About ECS » Key Design Elements

Key Design Elements

Enterprise Charter School has nine key design elements outlined in its charter. These design elements are reflected throughout our curriculum, and our Portrait of a Graduate
Project Based Learning:  Evidence of PBL applications is found within the content areas. As NYSED redesigns standards for each content area, ECS has, and continues to, support project-based learning for students focusing in particularly grades 3-8.  ECS has recreated and expanded student projects to embed technological applications to create and enhance opportunities for research and creative projects. 

Differentiated and Individualized Instruction: All students at ECS are supported through a coherent and malleable MTSS design, which addresses T1, T2 and T3 student learning needs. Student academic needs are individualized and targeted with instructional strategies derived from documented menus of research-based interventions for ELA, math and social studies. 

Departmentalized Instruction: Current research indicated that departmentalization is a more effective instructional approach when begun at higher grades.  ECS begins departmentalizing in grade 4. 

Nonviolence Education/Conflict Resolution: ECS utilizes Restorative Practices, which uses a proactive approach to address conflict or wrong doing through the restorative continuum of Affective Statements, Affective Questions, Small Impromptu Conferences/Mediations, Circles and Formal Restorative Conferences. Corrective consequences are chosen from a continuum and implemented utilizing the protocols/design of the PBIS program. Core Values (PBIS) provides character education learning for behavioral and academic needs and Skills Streaming added as a resource in 2018-2019. 
Constructivism: Constructivist theory provides the foundation for selecting research-based educational initiatives for ECS. The theory lends itself to PBL/Inquiry-based learning allowing students to build their knowledge through many of the key design elements which are presented and illustrated within this table. The environment of ECS allows students to use their natural curiosities to guide learning. The school is purposefully designed around this theory and this is evident in the Green Room, the newly constructed Recording Studio, etc. which allows students to interact experientially and build knowledge in a way that is engaging and provides access and entry to work that is purposeful in the real world.
Multi-aged Classrooms: There are multi-aged options for students within the framework of literacy instruction and this is implemented through guided reading and writing across the grade levels. The grade level bands for grades 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6 groupings reflect the developmental learning needs for the acquisition of literacy skills.

Art, Music, Theater, PE, Computers, and Foreign Language:  This key design element has evolved within the context of 21st century learning needs.  Special area teachers collaborate with regular education teachers in order to extend classroom instruction. The purpose is to support student growth and development in public speaking and performance, and to enhance subject units. This allows students to have a voice to express themselves in different modalities other than reading and writing and to build background knowledge related to the content areas. 
Enrichment and Remediation Period: Schedules have been revised to include an intervention block which is utilized for enrichment and remediation. These enrichment/remediation periods are used for targeted skill development.
Commitment to Staff Development: Professional development includes training in the most effective teaching strategies.  MTSS framework and instructional menu options for tiered interventions, emerging instructional technology applications, research-based literacy and mathematics instructional practices, data analysis and usefulness of data to inform instruction, PBIS, Professional Learning Communities, etc.