Monday, February 2, 2015

Academics at BVP: The Introduction to a BVP Blog Series

There are many features that make BVP unique—more time, intentional diversity, robust school culture— and at the heart of it all is our approach to academics. Through this blog series, the curriculum, instruction and assessment team aims to introduce you to BVP’s model for curriculum, instruction, and assessment and outline our vision for getting scholars ready for college success. This work is far from its beginning stages— in fact, the articulation of this vision has been in progress since BVP opened— but the work has morphed (and will continue to morph) over time to remain responsive to the needs of our scholars and also best practices.

It should come as no surprise that we believe all scholars are on the path to college. That college-going ethos lives in everything we do, and while it is most visible in our homeroom names, pennants, and t-shirts, it is most salient in our high expectations for teaching and learning. We start with the end in mind—college-readiness—and backwards plan so that scholars are steeped in the coursework, intellectual stimulation, and habits of mind necessary for getting to and through college.

BVP believes fundamentally in rigorous mathematics, reading, writing, and science instruction for all scholars, regardless of their background. With that vision, we’ve established core pillars of our academic programming, and we’re constantly improving our practices and materials toward these goals.

Preparing scholars for college and career requires:

  • Rigorous mathematics instruction culminating with Advanced Placement Calculus and/or Statistics
  • Intensive, explicit, and embedded composition instruction resulting in fluent, compelling writers
  • Broad canon of texts, composed of multicultural literature, informational text, and primary source documents
  • Inquiry-driven scientific exploration
  • Social studies instruction rooted in the principles of world and American history
  • Smart use of technology within and outside of classroom walls
  • Engagement in a joyful and classical study of the liberal arts

For this reason, we support the higher-level thinking skills emphasized by the Common Core State Standards in concert with Next Generation Science Standards, Rhode Island’s Grade Span Expectations for Social Studies, and standards promulgated by the national associations for technology, physical education, the arts, and foreign language.

The next segment of this series focuses on mathematics instruction at BVP. We hope you will continue following! Engage with us through comments, questions, and shares, and please take this opportunity to shout out topics you’d like to see highlighted in future blogs.


About BVP's Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Team

Kate Crowe, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Ms. Crowe is originally from New England, a graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in English and Economics, as well as Master of Business Administration studies from Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. Ms. Crowe served as Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Schwartz Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona. There, she implemented research-based, assessment-driven school-wide academic standards, assessment, and curriculum, and mentored and assisted teachers to ensure student success. As a member of the Teacher Preparation, Support, and Development Institute team at Teach For America, Ms. Crowe managed the summer training and development of new corps members as School Director of Agua Fria High School. Launching The New Teacher Project's Arizona Teaching Fellows initiative, Ms. Crowe executed large, long-term strategic projects including new teacher training, school hiring initiatives, state policy lobbying, and district and school public relations. As a Teach For America corps member in Phoenix, Arizona, Ms. Crowe taught middle and high school English Language Arts and led her students toward dramatic levels of student achievement.

Drew Madden, Associate Director of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Mr. Madden was a charter member of Teach for America – Rhode Island and taught math at BVP Middle School before joining the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment team. He was raised in Holliston, Massachusetts and graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in Political Science and a focus in American Politics. While he was at Brown, he was on the executive board of the student government and was heavily involved in the theater community, working in various technical positions. 

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