It’s peaceful. As I walk down the halls and visit classrooms, I’m aware of the calm working environment and the peaceful atmosphere of the school. That’s what we always want, but it’s especially important now as we’re moving ahead by leaps and bounds to achieve our goals and continue to successfully implement what was begun last year. To keep you informed, here is an overview of what you will see next year…
Changes in Grammar that are happening this year and next are based on enabling the teachers to assess mastery by students and simplifying the school days for parents and teachers alike.
What won’t change: narration, dictation, memorization. Where we’re headed: not just memorization, but mastery of all concepts taught. A continued focus on reading, writing, math, speaking, and developing an interest in the world through history and science. Reading more books as reading is at the heart of knowledge and education. An increased focus on writing and speaking skills. While the history cards will continue to be used as the guide for teaching history, additional teaching ideas, resources, and prompt ideas will be offered for parents who do not enjoy the cards alone. Latin curriculum will change for 4th & 5th and study time will minimize by focusing on memorization of the core elements required for formal study beginning in 6th grade.
More in class teacher evaluations of student work and understanding. A slowing down to allow more creative teaching in the classroom. More opportunities for field trips and hands on learning.
A Bible in the hands of each student throughout their education at Fortis as they learn it’s rightful place as the beginning and end of what they know.
Logic: Students will move to the transitional year of 6th grade which will focus on preparing them for the challenges to come. Students will take a skills class which will include study skills (time management, note taking, how to study for a test, etc.) speech & debate, and Bible study skills. Students will learn to type and become familiar with Google Classroom.
A new Singapore math curriculum will advance their knowledge and continue to challenge them in preparation for the new Logic & Rhetoric math curriculums.
An increased focus on thought questions in class and on quizzes and tests will challenge them to increase their analytical abilities in history, literature, and science. The Latin curriculum will reinforce their mastery of grammar even as they finish their last and final challenging year of Shurley grammar.
7th -12th – Formal history & geography study will begin. 7th grade will begin a six year cycle of history with the study of the Ancients and Bible history. The story of Christianity, the Bible, and the Church will be woven into its historical context in every grade level. Geography, physical and human, will be studied within history. Literature will continue to be intensely integrated to illustrate the ideas and events of the time period. Learning will be assessed through testing to evaluate understanding, but also through writing as students interact with their understanding of the “whys” of history. Literature and composition will increase their knowledge of format essay writing and increasingly complex mechanical writing in Logic. Discussions and essays will be the learning forum for understanding arguments, weighing arguments for validity, and offering arguments. What students learn in Formal and Informal Logic will be required to be present in both their writing and their speech.
9th – 12th will include Theology and Rhetoric where students will learn to communicate as effective responsible Christians. There will be a study of rhetorical tools while they also master persuasive skills, but the challenge will be for them to tie those skills to their behavior and beliefs as Christians which they will demonstrate in their dialogues, presentations, and papers.
Rhetoric science curriculum will change for the simple reason that Novare is not ready in every discipline and won’t be for several more years. We will revisit Novare when they are able to provide a complete high school program, but until that time it will be better for teacher and student alike to learn from one challenging high level curriculum. The goal with both math and science is to provide a beneficial level of education for both STEM and non-STEM students.
For those students who achieve mastery quickly, Fortis teachers will work with parents to provide additional challenges.
Finally, grades will reflect levels of both effort and mastery through teacher evaluation of work.
I’m sure you have specific questions which we would love to hear. Please come to the NEST meeting this Wednesday which will be dedicated to answering questions or come by my office.
I am thrilled and blessed to be a part of bringing the Fortis vision to fruition. Our students will shine in their preparedness for both college and their future which we hope will bring peace to your hearts.