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The Oliverian School and its Programs: Academics, Adventure and Stewardship 2004/2005 An Introduction to the Oliverian School 3 Mission 3 Philosophy and Approach 3 The Oliverian School Student 3 Structure of the School 4 Curricular Organization 4 Assessment 5 The Phases 5 Topics 6 Strength in Academics 7 Our Academic Approach 7 Course of Study 9 Specific Areas of Study 11 English Language and Literature 11 Mathematics 14 Science 16 History/Social Studies 20 Foreign Language 22 Arts 22 Projects 23 Integrated Units 26 Graduation Requirements 27 Assessment 28 Growth through Adventure 31 Introduction 31 Why An Adventure Approach? 31 Why are these important? 31 Adventure Integration 32 Specific design objectives: 32 Examples of Adventure Integration 35 Success in Service 36 What is the Stewardship Program? 36 Why is Stewardship important? What will students learn? 36 Stewardship Activity Progression 37 A Culture of Care 38 General Information 39 Student Life Error! Bookmark not defined. Supporting Services* Error! Bookmark not defined. Advisory 39 Health Services* 39 Guidance Services* 39 Food Services* 39 Library Services* 40 Calendar and Schedule 41 Calendar 2004 – 2005 41 Sample Daily Schedule 42 Faculty Biographies 43 An Introduction to the Oliverian School Mission Our Mission is to educate students who, despite experiencing difficulties, want to transition to a college preparatory setting where they are inspired and supported as they prepare to succeed in a complex, intricate, and ever-changing world. We promote and support a “zest for living” by encouraging self-exploration, spirituality, character formation and integrity, as our students learn to balance their individual needs with those of the community. Philosophy and Approach We are committed to the following goals: • To provide a challenging college preparatory curriculum that is responsive to the strengths, special needs, and diverse learning styles of our student body. We offer a core curriculum of English, history, science, math, languages, and art, that is designed to motivate each student to listen, speak, read, write, create, interpret and analyze with ever increasing depth, breadth, and complexity. At the same time we teach the practical skills of note taking, outlining, memorization, and computer literacy. • To provide a wide range of learning opportunities that involves students in the operation and management of our working farm, our maple sugaring business and our award-winning wildlife preserve. Practical “hands-on” experiences will foster a sense of stewardship and responsibility while encouraging students to problem solve and think creatively in a variety of settings. • To provide innovative and exceptional instruction by attracting knowledgeable and dynamic faculty who are committed to our community as teachers and role models. • To utilize an adventure-based approach to teaching by engaging students in vigorous and rewarding learning experiences. Students will meet academic objectives while enhancing physical wellness and self-confidence, practicing leadership and building interpersonal relationships. • To encourage a family commitment to the “life of the school” through a program that is designed to establish more meaningful and supportive connections for our students. • To maintain a family-style living environment within a 1,200-acre campus where students will live in faculty-run homes that are grade and gender specific. • To help students acknowledge and resolve difficulties through an active and ongoing individual and group counseling program under the supervision of licensed clinical faculty. • To ensure access to additional therapeutic services for those students who need greater levels of emotional support, through our ongoing affiliation with the Dartmouth College Medical School – Department of Psychiatry. • To instruct students in a variety of competitive intramural and non-competitive individual athletic endeavors that promotes a lifelong commitment to fitness and a responsible use of leisure time. The Oliverian School Student At The Oliverian School we try to define our students by who they are, rather than by who they are not. That said, we know in the placement process it is important to clearly define the kind of student we know will succeed at Oliverian. Oliverian students typically come from all over the country and from a variety of different circumstances and traditions. The school aims to serve students who are academically capable of serious work and aspire to a college education, but who are not succeeding or have not found success in traditionally structured schools. A student with minimal learning difficulties will find success at Oliverian. Given our size, faculty can focus on the kind of 1:1 relationship that carefully paces each student, while being consistently supportive and challenging. A student comes to Oliverian knowing they are coming to change their lives. They are imaginative and self-aware, and are struggling with a variety of adolescent and maturational issues. At the same time, they have become disillusioned with larger and more unreceptive schools. A student typically arrives at Oliverian with a desire to grow academically, psychologically, emotionally and socially. Concurrently, they are anxious and apprehensive about the challenge of honest self-assessment, as they grapple with learning to see the good in themselves, while continuing the process of self-improvement. Diverse, motivating and thought-provoking offerings at Oliverian afford possibilities for each student to build competency and character in a secure and healthy school setting. We expect each of our students to graduate feeling self-assured about the next phase of their life, and with a clearer sense of who they are and how they relate to the world around them Structure of the School Curricular Organization The curriculum at The Oliverian School is designed to fit a dynamic model of teaching and learning. The curriculum allows both a project-based orientation and a discipline-based orientation to flourish. Students can complete mastery tasks either through projects connected to the farm or adventure program, or through focused areas of disciplinary study. Through this approach, we acknowledge that students learn best through interactive processes and meaningful connections between their interests and the areas they’re studying. We also acknowledge that some things are best learned in the context of a meaningful multidisciplinary project, while others are best learned by preserving the integrity of a given discipline. At The Oliverian School, the decision about what is appropriate for students to focus on is jointly discussed by students and teachers alike. This unique approach also allows flexibility in the length of time students spend learning different things. Students focus on projects and disciplines at a pace that supports their strengths and their areas for growth. This way, students develop understandings in a more “organic” timeframe, allowing them to move to more challenging tasks or revisit work needing more attention. We have developed a unique “phased, topical approach” to curriculum. This approach affords us the most flexibility in meeting the needs and interests of students while introducing them to high-quality learning opportunities. We are able to offer a challenging college-preparatory curriculum in a dynamic, highly relevant manner. Our curriculum is organized along two major strands: projects and courses. These strands are mutually supportive, one reinforcing the other. Projects are designed by faculty and students to engage with academic principles around real-world needs and applications. Projects range from building a timber-frame sugarhouse and operating the maple syrup business to traveling and living outdoors in the winter or studying the changes in agricultural economics in New Hampshire and Vermont. Students and faculty design projects around actual community needs, place-based opportunities and student questions, relying on focused inquiry to arrive at a problem or question. This problem or question guides study and work until the project is completed or well enough established for the next group of students to take over. Courses examine the foundations underlying students’ applied work. They facilitate in-depth study into a particular discipline or topic, such as a specific literary period, scientific problem, or historical perspective. Courses also provide the basis for students strengthening their fundamental academic skills. Students and faculty reflect on the nature of a problem or implications of a perspective. Additionally, where possible, courses are integrated into central questions to illustrate how complex problems can be approached from various disciplines. All of our work is guided by our mission and philosophy, our Overarching Categories and the best research available on teaching and learning. Each aspect of student learning fits within the larger picture of these areas, representing the values we believe best prepare students not only for college but for success as a learner and as a citizen. One of the primary goals at The Oliverian School is to provide the most flexibility for students in order that their academic needs are meet as best as possible. This is achieved through two complementary systems: standard’s based portfolio for assessment and multi-age grouping. Assessment Assessment at The Oliverian School is performance-based. This means that students demonstrate proficiency in curricular areas and create portfolios documenting their accomplishments. In the portfolio, students will accumulate evidence of their skills and understandings as shown through the projects they’ve completed or in the specific disciplinary study they’ve undertaken. The determination of what is “good enough” to go into the portfolio is made by the student and his or her teachers or project leaders. The Phases Particularly in middle and early high school, there is usually little correlation between a student’s academic ability and their physical age. In a particular 8th grade class, student’s cognitive “ages” might easily range from 6th to 10th grade. This phenomenon occurs because this age range represents a time of significant growth both physically and mentally. At Oliverian we take advantage of our portfolio assessment scheme and instead group students into broader “phases”. Each phase spans two traditional grade levels: Phase I is made up of 7th and 8th graders; Phase II is 9th and 10th graders. In both their academic courses and integrated projects, students are grouped with students within their phase. All are working towards mastering the standards that are required for them to move on to the next phase. A particular student however might not be in the same phase for all their subjects. Their sending transcript might place them in Phase I English, for example, but phase II math. This inherent flexibility of program and assessment allows the curriculum to adapt to meet the strengths of the student, not the other way around. The phases are designed to take roughly two years each to complete. Each phase is more challenging than the one before, and each has a higher level of expectation—both academically and socially. Students’ portfolios become records of their mastery of the topics in each phase, and examples of how they have grown as individuals. They become, quite literally, resumes. Learning opportunities in each phase necessarily involve both academic and social elements. We believe that learning is constructed socially and that subject matter gains relevance by testing it out in applied, social contexts. This belief is supported by research done in the areas of motivation and cognition over the last 75 years. Because of this, one project may meet a variety of topical requirements from several disciplines and may also demonstrate mastery of social goals. Multi-age grouping can be seen in many of the activities of our school. One of the goals at Oliverian is to build a strong, supporting culture within our students. Hence students are grouped in many ways so that they quickly get to know the whole population of our small school. Courses, projects, chores and sports are all examples where this might occur. Topics Rather than developing a long list of content that students must “get through,” we have isolated areas of the typical college-prep curriculum that we find relevant given our overarching categories. This reflects the belief that school is no longer about memorizing “stuff,” or learning specific skills that are soon forgotten. What is most appropriate in our society today is that students develop understandings and habits of mind that open them to learning possibilities, while also possessing the “cultural capital” to be productive and capable citizens and leaders. Most schools keep intact sub-disciplines such as “American Literature,” forcing their structures and students’ learning into bureaucratic categories instead of reflecting the inherent dynamism and integration that occurs in life. While a disciplinary perspective is invaluable when analyzing certain problems, as a school structure is it severely limiting. Isolating relevant areas of a discipline and listing them as “topics” allows us to literally reconstruct the curriculum in whatever way best suits a group of students at a given time, while ensuring that they encounter the material they need to develop understandings and skills. In this way, students assemble a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates proficiency both in meta-skills (e.g. reading comprehension) and topical understanding (e.g. economic principles). These proficiencies will be documented both through evidence the student completed a project including specific topical elements (an analysis of local farming distribution webs, including economics, geography, GIS mapping, etc.), and through specific disciplinary study (statistics). Strength in Academics Our Academic Approach We are committed to working with students who have chosen to “walk to the beat of a different drummer.” Students who have found that more traditional programs are not meeting their emotional and/or academic needs, but who have made a decision to refocus and move toward building a more satisfying, healthy, and meaningful life, will find success in the Oliverian program. Our students will benefit from the structure, personal attention, and sense of belonging that is found in a small school setting. They will be bright, talented, and multi-faceted, while at the same time they may prefer to think outside the box. We will encourage our students to think creatively, to solve problems in a variety of different ways, and to explore their own unique, individual way of expressing themselves. In order to accomplish this we have designed a distinctive college preparatory program that will lead to the acquisition of an organized body of knowledge and the development of intellectual skills (skills of learning), all leading to an enlarged understanding of ideas and values. How will we accomplish this? Our learning environment helps to create an atmosphere where students will want to push themselves to hold the bar high as they aspire to the next step on their intellectual journey. There is an expectation that Oliverian graduates will attend four-year colleges. If we expect great things from our children, then they will aspire to do great things, and we’ve found that by promoting that conviction they will feel more confident and accomplished. This is at the core of the “Oliverian Experience” and resonates throughout all that happens here at school. Oliverian’s core curriculum of English, history, science, math, a foreign language, and art is designed to motivate students to listen, speak, read, write, create, interpret, and analyze with ever increasing breadth, depth, and complexity. Layered in this academic program is a parallel program of highly engaging, authentic projects that are integrated into the academic courses. These projects help students make immediate real-world connections to their learning in the classroom. The Oliverian classroom is a dynamic, distinctive, and exciting place to learn. Our program of studies is designed to engage each student in close and enduring relationships with their teachers, while actively occupied in meaningful work with their peers. Our small class size helps faculty members recognize students’ individual strengths, obstacles, aptitudes, anxieties, and fears. This permits us to adjust individual pacing for each of our students, ever mindful that we are consistent and challenging, while at the same time supportive and nurturing. Overarching competencies Woven through the core curriculum are four central competencies. Whether a student is discussing the style of a particular author or designing a research project on water quality, these four competencies are examined, practiced and refined over the student’s career. Inquiry and Empirical Analysis Asking meaningful questions • Clearly understanding the concepts underlying the question • Locating the question in a broader perspective or tradition • Phrasing an accurate and elegant question Determining appropriate investigation methods to answer questions, including: • Understanding the assumptions embedded in research techniques • Understanding the strengths and limitations of a chosen technique • Seeking prior results from other research/inquiry • Designing methods for stating/testing a hypothesis or gathering data • Determining the best method for analyzing the data Interpreting/communicating the results of research • Compiling and analyzing data • Drawing accurate conclusions from the analysis • Understanding the implications of the results • Presenting findings in the most effective manner possible Subsets: quantitative and qualitative inquiry, critical thinking, mathematics Social and Ethical Reasoning Considering diverse perspectives • Understanding an issue’s impact on diverse communities • Naming stakeholders in an issue and their concerns/perspectives • Gathering direct and primary information when possible, even when it is inconvenient Challenging one’s own assumptions about an issue • Examining historical perspectives • Viewing the interaction and equality of social and political forces around an issue • Examining ethical aspects of an issue from different philosophical and religious traditions Considering the impact of a position or action • Weighing the benefit and/or harm of a position or action, locally and globally • Articulating the ethical implications of a position or action • Determining the social systems and structures supporting/resisting a position or action Taking personal action • Establishing a reasoned, personal perspective on an issue • Participating in steps toward a solution • Accepting personal responsibility for an action and its consequences Subsets: religion, philosophy, critical thinking, social and personal responsibility, social action (service and stewardship) Systemic/Ecological Thinking Developing an awareness of environmental interdependence • Examining historical perspectives on an ecological issue • Understanding principles of conservation and sustainability • Examining natural and human relationships from western and non-western cultural perspectives Demonstrating ecological awareness through speech and action • Considering, describing and acting upon the systemic relations between environment, economy, society and technology • Participating in local decisions • Influencing future practices by problem solving and strategically outlining a vision as a community Subsets: critical thinking, environmental studies, opportunities for meaningful practice, action and reflection Communication and Expression Reading, listening and interpreting • Understanding the intent of an author/presenter/source • Assessing the key points and underlying messages for validity and bias • Making connections to other works and phenomena Writing and presenting • Understanding the expectations of an audience • Determining an appropriate medium for a presentation • Expressing ideas clearly, accurately, and creatively • Drawing on effective rhetorical and theatrical techniques • Assessing the strengths and limitations of presentation formats • Understanding/using a second language in a meaningful context Conveying it artistically • Capturing the spirit of a message through fine or performing arts • Expressing beliefs, values and perspectives through physical and artistic representations Subsets: effective reading and writing skills, foreign language training and use in context, performing and fine arts, critical thinking, diversity of materials and perspectives, technological skills Course of Study The Oliverian School is divided into three phases, each representing two age grades: • Phase I (7th and 8th grade) • Phase II (9th and 10th grade) • Phase III (11th and 12th grade) Good academic standing and good citizenship are important in order to continue one’s studies. In addition to fulfilling the Phase I and Phase II requirements listed following, many students may choose to pursue individual interests by enrolling in an elective class or classes of their own choosing. All students are expected to participate in the co-curricular programs of the school by attending all-school meetings, assemblies, and grade-level meetings, as well as completing our adventure-based, stewardship, and community service requirements. All students take five core subjects every year in phases I and II. All students are required to take the same courses as there is no tracking at Oliverian. Phase I and Phase II Course of Study: full year requirements, 5 times per cycle, each year: • English (1 credit) • Foreign Language (1 credit) • Mathematics (1 credit) • Science (1 credit) • Social Studies (1 credit) In phase III students must continue to work towards their portfolio and credit requirements for graduation. Students choose from a selection of electives ranging from psychology and Shakespeare to calculus and environmental science. Arts at the Oliverian School are programmed through a variety of “artisans in residence” workshops of varying duration. Local and regional artists and craftsmen/women are invited to the campus to run in depth workshops with the students ranging from African drumming to Native American Canoe making. Other Requirements: Technology & skills portfolio, embedded in academic classes, competencies required at end of phase I and II Human Development, grade 8, one quarter, integrated science/social studies course PSAT/SAT prep workshops, grades 10 and 11. Adventure-based program, as outlined Stewardship program, as outlined Specific Areas of Study English Language and Literature “All language learners, whether they are infants just beginning to speak, or adults acquiring a second language or a new professional vocabulary – learn language by using it purposefully and negotiating with others. Language users ‘make’ meaning, constantly revising their initial understandings of what they read, hear, view, and create in light of what they learn from subsequent reading, listening, viewing, and creating. In other words the processes of language use are active, not passive. We learn language not simply for the sake of learning language; we learn it to make sense of the world around us and to communicate our understandings with others. Language cannot be divorced from the social contexts in which it occurs.” As students develop their use of English Language at Oliverian they do so in settings that provide rich engaging context. Whether crafting an account of their own travels into the White Mountains as they are reading accounts of Lewis and Clark, or helping their peers revise articles for a student newspaper, students have varied opportunities within the English curriculum to practice and refine their language usage skills. As well as a carefully planned, engaging curriculum of literature, students in English take advantage of integrating their work into other academic subjects, projects, and the adventure and stewardship activities that make up the life of the school. In each phase, the English classroom develops certain themes and reads books that examine that theme in context. For example, in the first half of Phase I (7th and 8th grade), students might develop the theme of “characters who have the courage to stand up for others” as they read Animal Farm or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This thematic approach also facilitates integration into other areas of the school, such as developing a student’s community and leadership as part of the adventure program. Embedded in these literature themes is an attention to the development of standards/skills in vocabulary, spelling, writing, and grammar. Students advance their competency in standards of English Language Arts that describe learning goals for what they know and are able to do. These standards are used throughout a student’s 7-12 careers and represent a continuum of development. 1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. 2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience. 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics). 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes. 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes. 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts. 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge. 9. Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles. 10. Students whose first language is not English make use of their first language to develop competency in the English language arts and to develop understanding of content across the curriculum. 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities. 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information). Phase I English Language It is especially crucial in the middle school years to create safe classroom environments that foster a love of reading and writing and where students are encouraged to take risk and share their work. In addition to a long block of time dedicated to Language Arts, skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening will be integrated throughout the curriculum. In addition to the regular language arts class, there will also be additional time set aside each week that is devoted to reading books of choice. On a daily basis, students will have a writing workshop. In these workshops, students will write everyday, have opportunities to choose their own topics, share their pieces with others, and respond to other’s work. Student will continue to develop skills in sentence structure, formatting, punctuation, spelling, grammar and usage. Students will also write for a variety of purposes throughout the year. These include works in the report, procedural, persuasive, narrative, and reflective form. In addition, they will consistent link the writing process to their reading as they respond to literature and demonstrate their understanding, reflect and make connections to the real world. The literature component of Language Arts will be divided into two pieces. The first will be the reader’s workshop that is designed to promote independence, active participation and interdependence. Students are given time to choose books, read, think about their reading, and to interact with others over what they read. Students explore different genres and authors to expand their reading experience. The second component will be the connection of literature to themes that are integrated to other aspects of the school. Sample Themes Characters who have the courage to and unselfishness to stand up for others. Characters who have the courage to change and pursue a dream. Sample Texts The Miracle Worker by William Gibson The Call of the Wild by Jack London A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Animal Farm by George Orwell A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare Phase II English Language Upon reaching Phase II (9th and 10th grades) students build upon the foundation they have laid in Phase I with a more in depth examination of American and British literature as they study concurrent themes in their social studies classes. As their basic literacy skills are developed, more focus is given to reading for understanding as more complex texts are encountered. Writers and readers workshops continue to be embedded into English classes; however the focus moves from a personal development of a student’s skills to more applied examination of the texts and themes being discussed. Literature in Phase II is more closely tied to topics present in the Social Studies course. As they study concepts in these classes, texts are chosen in English to allow students to make connections between the two subjects. For example as students examine the nature of democracy in their social studies class, in English they explore the influences of Plato, Cicero, Rousseau and Locke on the development of the American system of government. Sample Themes Characters who try to live up to a code and the consequences of that attempt Societal versus individual codes Conflicts and choices Characters who succeed or fail because of their ability to see beneath the surface Sample Texts The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck Cyrano de Bergerac by Rostand To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Mathematics “From a young age, children are interested in mathematical ideas. Through their experiences in everyday life, they gradually develop a rather complex set of informal ideas about numbers, patterns, shapes, quantities, data, and size, and many of these ideas are correct and robust. Thus children learn many mathematical ideas quite naturally even before they enter school (Gelman and Gallistel 1978; Resnick 1987). The kinds of experiences teachers provide clearly play a major role in determining the extent and quality of students' learning. Students' understanding of mathematical ideas can be built throughout their school years if they actively engage in tasks and experiences designed to deepen and connect their knowledge. Learning with understanding can be further enhanced by classroom interactions, as students propose mathematical ideas and conjectures, learn to evaluate their own thinking and that of others, and develop mathematical reasoning skills (Hanna and Yackel forthcoming). Classroom discourse and social interaction can be used to promote the recognition of connections among ideas and the reorganization of knowledge (Lampert 1986). By having students talk about their informal strategies, teachers can help them become aware of, and build on, their implicit informal knowledge (Lampert 1989; Mack 1990). Moreover, in such settings, procedural fluency and conceptual understanding can be developed through problem solving, reasoning, and argumentation.” At the core of mathematics at Oliverian is the concept that students develop their mathematical thinking by actively engaging in meaningful and authentic tasks. Perhaps they might be analyzing the geometry as they design a timber frame structure they are building, or presenting a statistical justification as to who they think was the best player in a History of Baseball project, students are able to immediately apply concepts to real world applications. All students are required to take the same rigorous math course at Oliverian. All students take math every year. It is an in-depth program that is designed to engage and motivate all learners with realistic contexts and multiple strategies. It is also characterized by integrating various mathematical strands. Algebra, geometry, arithmetic, number theory, statistics and trigonometry and precalculus (in Phase II) are all addressed concurrently. This approach is much more congruent with the nature of mathematics in real world problems and tasks. Rarely does one find an issue that isolates a single strand, rather solutions require the application of multiple concepts. This integrated approach also caters to a diverse student skill background. Working in multiage classes (in Phase I and II), each student is able to mathematically contribute to a project as any problem can be approached in many ways. Student discourse both helps students understand other approaches and increase their familiarity with ideas they may not have formally experienced yet. Students advance their competency in standards of Mathematics that describe learning goals for what they know and are able to do. These standards are used throughout a student’s 7-12th grade career and represent a continuum of development. 1. Number and Operations Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems; understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another; compute fluently and make reasonable estimate 2. Algebra Understand patterns, relations, and functions; represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols; use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships; analyze change in various contexts. 3. Geometry Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships; specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems; apply transformations and use symmetry to analyze mathematical situations; use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems. 4. Measurement Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement; apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements. 5. Data Analysis and Probability Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them; select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data; develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data; understand and apply basic concepts of probability. 6. Problem Solving Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving; solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts; apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems; monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving. 7. Reasoning and Proof Recognize reasoning and proof as fundamental aspects of mathematics; make and investigate mathematical conjectures; develop and evaluate mathematical arguments and proofs; select and use various types of reasoning and methods of proof. 8. Communication Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication; communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others; analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others; use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely. 9. Connections Recognize and use connections among mathematical ideas; understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build on one another to produce a coherent whole; recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics. 10. Representation Create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas; select, apply, and translate among mathematical representations to solve problems; use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena. Even though each of these ten Standards applies to all grades, emphases will vary both within and between the grade bands. For instance, the emphasis on number is greatest in the lower grades, and by grades 9–12, number receives less instructional attention. And the total time for mathematical instruction will be divided differently according to particular needs in each grade band—for example, in the middle grades, the majority of instructional time would address algebra and geometry. Phase I Mathematics tbd Phase II Mathematics tbd Science “To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection” “Science is built up with facts as a house is with stone. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones” Jules-Henri Poincaré, 1854-1912 “True science teaches us to doubt and to abstain from ignorance” Claude Bernard, 1813-1878 In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down, so far as it is possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experiences” Niels Bohr, 1885-1962 “A comprehensive PreK-12 Science program includes all sciences every year. Emphasis on the underlying principles of each discipline and connections across the domains of science is critical. Science and technology instruction in an integrated curriculum is necessary for all students every school year. Although each domain of science has its particular approach and area of concern, students need to see how the domains together present a coherent view of the world. Oceanographers, for instance, use their knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, and earth and space sciences when they study organisms in a tidal pool. Traditional instruction, in an approach called the "layer cake," has divided science education into three separate curricula: life sciences, physical sciences, and earth and space sciences. Recently, science education reformers in the United States have come to assert that "the time has come for the . . . layer cake to be dismantled" (NSTA, 1992), fearing that when the domains are taught in isolation, students think that scientific concepts reach only tenuously across the domains, if at all. Connecting the domains of natural science with one another and with other disciplines should be a goal of science education reform.” Massachusetts Science & Technology Curriculum Frame-work Science and math are a fundamental way that humans use, consciously or not, to make sense of the world. Throughout history, people have tried to fulfill this human need to make sense of their world. Collectively and individually, they have constructed models and theories that order their understanding of their environment. In constructing their theories students need to be able to observe, predict, analyze, interpret and justify. Our students will use math as the logical framework to make this exploration of their world. We will foster curiosity and healthy skepticism so our students question and reshape current thinking in order to contribute to their community. Our vision of science and technology is one where our students are immersed in inquiry and “being scientists” rather than one that is primarily content based. As such, organizing a curriculum by traditional domains tends to lead more easily into one driven by content. As such we have organized the curriculum by topics – rich “puddles” or case studies that can be vehicles to the concepts and ideas we wish our students to wrestle with. Within these topics, students examine unifying concepts, the ideas common to all science that help our analysis of our world (systems, change & constancy, structure & function, energy transfer, cause & effect) as well as important content. Topics are developed such that they: • Be rich enough to support inquiry, provoke questions rather than answers. • Address standards in more than one traditional domain • Be relevant intellectually and developmentally to the grade level it is placed. Possible examples might be: Machines and tools Medicine Food Light Pollution Environment Evolution Astronomy Water Matter Ecology Motion Energy Oceanography Technology Electricity Communication Sports Transportation Structures Life Assumptions about Science Instruction • As the amount of scientific knowledge explodes, the need for students to have a deep understanding of fundamental concepts and ideas upon which to build increases. • As technology makes information readily available, the need to memorize vocabulary and formulas decreases. • A spiral curriculum that revisits key ideas, rather than restricting different fields (life, earth, and physical) to certain grades, is the best way for the student to achieve a rich understanding. Especially as certain understandings occur at a particular developmental stage for students, and must be reviewed several times to deepen understanding. • “For most people and most concepts (especially those of worthy understanding), there is a progression from phenomenological to empirical to the theoretical, or from the qualitative to a quantitative understanding.” (New Standards - 1997) • Students should explore fewer topics in depth, not skim many superficially. • Students grow out of misconceptions and naïve theories only by actively engaging in investigation • Science should be experiential rather than lecture-orientated. • Meaningful assessment of students’ learning in science must promote the objectives of a good science curriculum, and not undermine them. • Students must show understanding by explaining and representing. Such a demonstration is impossible with traditional (multiple choice/closed response) tests. Such assessment is not adequate to provide meaningful evidence of student understanding. What and how should we teach, (Changing the Emphasis of Science)? It is extremely useful to re-examine our definitions of how science information is traditionally labeled. Often we see standards and curricula that talk of “content”, “concepts”, “principles” or “laws”. In trying to develop a culture that encourages freedom for students to develop their own theories, these terms are not particularly helpful. We wish our students to explore phenomena isolated from abstract explanations or theories. Content as presented in standards often blurs observable phenomena and theories that explain them. This only confuses our developing scientists, as they sometimes are unable to clearly see the distinction. “Establishing separate [skill, non-content] standards for these areas is a mechanism for highlighting the importance of these areas, but does not imply that they are independent of conceptual understanding. The NRC standards, by declaring that inquiry is not only a teaching method but also an object of study, should put the time-worn ‘content versus process’ debate to rest, and focus on combining traditionally defined content with process.” - New Standards An excellent summary of how we are to change our emphasis is detailed by the NRC standards; “The National Science Education Standards envision change throughout the system. The science content standards encompass the following changes in emphases:” LESS EMPHASIS ON • Knowing scientific facts and information • Studying subject matter disciplines (physical, life, earth sciences) for their own sake • Separating science knowledge and science process • Covering many science topics • Implementing inquiry as a set of processes • Activities that demonstrate and verify science content • Investigations confined to one class period • Process skills out of context • Emphasis on individual process skills such as observation or inference • Getting an answer • Science as exploration and experiment • Providing answers to questions about science content • Individuals and groups of students analyzing and synthesizing data without defending a conclusion • Doing few investigations in order to leave time to cover large amounts of content • Concluding inquiries with the result of the experiment • Management of materials and equipment • Private communication of student ideas and conclusions to teacher MORE EMPHASIS ON • Understanding scientific concepts and developing abilities of inquiry • Learning subject matter disciplines in the context of inquiry, technology, science in personal and social perspectives, and history and nature of science • Integrating all aspects of science content • Studying a few fundamental science concepts • Implementing inquiry as instructional strategies, abilities, and ideas to be learned • Activities that investigate and analyze science questions • Investigations over extended periods of time • Process skills in context • Using multiple process skills-manipulation, cognitive, procedural • Using evidence and strategies for developing or revising an explanation • Science as argument and explanation • Communicating science explanations • Groups of students often analyzing and synthesizing data after defending conclusions • Doing more investigations in order to develop understanding, ability, values of inquiry and knowledge of science content • Applying the results of experiments to scientific arguments and explanations • Management of ideas and information • Public communication of student ideas and work to classmates Phase I In the Middle School, a combined Science program is followed spanning the three major disciplines of Science – Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The program spirals through a variety of topics, which vary in depth and complexity as one proceeds through the course. A hands-on exploratory approach is adopted with regard to the delivery of the program focusing heavily on student-centered learning. Lessons are structured so that the students can develop and test hypotheses within a sound framework of scientific knowledge and develop their skills to a commendable proficiency. The course makes use of the Spotlight Science 7, 8 and 9 textbook published by Nelson Thornes. From that book the following topics are covered: • Introduction to Science • Materials • Energy • Variety of life • Forces • Acids and alkalis • Growing up* • Matter • Environment • Populations • Staying alive* • Water • Chemical reactions • Plants at work • Forces • Elements • Food and digestion • Earth and space Energy • Pollution • Elements, mixtures and compounds • Matter • Variation • Active body* • Sight and sound • Chemical reactions *Includes specific health concepts as related to physiology, hygiene, drugs and alcohol. Phase II Science in Phase II continues the study of topics that integrate physics chemistry and biology. A particular focus is chemistry as its underlying applications are examined in various applications. For example, global warming, alternate fuels, nutrition, and genetic engineering are examples of such issues that often occur in physics or biology texts that have important underlying concepts in chemistry. To understand and respond thoughtfully in an informed manner to these vitally important issues, students must know the chemical principles that underlie the socio-technological issues. Each unit is a real-world societal issue with significant scientific context. Initially these are those in which basic chemical, physical and biological principles are introduced and expanded upon on the need-to-know basis. Within them, a foundation of necessary concepts is developed from which other principles are derived in subsequent units. These include alternate (non-fossil fuel) energy sources—nuclear power, fuel cells, and batteries, car safety, the thermodynamics of energy efficiency, the science of sports carbon-based issues and chemical principles related to polymers, drugs, nutrition, genetic engineering and organic/biochemistry. History/Social Studies “A constructivist view of learning describes learning as an intellectual process in which learners develop what they know by fitting new ideas together with ideas they have already learned from previous experience, and they do this fitting together in their own unique ways. In the process of making these intellectual constructions, learners are influenced by the social and intellectual environments in which they find themselves. Learners see or hear something in their school environment (or experience it in some other way), interpret that new experience based on what they already know, and come to a personal understanding by connecting the new experience with their previous understanding. The result of the process is learning that is made up of three elements: (1) knowledge they gain from the new experience, (2) their prior understanding, and (3) their personal connection of the new and the old. Because the learner’s previous understanding is unique and because the intellectual process he or she uses to make the connections is unique as well, the construction is personally unique to each individual. As a result, because much learning occurs in schools and classrooms, these settings affect both how and what learners learn. Because learning occurs in this way, the primary teaching tasks of schools and teachers are (1) to provide constructivist-rich learning experiences, (2) to stimulate and guide learner constructivist thinking, and (3) to remember continuously that all members of the community are learning all the time in their unique ways.” The study of history and social studies at Oliverian is driven by this powerful premise of how we learn. Everybody has their own point of view of the world around them and the Social studies classroom challenges students to match their experiences with the experiences of others throughout the world and its history to reach deeper understandings of human nature. This manifests itself as a curriculum of history, culture, and heritage that will enable students to know themselves more fully as developing individuals in a changing historical context and as active participants in their local, national, and world communities. The program examines global human experience in light of such unifying themes as the process of change over time and the interrelationships among societies. Information is selected to stimulate student interest and understanding of historical concepts and patterns. Issues of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and class are also incorporated into the curriculum along with current events, geography, and an introduction to the social sciences: anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, and international relations. Students advance their competency in standards of Social Studies that describe learning goals for what they know and are able to do. These standards are used throughout a student’s 7-12 careers and represent a continuum of development. 1. Culture The study of culture and cultural diversity 2. Time, Continuity and Change The study of the ways human beings view themselves in and over time. 3. People, Places and Environment The study of people, places, and environments. 4. Individual Development and Identity The study of individual development and identity. 5. Individuals, Groups and Institutions The study of interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions. 6. Power, Authority and Governance The study of how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance. 7. Production, Distribution and Consumption The study of how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. 8. Science, Technology and Society The study of relationships among science, technology, and society. 9. Global Connections The study of global connections and interdependence. 10. Civic Ideals and Practices The study of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic. Phase I Social Studies The History and Politics of the United States This course introduces students to the democratic institutions that enable diverse peoples to attain their rights and fulfill their responsibilities as citizens of the United States. Students study the creation and evolution of the U.S. government, emphasizing the role of an active citizenry. The class uses both historical examples and current events to illustrate core concepts and facilitate discussions. Skills taught include developing effective study strategies; distinguishing fact from opinion; interpreting maps, charts, and graphs; using primary and secondary sources; developing research skills; and writing expository and analytical paragraphs. World Civilizations This course acquaints students with the history of selected non-European societies. By examining the social, political, intellectual, cultural, and economic aspects of these societies, students gain a greater understanding of global issues. Students focus on geography and its impact on human activity, patterns of historical development, the role of religion in shaping historical action, and the effects of cultural diffusion. Skills taught include essay writing, verbal expression, proficient use of primary and secondary sources, and cultivation of critical thinking skills. Phase II Social Studies The World and Europe I This course presents a European perspective on the political, intellectual, and cultural penetration of ideas into world cultures from ancient times through the sixteenth century. Developing inferential and analytical thinking, writing and discussion skills, research techniques, and appropriate study strategies are an important part of the students’ daily experience. The course combines primary and secondary source readings with pertinent literature to provide an overview of historical events and insights into patterns of civilization. The World and Europe II This course presents a European perspective on the political, economic, intellectual, and cultural developments of the seventeenth through the late twentieth centuries and the impact of those developments on world cultures. Students focus on the significance of key ideas and movements: Revolution, Industrialism, Nationalism, Socialism, Marxism, Imperialism, Colonialism, Decolonization, and Totalitarian models. This includes a deeper examination of the evolution of American Government as compared to other countries. In addition to mastering the content, students continue to develop skills in reading primary and secondary sources, critical thinking, coherent argumentation, research, and expository writing. Foreign Language We will study one foreign language, Spanish, with the enhancement of language skills in general as one main purpose, and the expansion of the cultural experience of our students as the other main purpose. What that language is, will be determined by the kind of students we attract. Arts Programming in the arts is done primarily through an “Artist in Residence” model. Various artisans and craftsman are invited to the school to facilitate workshop type experiences over several days. These guests can range from local painting artists or carpenters to guests that teach African drumming, or performance of Shakespeare. Typically, one Artist in Residence workshop occurs each quarter. Additional opportunities exist through the Oliverian’s Leisure activity offerings. On a weekly basis a selection of “clubs” are scheduled, the range determined by faculty and student interest. As well as more fitness orientated activities, these clubs also include offerings such as ceramics, painting or photography. Projects Our curriculum is organized along two major strands: projects and courses. These strands are mutually supportive, one reinforcing the other. Projects are designed by faculty and students to engage with academic principles around real-world needs and applications. Projects range from building a timber-frame sugarhouse and operating the maple syrup business to traveling and living outdoors in the winter or studying the changes in agricultural economics in New Hampshire and Vermont. Students and faculty design projects around actual community needs, place-based opportunities and student questions, relying on focused inquiry to arrive at a problem or question. This problem or question guides study and work until the project is completed or well enough established for the next group of students to take over. Students participate in one project every quarter, and have a selection to choose from. Each project is led by a member of the teaching faculty and an adventure staff member. This combination reflects the integrated academic/experiential nature of the projects. The goals of projects are for students to experience a real-world context for their academic learning. Additionally they provide rich opportunities for students to learn and develop their skills in leadership, teamwork etc. Projects have several characteristics: • Realistic in 8/11 weeks • Place-based/authentic • Needs of our farm have high priority • Exciting/interesting/motivating for students • Academics are extractable, as opposed to chores done for their own sake • Developmentally appropriate for students age • Must allow opportunity to meet an academic portfolio requirement • Be grounded in curriculum/course where possible and/or appropriate Example Oliverian School Projects Feeding the School – Where does our food come from? Overview The goal of this project is to provide produce for consumption by the school. Principally this will involve the planning, planting, harvesting and storage of vegetables on the campus. As part of the initial work students will examine questions and issues around organic farming, and come to a consensus decision to the extent that they will use these organic techniques. Curricular Integration • Science o Chemistry of soil o Genetics (seeds) o Plant biology o Nutrition o The environmental impacts of farming o Bacteria (food storage) • Social Studies o Historical perspective of American agriculture o The impact of corporations on farming o The politics of organic farming • Math o Fractions/percentages (yield calculations) o Measurement: area o Algebra (yield vs. consumption calculations) • English o Non-Fiction reading, e.g. Fast Food Nation Within this project there are many opportunities for different directions that can be taken. By having students actually go through a process of obtaining their own food, it will help them gain a perspective of where their food actually comes from, and the issues involved in food production. These range from environmental, to corporate and political. The project has a very tangible hands on aspect, and a large degree of analytical thinking involved in the planning of the “gardens”. There are also many side issues that can be explored to provide a rounded perspective. Any one of these or several could be used to give opportunities for social studies integration. Exploration and Travel Overview The goal of this project is to provide opportunities for integration with adventure activities that the students are engaged in. This will be in the form of trying to recreate on a small scale an historical “exploration” using a specific skill set that the students are learning in the adventure program. This will likely be highly dependant on the time of year. During the fall/spring this could take the form of backpacking or boating (in some form). In the winter it would focus on traveling through the snow. Curricular Integration • Science o Nutrition o Human biology/exercise • Social Studies o Westward expansion o Early American exploration o How geography effects settlement • Math o Measurement: length, time o Rate: travel o Algebra: Supplies and logistics o Cartesian geometry • English o Explorer biographies o Historical literature The central precept of this project is to have students gain a deeper perspective of historical events by actually experiencing them. To that end, they will select, research, plan, train for and implement a short trip based on an actual historical occurrence. While there is a focus on their own “exploration”, there is opportunity to examine the wider perspective of how early American settlers explored their surroundings. Sidelines could be taken about the clash of cultures with Native Americans and/or the way in which geography affects human settlement and exploration. Building a Greenhouse Overview This project is for students to use math and science in a real world application; building a greenhouse that is insulated enough to sustain seedlings/plants during winter months. Curricular Integration • Science o Physics (thermodynamics) o Structural strength o Properties of materials • Math o Measurement: length, area o Rates: heat loss o Algebra: Heat loss o Calculus: heat loss This project is primarily a math/science one. It has a significant hands-on portion as the goal is to actually build the greenhouse. It also offers the opportunity of significant connections to math however. The transfer of heat energy through an interface is a particularly complex problem, and can be tackled mathematically on a number of developmental levels, ranging from simple algebra to more complex calculus. What is democracy? – Setting up a governance for Oliverian School Overview That Oliverian is a new school and there are many systems that need to be developed. One of these is our system of governance. Are we a democracy? A dictatorship? This project will have students examine the nature of democracy in institutions ranging from small like schools to large like countries. It will then be their task to develop a government for our school Curricular Integration • Social Studies o Democracy and other systems of government o The development of the American government • English o Bradford and Smith to Twain and Crane o Influences of Plato, Cicero, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Locke on the development of the American system of government o Expository writing o Oral presentation This project offers students the opportunity to become active members of their institutions government. They will examine the nature of democracy and it’s sometimes failure. While researching and reading they will design and present to the board/staff a model for governance at Oliverian. A sustainable school Overview The goal of this project is for the students to achieve measurable reductions in the environmental impact of the school in all its functions. As they examine the various inputs and outputs of the school as a system, they will research, plan and implement their ideas to reduce the impact of both. Curricular Integration • Science

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Academics Director

Name: Kim McManus

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 1-603-989-3055

Phone: 1-603-989-5101, X7012

Title: Dean of academics & Curriculum

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Average faculty tenure:

Full Time: 15

Number that reside on campus: all

Number of minority faculty:

Percent with Doctorate:

Percentage of faculty members who serve as student advisors: all

Percent with Masters: 40

Part Time: 1

Student/Faculty ratio: 3:1

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General Information

Accrediting agencies for school:

New England Association of Schools and Colleges - application pending New Hampshire State Department of Education The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs

A.P. Courses Offered:

American Government




Average Class Size: 6

Courses Offered:

Credits (# required to graduate):

Extra Help Available: Yes

Independent Study Offered: Yes

Number of courses per semester/term:

Number of non-credit requirements:

Arts (# of years/credits):

English (# of years/credits):

Foreign Language (# of years/credits):

History (# of years/credits):

Math (# of years/credits):


Physical Education (# of years/credits):

Science (# of years/credits):

School day begins:

School day ends:

Special Departmental Offerings:

Supervised School Evening Study Hall: Yes

Supervised School Day Study Hall (Time):

Supervised School Study Hall: No Response

Type of Academic Calendar: Semester

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Academic Support

Academic support programs offered: Yes

Additional Cost for Academic Support: No

Academic Support Program meets:

Academic Support Contact

Name: Kim McManus

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 1-603-989-3055

Phone: 1-603-989-5101X7012

Title: Dean of the Faculty & Curriculum

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College Placement Office

Average SAT I Scores (Math):

Average SAT I Scores (Verbal):

College Placement counseling offered: Yes

15 most popular schools from the past four years:

American University

Percentage of graduates who attend college: 100%

Total scholarships awarded to graduating seniors:

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Additional resources:

Internet based nettrecker program

Annual Acquisition Budget ($ amount):

Number of video/audio titles:

CD-ROM available: Yes

Computers in Library: Yes

Internet Access in library: Yes

On-line bibliographic services: No Response

Interlibrary Loan available: No Response

Microfilm available: No Response

Number of Periodical Subscriptions:

Number of Volumes:

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Special Programs

Description of the program(s):

Winter Ski Program

Are study away programs offered: No Response

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