Sycamore Academy of Science and Cultural Arts

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About Us » Mission and Vision

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Sycamore Academy of Science and Cultural Arts is to prepare a diverse TK-8 student population for secondary education, college, careers and global citizenship by providing each child with the knowledge, critical skills, and fundamental dispositions to become a self-motivated, competent, lifelong learner. To be fully educated and prepared for the 21st century every child must construct and communicate knowledge, display personal and social responsibility, work collaboratively with others, and reflect consistently on his or her growth as a learner.
 
The vision of our learning community is to provide a setting for learning based on constructivist principles. Students, teachers, staff, community members and parents will be active participants in a community for learners working in a collaborative and democratic manner. To accomplish this we will focus on:
  • how students learn best
  • how teachers guide and challenge students to think and construct meaning from their studies
  • how students develop memory and connect information, knowledge, and understanding in such a way that they will demonstrate and defend their understandings, and
  • connecting and expanding student learning through school and community based projects.
Sycamore Academy of Science and Cultural Arts will model life-long learning by promoting and encouraging a dynamic environment where all members of the staff demonstrate the knowledge, critical skills and fundamental dispositions that are the core of our educational and organizational values.  We will push the boundaries of learning beyond the classroom and into the school and local community.  Through robust service-learning we will make real world connections that will add value to our community.
 
Expected School-wide Learning Results
 
Knowledge:
  • A deep understanding of the local community economically, socially, scientifically, and politically.
  • A deep understanding of our national heritage, including the philosophical, religious, scientific, economic, and political ideas that have shaped our institutions.
  • Ability to criticize and evaluate the messages and opinions promoted by mass media.
  • Ability to analyze, manipulate and evaluate the use of mathematical symbols.
  • Ability to comprehend, analyze, interpret, and evaluate written text.
  • Ability to utilize technology to analyze, interpret and evaluate the natural and social world.
  • Ability to speak and write with clarity of expression, to present ideas that are rationally persuasive and done with correctness and grace.
Critical Skills:
  • Problem solving - develops effective solutions to the multi-dimensional and complex problems ever-present in personal and professional arenas.
  • Decision making - can and does make responsible decisions in diverse situations 
  • Critical thinking - can critically think for oneself by justifying opinions based on evidence and sound reasoning
  • Creative thinking - has both the confidence in and capacity for the creative thinking that enhances both experience and results in a variety of life roles.
  • Communication - can express oneself with clarity and authenticity
  • Organization - can efficiently and productively organize time, space, materials and tasks
  • Management - can skillfully help others to optimize their work together through effective management
  • Leadership - can recognize quality leadership and can provide it when appropriate.
Fundamental Dispositions:
  • Ownership - a responsible and invested owner of life-long learning
  • Self-direction - a reflective self-directive individual with a strong work ethic
  • Quality - A well developed internal model of quality work
  • Character - develops a strong sense of purpose within a moral community by exercising such virtues as honest, integrity, perseverance, thoughtfulness, respect, wisdom, self-control, courage, caring, and justice.
  • Collaboration - seeks to optimize work through collaboration
  • Curiosity and Wonder - has a sense of curiosity and wonder
  • Community - is a responsible and active member of a community