About Our School
Charette exists to inspire students:
- To become practitioners of city planning as a life-long civic engagement strategy;
- To act as guardians of historic buildings;
- To learn in a proficiency based, high-tech and work-like environment, and
- To help build and preserve a collaborative and community immersed school
Providence has been referred to as the “Design Capital” and, as such, serves as a perfect location for Charette with its theme of urban planning. As long as people have a propensity to adapt and reshape their environments, urban planning and historic preservation will remain a self-perpetuating theme. Charette will connect students to the future and past while challenging them in the present. The creation of a citizenry aware of the complexities of effective communication and collaboration, design-thinking and planning is as critical to our country’s survival in the 21st Century (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2017) as the creation of an educated and literate citizenry was to our country’s success as a World Leader and democracy in the 20th Century. Currently, urban planning concerns, such as the I195 tract, the IN Bank Building (aka Superman), the Rhodemap Plan, the future of Providence’s Waterfront, new mass transit systems and spaces, port expansion, preserving open space, increasing capacity of ground water runoff containment and crumbling infrastructure and neighborhood revitalization are all issues which need smart answers, and smarter citizens, to help solve them.
Charette’s Guiding Principles:
- Pedagogical Guiding Principle: Blended learning is an effective technique for proficiency-based learning and allows the teacher to be able to analyze data and close skill gaps in a more targeted fashion. Blended learning allows for a highly differentiated learning environment where students can achieve acceleration in one subject and receive remediation in another simultaneously. After close examination, the applicants strongly believe that the Summit Program and Learning Platform offers a state of the art means of promoting student learning and thus the selection of Summit Learning for Charette.
- Curriculum Decision Guiding Principle: Sophisticated e-courseware, such as the Summit Learning Platform exists today and is only getting better over time given the research and development provided by prestigious universities, specifically, Stanford Center for Assessment (SCALE), Learning, and Equity. Charette believes that with the right mix of courseware providers an ideal program of study can be built to serve all kids.
- Assessment Practices Guiding Principle: Assessment is the heart of modern teaching and learning and Charette needs multiple levels of assessment to make the best decisions. The Summit Learning Platform allows for short cycle assessment data to be used by each teacher on a daily if not hourly basis. Well vetted rubrics developed by SCALE will guide the development and assessment of in school and community-based projects. Classroom formative and summative assessments and statewide assessments linked to National Standards inform progress over time (NWEA) and serve as an indicator of future proficiency on the PSAT and SAT. The core curriculum will be aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
- School Culture Guiding Principle: Charette will be a small school of students and adults brought together in advancement of their passion for the past and belief in the future. Essential to Charette success will a focus on two things: the establishment of strong trusting relationships within our school community based on an on-going effort to meet the needs of all members. The themes of Urban Planning and Preservation Arts lend itself to the creation of a school culture based on problem solving, inquiry, teamwork, shared vision, and the need to use technology to expand the school experience beyond the four walls of the school and into the community a true Learning Community for students and teachers alike aided by innovative use of technology.
- Academic and Organizational Guiding Principle: Charette believes that only through meaningful committee work, and school-wide dialogue which includes all stakeholders, does true school improvement happen. Charette is committed to supremely educating students to high levels of achievement and to bring into school context local issues which need to be grappled with and solved. Charette believes that professionals who are members of various organizations can support teaching and learning together by bringing their unique talents and perspectives to the school-wide conversation about quality work and results.
An Overview of the School’s Educational Program: Charette is a small high school which serves Providence students through a blended learning program and a thematic focus on Urban Planning and Preservation Arts. The Summit Learning Program, which includes access to the Summit Learning Platform, a comprehensive curriculum, in-person professional development and ongoing support will be used within the school’s blocked schedule to support core content academics and theme-based mission. Project-based and community-based learning are a priority with weekly opportunities for field work. The school’s core content teachers are supported by the position of Community Partnerships Coordinator who has experience in either urban planning or preservation arts/architecture.
A Description of the Unique Features and Mission Specific Focus: Real-world examples of Urban Planning and Historic Preservation will be worked on in charette, a collaborative problem-solving session. Theme integration will be the responsibility of a blended educator corps certified subject area teachers and support staff working with designers, community organizers, planners, and architects.
Governance and Management: The Board of Trustees will operate as a school board while employing the structure of a non-profit board. The nine-member board will be comprised of two parents, a DaVinci Center representative, five members from the educational or non-profit sectors, and one professional planner or architect. School administration will outsource finance and benefits operations to professionals to guard against internal fraud or error. The board will operate in accordance to its by-laws and state and federal regulations.
Teaching, Support, and Supervision: Core content teachers will work in teams with a class-size of twenty-one. Teachers will be supported by an educational staff who are Planners and architects and supervision will be performed by certified and trained administrator in the latest version of EPSS through RIDEMap.
Organizational Plan and Relationships with Organizations: Charette is a self-operating public charter school with 501c3 status and with no Essential Partner. Universities, businesses, and other non-profit organizations, focused on shared missions and student learning, have expressed, through dialogue and letters of support, their commitment to strong partnerships.
Ultimate Hopes of Charette: Through engaged learning surrounding land use and historic preservation, Charette students will become empowered to enhance their community, culturally and economically, now and in the future.