Who We Are: Novice, Apprentice, Scholar, Master

Who We Are: Novice, Apprentice, Scholar, Master

The old way of grouping students together into grades just because they are the same age has resulted in far too many students struggling to keep up with their peers and giving up on themselves. Other students are bored because they have already mastered the material and are now trying to entertain themselves.

ARCHES Academy is a new approach to education. Our focus is on the needs of individual students. We group our K-8 students according to their demonstrated ability in each content area, and how developmentally appropriate that placement is. Our students move ahead, or advance, based on a strong foundation of academic performance. All at their own pace! We are:

Novices - Kindergarten and 1st grade

Apprentices -- 2nd and 3rd grades

Scholars -- 4th and 5th grades

Masters -- 6th- 8th grades

Our commitment is to help each K-8 learner achieve mastery of the standards by use of authentic learning experiences, coaching and mentoring, freedom of choice, and personal responsibility. This results in students getting the instruction they need in each subject. We also track student progress carefully so we can move students forward as soon as they are able, allowing students to progress at their own pace.

We have seen our methods produce outstanding individuals who not only have acquired exceptional literacy in the arts and sciences, but mastery over self and true leadership ability.

Children sitting in a circle with teacher

Our Methods

A tremendous amount of research has been done over the last decades into how children learn and how the brain works. This research has informed a lot of what we call “best practices” within the field of education. Many schools pick up on one or two of these and base a curriculum around them. But the best results come when we put them all into practice at once. We take it as a challenge to include as many of these into each lesson as possible. ARCHES Academy has carefully chosen our Methods in order to have the best possible outcomes for all of our students. Here are 2 examples of our dynamic and holistic Methods:

Experiential Learning

People learn by doing. There are multiple ways to learn, but experiencing for yourself -- is the most powerful, memorable way to learn and retain. To engage students in learning is to find a way to immerse them in it.

Repeatedly, research shows that lack of experiences is one of the most limiting factors for low-income students. Impacting every subject, including vocabulary-building, we want to change the paradigm and create experiences and exposure for every student.

ARCHES Academy’s task-based curriculum maximizes experiential, hands-on learning and immerses students in real-world, powerful knowledge building. Happening inside and outside the classroom and in our larger community, these shared experiences are the basis for achieving mastery of standards. They also build life-long friendships and a love for learning.

Cooperative Learning

Research has also shown that cooperative learning models are highly-effective in helping students acquire skills. The ARCHES Academy task-based curriculum offers students of all ages many opportunities to work in small groups to accomplish something real and meaningful.

This approach gives each member of a small group the opportunity to build on strengths and improve weakness, while practicing how to build and work within teams and exercise leadership qualities.

Cooperative learning ensures engagement, as team members rely on one another to complete the task and everyone has a part to play -- something to work on. No one is watching as one, out of twenty or more, takes a turn. This model assures far more time-on-task for each student.

Self-paced Mastery

Our students advance when mastery is attained. We consider 80% achievement to be the minimum score to indicate mastery and we provide teaching and coaching until students achieve at this level - no matter how long that takes.

This self-paced approach to mastery is highly valued by both teachers and students because of how engaging it is for learners. Those who need more time -- have it! Students who are ready to move on for more challenges do so. We are a small nimble public school supporting each learner for the unique student and personality they are!

We recognize participation, encourage ongoing effort and celebrate milestones. Our methods boost student engagement, reinforce desired behaviors, and foster good citizenship.

ARCHES Academy is enrolling K-8 at our tuition-free public charter school in Apache Junction, now. Join us!

About ARCHES Academy

Our commitment is to help each K-8 learner achieve mastery of the standards by use of authentic learning experiences, coaching and mentoring, freedom of choice, and personal responsibility. At ARCHES Academy, our educational approach produces outstanding individuals who not only have acquired exceptional literacy in the arts and sciences, but mastery over self and true leadership ability. ARCHES is growing! Enrolling K-8 tuition-free today!