PVPA is a regional public charter school serving 400 students grades 7-12, from over 60 towns throughout Western Massachusetts. We seek to connect the creative process with critical thinking to inspire a love of learning. As a charter school, the work we do informs educational policy at local, state and national levels.
Department description here.
A couple of sentences about the department.
Our mission is to teach students to think, speak, and write mathematically. Embracing the mission of the school, we will foster a positive attitude towards mathematics and imbue students with an appreciation of its power, beauty and relevance.
The science department offers courses in major scientific fields of study including biology, ecology, chemistry, physics, engineering, astronomy, geology, and various other classes. The courses focus on developing problem-solving strategies through experimental and project-based activities and are considered laboratory sciences unless otherwise noted in the course description. Courses that are year-long include seventh grade science; eighth grade science; ninth grade science; biology; chemistry; and physics. Other courses may be year-long or semester-long. See the course descriptions for details.
Each course adheres to the Massachusetts Science and Engineering State Frameworks and prepares students for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests in grades 8 and 10. In the sophomore year of high school (grade 10) students take the Science and Technology/Engineering Exam as part of the MCAS test. The content of the exam reflects the course that the student is currently taking in the sophomore year. For example, a student taking biology in year 10 will take the biology MCAS exam in June of that academic year.
The goal of the language arts department is to help students develop critical thinking, an effective writing process, and strong skills in comprehension, interpretation, expression, and communication. To this end, we offer courses which integrate writing, the study of literature, and the exploration of themes relevant to our student body and to our times.
In grades 7 – 10, students take required year-long courses which allow them to practice and demonstrate specific skill sets according to grade level and individual need. These courses also prepare our students for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests in grades 7, 8, and 10 .
In grades 11 and 12, we offer students a series of one-semester electives for mixed age groupings. These courses prepare students for college level work and give them the opportunity to pursue individual interests and projects. See course catalogue for more complete details.
Our goal is to offer a core sequence of study in French, Spanish and American Sign Language which will help students develop a sense of confidence in using the language while laying groundwork for fluency. By using an integrated curriculum that challenges them to blend creative and critical thinking into their work, and that provides numerous options for student-directed learning, we hope to empower students to use all of the resources at their disposal to take responsibility for their own learning. We will guide students by using innovative forms of assessment that allow students to demonstrate competence and mastery through a variety of learning styles and modes of expression.