At Penn Charter we lead students to recognize and understand their individual learning styles. The process begins in Lower School and continues in Middle School. In Upper School, the ninth grade curriculum includes a one-trimester course on learning skills that culminates with each student writing a personal learning profile. Helping students learn how they learn allows them to capitalize on strengths while developing strategies and skills in areas that present more challenge.
The Penn Charter resource team, a group that includes learning specialists and school counselors, connects and integrates support services for faculty, students, and parents.
The Lower School learning team is comprised of four full-time specialists, a learning specialist, a language arts coordinator, a math coordinator and a school counselor. Each of the specialists has a unique role in supporting the learning needs of the students. The learning specialist and language arts and math coordinators work directly with classroom teachers to focus on student learning styles and how we can best deliver instruction to maximize learning. The language arts coordinator also directs the Learning Center, where students receive individual and small-group instruction, given by Elywn Institute reading specialists, to address particular learning needs. Whenever the question of integrating outside resources with school programming arises, the learning specialist coordinates those efforts, working closely with our families and the people delivering the outside resources on behalf of the student. The school counselor helps to nurture, guide, and support the social and emotional lives of our students. This is done by providing guidance in social skill development with students one-on-one, in small groups, or in regularly scheduled classroom "friendship groups."
Middle and Upper School
In Middle and Upper School, integrated learning teams, consisting of the learning specialist, school counselor, divisional leadership and school nurse, meet regularly to review students and to plan for targeted support, as needed. The Middle School learning specialist conducts study skills workshops with all sixth graders and with new students, as well as targeted one-on-one and small-group support. The Upper School learning specialist works with all ninth graders in a similar fashion.
Penn Charter has established both a Writing Center and a Math Center for students in grades 6 through 12. Faculty and peer tutors staff each center, offering students one-on-one help on a drop-in basis or by appointment. Middle and Upper School students also may seek directed study with individual teachers for help with assignments in any subject.
The school learning specialists, counselors, and nurses work with teachers and parents to provide support for academic, social and health needs. Middle and Upper School students can also rely on faculty advisors for help with academic or social issues. In Middle School, the homeroom teacher serves as the student’s advisor; in Upper School students are assigned an advisor for ninth and tenth grade and participate in choosing their advisor for eleventh and twelfth grade.
Science Peer Tutors
The Science Peer Tutor System is a student-run resource for students who would like help in the sciences. The Science Peer Tutors can help students with anything, from seemingly miniscule assignments such as homework worksheets to proofreading lab reports.
Appointments are made through an online calendar, where faculty-approved tutors have created appointment slots based upon their availability. A student can make an appointment by selecting an available slot for a tutor who specializes in the particular science (ex. chemistry), which can be found next to the tutor's name on the appointment slot, and indicating the specific subject that they would like help in (ex. intermolecular forces) so that the tutor can best prepare for the meeting, and specifying the location if the tutor has not already done so (in study hall, the library, or in Room 206, if available). Both the student and the peer tutor will receive an automatic confirmation and reminder notification, so no further steps are necessary prior to the meeting. Students are always encouraged to meet with their teacher first and foremost, but the Science Peer Tutor System is available to help during the times listed on the calendar.
For further questions, please email science teacher Melanie Wills at email@example.com.