Our Approach » Instructional Approach

Instructional Approach

Integrated Studies
 
The major question facing schools across the county is how to best prepare our children for the ever-changing world they are entering. Students must develop the skills, understandings, and mindsets necessary to prepare them for the careers and challenges of tomorrow. We know that students need multiple and varied strategic opportunities to explore, practice, and perfect 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, citizenship, character, critical thinking, and creativity. Children learn by doing and emphasizing hands-on, real-world experiences makes learning more meaningful to students and helps lessons stick. For these reasons, Atlas strives to connect lessons learned in the classroom with authentic, place-based learning experiences.
 
Atlas utilizes thematic, place-based units to engage with material across the curriculum for an Integrated Studies Block in each grade level. Through place-based education, students have real-world experiences as they learn from the local natural, built, historic, and cultural environment in St. Louis.These Integrated Studies Blocks tie Missouri Learning Standards in math, ELA, science, social studies, and related arts together in an interdisciplinary class. In keeping with our core value of equity, themes of social justice and active citizenry are woven through units, as well as an emphasis on learning 21st century skills. We strive to get students out of the classroom and into the community at least three times per academic session.
 
EL Education
 
EL Education curriculum is a comprehensive, research-informed, core language arts program. It engages teachers and students through compelling, real-world content. EL Education supports students to build skills and content knowledge, become more confident and collaborative learners, and meet Missouri Learning Standards. Atlas utilizes EL Education for English Language Arts classes.
 
Achievement First
 
Achievement First is a network of high-performing charter schools on the East Coast. They have developed a rigorous curriculum designed by a team of content experts, along with platforms to analyze student data to drive daily instruction and long-term planning. The curriculum is standards-based and geared to true college and career readiness. Altas utilizes this curriculum for math instruction.