Good Foundations Academy integrates Core Knowledge, Singapore Math, and Character Education in a skillfully woven curricular program. Teachers receive ongoing training in all major curriculum components and support each other in a spirit of collegial partnership.
It is GFA’s goal to provide a superior educational experience for our students. Our teaching model is based on the work of E.D. Hirsch, Jr., the founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation. Dr. Hirsch says:
In the best classrooms, the social atmosphere was warm and supportive, but at the same time businesslike and focused on the job at hand…In the best classes, the teacher was respectful to the students but demanded good discipline as well as hard work.” (E.D. Hirsch, Jr., “The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them”, p. 167)
In our classrooms, you will see a variety of activities and teaching strategies. You will see students participating in choral response, group discussions, and independent work. You will see flash cards for math and phonics, drill and practice in handwriting and spelling, and multiple choice tests. You will also see creative projects for History and Science, students reciting the Gettysburg Address or a favorite poem, and community service projects. Our lessons in Core Knowledge are integrated with our character development. When you walk the halls of our school, you will see student work on display. Our students take pride in displaying their best work on the walls.
At GFA, our goal is to provide a rich and balanced educational opportunity for all students. High standards are at the heart of our expectations, although we recognize every student has unique abilities, interests, and motivations. Our teachers teach for mastery of grade-level material, introducing new words and concepts daily in math, history, science and literature. As Dr. Hirsch states in his new book, The Making of Americans, “With a slow, tenacious buildup of knowledge and vocabulary in elementary school, high school will almost take care of itself” (page 167). It is our goal that every child who successfully graduates from Good Foundations Academy will be prepared and motivated to succeed in high school and attend the college of his/her choice.
Utah adopted the Common Core Standards in 2010, joining over 40 states in the USA who will now share a common set of benchmarks and educational goals. E. D. Hirsch, Jr., the founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation, participated in the development of the Common Core Standards.
At GFA, we believe that our curriculum is well-aligned with the new standards in Math and English/Language Arts. We believe that Core Knowledge, Singapore Math, and our work with great literature will prepare our students to exceed the standards at every level.
Our teachers are analyzing the results of the first SAGE tests last spring, which are aligned with the new Utah Common Core Standards. All public schools will be measured against this standard in the coming years. Good Foundations Academy is working to understand the new assessments and align our curriculum to allow our students to effectively demonstrate their academic achievement.
GFA participates in all state-required assessments. Students in grades K-3 are assessed in reading with DIBELS. Students in grades K-2 are assessed with the NWEA MAP for Primary Grades. More information is available on the NWEA web site: www.nwea.org. Students in grades 3-6 participate in SAGE for Reading, Math, and Science. More information on SAGE tests may be found at www.sageportal.org GFA teachers are trained in using this data to improve instruction and identify areas for growth with individual students.