At the Dynamic Community Charter School, we believe students with developmental and intellectual disabilities can continue to grow and develop throughout middle and high school. They deserve an education that empowers them and unleashes their creativity and talents. Their education should equip them with the cognitive, problem-solving, and collaborative skills they will need in order to live independent and fulfilling lives as adults. They deserve to be challenged, encouraged, and given the opportunity to be active participants in the learning process. They deserve a school environment that is safe and respectful, where their opinions, personalities and talents are valued.
Overview of Our Educational Program
DCCS’s educational program is built around four pillars: Project-Based Learning, Competency-Based Grading, Collaborative Problem-Solving, and Teacher-Directed Programming.
Project-Based Learning – Each student at DCCS will have a customized education plan that addresses vital life skills – the ability to work with others, think for oneself, use knowledge acquired during previous experiences to solve problems, and deal with the unexpected. DCCS will use project-based learning to achieve these outcomes. Students will collaborate on projects, and their tasks within those projects will incorporate both academic and non-academic goals. Project-based learning will empower our students with the skills they need to live, work, and thrive in the unpredictable “real” world of higher education or the workplace.
Competency-Based Grading – The unique students of DCCS will have a wide range of strengths and needs. Many of them will have mastered certain subjects but fallen years behind in others. Our competency-based grading system will enable teachers, parents and students to gain a true and accurate understanding of the students’ abilities and will empower teachers to develop customized academic goals for students based on their current skills rather than their age-assigned grade level. Such a system ensures our students will not be left behind and will have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop.
Collaborative Problem-Solving – Perhaps the most important skills DCCS can help our students develop are those that enable them to deal with frustrations and negative emotions in appropriate and productive ways. Collaborative Problem-Solving is an approach to dealing with behavioral challenges developed by Harvard psychologist Dr. Ross Greene. Using CPS, teachers and parents will identify the lagging cognitive or communication skills contributing to a student’s behaviors and, in collaboration with the student, will develop a plan for helping the student learn those needed skills.
Teacher-Directed Programming – DCCS teachers will face a unique but exciting challenge—creating projects that teach academic and non-academic goals to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The only way they will be successful is to work together and use each other’s experiences and ideas to address challenges and create a school that truly empowers these students. For this reason, DCCS’s educational program will be teacher-directed. Lead teachers will oversee the development of projects and the fulfillment of students’ goals and will promote collaboration among teachers, specialists, and parents.