The curriculum at Atlantis Charter School is based, first, on alignment to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, which are working documents that are continually improved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in partnership with schools and districts statewide. The most notable example of that continual improvement is the state’s current adoption of the Common Core State Standards.
Atlantis continuously evaluates the equity and efficacy of its curriculum through, among other tools, the work of grade-level teams during common planning time, bi-weekly professional development, weekly formative assessments aligned to instruction, and the use of interim assessments aligned to the MCAS and Common Core Standards.
The school conducts quarterly and annual reviews of all units of study, which are uploaded into a standardized Curriculum Scope and Sequence.
Our focus, however, remains on the students. They are our first priority, and we are measured by their success – both in the near and long-term. What makes our students successful, makes our city and region successful.
Preparing Students for the 21st Century Workforce
Our high school sets itself apart from other charter schools with five school-to-career academies, which now serve as our school’s organization and operational platform. We surveyed local businesses and industry partners to determine what types of jobs will be in demand in the next few years. We then worked with those industry partners to develop five academies, each having its own Student Centered Small Learning Community, to teach students real-world skills and properly prepare them for next steps in life. Academic advisors support our program, providing guidance on instruction. The academies include:
- Business and Entrepreneurship Academy: Working with our coalition advisors from MIT-Sloan School of Business, the UMass School of Business, and the Business Innovation Center of Fall River, MA, Atlantis students learn communication, management and finance skills.
- S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math): Atlantis developed the S.T.E.M. Academy with help from coalition advisors from MIT-IDM, UMass Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Raytheon, Inc., and the MIT SDM-BLOSSOMS Program. Students are solving the manufacturing challenges of the future using 3D printers and other hands-on design tools.
- The Atlantis Arts Culture and Design Academy: This Academy was developed in partnership with Berklee College of Music and our coalition advisors from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and TJ Music Inc. in Fall River, MA. Classes are taught by adjunct instructor Prince Charles Alexander, a sought-after record producer whose clients include Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy and Destiny’s Child.
- Teacher Development Academy: This Academy leverages online videos and blended and active learning techniques to teach students difficult-to-learn concepts. It was developed in collaboration with Coalition Advisors from Teach for America, the UMass College of Education, the East Bay Educational Collaborative, the MIT BLOSSOMS Program, and Ergopedia Inc.
- Health-Med Tech-Sports Medicine Academy: Atlantis students interested in pursuing a career in medicine are getting a jump on the competition. Our coalition advisors from St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Sports Medicine, the Harvard Medical School-Med Science Program, and Laerdal Medical Group helped to develop the curriculum for this Academy. Atlantis students are learning and practicing on a life-sized robot known as SimMan; most medical students see this technology for the first time at the college level.