We start the morning with the option of Tai Chi exercise. Each morning, students check in with their advisory teachers, whom they may stay with all four years to partner with a caring adult who knows their goals and needs. We then go to Bible Study in the black box theater. Different Bible leaders stress the importance of morals and values to guide us in our daily lives.
On Monday mornings, unlike regular class times, students stay in Advisory. This is a time for team building, conflict resolution, games, community work, conferencing, goal setting, self-concept development, fieldwork, and portfolio progress and completion. Seniors during this time work on their senior projects and portfolios together in groups.
A consistent schedule the rest of the week is followed for History/English known as HILI, and Math/Science known as MASC. Subject matter is learned through direct instruction as well as project based learning. Project based learning is planned and practiced so that the students can navigate the process. It builds teamwork, creative problem solving, research skills, subject knowledge, organization, presentation skills, and the ability to respond to unexpected events. Centers and warm ups are used for independent student work, practice of skills and building of independence and cooperation. Students know what “I Cans” or standards they are working on, and can see the results of their work, effort and progress. Students may be placed into Intensives in the afternoon for reading, writing and math, and are part of our daily routine to ensure that all students’ individual needs are met.
The students choose electives. Choices are in the visual arts, performing arts, foreign language, advanced math, writing, speech and debate, environmental science and sports/PE. Detailed elective titles are discussed under the electives tab on the TFA website.
The students have procedures that are followed for all activities and transitions such as entering the classroom, going to the restroom, cleaning up, dismissal and so on. Each class has these procedures posted, explained and practiced. The students know and understand the workplace standards and the expectations connected to them. These too are posted and reviewed for progress. All students are required to keep a planner and share it with their parents. Daily homework of reading for 30 minutes and keeping a reading log is required.
Portfolios are the basis by which progress is cumulatively evidenced. The portfolio is developed throughout the year and has student work and reflections that demonstrate the essential skills, “I Cans”, and senior expectations that were learned and demonstrated. The student shares the portfolio and report card progress with parents during student led conferences, which occur every marking period.
Each teacher has an Edline account, which is for on line communication with families and is also where the school newsletter is posted. Updates and news are also on the school website. Parents are expected get their access code to participate in Edline.
Performances, festivals, exhibitions and picnics are part of our tradition. The dates are in the school planner, on Edline and on the school web site. These activities are an integral part of the education at TFA, and parents are invited especially during these events to participate fully in the students’ learning experiences.