Frequently Asked Questions about Scholars Academy
FAQ’s about Scholars Academy at Mt. Carmel
How does the program work?
Once a week the students in grades 1-8 who meet the criteria for the program are bused to Scholars Academy located at the former Mt. Carmel School for a full day of instruction. There are approximately 70-80 students daily attending Scholars Academy. The students eat breakfast and have their attendance taken at the home school. The students are bused back to their home school for dismissal.
What are the areas of study at Scholars Academy?
The instruction at Scholars Academy is project based. Students work on on-going in-depth study projects throughout the four classes they attend- Language Arts, Math, Science, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The projects are carefully designed by the Scholars Academy teachers to provide in-depth studies of a variety of content areas and involving the exploration of grade-level skills. The projects are inter-disciplinary.
What time do the students leave and return to their home school?
The bus arrives at the home school between 8:30-8:45 a.m. Students arrive at Scholars Academy around 9:00 a.m. and leave at 2:30 pm. They are bused back to their home school for dismissal.
What happens when students are late to school the day they go to Scholars Academy?
The district does not provide transportation for students who are late, however, their parent or guardian can bring the child to Scholars Academy once they check in at their home school. The child will be dismissed from Scholars Academy as usual with district transportation.
What days do the students go to Scholars Academy?
Are the students that attend Scholars Academy responsible for the class work they missed and the homework that was assigned that day?
Students are NOT required to make up any class work on the day they attend Scholars Academy, but ARE required to complete the assigned homework for that day.
Do the teachers at Scholars Academy assign homework to the students?
As students are working on long term and on-going in-depth study projects specific home work is not assigned, however, extension activities are provided for students which are posted on the teachers’ websites. It the expectation that students who attend Scholars Academy be provided the opportunity to explore their topics and projects between weekly sessions through the use of extension activities.
What if students miss a test that is given or a new topic is introduced on the day they attend Scholars Academy?
It is the expectation that tests or new topics are not introduced on Scholars Academy days. These days are used at home schools to provide time for more intensive reinforcement of skills taught.
Is there a way for other students to join as the year goes on?
Each year students who meet the criterion are eligible to attend Scholars Academy. Once a student is accepted they do not need to be recommended again the following year but must meet the ongoing Scholars Academy contract. The schedule for applying is as follows:
Can a student exit the Scholars Academy Program?
If the program does not meet the needs of the student, a meeting will occur between the Scholars Academy student, teachers, and administration. After careful consideration, if the program is not to the advantage of the student the parent/guardian will conference with the Scholars Academy team and the student to decide on the best academic situation for the student. Students must continue to maintain at least a B average in all classes at their home school to continue in the program. If academic grades begin to fall, a parent-teacher-administration meeting will occur in the best interest of the student’s academic success. Once a student exits the program, they will have to reapply should they want to be in the program again.
How are students graded at Scholars Academy?
A progress report from Scholars Academy is distributed twice a year: After the 2nd marking period and at the end of the year. Assessment is based on a rubric designed for a specific project and based on Common Core Standards. Students are expected to reflect on their learning process and include that information on their progress reports. Parent-teacher conferences are always available with Scholars Academy staff. Appointments are necessary to ensure the proper time and attention is given to the family.
How does communication work between the teachers at each home school and the teachers at Scholars Academy?
The Scholars Academy teachers have ongoing professional development with their colleagues throughout the district. Grade level skills taught at the home school are reinforced and expanded thought the in-depth study projects at Scholars Academy.
What is the administration of the Scholars Academy?
A full time Principal, Administrative Assistant, and Security Guard are assigned to the program. A floating nurse works directly with the program to provide any necessary medical support. At the district level, the program is under the oversight of the Department of Special Programs. A Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee consisting of parents, staff, administration, students, and community members collaborate in the best interest of the program.
Please visit the Scholars Academy website at www.orange.k12.nj.us/domain/1625 for more information