You can feel the daily practice of personal accountability, compassion, and mindfulness when you step into the PATH Academy Community! Upon arriving at our PATH Community, you will hear an orchestra of harmonious sounds coming from a class discussion - the rhythm of learning being conducted by the DAILY 3 Acts of Peace each member of the community is focused upon.
One student might be working on the Act of Peace, Honor Property, so you will notice pencils sharpened and backpacks organized by an anonymous helper (remaining anonymous can be so empowering!). One student might be working on the Act of Peace, Respectful Speech, which motivates an intentional conversation with another student that is having a challenging day. It is very possible you might witness a student asking for a teacher facilitated Peer Mediation session so that a student can take care of their needs by creating a safe, respectful space to use their "FFF - Friendly, Fair, and Firm" words. And it is very possible you will notice another student's commitment to Personal Responsibility as she completes her Learning Center assignment and then transitions to her differentiated reading group without any distractions. In a PATH Academy classroom, it will be obvious that the 8:1 student to teacher ratio makes an unprecedented difference resulting in a safe and joyfully productive school community.
Path Curriculum, created by the Founding-Director, Eliana Morris, is taught at PATH Academy and PATH Educational Initiative Programs for students and families. Utilizing culturally diverse programming, PATH Curriculum promotes critical thinking and emotional competency that integrates seamlessly into the framework of a larger, balanced, academic curriculum. We authentically invest in every student's learning objectives: All academics are taught in differentiated small groups and in whole class lessons with an unprecedented 8:1 student to teacher ratio to challenge students at their individualized level of learning.
Our PATH teachers utilize multi-sensory teaching methods by specialized, certified educators for all academic levels. Innovative PATH Positive Choice Management Structures (PATH PCMS), evidence-based classroom management strategies, provide the tools needed to hold every student accountable for their learning and to successfully result in classroom lessons are a time of focused learning.
PATH Curriculum and Socio-emotional Learning programs motivate and inspire happy, lifelong learners that are practitioners of peace by:
* Teaching a DAILY PRACTICE of ethical-mindfulness resulting in positive, considerate habits
* Honoring a child's social and emotional growth
* Providing project-based learning with real audiences and real purpose
* Instilling self-worth, self-confidence, and self-love
* Involving fun physical activities for healthy bodies and focused minds
* Integrating Wisdom Keeper Teachers of Indigenous Cultures into ChangeMaker Social Studies
* Utilizing Indigenous practices to support students to tap into their inherent wisdom
* Teaching nutritious food systems that are ecologically-informed
* Including the vital connection between community service and one's own happiness
* Teaching, practicing, and celebrating healthy, responsible, and caring choices
* Connecting children to local and global communities with PATH "Be the Change" Projects
* Teaching programs linking compassion-care for farm animals, nature, gardening, the arts, music, movement, storytelling to learning, caring, self-worth, and joy
PATH PCMS were a part of the Garrison Institute's Contemplative Mapping Report in 2005 and have been published and taught to national and International audiences for over 20 years. PATH PCMS inspire a "Be the Change" attitude resulting in students choosing personal accountability and productivity in the classroom.
PATH PCMS clearly define desired outcomes and the relationship between cause and result in regard to the choices one makes. PATH Management Structures focus on the need to celebrate, refresh, and enjoy the efforts we make when being accountable, responsible, and caring citizens rather than using a reward-punishment system. By providing healthy, respectful boundaries and an attitude of honoring one's positive efforts, we successfully facilitate a peaceful community conducive to learning and thriving.
PATH 's mindfulness and enrichment programs for children seven years and younger, encourage young children to explore and enjoy learning through a balanced academic and "peaceful playing" curriculum. Happy Seeds Curriculum engages children by incorporating the different modalities of learning.
Happy Seeds utilizes exciting songs, art, books, finger plays, creative movement/yoga, storytelling, puppetry, natural science lessons, and academic core standards to teach the important roles of ethical mindfulness, safety, and personal acountability in achieving happiness.
PATH's Happy Seeds curriculum provides home and classroom behavior management structures such as charts, calendars, and games to teach how to grow seeds of personal responsibility and peace. To honor a child's imagination and creativity, very specific acts of peace, or Happy Seeds, are connected to Happy Seed Animals. Children learn how to make peaceful, responsible choices through these playful and wise animal friends. We guide children in their discovery of how to care for their mind, body, and emotions bringing about self-esteem, positive habits, and harmonious relationships. Together, we cultivate a garden of lifelong learners!
PATH curricula and programs, taught in PATH Programs and The PATH Academy School for ages eight to fourteen, honor the diverse learning styles of each student by teaching to the multiple intelligences. PATH incorporates evidence-based mindfulness curriculum with core academic standards. We provide high interest projects such as extensive multi-media and international communication projects, service projects, the performing arts, music, physical health practices, and leadership training with academic core curriculum.
Curriculum for youth is centered on the intentional study and practice of a set of Acts of Peace called TAPS (Thousand Acts of Peace). Children, parents, and teachers make efforts to give away three very specific acts of peace every day to total over one thousand per year. By applying the Scientific Method, community members continually test the following hypothesis: "If I "Be the Change" by giving away specific acts of peace (TAPS), I will create opportunities and positive changes within myself and within my world." Students collect data, and when testing their hypothesis, they then assess and evaluate the choices they make. As a result, students create the foundation for developing self-awareness, personal responsibity, self-worth, positive relationships, and sustainable happiness.
The primary goal of the entire Language Arts curriculum is cultivating independent and critical thinkers and instilling an appreciation and joy for becoming a life-long reader and writer. Students throughout the grade levels participate in selecting representative texts that mirrors their interests and experiences. Students participate inauthentic, experienced-based projects to inspire reading, writing, and spelling lessons. Additionally, PATH's Changemaker Social Studies and Art courses are integrated with writing, reading, and spelling lessons in Writer's Workshop and Learning Center structures to allow for homogenous, small group instruction as well as one-on-one lessons with the certified, lead teacher. PATH Academy students use Core Standard and PATH rubrics to analyze their own reading, writing, and spelling stating at a very young age. As a result, students have a deep understanding of their learning objectives while accurately tracking their learning goals. Instruction includes utilizing hands on, manipulatives and curriculum materials that teach to the multiple intelligences.
Following a scope and sequencing aligned with the Arizona State Standards for each grade level, Lower Level Grades (Kinder to Second) instruction emphasize the five essential components of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Scaffolding to each student's differentiated academic level in whole class, small group, and one-on-one lessons, students focus on comprehension strategies as well as determining basic plot structures, main idea and theme.
Across the Upper L grades (Third to Fifth), students explore analytical, critical, and synthetic thinking skills that grow in sophistication as texts and ideas increase in difficulty of subject matter and style. Students are introduced to a rich variety of texts including: historical fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy, informational traditional literature. Scaffolding to each student's capacity, students focus on comprehension strategies as well as determining plot structures, main idea and theme. Students learn to accurately cite and quote text when drawing conclusions. Third to Fifth grade students are given opportunities to challenge the extend their listening and speaking skills as they participate in authentic, experienced-based projects. Students develop communication skills by presenting information, both formally and informally, across a wide range of topics.
A student's writing journey begins in Pre-Kindergarten with connecting symbols of letters to words and sentences as the student communicates experiences in their daily life at school and home. Progressing through the primary grades, each student's writing journey is supported with differentiated instruction from sentence and paragraph writing to multiple-paragraph essays and research papers. The Writer's Workshop model is utilized so that differentiated instruction can be a priority. Writing Workshop is built on a student-centered framework of explicit instruction, independent writing time, and opportunities for students to confer with their teacher and reflect on their writing journey and successfully be supported with achieving their learning objectives. Students also learn the components of written expression and reading which are: capitalization and punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, word usage, sentence and paragraph structure, automaticity or fluency, and understanding the various types of written material known as text structure.
Students apply skills that enhance their writing and allow them to communicate through vivid, elaborate, meaningful pieces of writing. Additionally, high frequency and sight words are taught explicitly through dictations, Daily Oral Language Activities, and most profoundly, through the student's writing with "Point-Stretch-Hear" Editing so that students are accountable for their own editing process.
Students learn to refine and build skills in writing, utilizing the 6 traits of writing and the 5 stages of writing scaffolded from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade.
Older students will learn essay structure that includes: a formal introduction, main body paragraphs with supporting details, and a strong conclusion. Students will apply topic sentences, transitional phrases and concluding statements to strengthen their writing. Journaling, creative writing and response to literature notebooks will provide additional practice for students to hone their skills. Students will learn to correctly employ the eight parts of speech. Basic grammar usage and mechanics will be emphasized. Third to fifth grade writers develop skills that will allow them to use writing as a tool to problem solve, discover and record information. They will learn to listen to their "writer's instinct," as they reflect and express their ideas while discovering the writer within.
The mathematics program encourages students to be curious, strategic, and logical thinkers. Kinder and First Grade students begin to grasp how mathematics is everywhere around them while, protecting and stirring the imagination, students explore in play-based Learning Centers. During Learning Centers, PATH's Degreed and Experienced Lead Teachers facilitate nd guide our youngest community members in mathematics by sparking curiosity and stretching understanding of mathematical concepts creating a "math mindset" - a belief that they can do math. With interactive and creative differentiated lessons, student begin by working with whole numbers and place value as they learn to add and subtract up through 20. They will develop number sense as they count and compare quantities, describe situations mathematical, and describe objects.
The curriculum not only builds fundamental number skills but also emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking. Our math program is organized into units referred to as domains. These are: Number and Operations Base Ten, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations with Fractions, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. Mathematics curriculum applies real world problem solving emphasizing critical mathematical practices such as making sense of problems, persevering in problem solving, modeling with mathematics, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, looking for and making use of structure, and attending to precision. Each math lesson builds upon prior student knowledge, extending multiplication and division to multi-digit numbers and developing understanding of decimals in the place value system and in operations. Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions in covered in depth. Student knowledge of geometry is extended to develop an understanding of volume concepts. Each student is guided and supported at their differentiated capacities.
PATH's Social Studies and Changemaker Art are seamlessly integrated together providing hands on projects to extend understanding of not only Social Studies topics, but also an opportunity to hands on projects to extend understanding of not only Social Studies topics, but also an opportunity to explore one's own core values and beliefs. Infusing Changemaker Art projects with Social Studies topics allows each student to integrate the wisdom of Changemakers and the teachings of critical events
throughout history in a dynamic contemplative space - a space intended to physically create from one's own thoughts, ideas, and beliefs.
Social Studies curriculum focus on four essential questions: What is freedom? What is a civilization? What is equality? What is a Citizen? We provide students with a global perspective of how the past and present connect through a variety of diverse and profound representations and voices. Students explore topics of: indigenous cultural regions of North America and the World, early American history, civil rights movements, U.S. and world geography, and global issues according to each grade level state standards. Students will gain a better understanding of how our government works, how it directly affects them, and what it means to them tin the future: locally, nationally and globally.
In the Upper L classroom, students will analyze primary and secondary sources to understand important historical events. They will apply the writing process to clearly and concisely write about their findings. Students will grapple with essential questions related to history through hands-on projects, journaling, debate and discussion, and reading a variety of both historical fiction and historical non-fiction text.
The study of science opens children's eyes to the wonder of the world around them. Our curriculum is designed to provide students with a rich and comprehensive foundation in science, aligned with the National Science Education Standards. Moreover, we endeavor to make science relevant, interesting, and challenging for all children. Our teachers develop in their students key reasoning and problem-solving skills, using the scientific method. Environmental Studies and Conservation Projects foster curiosity, a respect for evidence, and sensitivity for all living things. A variety of techniques are used to encourage students to foster their sense of wonder and understanding of the natural phenomena that occur in our universe. Students' science literacy skills will become increasingly more complex as they progress through the program. Students will develop and understanding of the connections between science and its applications in the community. From the dissection of owl pellets to investigations of life in our lush Wetlands area, science activities contribute to children's understanding of the natural world and provide opportunities for collaboration in group activities. Instruction is inquiry-based and hands-on. Studies of life science, physical science, and earth science spiral over the course of the elementary grades as students reexamine concepts in progressively greater depth.
Highlights of the PATH Academy's science program include:
* the study of the structures of life, water and climate, and measuring matter
* the study of living systems, Sun and Moon, and mixtures and solutions
* age-appropriate units on hygiene, nutrition, and safety
* engaging students and foster their natural curiosity
* studying Biology, Chemistry and the Earth, and Physics and Space
* incorporating best practices informed by cognitive science
* generating scientific questions
* predicting and hypothesizing
* designing investigations
* observing and data collecting
* analyzing and concluding
* interacting science with society
*communicating the safe and appropriate use of lab equipment and technology throughout the grade levels
* Physical Education - 30 minutes twice a week
* Music - 25 minutes twice a week
* Changemaker Art - 75 minutes once a week
* Nature Explorations - 30 minutes twice a week
* Physical Education - 30 minutes twice a week
* Music - 25 minutes twice a week
* Changemaker Art - 75 minutes once a week
* Nature Explorations - 30 minutes twice a week