Academics

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The achievement gap – the difference in academic performance between high and low income students– is wider in Connecticut than any other state in the country. New Beginnings Family Academy relentlessly hammers away at this socio-economic educational inequity by ensuring academic success and building character in every student. NBFA’s focus on student achievement includes: 

SMALL CLASS SIZE
NBFA classrooms will have an average of 19 students and two adults per class in grades pre-K to 6. There will be 1.5 adults for 7th and 8th grade classes.

INTEGRATED THEMATIC INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACH
Teaching is approached through a central concept that unifies all the disciplines. This is a creative and exciting approach for learners as it enables them to notice connections between various subjects. Learning, therefore, becomes a continuous process that extends beyond textbooks or prescribed curricula.

PROJECT BASED LEARNING
Through this approach, emphasis is placed on both the process and product that represents learning as students are asked to apply learnt knowledge by problem solving, analyzing, researching, and creating artifacts.

DATA DRIVEN INSTRUCTION
NBFA administers student assessments to create skill-appropriate instructional groups, inform classroom instruction and identify areas for professional development.

STRETCH ACADEMY

The
STRETCH after-school program meets the diverse recreational, educational and social needs of our students by providing students and their families with choice.  New Beginnings Family Academy has partnered with 4 local enrichment centers (Shehan, Boys & Girls Club, McGivney and YMCA) that provide extended recreational and learning experiences to our students during the after-school hours. At the completion of each full school day, students from K to 8th grade are bused to a center of their choice and that meets each family’s individual needs. 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
NBFA provides teachers and leaders with ongoing, frequent training to support enhanced student learning.

UNIFIED ARTS

Music
Music at NBFA is interwoven with curriculum in all grades reflecting the school’s mission to integrate instruction. As a result, music instruction not only fosters an appreciation, but also helps students grasp and/or express their understanding of core disciplines. Whole and small group instruction provides students with rich, relevant experiences in music literacy, expression and creativity. Hence, as students progress through their academic career at NBFA they explore the fundamentals of producing sound, rhythm and beats. Pre-K to 6th grade students receive weekly in class instruction and music electives in band, orchestra, or chorus is open to students in grades 4-8.

Visual Arts
NBFA visual arts program celebrates individuality, imagination and each child’s artistic potential. Art instruction includes drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, etc.  Through an integrated lens, art instruction complements, reinforces, and/or expresses the big ideas and themes of the core and unified arts disciplines.  As a result, the art teacher collaborates on and works alongside the teachers in planning projects, fieldtrips, performances and guest appearances.  

Movement
Students in grades 1-3 take part in a weekly movement class as a part of NBFA’s overall health and wellness mission. The class develops coordination skills while enhancing harmony of mind, body, and spirit. In Movement class, children dance, tap and skip to music as they display a response to rhythm through choreographed or spontaneous motion.  Guided by an instructor, the children learn to move in unison or with spontaneity to selected musical pieces centered on the core disciplines big ideas and/or themes.

PE
Physical education is an integral part of the general education program at NBFA as it contributes to the wellness growth and development of each student, primarily through movement experiences. PE classes at NBFA emphasize fitness, coordination, teamwork and sportsmanship.   Weekly, students in grades K-8, take part in exercises and games that encourages and provides opportunities to improve their overall fitness
.

Sample Academic Day – Integrated Schedule

Morning Meeting (Class sing, etc.)

Focused Instruction

Work Stations

Enrichment

Specials

Lunch

Recess

Focused Instruction

Work Stations

Closing Circle