The Sidney Gutierrez Middle School charter is predicated on the well-researched notion that small class sizes and small schools can develop community, which facilitates authentic and personalized learning. In small schools and classes, students can have a significant impact on each other, the school and their own leadership abilities. In this environment, the School is able to focus on the following essential questions:
- What learning opportunities will our students need to participate in order to lead the information-based society of the present and their future?
- What skills and abilities will our students need to enhance in order to participate in and lead the communities in which they live?
- What social and intellectual foundations will our students need to guide their own lives and careers?
The School continues to recognize the following components as essential in achieving high student’s success:
- Standards-based Learning – School-wide implementation of state and national content and performance standards combined with empirically-based curriculum, quality instruction, authentic assessment and meaningful evaluations;
- Student Support – High expectations for student learning and behavior; caring and respectful learning and working relationships; and safe, healthy, and supportive physical learning environments; and
- Responsiveness of System – Responsiveness to customers (students, parents and community stakeholders); genuine engagement and collaboration with the local authorizer, state and federal education agencies and the like.
The applicants of this charter renewal believe that a strong curriculum base that is aligned to state and national content standards and benchmarks, along with training in contemporary technologies, and the integration of that training into every facet of learning, is essential to preparing our students for the world they will face as adults. The applicants also believe that foreign language training, where every student strives to learn a second language, must be part of the middle school curriculum to meet the design of high school and college academic requirements for graduation and acceptance, respectively. Finally, community service is an integral part of the School. Students are required to perform services for community-based entities in each of the years they are enrolled at the school. These tenets of the School’s charter remain unchanged from previous charter applications and are submitted in pursuit of re-authorization.