The mission of Innovate Manhattan Charter School is to “to cultivate in our students the unity of knowledge, skills, and personal development that constitute the empowered individual … by offering our sixth through eighth graders a coherent model for personalized education that is based on individualized coaching, goals, and accountability combined with state-of-the-art learning technology and the international exchange of ideas and experiences.”
Innovate Manhattan will contract with Kunskapsskolan Education AB (“Kunskapsskolan”), a Swedish education management organization with a ten-year track record of proven high achievement in Sweden as well as schools in the United Kingdom currently under “transformation.” Innovate Manhattan is the first charter school in the United States to contract with Kunskapsskolan.
The key design elements of the Innovate Manhattan academic program include:
- a focus on personalized learning with teachers acting as both content experts and personal coaches, meeting with students on a regular basis to develop and implement individual study plans that are driven by clear, challenging, and reasonable knowledge goals;
- a constructivist approach to curriculum with subjects divided into “step” or “theme” courses aligned with New York State standards with minimum “floors” that students are required to achieve at each grade level to be successful on the New York State examinations;
- the use of an online learning portal as a communications tool and source of curriculum resources;
- innovative scheduling and multiple teaching formats;
- standards-based grading as opposed to the traditional letter grading system; and
- increased parental involvement and communication.