Invictus Prep’s mission is to ensure, “that students in fifth through twelfth grade have the academic and ethical foundation necessary to excel in four year colleges and universities." Invictus Prep would use the following key programmatic and academic design elements to achieve its mission:
- A structured learning environment that includes the use of uniforms and a “fair and rigorous” code of conduct that would be taught to students and reinforced through rewards that are redeemable at a school “Victory Store” and other incentives such as extra field trips.
- A curriculum focused on academic achievement based on the best practices of other successful charter schools, such as Leadership Preparatory Charter School (authorized by SUNY).
- A longer school year (187 days of instruction) and school day (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except for Mondays when students would be dismissed early to allow time for teacher planning and professional development). Invictus Prep would also offer 20 “Saturday Academies” over the course of the school year to provide increased enrichment and remediation opportunities, as well as a 10 day “Summer Academy” for students struggling to meet all academic requirements during the school year.
- Increased instructional time including 150 minutes of English language arts and 100 minutes of mathematics per day in 5th and 6th grades; and 100 minutes of both English language arts and mathematics in 7th - 8th grades.
- Frequent assessment of students including the use of diagnostic tests that will measure each student’s ability at the beginning of the year and multiple interval assessments, based on the New York State Regents exams, throughout the year to measure progress. Assessments would be aligned to State standards and created through backwards design. The results would be used to provide targeted support to teachers in improving their instruction
- An explicit focus on literacy that splits the 150 minutes of daily English language arts instruction into 50 minute mini-courses including Literary Analysis, Reading Fluency, and Writing Workshop in 5th and 6th grades. A writing component for all courses in every content area and grade, as well as a focus on non-fiction and the use of a common writing rubric to evaluate all written student work.
- A commitment to attracting hardworking, able teachers by providing all teachers with laptops and cell phones, ample time throughout the day and year for common planning, multiple professional development opportunities, and starting teacher pay roughly equal to a teacher with three years of experience and a master’s degree through the United Federation of Teachers’ contract salary schedule.
- A focus on families being part of the school’s educational program and process, including a commitment to multiple information sessions on all aspects of the school, individual visits to families’ homes before school, a voicemail system that includes student assignments, weekly individualized student academic and behavioral reports, three annual family-teacher conferences and three annual progress reports/report cards, and multiple opportunities to celebrate student success.