The vision of Voyager Academy High School (VAHS) is to be an educational institution that provides students from grades 9-12 with a wide range of rigorous course selections emphasizing Project Based Learning (PBL) strategies to meet their varied needs and give them the skills necessary to reach their full potential in college and beyond. We will connect the students' courses by drawing on content specific knowledge to create and produce real-world products and experiences. VAHS faculty, staff and stakeholders will incorporate the following three guiding principles to ensure that students have every opportunity to be successful:
● What we do at VAHS is important.
● VAHS students can do it.
● Even if you give up, the Voyager community will not give up on you…
We are all responsible for the culture of our school community therefore:
We are life-long learners.
We take ownership of our work.
We are purposeful in our work and actions.
We believe that what we do here is important.
We are a school where everyone has the right to feel safe.
We value and celebrate diversity.
We treat everyone respectfully regardless of differences.
We understand that true learning can only take place in a safe and nurturing environment.
We advocate for ourselves and each other.
We are proud of Voyager, and we protect our learning environment.
We take responsibility for our space and materials.
We celebrate learning and achievements.
We are a school that values genuine learning.
We engage in PBL to generate innovative and creative projects.
We believe the basis for genuine learning requires questioning, persistence, flexible thinking, and striving for accuracy.
We are responsible users of technology when it adds value to the learning process.
We believe that everyone can succeed.
We are effective communicators and collaborators, and we collaborate to ensure the success of the community.
We are accountable for our learning.
What Great Looks Like:
*Teachers monitor students work in the classroom
*If a teacher needs students to work outside the classroom they arrange coverage for either group with another school staff member
*Teachers provide a pass to students when they are traveling to another location
*Teachers train students on the use of any tools
*Teachers track attendance and tardies
*Students follow teacher instructions at all times
*Students sit at their desks or position themselves appropriate to the activity needs
*Students stay in their classroom during the entire period unless an emergency because they understand the importance of the class work
*Students work under the supervision of a staff member
*Students follow appropriate safety precautions when using tools
*Students attend class on time
*Send students back to class when in hallway without a pass
*Hold students accountable for referrals due to absences or tardies
*Brings student to school on time
*Notifies school of any absence
*Encourages student to plan appropriately and use restroom during passing period
*Plan Project work during each quarter
*Choose one project for exhibition night
*Projects include an acceleration component
*Students put forth their best effort for each project including daily tasks
*Students participate in exhibition night
*Supports teacher expectations for effort
*Provide funds for projects
*Support teachers taking appropriate risks
*Schedule planning time
*Helps transport students to project events
*Visits PBL events
*Supports the student expectations in PBL
*Project includes non-Googlable DQ
*DQ drives entire learning process, “captures the heart of the project in clear, compelling language.”
*Students are able to recite or refer to the DQ when asked by a visitor
*Students reflect on the DQ as a part of their project culmination or assessment
*Asks students about their DQ
*Recognizes great DQs
*Asks their student about the project DQ
*Project planning starts with content standards
*Project work scaffolds for mastery of content standards
*Students can recite or refer to the content standard being taught when asked by a visitor
*Students demonstrate mastery of content standards through project assessment and traditional assessments
*Reviews alignment of standards posted in classroom and student work
*Provides feedback to teacher related to student understanding of standards based upon student questioning
*Asks students how this project relates to class standards
Need to Know
*Entry event to project which helps students understand why this content is important
*Project includes real world connections
*Learning sequence unfolds in meaningful manner
*Students can recall entry event when asked by visitor
*Students can articulate why learning content is important/significant
*Provides support for field trips
*Flexible schedule planning
*Reinforce the need to understand the material for future readiness
Student Voice and Choice
*Teachers choose appropriate ways for students to make decisions during a project
*Projects include room for creativity
*Students can describe choices and decisions they’ve made during the project
*Provide support to teachers in finding resources to allow student choice
*Asks student about the decisions they are having to make during their project
21st Century Competencies
*Project includes opportunities for:
*Teachers assess for mastery of these skills
*Students work in a structured collaboration with peers
*Students communicate by making eye contact and confidently speaking about their work
*Administrator provides feedback on observed 21st century competencies
*Understand and support the need for collaborative project experiences.
*Teachers design questions and project activities which push students to gain a greater depth of knowledge (mastery vs. coverage)
*Students demonstrate depth of knowledge through verbal or visual presentation
*Students demonstrate depth of knowledge through writing
*Students demonstrate depth of knowledge through growth on traditional assessment
*Administrator provides feedback on observed student depth of knowledge
*Encourage student to delve deeper into the project
Critique and Revision
*Teachers provide feedback at multiple stages during the project
*Teachers design peer feedback processes which are valuable
*Teachers use in class formative traditional assessment to give feedback and track growth
*Students can show revisions to work
*Student products are museum quality pieces
*Students demonstrate growth on formative traditional assessment
*Students provide serious direct feedback to peers
*Provide examples of exceptional products
*Administrator reinforces student responsibility for their work
*Parents can see multiple drafts of student work
*Parents encourage and value the process of creating good work
*Teachers design a culminating event appropriate to the project which drives authentic student work
*Students participate and prepare for the project culminating event
*Administrator supports securing of venues
*Parents attend or participate in culminations when appropriate
*Teachers post assignment name and due date to Canvas
*Teachers post their syllabus to Canvas
*Teachers post grades to Canvas
*Students check Canvas daily
*Students review the teacher syllabus and familiarize themselves with the class expectations
*Students submit assignments through Canvas if required
*Administrator provides training for Canvas
*Administrators support work completion through Dugout
*Parents check student grades regularly
*Parents ask student then teacher if there is a question about an assignment
*Teachers design formative and summative assessment for each project
*Teachers provide multiple assessments during the project
*Teachers design assessment that checks students’ ability to translate content mastery to traditional assessment
*Teachers use assessment to drive FLEX period activities, remediation and acceleration
*Students take each classroom and school assessment seriously
*Students prepare for assessments by:
-Getting appropriate rest
-Participating fully in class review
-Organize after school study groups
-Stay after school for teacher assistance
*Help identify and provide resources for assessment building
*Schedule time for data reviews
*Set performance and growth goals
*Monitor student preparations for major assessments
*Help student create a study plan
*Set home standards for rest and eating before major assessments
*Groups are varied and thoughtfully assigned, giving consideration to: personality, work ethic, strengths and weaknesses, project needs
*The majority of any student's grade must result from their individual effort and learning
*Students participate to the fullest extent with their group
*Students focus on creating quality work
*Students notify their teacher of group issues
*Provide chaperone approvals
*Speaks with student groups during walkthroughs then reports to teacher any observed group challenges
*Encourages student to participate with their group
*Asks student to notify teacher of any group issues
*Teachers input grades within 5 days for regular assignments
*Teachers input grades within 10 days for larger projects or tests
*Teachers provide feedback and grades on an assignment before a like assignment is due
*Teachers input a zero within 24 hours of an assignment not being received on the due date
*Students take responsibility for their grade and learning
*Students turn in assignments on time
*Students use feedback to improve their work
*Students take pride in their work beyond just the grade earned
*Support teachers who receive complaints but upheld grading practices
*Provide time for teachers to assess student work
*Support professional assessment of student learning
*Focus on student learning, not just the grade
*Hold student accountable for improving their learning
*Teachers monitor students use of technology
*Teachers address inappropriate technology usage
*Teachers confiscate technology when used inappropriately after warning and parent contact
*Students only use their technology for the purpose allowed by the teacher
*During class students do not text or access content unrelated to instruction
*Hold students accountable who are repeated technology offenders
*Address technology concerns during walkthroughs
*Hold students accountable for appropriate use of technology
*Keep students phone at home for repeated violations
*Teachers plan engaging lessons for every class period
*Teachers make honest recommendations for Honors and AP enrollment
*Teachers differentiate and accelerate project work for students in Honors and AP
*Teachers give feedback to students on what post-secondary opportunities may align with the students strengths
*Teachers address inappropriate student behavior including lack of engagement
*Students give their best effort during each class
*Students take responsibility for the additional workload required in Honors or AP
*Every student applies to a 4 year, 2 year, or other post-secondary program
*Students greet visitors politely
*Hold students accountable who repeatedly do not participate in classroom instruction/activity
*Reinforces at home that their student must participate fully in the classroom instruction/activity
*Holds their student accountable for their actions