Prepared Mind Pillar

The Athlos Academic Program

The Prepared Mind Pillar at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud is centered on academic programs that will prime students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills they need to excel.

Our teachers use instructional strategies that promote curiosity, collaboration, and a culture of positivity. We believe having a Prepared Mind is as much about learning how to learn and succeed as it is about academic knowledge.

Subject Areas

The curriculum provides opportunities for students to construct meaningful connections and deeper understanding of core content.

K–5 Literacy: ReadyGen

ReadyGEN is an integrated and well-balanced approach to reading and writing instruction for Grades K-6 classrooms. Authentic texts with modeling and teacher-directed activities drive learning and motivate readers. Students read authentic literary and informational texts. Instruction focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening in response to authentic texts.

Curriculum Support:


6–8 English Language Arts: MyPerspectives

myPerspectives is a brand new English language arts curriculum for Grades 6–12 that values the perspective of the learner, collectively and individually, and provides next-gen learning experiences that promote higher achievement and develop the competencies needed for college and career readiness. Interactive learning blends print and technology in a student-centered, teacher-inspired classroom. This dynamic Pearson program creates an interactive, engaging, and relevant learning environment through readings, meaningful activities, and purposeful performance tasks. myPerspectives encourages social collaboration as well as student ownership of learning through goal setting, choice, and reflection.

Curriculum Support:


Additional Literacy Resources:

K–5 Math: Bridges

What does it mean to have mathematical literacy? It means that a student understands the important role math has in the world and becomes a citizen who can make informed decisions. Developing mathematical literacy begins with building mathematical thinkers, which is at the core of the Bridges math program used at Athlos Academy.

Bridges promotes a deeper understanding of math concepts, proficiency and fluency with computational skills, and the ability to reason and persevere through complex problems. Its approach blends direct instruction along with investigation and exploration using contexts and real world connections. The program presents information supported by a progression of learning: kinesthetic materials, powerful visual images, and symbolic notation. Pressed to make connections within the strategies and models, students develop a rich cognitive framework for the structure of mathematics.

Curriculum Support:


6–8 Math: CPM

On a daily basis, students using CPM Core Connections employ problem solving strategies, question, investigate, analyze critically, gather and construct evidence, and communicate rigorous arguments to justify their thinking. With the CPM instructional materials, students can tackle mathematical ideas set in everyday contexts to help them make sense of otherwise abstract principles. Students are taught how to gather and organize information about problems, break problems into smaller parts, and look for patterns that lead to solutions. Students often learn in collaboration with others, sharing information, expertise, and ideas.

While students are solving complex mathematical problems, they are communicating their thinking and understanding, both formally and informally, whether they are writing or speaking out loud. Communication helps to clarify students’ thinking, prepares them for sharing their ideas in professional settings, and formal or informal feedback that allows for revision. Communication lets teachers and peers assess students’ thinking and depth of understanding. In turn, all students get the chance to improve the quality of their work.

Curriculum Support:


Additional Math Resources:

Science (all grades)

The science program at Athlos Academy follows the three-dimensional Framework For K-12 Science Education (2012) laid out in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This research-based framework shifts science instruction away from the memorization of facts to a hands-on approach where students learn to think critically, practice science and engineering practices, and make connections to other content areas and the real world. Teaching with the K-12 Framework helps us prepare Athlos students for 21st century jobs and challenges by bringing together the three dimensions of science education: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts.

Athlos Academy’s teachers use a variety of standards-based resources to teach science. These include lessons or units published by the National Science Teachers Association, National Geographic, NASA, or other scientific organizations; resources written and published by other science teachers across the U.S.; and science teaching kits, such as FOSS (Full Operation Science SystemTM).

Whenever possible, teachers integrate the practice of Performance Character traits and connections to the Healthy Body pillar into science lessons.

Links to learn more:

Social Studies

The social studies program is founded on the idea that developing civic competence is the basis for full participation in a democratic society. Aligned to state standards, Athlos Academy uses units framed by central topics such as family, community, and citizenship. Deeper investigations into pivotal historic events and eras such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the settlement of Minnesota will cultivate historical inquiry skills and an appreciation for our past. Students will consistently make connections to modern day global issues.

Beginning with guiding questions and essential understandings, the units include activities to pique curiosity and spark excitement. Throughout the grade levels, there are intentional connections made to Performance Character traits rooted in the deeds and words of significant historical and modern figures.

The fine arts curriculum includes visual arts and music exploration integrated thematically with other curriculum content. Students participate in two fine arts sessions each week.

Grading Practices

Learn about standards-based grading and other avenues used at Athlos Academy to track and share student progress.

Reading, Writing, Math: Developing Confident Problem Solvers

In the Athlos academics curriculum, when it comes to reading, writing, and math, it’s more than what students learn, but how they learn, comprehend, and apply their newfound knowledge to real-world problems.

Six Tips on Helping Your Student Develop a Growth Mindset Through Praise

Recent studies indicate that how parents and educators give praise or reward for a student’s success can have a direct effect on their mindset.

Student-Led Conferences: Helping Children Lead

At Athlos Academy, student-led conferences take the place of traditional parent-teacher conferences. These conferences help students take ownership of their learning as they honestly reflect on their progress, discuss their successes and challenges, and set goals for the future.

The Impact of Active, Student-Centered Classrooms on Student Success

At Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, we find it essential that classrooms are active and student-centered. Physical activity enhances the ability to learn, and students who are engaged are more excited to learn and more willing to take ownership of their learning.

Assessments

In order to improve instruction and allow for data-driven decision-making, Athlos Academy of St. Cloud conducts interim assessments using assessments aligned to Minnesota’s academic standards and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). The results of these assessments are used to inform classroom instruction and identify supports needed for individual students.

FAST Assessments

Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) is used as universal screening assessments for all Minnesota students in kindergarten through grade 8 in order to assess students’ broad reading and math skills.

FAST Reading Assessments

FAST earlyReading

  • Kindergarten
  • One-on-one administration
  • Learn more

FAST aReading

FAST Math Assessments

FAST earlyMath

  • Kindergarten
  • One-on-one administration
  • Learn more

FAST aMath

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards. These tests are requirements of the state of Minnesota.

Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility requirements may take the alternate assessment Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) instead.

MCA Reading Assessments
  • Grades 3–8
  • Online or paper-based formats
  • Adaptive test
MCA Math Assessments
  • Grades 3–8
  • Online or paper-based formats
  • Adaptive test
MCA Science Assessments
  • Gades 5 and 8
  • Online or paper-based formats
  • Test is linear (same for each student)
Links to learn more

English Language Proficiency Assessments

At Athlos, ACCESS is administered to K–8 students who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It’s given annually to monitor students’ progress in learning academic English. WIDA’s five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards: Social & Instructional Language, Language of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and test forms are divided into five grade-level clusters (testing grades 1–8).

ACCESS
  • Paper-based and online formats for grades 1–8
  • Paper-based format for kindergarten
  • Learn more
Alternate ACCESS
Links to learn more

Quarter 1

September 4 – November 6, 2019

Quarter 3

January 18 – March 28, 2019

2018–2019 Assessment Calendar

In addition to the assessments outlined below by quarter, each grade level has ongoing, year-long assessments in content and subject areas such as reading, math, science, and social studies.

Frye Words (assessed monthly)

  • Kindergarten: 0–50
  • 1st grade: 51–150
  • 2nd grade: 151–250

Quarter 1

September 4 – November 6, 2019

Quarter 2

November 7 – January 17, 2019

Quarter 3

January 18 – March 28, 2019

See Assessments for English Language Learners.

Quarter 4

March 29 – May 30, 2019