Fountain Hills Charter School

Elements of the Classroom

  • The preparation of the learning environment.
  • The role of the teachers as trained observers and guides.
  • A sequential or parallel set of activities created around each so the child has both choices in the way he acquires the skill and can self-direct himself through a sequence of activities or into parallel extensions of the activity.
  • A range of materials, which are developmentally appropriate and readily available to the student at all times.
  • Self-correcting and self-checking materials.
  • Respect for self, others, and environment.
  • Multi-age groupings of students.
  • The preparation of the learning environment.
  • The role of the teachers as trained observers and guides.
  • A sequential or parallel set of activities created around each so the child has both choices in the way he acquires the skill and can self-direct himself through a sequence of activities or into parallel extensions of the activity.
  • A range of materials, which are developmentally appropriate and readily available to the student at all times.
  • Self-correcting and self-checking materials.
  • Respect for self, others, and environment.
  • Multi-age groupings of students.
  • A presentation of concepts from the global to the specific; the goal would be to teach the child learning and research skills rather than limiting knowledge to the acquisition of facts.
  • Learning how to approach any new subject by breaking it down into two or three component parts and then moving to greater levels of specificity.
  • The placement of detailed knowledge that a child might acquire or want to pursue into the whole.
  • An assessment system, which focuses on a child’s ability to demonstrate that she/he has command of the knowledge at developmentally, appropriate levels of achievement, not necessarily age or grade level expectations or achievement.
  • The teacher does not tell a student what to think, when to think it, and how to think about it.

The Absence of Threat


In order for learning to take place, all students must feel both physically and emotionally safe. Classroom guidelines therefore require treating others with respect. Physical abuse and emotional abuse are unacceptable and a violation of classroom protocol. The classroom must be a brain compatible learning environment where students are able to work without pressure or fear.

Immerse students in “being-there” experiences. The most potent experience is one of actually being in the real-world environment. The least potent is the use of an abstract, symbolic source. The classroom environment should emphasize real-world experiences. It should not be the intent of the school to teach the children about the world by removing them from it. Teachers must give priority to first-hand sources including ‘being there’ experiences where the student is physically gleaning information in the real world environment. Immersion experiences should fully simulate the real world environment, and include the use of many real world indicators for certain aspects of instruction, curriculum, classroom management, administration, and performance.

Regular attendance is construed as an indication of student attitude and commitment to education. It also reflects the level of commitment on the part of the family as a whole to the educational program at the school. Our program is also designed to serve families who are willing to make an exceptional effort toward the education of their children and who share the values and aspirations for their children that are expressed in the mission statement, goals, and student outcomes of this charter. Such families will be our partners in the education of their children and we expect them to communicate and educate their children at home in a way that reinforces our approach at school.

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