What makes Monarch Global Academy Laurel stand out in its academic approach is a project-based learning approach, the incorporation of neuroscience techniques, character education, and its adoption of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), which emphasizes the use of six themes to achieve academic excellence.
At Monarch Global Academy Laurel, students gain a perspective on their impact and contribution to the world by spending much of their time engaged in units of inquiry and in-depth studies. Students become involved in comprehensive research of a subject, hands-on learning experiences, and unique projects that address authentic audiences in the community. Students become responsible citizens of their communities, where they consider real-world problems, take action, and ultimately, compete effectively in tomorrow’s world.
Who we are
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Where we are in place and time
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
How we express ourselves
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the world works
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
How we organize ourselves
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
Sharing the planet
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Monarch Global Academy Laurel Public Charter School follows the Anne Arundel County School System curriculum requirements and partners with the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme school model.
Primary Years Programme
In today’s world, the demands of the 21st Century are ever-changing and elementary schools are tasked with the challenge of preparing leaders, problem-solvers, and care-takers of a world that is yet to be defined! This is why Monarch Global Academy Laurel has taken the steps to become a part of The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. This is the beginning of a five year journey developing a rigorous curriculum for global citizens and international mindedness.
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. An IB education is a holistic approach, including the explicit teaching of “intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.” This approach is applauded for quality, rigor, and pedagogical leadership across continents because the focus is on global appreciation, respect, and open-mindedness. The Primary Years Program approach enables all our pupils, including those pupils with learning support difficulties or disabilities, to enjoy a well-rounded education designed to meet their diverse needs.
Through the PYP units of inquiry, students are challenged and stimulated within a safe learning environment. Our students are encouraged to be confident risk-takers and inquirers, who ask questions, seek answers, and continuously try new things as they grow and learn. In the PYP, each grade level teaches six units under the overarching transdisciplinary themes. While these themes are unique to PYP, the content and standards come directly from the Maryland Common Core. This conceptual focus allows teachers and students to maintain a developmentally appropriate scope and sequence while also diving deeply into topics and exploring them from multiple angles. Over time, students begin to make connections across grade levels, subject areas, and content.
In addition to the PYP, Monarch Global Academy Laurel incorporates other research based teaching and learning practices into the daily school experience. These practices include:
The idea that real-world problems capture students’ interests and provoke serious thinking as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context. Project-based learning creates opportunities for groups of students to investigate meaningful questions that require them to gather information and think critically.
Focus on the Learner and Learner’s Culture
Monarch Global Academy Laurel provides a culturally responsive classroom by: teaching children to strengthen their thinking skills; Incorporating aspects of our students’ languages, cultures, and daily experience to bridge the cultures of home and school; using technology for instruction and for demonstrating learning; providing opportunities for small-group work; and providing strategies that allow students to “think aloud” and process their thinking together to make meaning.
Universal Design Learning
Creating flexible goals, methods and assessments that accommodate learner differences to account for the fact that each child’s brain processes information differently.
Brain-based education assures that the whole brain is engaged during the instruction period through having it process through information it knows, gathering what it needs to know, processing what it learns, and then applying new knowledge to a different situation or context.
Character education is taught by teaching students about honesty, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, equality and respect as these values play out in the subjects they are learning. They also learn how to solve problems in a morally responsible way.
Integrating the Arts in Lesson Planning
Arts are infused in lessons to help students understand how music develops regionally or internationally to compliment a culture or a time in history, how fashion reflects history and politics, and how art, theater, dance and music reflects life, and the impact of the times on art, theater, dance and music.