Academic Overview

Imagine Schools aims for every scholar to gain more than one year’s growth during the academic year. We also strive for all scholars who enter Imagine Schools below grade level to attain grade level proficiency within three years or less. Those at or above grade level will be challenged to soar beyond expectations. Imagine Morningside provides daily rigorous instruction through high quality common core aligned instruction for all subject areas. There is also daily differentiated instruction offered during school-wide Success Time that allows for intervention and enrichment in reading and math.

Our educational philosophy is grounded in educating the whole child. In order to assist scholars in thriving academically, teaching and learning must go beyond skill acquisition to the mastery of content. With mastery scholars, can apply their learning to new situations, solve problems, and create new ideas. This depth of understanding leads to a love of learning and critical thinking skills.

Rigorous Instruction

Imagine Foundations at MorninImagine Morningside provides exposure and practice with grade level Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards in all subject areas. We have the goal of teaching to mastery as defined by the grade level pacing guides to prepare for success in the present grade level and beyond. Our learning program incorporates hands on projects, blended learning, whole group and small group instruction. The learning program thoughtfully incorporates 21st century skills that are necessary for future success

We also respect that scholars have differing abilities and interests. Differentiated instruction places the child at the center of teaching and learning, and requires teachers to tailor their lessons to students’ learning needs rather than expecting students to modify themselves to fit the curriculum. We offer differentiated instruction during Success Time, small group instruction, blended learning, and workstation practice. Teachers plan varied approaches to what their scholars need to learn, how they will learn it, and how they can express what they have learned. Scholar’s abilities are matched with appropriate material and adapted to their needs based upon the teacher’s constant assessment of all scholars, which  leads to improved academic performance outcomes for each unique scholar.

Measuring Scholar Learning

At Imagine Morningside, we measure the academic performance of our scholars primarily based on same-scholar learning gains (i.e., the improvement in scholar achievement in reading and math measured for the same scholars from the beginning until the end of each school year). As educators, we realize that the quality of a child’s education cannot be measured solely by scores on standardized reading and math tests, which by their nature do not assess scholars’ conceptual thinking, their ability to do research and to evaluate and defend ideas, their skill at written and oral expression, or their success in collaborative or teamwork settings.

Therefore, we place heavy emphasis on measuring annual same-scholar academic progress. We test scholars at the start of each year to provide baseline information for a variety of tested skills and knowledge, enabling teachers to focus on the areas where each scholar needs the most help. We test scholars again at the end of the year to assess how much each scholar has progressed and how much on average the scholars in the class, the grade, and the school have gained. Thus we recognize a scholar, or an entire class, who started far behind grade level and made significant progress to catch up as having succeeded.

We realize that some scholars may start ahead of grade level. These scholars will likely score well on proficiency tests, while showing more modest learning gains since they are already ahead of their expected grade level. For this reason, we evaluate our schools using both same-scholar learning gains and performance on state tests, and grade our schools on the better of the two. Further, because all scholars are tested in the spring as well as the fall, all teachers will be able to begin the school year with data on each scholar. This data will enable the teachers to effectively differentiate for each scholar beginning on the first day of school.

Our assessments will be used to inform scholars, teachers, and parents about where a scholar is succeeding and the areas that need strengthening.  Assessment will serve as a feedback system to guide teachers in lesson planning and individualizing instruction. Additionally, it will guide scholars in understanding what full mastery of a standard is, and it will keep parents informed about scholar progress.

Social-Emotional Growth

Social Emotional Growth

Imagine Foundations at Morningside employs two professional school counselors to deliver a comprehensive guidance and counseling program to all students. The School Counseling Program will be developmental and proactive in nature, consisting of individual, group, classroom, and school-wide guidance lessons. The program is designed to promote student self-confidence, positive attitudes, relationship skills, motivation for success, decision-making skills, and an emotionally healthy school-learning environment.The counselors serve as the school liaisons to grow partnerships with families to support growth in student academics and career and personal/social development.

Counseling services that are available to Imagine Foundations at Morningside scholars and families include:

  • School-wide monthly character development classroom lessons
  • Small group counseling, offering additional services to students with common needs or concerns
  • Individual counseling, designed to help students better understand their concerns and problems, to better understand themselves and others, and to work toward positive educational, personal, and social development
  • Family meetings with the topics of college and career readiness, scholar current/social issues, and scholar achievement

Positive Character Development

Imagine Schools places a strong emphasis on each child’s character development and measures progress in student behavior and overall school culture. As a result, Imagine Foundations at Morningside will integrate a Character Education curriculum into all areas of the school community.

TheThe principles of character education are utilized as basic tenets for an integrated character education program. The program includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Activities that promote values and ethics
  • Scholar block meetings
  • Encouraging moral reflection
  • Discussion of issues and answers, problems, and solutions
  • Conflict resolution and students as mediators
  • Parent and community involvement