The mission of UCP Charter Schools is to create a fully inclusive learning community where all students, parents, and professionals appreciate and value diversity in all forms. Students are educated to become conscious responsible citizens, whereby they assume the role of life-long learners as they reflect upon and contribute to the cultural and civic life of their community. All students are supported to achieve high standards in both their academic and personal development through a research-based educational program utilizing an inquiry/project-based program integrating arts and technology.
Over the past twenty-five years, there has been significant progress for people with disabilities. Institutionalization has been largely eliminated and all children have the right to attend school. However, as a society, we have not fully embraced the concept that people with disabilities should be side by side with others in school, in jobs and in social settings.
At UCP children with and without disabilities have the opportunity to learn, play, and grow together side by side. This model has shown significant gains in the social and educational development of children with and without disabilities. It fosters empathy and engages each student on their individual academic journey.
At UCP Charter Schools – we use a combination of arts (visual, performing, music and dance), technology integration and Project Based Learning to reinforce and enhance learning for all students.
Visual and Performing Arts Integration Specialists work in partnership with teachers to develop and implement art projects based on the learning objectives of the class. Additionally, through various partnerships with local theaters (VSA Arts, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios) Artists-in-Residence are placed at the school to work with all students and broaden the exposure to a variety of art forms.
Arts integration is an innovative teaching strategy that fuses the arts curriculum—dance, music, visual arts—with standard curricula. Rich art experiences can lead to increased academic, social and functional skill development and knowledge*. For all students, knowledge and skill development gained through the arts can play a crucial role in their overall success*. Arts integration is a powerful tool to help engage all learners.
Using principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), technology is integrated into classrooms as tools for achieving specific purposes instead of an end unto itself. UDL is a framework to learning that guides educational instruction/assessment while constantly evaluating student engagement. Technology fosters students’ collaboration and communication skills*. Technology has the potential for helping all students access curriculum, learn new information, and fully participate and enjoy the benefits of inclusion* so the integration of technology is a critical component of the curriculum used at the UCP Charter Schools in order to enrich and supplement for a variety of learners. In an effort to optimize instruction and learning, UCP integrates various forms of technology throughout the school and enrichment programs. Depending on which campus you select for your child, some of the technology elements might include:
As a framework for instruction, UCP classrooms use a project-based learning model. Children are motivated to learn best when they are active learners immersed in projects that address their passions and interests. The project approach to learning engages children in purposeful work and supports higher level thinking tied to Common Core and collaboration of all students. Evidence supports the use of project-based learning as a highly motivating way for all students to synthesize what they are learning as well as to identify gaps in their knowledge that need to be filled*. Students learn best with hands-on activities*. Additionally, this approach fosters essential 21st-centruy skills including critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
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