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Welcome to Stepstone Academy

Stepstone Academy works collaboratively with families to ensure our school is a welcoming and supportive place where students feel safe to learn and grow. Stepstone scholars are expected to meet high expectations for academic achievement and behavior to provide an environment that ensures all students develop a sense of worth, ambition, personal responsibility, civic engagement and a “no excuses” attitude. We know that every student is different and we personalize learning based on a student’s needs, skills, and interests.

Stepstone Academy is more than just a school. We believe it is important to build a supportive learning environment. The school has identified a group of people whose roles are defined by the form of their participation, interactions and relationships within the school. This group, called “Community of Learning,” is composed of the Stepstone Academy Board of Directors and faculty, as well as scholars and parents of the school.

Stepstone Academy is a tuition-free, public charter schools open to all students. When parent demand exceeds enrollment capacity, students are admitted based upon a lottery. Enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year is currently open. If you wish to enroll your scholar at Stepstone Academy, please contact our main office at 440-260-6400 from 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday –Friday.

Stepstone Academy believes that accomplishing our mission to prepare scholars to enter, succeed in and graduate from college is a family activity. By choosing to send your child/ren to Stepstone Academy you have chosen to actively participate in your child’s life at school.

Parent & Guardian Responsibilities

  • I commit to supporting Stepstone Academy’s demanding academic program, high standards of conduct and extended school day.
  • I commit to making sure that my child is at school on time, in uniform every single day, unless sick or unable to attend because of a family emergency.
  • I commit to monitoring my child’s schoolwork, homework and grades regularly. I will always encourage him or her to work hard and produce the best possible work.
  • I commit to maintaining an environment at home where my child can do his/her homework, with a clean desk or table and necessary materials.
  • I commit to calling Stepstone Academy if I have questions about my scholars’ academic progress, grades, assignments and behavior.
  • I commit to attending the required parent events three times a year (Parent Orientation and Parent Conference Days).
  • I have read, understand and agree to uphold and abide by the Conduct and Discipline Policy.

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Scholar Responsibilities

  • I understand the Stepstone Values and commit to always doing my best to follow them.
  • I commit to attending school every day, in uniform, unless I am sick and to give my full respect and my full attention to every task.
  • I commit to doing my homework, bringing it neatly to school and turning it in at the appropriate time.
  • I commit to obeying at all times the Stepstone Academy Code of Conduct.
  • I commit to speaking regularly and honestly with my parents and guardians about my progress at school, my grades, my assignments and my behavior.
  • I have read, understand and agree to uphold and abide by the Conduct and Discipline Policy.

Staff Responsibilities

  • I commit to providing high-quality curriculum and instruction.
  • I commit to communicate regularly with families about scholar progress through conferences, parent-teacher meetings, progress reports and other available means.
  • I commit to providing reasonable opportunities for parents to participate in their child’s learning.
  • I commit to motivating my scholars to learn.
  • I commit to maintaining high expectations and help every child develop a love of learning.
  • I commit to providing a warm, safe and caring learning environment.
  • I commit to providing meaningful homework assignments to reinforce and extend learning.
  • I commit to participating in professional development activities that improve teaching and learning and that support the formation of partnerships with families and the community.
  • I commit to participate actively in collaborative decision making.
  • I commit to work consistently with families and my school colleagues to make the school an accessible and welcoming place for families.
  • I commit to respect the school, scholars, staff and families.
  • I have read, understand and agree to uphold and abide by the Conduct and Discipline Policy.

The school and community of Stepstone Academy believe that it is only through the cooperation of the parents and school that children develop their full potential.

Parent and Scholar Rights

The Right to Due Process of Law: Before a scholar is suspended or expelled, scholars and parents have the right to be informed about alleged misbehavior and provided with an opportunity to respond to such a charge. Scholars and parents will receive notice of the reason(s) for proposed disciplinary action and will be given the opportunity to challenge the action. Removal, suspension, expulsion and appeal procedures are posted at the school and are available to parents and scholars upon request.

The Right to Privacy – Property of Scholars: A scholar’s right concerning searches of personal property will be balanced by the responsibility of the school to protect the safety and welfare of all scholars. School equipment including furniture, computers and related accessories are the property of the school. They are on temporary loan to scholars and are subject to examination by school personnel at any time.

English Language Arts

The English language arts curriculum is based on the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop model.   Interactive Read Aloud and Independent Reading Conference activities use authentic text to promote reading comprehension and vocabulary development.  The curriculum systematically and explicitly presents phonemic awareness, phonics and reading fluency skills to students and supports them in applying these skills.  Students receive individualized instruction based on their specific levels during Differentiated Reading Instruction. Interactive Writing and Writing Workshop activities support written expression development.  At the Kindergarten level, GrapeSEED Oral Language Development program helps students develop the oral language skills that are a prerequisite for proficient reading.

Mathmatics

The mathematics curriculum provides scholars with the mathematical skills they will need in everyday life as well as the rigors of high school and post-high school mathematics. The curriculum emphasizes Counting and Cardinality, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. Scholars learn to represent ideas through graphs, mathematical terms, models, signs, symbols, and writing.

Science

Scholars participate actively in scientific inquiry while developing scientific literacy. As scholar’s progress, they deepen and extend their understanding of the basic principles of science through a variety of scientific media, incorporation of scientific literature and through the development of subject-appropriate vocabulary skills.

Social Studies

The Social Studies curriculum centers around four strands; History, Geography, Government, and Economics. Scholars participate in learning experiences through interacting with social studies media, nonfiction text, and vocabulary.

Art

Art experiences allow scholars to explore the many different aspects of art while gaining an understanding of the significant role art has played in the expressions of ideas throughout history. Hands-on art projects help scholars develop creativity and self-expression.

Physical Education

Physical education is a sequence of developmental experiences in which scholars learn through movement. Scholars work on individual skill development and learn about teamwork and the importance of sportsmanship. The program promotes a positive attitude toward life-long physical activity.

Library & Educational Technology

Our collections are developed to support the curriculum and provide scholars with quality literature and a variety of informational and technological resources.

Homework & Independent Reading

Even though Stepstone scholars have a longer school day than other public school scholars, the amount of instructional time available is not sufficient for scholars to master content and skill objectives. It is essential scholars continue their learning at home.

Teachers and staff at Stepstone Academy follow the most current research recommendations regarding homework.   Homework should give students a chance to practice what has already been learned in the classroom. Reading, writing and numeracy are key skills, and these are the skills our students should be practicing. Teacher feedback on homework is important.

Following the National PTA and the National Education Association guidelines, homework should take approximately 10-15 minutes in kindergarten, 15-20 minutes in first and second grade, 30 minutes in third grade, 40 minutes in fourth grade and up to an hour in fifth and sixth grade. Homework may consist of any or all of the following:

  • Reading an instructional level text
  • Creating a written response to reading
  • Writing following a specific model that has been taught
  • Handwriting practice
  • Math problem practice
  • Math fact fluency

Homework can be given every night, including weekends. Practicing skills taught in the classroom is essential to learning. This practice is necessary and must be completed if our scholars are to succeed and to this end, we will do all that is necessary to assist our families with the completion of homework and learning outside of the classroom.

Stepstone Academy is measured by the state through annual, standardized examinations. Our goal is that testing results reflect the hard work of our students, families and staff. Parents can help by ensuring that students take testing seriously, attend school each day, receive extra encouragement, plenty of rest, and adequate nutrition.

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