The academic curriculum of Valiant Cross Academy is aligned with the Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards. With this foundation, the curriculum pace focuses on mastery of these standards, while differentiating instruction to meet the needs of every scholar. The content areas of Language Arts and Social Science are integrated with Science and Math to create a learning environment that is motivating for scholars. The curriculum focuses assessments on specific individual needs of scholars and gives them more responsibility and ownership of learning.
Valiant Cross Academy aligns its grade level content and skills with the use of pacing guides. The curriculum is not only determined by a set of standards or a textbook, it utilizes a variety of differentiated instructional methods including project-based learning. The staff will remain aware of current trends in education and use them in determining how to best prepare scholars for success in the future. The Academic Team is composed of a Head of School, School Administrator, Director of Curriculum, Scholar Affairs Director, Classroom Teachers, and Parents.
VCA Academic Vision of Excellence (Math/Science)
VCA scholars are able to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- At Valiant Cross Academy, mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They notice the form and meaning of possible solutions and carefully plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider comparable problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Mathematically proficient scholars can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Mathematically proficient students continually check their work and ask themselves, "Does this make sense?" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches as well.
VCA scholars are able to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- At Valiant Cross Academy, mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose.
- Mathematically proficient scholars are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and— if there is a flaw in an argument—explain what it is. Scholars at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.
VCA scholars attend to precision.
- At Valiant Cross Academy, mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the right signs consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, checking their work, and labeling their work to provide clarity. They calculate accurately and efficiently, and express numerical answers with precision.
VCA Academic Vision of Excellence (ELA/Social Science)
VCA scholars demonstrate independence in reading, writing, and verbal communication.
- At Valiant Cross Academy, scholars can, without significant scaffolding, comprehend and evaluate complex texts across a range of types and disciplines, and they can construct effective arguments and convey intricate or multifaceted information. Likewise, scholars are able independently to discern a speaker’s key points, request clarification, and ask relevant questions. They build on others’ ideas, articulate their own ideas, and confirm they have been understood. Without prompting, they demonstrate command of standard English and acquire and use a wide-ranging vocabulary. More broadly, they become self-directed learners, effectively seeking out and using resources to assist them, including teachers, peers, and print and digital reference materials.
VCA scholars respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.
- At Valiant Cross Academy, scholars adapt their communication in relation to audience, task, purpose, and discipline. They set and adjust purpose for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use as warranted by the task. They appreciate nuances, such as how the composition of an audience should affect tone when speaking and how the connotations of words affect meaning. They also know that different disciplines call for different types of evidence (e.g., documentary evidence in history, experimental evidence in science).
VCA scholars comprehend as well as critique.
- At Valiant Cross Academy, scholars are engaged and open-minded—but discerning—readers and listeners. They work diligently to understand precisely what an author or speaker is saying, but they also question an author’s or speaker’s assumptions and premises and assess the veracity of claims and the soundness of reasoning.
VCA scholars value evidence.
- At Valiant Cross Academy, scholars regularly cite specific evidence when offering an oral or written interpretation of a text. They use relevant evidence when supporting their own points in writing and speaking, making their reasoning clear to the reader or listener, and they constructively evaluate others’ use of evidence.