The goal of IDEA Academy schools is to prepare students for success in our rigorous College Prep environment beginning in 6th grade. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, IDEA Public Schools has restructured the elementary school program into a new academic program called BetterIDEA.
BetterIDEA (Level 2)
BetterIDEA is made up of two components: the new core curriculum and the hybrid-learning component that provides individualized learning for all students.
New Core Curriculum (Level 3)
Direct Instruction (DI) powers IDEA’s new core curriculum. DI is a model that emphasizes carefully-planned lessons focused on learning in small increments. It also focuses instruction around clearly-defined teaching tasks. DI is based on the theory that by using clear instruction and teaching to mastery, teachers can accelerate learning for all students – high performers as well students with learning disabilities.
Using the DI approach, students are placed in flexible, homogeneous groups for reading, language, and math. Students are expected to score 90% or higher on daily and weekly assessments. Skills are taught in a way that builds upon previous learning; 85% of each lesson reviews previously taught skills and 15% of instruction is introducing new skills. Students advance through the program only after they have demonstrated mastery of the concepts. Students who show exceptional progress can fast-cycle through lessons if they show continued mastery of concepts. Students are individually assessed every five to 10 lessons, and their progress is meticulously tracked by the teacher.
Hybrid-Learning Component (Level 3)
The hybrid-learning component of our BetterIDEA program consists of two elements focused on delivering a rigorous individualized learning experience for each student:
- Our iLearning Hotspots [link to more detail] on each campus allow students to work with adaptive math software that uses algorithms to develop a unique learning path and pace tailored to each student.
- Our Accelerated Reader (AR) Zones [link to more detail] are spaces on each campus that promote a culture of reading to help our students unlock the world of opportunity and equip themselves for a lifetime of learning and enjoyment. Using the AR computer program, teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. The software allows children to choose books at their reading level and then pace themselves in pursuit of their reading goals.