Academic Excellence Not Compromised By Common Core

Elementary and secondary curricula in the U.S and the State of Florida have shifted heavily toward common core standards. As a private co-educational parish day school, St. Barnabas Episcopal School is free from any federal governmental interference and regulatory influence with regard to the selection and implementation of its curriculum and assessments. St. Barnabas Episcopal School is not aligning with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
At every level our teaching materials, student textbooks as well as other instructional and resource materials, have been selected to support the rigor necessary to fulfill the school’s philosophy and objectives. Although many of the publishers of our textbooks have moved towards offering to align our textbooks with the CCSS, our teachers do not refer to or rely upon the CCSS as a part of our curriculum. The textbooks are not the curriculum. Our student textbooks are one of many from a pool of resources used by our teachers to impart the curriculum. Our teachers synthesize and integrate the best from all available media–textbooks, videos, the Internet, etc.–to develop a lesson rich in information and creatively delivered to stimulate the students to seek, search, discover, wonder, and learn.

St. Barnabas students consistently score above national averages. This is only one of the proven outcomes of our curriculum. At the same time, students’ curiosity, inquiry, and a focus on high expectations also help shape the curriculum. We evaluate Student performance, skills development, and the acquisition of information through a variety of longstanding research based methods of direct observation, measurement tools, and benchmarks assessments. Our teachers continuously undergo direct observation and evaluation of their craft and delivery of the curriculum founded on best practices.

Research on brain-based learning principles continues to reveal more about how students learn effectively. Our teachers stay attuned to such research findings. They are excited and involved in all aspects of student life by utilizing strategies such as cooperative learning, high-level critical thinking skills, multiple intelligences, integrated curriculum, and an emphasis on character development and servant leadership.

SBES combines the best in academics with social, emotional, and physical well being. Students develop the skills, knowledge, faith, virtue, and love of learning they need to prosper in high school and in their lives as children of God. SBES has been accredited every five years by the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) since becoming a member since 1972. SBES has joined the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), making it the first private school in Volusia County to do so. For more information about the value of an FCIS accreditation click here and to learn more about NAIS click here.

I welcome the opportunity to meet with those who are interested to dialogue further about our curriculum. Please join me this Thursday at 7:00 PM, immediately following the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in Harwood.

Thank you to the many parents and families who seek a private school education based upon uncompromising faith, virtue, and excellence.

Paul Garcia
Head of School

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