Somerset Academy Village at Wilton Manors is dedicated to the development of the whole child, providing a solid foundation that stimulates creative thinking, wonder, and a lifelong passion for learning.
6• We believe that children can learn better when they are grouped with children of different levels because there is more opportunity to progress at their own individual pace. Students in Somerset’s elementary grades learn in multi-level classrooms and a 4-year degreed certified teacher in each elementary class. Teachers are trained to teach children in small groups allowing more individualized instruction.
• We believe that each child comes with a unique learning style. Therefore, the academic design for each student at Somerset Academy is based on his/her own unique style.
• We believe that all children live up – or down – to the expectations set for them. Thus, the Somerset Academy will set high academic and behavioral expectations for all of its students.
• We believe that learning can, and should, be fun. Therefore, we will create an environment of joyful learning. Students will be exposed to an array of activities that they would not otherwise have in a traditional school setting. This is not to suggest that learning is entertainment. Sometimes it is hard work; but hard work can be fun if it is approached with a joyful attitude.
• We believe that character development is an important element in the development of the student into a productive member of society. Somerset will encourage its students to become involved in the community through community service programs and volunteerism. This is the student counterpart to the parental involvement obligation. Students will be encouraged to “invest” volunteer time in service to their school and/or community.
• We believe that students learn best when they are encouraged to succeed. Therefore, Somerset’s staff will mentor students thereby increasing self-esteem. Many students have experienced failure in the classroom, and as a result have poor self-images as learners. Because of prior experiences, they resist the educational process through inappropriate behavior. Therefore, we will build in mechanisms to ensure the improvement of the students’ self-images as learners; concurrently, we will build in behavior management techniques to ensure improvement of behavior.
• We believe creative endeavors are an integral part of the growth and development of all students. Through our partnerships with local colleges and universities, we will be able to incorporate, as well as develop, avenues of creativity into the curriculum at all grade levels.
• We believe that high expectations engender success. Both students and teachers live either up or down to expectations set for them. This includes both academic and behavioral expectations. “Students do best – intellectually, personally, morally – when they are striving for excellence.” (Damon). Therefore, we will set high academic standards and behavioral expectations for students; we will set high academic/teaching standards and behavior expectations for teachers.
• We believe that students who understand how they learn do best in school (Wang, Haertel, & Wahlberg) Those students plan their learning, monitor it, and re-plan when necessary.
• We believe success breeds success. Therefore, students will be given opportunities to succeed. We believe that students have more opportunities to succeed when they can progress on a continuum. “…(I)n the best educational environment available, each student proceeds at speeds and depths of thinking that are appropriate and generate success for that student.” (Hunter)
• We believe that students and teachers are responsible for their actions. Therefore, we will hold students accountable for their actions (see section on behavior management); we will hold teachers accountable for their actions (see section on personnel policies and practices).
• We believe that students learn best in small schools. “Large schools neither nourish the spirit nor educate the mind.” (Meier). Somerset Academy is a small size for a public elementary school, and therefore, lends itself to individualized attention to students needs.