EDUPRIZE

21 Mar, 2014

Background

EDUPRIZE Schools is an A+ award winning charter school system founded in 1995, with two campuses in Phoenix, AZ. Twelve percent of EDUPRIZE’s student population receives Special Education services.   Students with Disabilities outperformed 96% of their peers in all other charters in the state of AZ in Language Arts.  They also outperformed their peers in Math by 85%.

EDUPRIZE Schools, was designed with a clear vision for a public charter school that was different from all others not only in the state but across the country.  Students with disabilities were included in the mission and philosophy of the school’s founders, from the very beginning.  The priority was to focus on the individual needs of all students by motivating and engaging students through hands-on experiences.

The EDUPRIZE mission is to provide educational excellence through the use of multiple modality instruction and a strong differentiated curriculum. Students are exposed to outdoor learning spaces called Live Learning Labs that allow imagination to meet with the scientific process.  Hands-on activities have been highly successful strategies used to motivate and engage students with special needs.

EDUPRIZE is built on several pillars of learning including:

  • Access to curriculum through hands-on experiences
  • Focus on science through thematic unites called Cottages
  • Integration of technology as a learning support and instructional aide
  • Differentiation of all instruction to meet individual student needs

Awards and Recognition

EDUPRIZE was the first charter school in the state to receive A+ recognition.  In 2014 it received the State of Arizona Innovation Award for the implementation of the iReady program.  In 2010, Co-founder, Dr. Lynne Robershotte was named the Charter Leader of the Year by the Arizona Charter Schools Association.  The Gilbert Campus of EDUPRIZE Schools is the only charter receiving an A+ rating from the Arizona Educational Foundation and is a model for charters across the country.

Achievement

EDUPRIZE schools utilize a unique hands-on approach to learning through a fully integrated science curriculum.  The majority of students perform well on state standardized measures, including the special education population.  In Math, especially, Students with Disabilities (SWDs) have improved performance on the state assessments every year.  They performed better than 96% of special education students in all other charters in the state in English Language Arts and 85% better than their counterparts in Math.  Special Education students receive positive behavioral support, interventions, and strategies to address behavior that impedes the student’s learning. EDUPRIZE’s  students consistently outperform their peers. In 2013, students achieved in the 88 percentile in Math and the 92 percentile in Reading.

Instructional Approach

All of the learning and instruction at Edu-Prize falls under the umbrella of their science-based themes.  They have given a unique spin to the traditional STEM focus and added Arts and Economics to make their focus STEAM.   At EduPrize, science-based thematic units are called cottages.  Special needs’ students have access to this curriculum through live learning labs.  Through a tiered-approach that relies on highly-qualified and certified instructional staff, EDUPRIZE provides services to its SWDs in three settings:

  1. Inclusion Support (Reading, Writing, Math, Behavior)
  2. Resource Support  (Reading, Writing, Math, Social Skills, Speech and Language, Counseling (Psychologist), Occupational Therapy
  3. Extended Day Resource Support (All areas of the curriculum, as well as therapies as above)

For more information visit the school website: http://www.eduprizeschools.net/

Focus Area I: Technology Integration

Focus Area II: Application of Learning

Focus Area III: Individualized Learning

Tools and Resources

Image IconDOVE Description
Sample introductory excerpt that describes the shared responsibility between regular and special education teachers.

Image IconThird Grade ELA Curriculum Map
Excerpt from 3rd grade curriculum demonstrating strong alignment between standards, curriculum and instructional strategies including integration of technology and opportunities for differentiation..

Image IconFifth Grade Math Curriculum Map
Excerpt from 5th grade curriculum demonstrating alignment between state standards and curriculum with opportunities for enrichment and reteaching as needed. s.

Image IconFourth Grade Curriculum and Technology Map
Excerpt from 4th grade curriculum containing an inventory of technology devices and programs used to enhance the lessons.

5th Grade Cottage Links
Outline for 5th grade science-based thematic units (Cottages) including links to external resources used to facilitate the 9-week themes.

Thematic Cottages
Graphic organizer of each grade-level science-based thematic unit (Cottage).

School Parent Compact
Parent-school compact outlining shared responsibilities of each party in students’ learning including the expectations for families to volunteer at school up to 80 hours per school year.

Student Support Team Referral
Sample of student questionnaire for identifying students to be referred to the student support team for academic or behavioral support.

Flow Chart Special Education Services
Description of the continuous flow of services and support for students referred to student support team through RTI or teacher observation all the way to identification and IEP development.

Image IconExtended Day Resource (EDR) Program
Brief description of the EDURPRIZE’s Extended Day Resource Program which provides intensive support for students with more severe behavioral needs.

Image IconSample Differentiated Reading Lesson
Sample weekly teacher lesson plan used for differentiating materials and instructional strategies for reading lessons.

Image IconSocial Skills Program
Excerpt from the in-house Social Skills Program developed by EDUPRIZE that provides lessons in social interactions through role play, journals and targeted conversations.