Education: Project-Based Learning and Differentiated Instruction

The core values of the Bellevue-Santa Fe community are reflected in our approach to curriculum development. As a charter school, we use the Common Core in all curricular areas to guide our instruction.  Teachers are given the discretion to design learning opportunities that encourage students to develop a love of learning and a desire to deepen understanding of concepts through various experiences. Consciously developed activities, in tandem with state-adopted curriculum, provide the foundation for learning at our school. Students are led far beyond basic content while developing a variety of life skills within subject areas. Through the challenge of projects, students learn the value of planning, prioritization, collaboration, time-management, and perseverance in addition to experiencing academic growth.

By its very nature, project-based instruction provides opportunities for students of all learning styles and abilities to practice skills, explore content, and express understandings. Teachers evaluate student strengths and needs in order to design learning experiences that are accessible and address these areas.  Projects differ in nature and design depending on their instructional motivation, grade-level development, and subject area.

Differentiation is the practice of reaching students who possess a range of abilities within a single setting.  Teachers at Bellevue prepare instruction, practice, and evaluation for diverse learners while still remaining aligned with the grade level Common Core Standards.  Differentiation requires multiple strategies to meet the abilities of the unique learners.  Whole and small group instruction, as well as partner work and independent practice, may be observed in a differentiated classroom.  Direct instruction as well as choice in activities, in addition to flexible seating paired with prearranged spaces for students, are also differentiated strategies.   The forums at Bellevue are united communities of individuals.  The practice of differentiation recognizes diversity, but is not the practice of individualized instruction for every student.

At Bellevue-Santa Fe, we are committed to helping children find their strengths and to helping them grow with creative considerations for expression.  We celebrate their uniqueness and support their social-emotional growth as well as their academic development.

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"The education of a child is a shared responsibility and a cooperative endeavor that is at its best when everyone works together."