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In addition to preparing children to excel academically, Athlos Academy of St. Cloud also prepares students for lifelong success by focusing on health and performance character education. For students to succeed in academics, and in life, they need to be more than just academically adept, and that is why our unique three-pillar approach to education combines Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character.
Athlos has developed new role statements that outline how our school supports our students in pursuit of a high-quality education that will prepare them for the future, and our expectations of parents and educators in supporting student success through the use of the acronyms SERVE, LEAD, and STAND.
SERVE is an acronym that represents how Athlos Academy students serve. The mission of the Athlos SERVE program is to prepare students for success in a competitive future by focusing on the 21st Century skills essential for future career and life success, as well as continuing a focus on a whole-child approach to development. For each letter of the acronym SERVE, Athlos will provide supporting core and extra-curricular offerings to build fluency, skills, and knowledge in each area.
The “S” in SERVE stands for science, a field of study that plays a critical role in preparing students for college, career, and life. Science is also an avenue for which to teach technological literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. The Athlos SERVE program will offer students robust core offerings in the areas of science and digital literacy.
Athlos will focus on improving student outcomes in computer science education through teacher training and alignment to core competencies.
To support the growth of science skills and knowledge outside of core offerings, Athlos schools will host STEM Saturdays in partnership with local and national universities and organizations. These STEM Saturday events will be regularly scheduled and will focus on both the “S” (science) of SERVE and the “E” (engineering) of SERVE. More information on STEM Saturdays can be found under the “E – Engineering” section below.
The “E” in SERVE stands for engineering, a subject that allows students to apply what they are learning about both science and mathematics, enhancing learning through the practice of cross-curricular learning. By shaping engineering classroom activities around real-world technologies and application, students draw relevancies to their lives and future education and career goals.
Robotics and coding will be at the core of the Athlos course offering for students. Learning objectives taught in engineering courses will create pathways to prepare students for high school and higher education. The engineering element of the Athlos SERVE program will be essential in preparing students for futures in science, engineering, and technical careers.
STEM Saturdays will be offered to students regularly as the extra-curricular component of the engineering and science components of SERVE. These STEM Saturdays will take place with community partners who have expertise in science and engineering fields including local universities, aeronautical organizations, etc. Students will work with these partners on real-world application of content being learned in core classes.
The “R” in SERVE stands for recreation. This element focuses heavily on the already developed pillar of Healthy Body and an emphasis on movement, wellness, and developing a joy for living a healthy and active lifestyle. Because science shows a correlation between student physical activity and performance on standardized testing, Athlos prioritizes physical activity and health in school and beyond.
A core staple of the Athlos model, students participate in coach-led athletic movement classes at least four times per week. Outside of athletic movement, students participate in classroom movement breaks that reinforce subject matter learning, as well as scheduled free play times. Consistently engaging students in physical activity in school creates habits students will use to be active for life.
To encourage recreation outside of the classroom, student leadership members will take ownership of creating and implementing a service-learning project that will encompass both the “R” (recreation) of SERVE and the “V” (volunteerism) of SERVE. For more information on the service-learning project, see the “V – Volunteerism” section below.
The “V” in SERVE stands for volunteerism. Volunteering not only provides students with an opportunity to give back to their communities, but it also teaches them about social and societal issues outside of what they may encounter within the walls of the classroom.
As a vital element of the Athlos model, students learn to intentionally build on Performance Character traits like integrity, humility, and grit. Volunteering provides a platform for Athlos students to exhibit these traits and become active and engaged community members.
The Athlos SERVE program will incorporate service-learning projects into core subject areas, allowing students to apply first-hand the lessons being taught in the classroom. Capstone projects will be introduced in transitional grades.
Student leaders will play a central part in ideating, organizing, and implementing a service-learning project for middle-school students that incorporates both volunteerism and recreation. This student-led project will take place off campus and will meet requirements of being service-based and giving back to the community, as well as including an element of physical activity (i.e. park cleanup) and/or a focus on health and wellness.
The “E” in SERVE stands for entrepreneurship and will prepare students to think of business through the scope of creativity. Entrepreneurial studies provide students with opportunities to become creative problem solvers, leaders, effective team members, and to adapt to changing environments. Student entrepreneurs learn to identify and address challenges and opportunities.
In core classes and electives, Athlos will provide business education that will help hone students’ skills in entrepreneurship. Local and national business leaders and practitioners will be invited, both in person and virtually, into the classroom to share real-world application of business and entrepreneurship with students.
As an extra-curricular entrepreneurship offering, Athlos will partner with community and national organizations such as Junior Achievement and local businesses to provide off-campus, hands-on experience to students in the form of field trips, service learning and apprentice opportunities, and volunteerism.
At Athlos Academy, we believe scholars, families, and educators are all partners in the success of students and school. Athlos educators are held to a high standard and expected to serve as leaders to students, peers, and in their profession. To exemplify the role of the Athlos educator, we have developed the acronym LEAD.
Athlos educators are advocates for lifelong learning. They understand that there is no end goal in education attainment, but instead, everyone has the capacity to grow. In response, Athlos educators are always seeking ways to grow as educators and as people. Athlos educators are expected to take part in, and contribute to, personal learning communities (PLCs) and professional development regularly, as well as stand as models to students as advocates for a lifetime of learning.
Every Student Matters
Athlos educators believe in the abilities of every child, and that every child has the capacity to succeed academically. Thus, Athlos educators tailor instruction to meet the needs of every student, because every student matters. Students are supported throughout their education experience both in the classroom, schoolwide, and through intentional parent-school partnerships, to assure every student is afforded the opportunity to succeed.
Actions and Outcomes
At Athlos schools, actions and outcomes drive instruction and learning. Athlos educators understand that student outcome is directly tied to, and dependent upon, actions taken in the classroom to provide quality instruction as well as effective behavior management. Athlos educators use student outcomes to analyze and structure classroom practices.
At Athlos schools, data drives instruction and learning. Athlos educators participate in PLCs and professional development and thrive on information collected and shared during walkthroughs and evaluations. Athlos educators constantly and consistently collect and analyze student data to improve instruction, allowing teachers to be more responsive to students’ needs and students to be in charge of their own learning.
At Athlos Academy, families are expected to be partners in the education and growth of their children. As Athlos holds students and staff to high standards, we also see the essential role of the child’s family in their success in school. To exemplify this, we have developed the STAND language. The Athlos family stands beside, stands up for, stands with, and stands in support of their Athlos scholar.
The “S” in STAND represents the supportive nature of an Athlos family. Parents are expected to play a role of support in their scholar’s education and growth, always demonstrating a positive attitude about education and encouraging students to lean into their academic journey.
The “T” in STAND represents a partnership between classroom and home. Parents are expected to act as partners with their scholars’ educators, assuring school and home are working together for the best intent of the student. Intentional, two-way communication is vital to creating an effective teacher-parent partnership.
The “A” in STAND represents the active nature of the parents’ involvement in their scholars’ education. Active parents are not simply present, they are engaged in the process and outcome of their child’s experience in school. By staying apprised of what their scholar is learning in school, participating in the school community, and monitoring their child’s feelings about their education and progress, parents demonstrate their interest in student outcome and experience.
The “N” in STAND represents the parent/guardian role as a mentor to their child. The parent navigator both sets a good example through modeling and serves as a moral guide and compass for the student throughout their school experience.
The “D” in STAND represents the dedication of the parent in the child’s education. Dedicated parents are persistent and stand with their child through all difficulties and success they face in school. While a dedication involves providing a nurturing and caring environment for a child to thrive, it also represents a dedication to preparing students to be independent, learn from their mistakes, problem solve, and grow their own moral compass.