ACADEMICS

Academics are an important part of every student's day at The Lead School. All students, elementary through high school, are actively engaged in reading, math, science and social studies every day according to the standards set by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Lead School recognizes, however, that our students are non traditional learners and therefore, they require a non traditional teaching approach. As a result, our teaching philosophy emphasizes hands-on, project based, experimental learning. If a subject can be taught through a game or a lab or a project, for example, oui teachers will choose those options. Teachers use a wide variety of resources, from commercial textbooks to teacher-created materials. They also address their students' individual learning styles and incorporate technology when possible. Most importants, our teachers truly believe their students can lean, an attitude that promotes self-confidence and positive self-esteem.

Technology is also an important part of our learning environment. The Lead School is currently a 1:1 school, meaning each student has access to their own chromebook. Students use their chromebooks to type papers, research subjects and submit some assessments. The Lead School utilizes Google Classroom as a way for teachers to post assignments and communicate with their students. Each classroom is equipped with a smart projector allowing the board to become interactive. 

 

Brain Breaks

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A brain break is a short period of time when we change up the dull routine of incoming information that arrives via predictable, tedious, well-worn roadways.

 

Our brains are wired for novelty because we pay attention to any and every stimulus in our environment that feels threatening or out of the ordinary.

 

 

This has always been a wonderful advantage because our survival as a species depended on this aspect of brain development.

When we take a brain break, it refreshes our thinking and helps us discover another solution to a problem or see a situation through a different lens. 

Brain breaks look different every day. However, one aspect always stays the same. Students who have completed their work, are able to take a break after every class period. These breaks are often taken outside. Students have the opportunity to play, often with other classes. This not only gives them a brain break, but provides the chance to socialize with other students.

Curriculum

The Lead School follows the Missouri Learning Standards approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. We consult with our contracted districts and choose similar commercial curriculum. Our elementary teachers are trained to use the S.P.I.R.E. intensive reading program in order to provide our youngest learners with much needed foundational reading skills.

Teachers use a variety of supplementary materials in order to differentiate instruction. Science labs, hand-on projects, STEM activities, project based learning, cooking, and art are among the many ways teachers lift learning off the worksheet and into real life. 

High School

High School teachers deliver instruction in Pre Algebra, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Statistics, Economics, and Consumer Math, English I-IV, World History, Geography, American History, Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Astronomy and Environmental Science. Electives are also offered, with their content driven by student interest and need.

Essentials Skills

Our Essential Skills classroom supports middle and high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This program provides specially designed instruction, as appropriate, in the areas of functional and basic academic skills, social skills, communication skills and leisure skills. Students learn literacy and math skills at their instructional level, consistent with their IEP goals.

The Lead School uses a curriculum developed by our faculty, which blends academics, vocational, social, and life skills into real world activities and situations. The overarching goal of this curriculum is to foster independence, autonomy, and self-regulation to the extent that students are prepared for life after high school.

The Essential Skills teacher meets with every student's family before enrollment to answer a comprehensive questionnaire about their child in order to create an individual learning plan consistent with the student's IEP goals and individual needs.