in church organized activities.


6. Intentional Mentoring programs with professionals and leaders in the Oakland community provide a network of support. 

Recognize - the importance of discovering one’s own unique talents and passions.

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1. Embracing the developmental model of the growing child and awaken each child’s full and unique potential.


2. Taking learning beyond the textbook.

A variety of assessment techniques utilized according to students’ unique learning needs. 


3. With teachers as facilitators,       students take pride in work that is their own, learning in a new and individual way.


4. Every subject taught is within the context of a broader vision. How does everything learned to connect to the world we live in?


5. Students are not required to stay within a grade for individual core subjects. 


6. Children who excel in one area may move ahead. Students needing more time can reinforce the concepts. 

Soar - above what “others” are doing and make sound decisions to make a better life for yourself

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1. Golden Gate Academy is a STREAM focus school, developing thinking, reasoning, teamwork, investigative, and creative skills in Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Students are taught authentic STREAM practices.


2. The campus is designed to allow exploratory thinking and experimentation to take place easily, with limited controls.


3. Students are encouraged to solve problems that can then be can applied to the community as a whole, and to all areas of their own lives. 

Emulate - the principles and actions of Jesus Christ in a practical way.

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1. Sustaining a close relationship with God is woven into every strand of the hidden and tangible curriculum.


2. Life-skills are an integral part of the weekly schedule:

Setting appropriate boundaries, what is a positive friend, money matters, networking, articulating thought through writing, tool identification and maintenance, automation, digital citizenship, resume writing, algorithms, and social media awareness, first-aid, etc.


3. Practical Christian Living through random acts of kindness week. 


4. Learning how to rest and disconnect from technology and other daily stresses. 

 

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Key Components of traverse

Project-based Learning

is an alternative instructional approach that is characterized by hands-on learning that engages students and parents with opportunities to connect their learning with the world around them in order to make a difference.  

Problem-based Learning

is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended problem found in trigger material. 

Interdisciplinary/Cross-curricular

teaching involves a conscious effort to apply knowledge, principles, and values to more than one academic discipline simultaneously. 

Agile Classrooms/Active-learning

the idea behind agile is that we don’t get things perfect the first time. That learning—and mastery—is an iterative process. That a continuous feedback loop—learn/try/fail—is the fastest way to acquire knowledge and improve. 

Standards-based Outcomes

this means that we use standards rather than predetermined textbooks to determine what students "will know". North American Division Standards are the foundation. We then add on NGSS standards for science, C3 Famework for Social Studies, This allows our teachers to choose culturally relevant texts that are aligned with the Adventist worldview. 

Journey

all standards are mapped and sequenced into what we call a Journey. Each year, three journeys (anchor standards) are completed. For example, there are 18 anchor standards in "Bible" for grades 5-8. A 6th grader would have three Journeys covering six anchor standards. 

PLP-Personalized Learning Program

recognizes that students are individuals. It allows for students to advance academically, self-paced while at the same time develop their social and emotional skills within an age-appropriate cohort. These cohorts (classes) will have a 1 to 15 ratio.

M.A.P./CWRA+ (Assessments)

Measure of Academic Progress assessment is a norm-referenced measure of student growth over time. MAP assessments, joined with other data points, provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on his or her unique learning path. 

 

College Workforce Readiness Assessment directly measures student performance on critical-thinking and written-communication skills, such as analysis and problem solving, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical reading and evaluation, and critiquing an argument, in addition to writing mechanics and effectiveness.