Vance Charter School Curriculum

As stated in the Vance Charter School Mission Statement and Beliefs, we provide a strong curriculum, based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, enriched with service learning and the Core Knowledge Sequence.

Our success is not measured by state mandated tests alone. We educate the “whole child”- academically, morally, and socially- while promoting an appreciation for diversity and fostering a mastery of life skills. Character education is an integral part of the curriculum, woven daily into lessons and reflected in behavior expectations. Teachers enhance student success by modeling critical and creative thinking skills; by providing a sound, vibrant curriculum; by utilizing innovative teaching strategies and by engaging in on-going assessment of student outcomes.

We value the pursuit of knowledge; the freedom to question; the chance to explore. Quality instruction is provided and protected at all times. Therefore, no one will be allowed to interrupt a teacher’s ability to teach or any student’s opportunity to learn.

Homework

Homework is assigned as an extension of lessons taught, a time for practice and review. It may also be given as preparation before a new area of instruction is introduced. A designated routine, revisiting the events of a school day, is one way to help students build good study habits and reinforce skills. It also keeps parents aware of ongoing studies in their child’s learning experience. Rest assured that homework will not be assigned in place of quality instruction nor given as busy work. Expect your child to have homework each night. In order to promote the growth of positive study habits, we encourage you to establish a specific place and set time for your child to do his/her homework. Parents may find it helpful to read over a lesson and talk about it with their child. He or she will appreciate your interest and assistance in reinforcing a positive learning experience.
*** Read with your child every night ***

Grading System

Chosen in accordance with our charter’s mission to set high academic standards for all students, the grading system for grades 3 through 8 is based on the following scale:

A 93-100
B 85-92
C 77-84
D 70-76
F Below 70

The grading period runs every nine-weeks, with two quarters per semester and a final year-end grade. Grades are calculated with measures from tests, quizzes, homework and daily assignments, along with student self- evaluations, portfolio assessments and long-term research projects.

In the primary grades, K-2 teachers design a report card with non-traditional markings at appropriate developmental levels. Each teacher will explain his or her grading policies to you and to your child.

Report Cards

Parents are required to pick up report cards from the Homeroom teacher after each nine-week grading period. Notice of conference times will be sent to parents, posted in the mall foyer and on the VCS website. If there are any unpaid accounts for lost books, Before or After School Program or any unserved detentions, a child’s report card will be held until all accounts are cleared. Since this is a part of our charter, failure to pick up a child’s report card during conference times will result in a parent conference with the school’s principal.

Conferences

We recognize Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences as a very important contact between home and the school. Conferences with parents are required at the end of every nine-week grading period. However, parents must feel free to schedule a conference with their child’s teacher any time there are questions or concerns about a student’s performance. Parents may call the school office and leave a message for the teacher or send the teacher an e-mail. Visitors may not drop-in for a conference during the protected instructional school day since teachers have student responsibilities at this time.

Below are a few helpful suggestions for you regarding a Parent-Teacher-Student conference:

  • Schedule conferences with advance notice.
  • Write down questions in advance. Take notes.
  • Ask your child if there is anything he or she would like to discuss. Determine if appropriate for him/her to attend.
  • If you have come with a concern, be certain you have had the chance to discuss the issue thoroughly before leaving.
  • Feel free to ask the teacher, Assistant Principal or Principal any question about your child and the school.

The Assistant Principal and Principal are always available to discuss parent concerns or clarify questions; however, parents need to follow the natural chain of command, first speaking with a child’s teacher before either administrator is contacted.

Protection of Instructional Time

CALLS to TEACHERS and ASSISTANTS: Teachers and assistants are unavailable for calls during the school day. Please leave a message with the office administrator.

STUDENT TELEPHONE CALLS: Only in an emergency will students be allowed to make or receive telephone calls during the instructional school day. Forgotten money, supplies, homework or projects are the responsibility of each student, not the parent, and are considered lessons in progress, not emergencies.

CELL PHONES: Students are not allowed to use cell phones anywhere on campus during the school day. They are allowed to have cell phones at school if turned off and secured in a locker, book-bag or purse. See Cell Phone Policy under Code of Conduct for consequences of misuse.

CLASSROOM DISRUPTION: Parents are not allowed to enter classrooms without prior arrangement made with a teacher or staff member. Classroom delivery of flowers, balloons, or other gifts for students will be refused.