Why Renaissance Middle School?
Renaissance Academy has adopted the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum standards and has added to them a strong program in Arabic Language, Quran and Islamic Studies.
A fundamental goal of Renaissance Academy’s Language Arts program is to provide our students with strong communication and writing skills. Beginning in our Pre-K program, we provide our students with a rigorous phonics program that enables them to become confident readers at a young age. In our elementary and middle school programs we integrate the teaching of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through age-appropriate literature and basic skills instruction augmented with vocabulary and grammar enrichment. From a young age, students are taught important writing traits and are encouraged to express themselves through writing. In middle and high school, we put a strong focus in our language arts program on research, writing, and presentation skills in addition to the building of critical thinking skills through deep analysis and discussion of relevant literature.
The math curriculum emphasizes a strong grounding in fundamental computation skills alongside a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. In the lower grades, a hands-on, activity based program with the extensive use of math manipulatives is used to provide students with mastery over the understanding and practice of the basic math facts that they need for problem solving and higher math skills. In the upper elementary grades, an even stronger focus is placed on problem solving skills as the students formulate strategies to solve increasingly complex math problems. In the middle school, students are provided with strong algebra and geometry programs and the high school program is college preparatory in nature enabling students to graduate with a number of college credits.
In science, Renaissance Academy’s goal is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the scientific method. From even the lowest grades, an inquiry-based scientific program that provides students with a hand-on, experimental approach is used with the aim of giving students a deep understanding of scientific principles as well as an appreciation of the use of science in a way that makes science a fun and engaging project. In the upper grades, a strong emphasis is placed on conducting individual science projects as well as group laboratory work. In the middle school, students are able to explore an in depth analysis of earth, life and physical sciences with extensive enrichment with increasingly complex chemistry and biological concepts. The high school program is college preparatory in nature enabling students to graduate with a number of college credits.
Renaissance Academy’s social studies program is based on an approach that recognizes the critical importance of understanding identity and community in providing students with strong self-esteem and confidence. Students are provided a strong grounding in map and research skills, are made aware of the importance of geography and history, and are geared toward an appreciation of diversity, tolerance and good citizenship. In the lower grades, students study human interactions in family and community and are provided opportunities to practice higher order thinking skills. In the upper elementary grades, students are encouraged to go beyond traditional textbooks in exploring and discussing relevant topics. In the middle and high school, there is a strong focus on current events and social studies is used to teach critical thinking and advanced research skills.
Arabic is the language that connects our students to the Islamic faith and is stressed as a core subject of study from the earliest grades with the goal of making our students fully bilingual. In the Pre-Kindergarten program, students are spoken to in Arabic and are made to feel comfortable understanding and speaking simple everyday conversational Arabic. Stress is placed on correct pronunciation of the letters and words. In Kindergarten and 1st Grade, students are introduced to the alphabet and become accustomed to reading and writing in Arabic. As students progress through the program their vocabulary increases and they become increasingly able to understand, speak, read, and write Arabic in complex situations.