Vision & Mission
• Grades K-8 (K-6 in 2023, K-7 in 2024, K-8 2025)
• Located at The Hub, owned and operated by Lifeline Youth Ministries (2721 Prairie St. Elkhart)
When our community focus group assembled to discuss the state of education in our region, we created a profile of a graduate at each major educational transition. It wasn’t surprising that the group of business leaders, civic leaders, and educators in the room outlined the 21st century skills that are integral to workplace and career success.
The focus group wants students leaving 8th grade (the culminating grade level of our school model) to pursue excellence, to be critical thinkers, to be confident collaborators, to be creative problem-solvers, to have grit, to demonstrate resilience, to have solid academic skills, and to be excellent communicators.
Most of these goals can’t be measured in a test score, nor can they be taught in a traditional classroom setting. The Premier Arts Academy’s teaching philosophy combines strategies such as arts integration, challenge-based learning, and small group instruction for every student everyday that are proven to benefit children, improve outcomes, and cultivate 21st century skills.
Arts integration is an approach where content standards are taught and assessed through the arts. A content standard is chosen along with an arts standard, both are taught throughout the lesson, and both are assessed equally via a rubric. This is one of the ways we will measure academic and artistic growth.
Challenge Based Learning
During the daily PA Academy “Challenge Hour” multi-age cohorts of students will tackle multi-disciplinary long-term projects. Apple Inc. worked with teachers and leaders in the education community to develop Challenge Based Learning (CBL), an engaging, multidisciplinary approach that starts with standards based content and lets students leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve complex, real-world problems.
CBL is a Collaborative Learning Experience in which teachers and students work together to learn about compelling issues, propose solutions to real problems, and most importantly take action. The Challenge Hour projects will have multiple benchmarks, checkpoints, and rubrics that help the teacher to mentor and challenge their students toward measurable growth in each of these skills.
Small Group Instruction
The PA Academy intends to make sure all students get what they need from academic support to extended enrichment through an “all hands on deck” small group approach. All-school academic break-out groups for both literacy and math are already built into our daily schedule and will allow students to get the enrichment or extra support they require for success in the classroom and content standard mastery. Every day students will be grouped by skill level for a 30 minute book club and a 30 minute math group for targeted work on the skills they need most. In some cases, this will mean filling in gaps and reteaching content from the general classroom. In many cases this will be an extension of classroom concepts and a pushing forward to challenge what they’ve learned. For our high-ability students this time will be filled with extension and enrichment activities. Every teacher, paraprofessional, and administrator in the building will be responsible for leading a small group adding to the feeling of collective responsibility for the success of all students in the building.