Academics

Imagine a school that knows exactly what your child needs to learn when he or she needs to learn it.

West Side Summit Scholars spend 25% of their learning time on powerful computer programs that make learning creative, fun, and, most importantly, individualized to their learning needs every single day.

But a great education doesn’t end there…

Our mission-driven teachers see their classes as a group of unique and brilliant Scholars, ready to take control of their own learning and race forward toward college and the future. We empower Scholars to take leadership over their own learning and prepare for college and beyond by asking big questions and expecting big answers.


Our Approach

• Individualizing learning

West Side Summit believes in the power of individualizing learning. We have extended our school day and year in order have 25% of our Scholars’ learning time on advanced computer curricula that are adaptive to each Scholar’s learning needs, meaning that every Scholar gets the exact instruction they need, when they need it. We call this “Prep” time and our Scholars love it. Relevant and engaging computer curricula make learning fun and unique to each Scholar. We are the only school in St. Paul to offer adaptive individualized learning for every student.

• Inquiry-based learning

Our passionate, mission-driven teachers constantly work throughout the day with Scholars in small groups to keep instruction individualized. Our emphasis is on inquiry-based learning; we ask Scholars big questions and help them explore the world around them to get the answers. Learning in “Prep” and in inquiry-based lessons is united by our passion for building self-efficacy in Scholars. Beyond learning the “whats” and the “whys” of reading and math, Scholars need to be aware of “how” they learn! Our focus on self-efficacy means that Scholars are constantly setting goals, planning to reach those goals, and taking ownership over their learning.

• Academic efficacy

WSS is pioneering an approach designed to foster the habits, mindsets and skills we believe students must have to find success in college and beyond. Academic empowerment and ownership are necessary complements to scholastic preparation and these assets are critical in achieving our mission of preparing all of our students for success in college and beyond. Students demonstrating academic efficacy:
– Challenge themselves with difficult tasks and find joy in learning.
– Heighten and sustain their efforts when faced with challenges.
– Attribute failure to insufficient effort or knowledge and skills to be learned

• Strong school essentials

Our school is based on five strong school essentials that are rarely seen in schools in the Twin Cities but that are embraced the best schools across the country.

1. College-ready mindset: Our Scholars talk constantly about attending college and work to build the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college and beyond starting Day 1. All of our classrooms are named after the alma mater of each Teacher, helping to create an atmosphere of college preparedness and scholarship.

2. More time on task: A longer school day and an extended school year provide the time to catch all Scholars up.

3. High expectations: For both academics and behavior, teachers, staff, and Scholars hold each other to high expectations.

4. Data-driven instruction: Through the creation, assessment, and analysis of interim assessments and other tools,
teachers are constantly aware of what their Scholars actually know and need to learn, so progress is constantly being made.

5. Strong, positive school culture: Read more about Our Values here.

 

2013-2014 Annual Report

2014-2015-Annual-Report

 

 

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