Meat and Potatoes
Class Size: Our ideal class will run from 18 to 24 students. There is a long running argument among teachers that the ideal classroom number is 24 because it’s divisible by 2, 3, and 4 for small groups and think-pair-sharing. We'll never have more than 24 students in a class.
Homework: There are many, many studies being released that homework is actually detrimental to a student's academic curiosity. We're of the feeling that a student shouldn't have homework and will be given ample time to complete all assignments during school hours. We'd prefer that outside school hours are spent on more personal extra-curricular activities. That said, if a student can't complete assignments during school hours, then they may need to finish it at home. Periodically, we may assign projects to be completed outside of class time.
Reading Lists: Every student is different. We've known sixth graders with collegiate level reading skills and eighth graders who struggle. Reading lists should be assigned based upon a reader's ability (not age or grade) and, hopefully, relevant to their interests. We'll be assigning books while giving students some autonomy over their reading list. Our books will be based more on current authors and works (for instance, assigning Into the Wild rather than Catcher in the Rye).
Matriculation into High School: Our plan is to begin offering high school grades in later years. This decision will mainly reside in student numbers. If the numbers are there, then Wildwood will serve 6th - 12th grades. If, for whatever reason, a student decides to go to another school, all their records will easily transferred. Wildwood students will be at math and reading levels (and, hopefully exceed them) of their public school counterparts.
Standardized Testing: We don't believe in standardized testing. We do, however, believe in teaching students "how to be students" by working with them on how to prepare and take tests; how to deal with academic pressures and setbacks; how to take notes during class; how to read for comprehension; the importance of study groups, and how to work with instructors.
Report Cards: Wildwood students will be assessed on a progress based continuum. Students will be encouraged to continue to grow as they gather skills. All work is scored using rubrics that are available to both students and parents. Rubrics use the number base system of 1 - 6 and are modeled on AP and IB scoring guides.
Parent Teacher Conferences: We're going to have informal, and formal, parent gatherings once a quarter. During this time, parents can not only discuss their child's performance, but also offer feedback on the school and share any ideas or concerns.