Curriculum

Academics at Pioneer Springs: As a public charter school, our rigorous curriculum follows guidelines set by the state of North Carolina. The difference at Pioneer Springs is how these core subjects come alive for our students. Core concepts are presented in integrated thematic units, in which connections between disciplines are highlighted and learning is set in a compelling real-world context. In keeping with our focus on the natural world, students in each grade level examine their entire year of study through the lens of a different ecosystem. From the kindergarten world of the pond to fifth graders’ lush forest expanses, these ecosystems provide the framework for a year of discovery-based learning integrating all core subjects.

To this foundational core curriculum we add special area focus on subjects aligned with our unique mission and philosophy. Known as Connect Classes, each of these classes is taught by a highly qualified expert and is thematically tied to students’ classroom units. Connect Classes at Pioneer Springs include Art, Music, P. E., Spanish, Nature, Ceramics, and Yoga.

The NC School Report Card:  Pioneer Springs’ academic program has cumulatively resulted in significant growth for students and the school.  The 2014-15 composite score, the first year the school participated in state testing, was a 48 and resulted in a D grade.  This feedback resulted in a realignment of our curriculum maps and an emphasis on math instruction, the result of which was a 10 point gain on the composite in 2015-16–58, a C. Continued professional development and a singular focus on individualized instruction produced even greater gain this past year, 2016-17.  The school earned a composite score of 69, a C (1 point shy of a B!)  Our continued focus is on refining our curriculum alignment and the incorporation of the Expeditionary Learning model for English Language Arts instruction.

Read to Achieve:  In accordance with General Statute 115C-218.85, following are the results of the 3rd grade Read to Achieve mandate for the 2016-17 school year.

-Of 41 students, 24 students or 59%  met the benchmark through standardized or alternate testing and 17 students, or 41.4%, did not meet the benchmark.  8 of those students, or 19.5%, were granted Good Cause Exemptions; 3 of those students, or 7%, withdrew from the school at the end of the 16-17 school year.  At present, we are awaiting Read to Achieve scores to determine what percent, if any, of students will be retained according to RTA legislation.