The Academic Program
Quality Schools International has a strong belief that all students can succeed.
QSI departs from traditional schools in that it is not as much concerned about “time” being the “defining” factor of student learning. In most schools, students are given a certain amount of time to complete learning in a subject, and then students are assessed on their performance. In QSI, time is used as a resource, so the outcomes that are designed to develop students into well-educated and well-adjusted individuals are thoroughly mastered.
In the QSI model of learning, a student either masters the outcomes in each area, or the student is simply not finished. When a student achieves mastery level, he/she is immediately rewarded by receiving credit for the outcome. Therefore, QSI applies only mastery grades of “A” or “B,” or “P” (still in Progress). QSI recognizes that not everyone will master outcomes at the same rate. Many will be able to finish an outcome rather quickly–they will be allowed to work on a selective outcome and gain credit for doing so. Others will take longer to achieve mastery level—and they will be provided the time necessary to do so. In other words, students have more than one chance to be successful. The learned outcomes needed at mastery level are clearly defined and clearly stated. No trick questions! QSI believes in “teaching what we test, and testing what we teach”.
Quality Schools International has designed Exit Outcomes that are the basis of the entire curriculum. These Exit Outcomes fall into three categories: Success Orientations, Competencies, and Knowledge. Although these categories are related, and are in many ways interdependent, the following three verbs give definition to the Exit Outcomes:
- ‘to believe’ Success Orientations
- ‘to do’ Competencies
- ‘to know’ Knowledge
It is important to learn more than the “academics.” QSI feels it is equally important that the often hidden part of the curriculum, what QSI calls Success Orientations, be a vital part of the entire QSI school experience.
Success for All is the motto of Quality Schools International. This is more than just a slogan. Research indicates, and our experience confirms, that successful people have developed personal orientations that lead to success. Personal habits, the ability to interact successfully with others, reliability, responsibility, diligent work habits, promptness, keeping your word, kindness, and other factors in this realm are at least as important as the knowledge one learns and the competencies one gains. Success in these orientations rests first and foremost in the home; however, the success orientations are actively encouraged and taught in virtually all areas of the QSI school curriculum with the view of making them a vital part of one’s life pattern. The role of QSI is to reinforce these efforts of the home.
Success Orientation behaviors are evaluated independently from academic assessments. Academic assessments are given solely on the basis of your performance in the specified outcomes. Evaluations of the success orientations are based on situations within the jurisdiction of the school, and they are awarded through a consensus by the professional staff members. The seven Success Orientations are:
- Group Interaction
- Aesthetic Appreciation
- Kindness / Politeness
- Independent Endeavor
- Concern for Others
Success in these orientations leads to success in life!
In recent times, there has been a tremendous information explosion of scientific and technological advances. It becomes increasingly important one develops competencies that provide the tools to cope with the present age. To become productive participants in modern society, one needs skills related to these advances.
Particularly important are higher order thinking skills. Skills related to the arts and physical fitness are important toward a view to beauty and quality of life.
Quality Schools International considers mastery in each of the seven competencies listed below essential to personal success in life.
- Numeracy and Mathematical Skills
- Verbal and Written Communication Skills
- Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
- Decision-Making and Judgment Skills
- Commercial Skills
- Psychomotor Skills
- Fine Arts Skills
In the modern world there has been a vast and continuous increase in knowledge. It is impossible to know everything. One has to carefully choose the things considered essential for a person educated in modern society. QSI believes it is better to engage in the study of less information and gain mastery rather than cover large amounts of information superficially without mastery.
In order to develop competencies, one must have a firm foundation of facts and knowledge. Certain facts must be memorized and used as tools in gaining additional knowledge and in developing competencies. Additional knowledge is gained by building upon and combining fundamental facts and bits of knowledge. This happens by hearing, seeing, and experiencing in learning situations, followed by practice and repeated exposure. Some of the ways this happens are through dialogue, questioning, experimentation, risk-taking, and group activities.
In the realm of knowledge, QSI has identified seven areas. Mastery of these Exit Outcomes will lead to a successful school experience in Quality Schools International.
- English / Literature
- Cultural Studies
- Creative and Applied Arts
- Languages Other Than English
- Personal Health and World Environmental Issues