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Academic Approach

Review our academic approaches to learning as well as general operating information

Information includes a guide to our curriculum, our assessments, our learner profiles, and what our expectations are for our scholars.

General Operations
  • Hours:
    • Elementary School: 7:45 AM – 4:30 PM
    • Middle School: 7:45 AM – 4:30 PM
    • RISE Academy (after school program and enrichment): 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • All grade levels will be departmentalized
  • Report cards will be sent home every nine weeks
  • Progress reports will be sent home every 4.5 weeks
Parent/Teacher Communication

Parental involvement can lead to academic gains for students such as higher grades and test scores, improved social skills and time on task, better attendance and participation, and decreased behavioral problems in the classroom (Tutt, 2021).

The expectation is that teachers and parents will communicate weekly via Class Dojo, or a class newsletter.

Student Teacher Ratio
  • 15:1 – K-2
  • 15:1 – 3-5
  • 15:1 – 6-8
Grades and Assessments
  • K-2 – Standards-based Grading
  • 3-5 – Traditional Grading
  • All state required assessments
  • Campus based assessments
Enrichment Programs
  • RISE Through Dance: Ballet Program
  • RISE Summer Academy
  • Entrepreneurship
Social Emotional Learning
  • SEL (Essence VITALS):  is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.
Project Based Learning
  • Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.
STEAM
  • Cultivating students through a robust academic curriculum that balances core content areas with enriching STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
Response to Intervention
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) is an approach that schools use to help all students, including struggling learners. The RtI approach gives Texas students opportunities to learn and work at their grade level.
    • Universal Screening
    • Progress Monitoring
    • Multi-level Prevention System
    • Data- based decision making
Discipline Support
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): An evidence-based three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. PBIS creates schools where all students succeed.
  • Restorative Practices: Promotes inclusiveness, relationship-building and problem-solving, through such restorative methods as circles for teaching and conflict resolution to conferences that bring victims, offenders and their supporters together to address wrongdoing.
Essence Prep - Student Profile

Student Profile

Our scholars utilize their strengths, work hard, and set goals to develop as individuals.

Essence Prep graduates are visionaries who utilize their voices and critical thinking skills to solve tough problems and become leading agents of change in their communities. Each student will take ownership and put into practice the RISE values that are a crucial part of the identity of Essence Prep.

  • State: Texas
  • Current Enrollment: TBD
  • District/Campus: Urban
  • Website: essenceprepsa.org
RESPONSIBILITY • INTELLECTUAL INVESTMENT • SERVICE • EXCELLENCE
Essence Prep - RISE
  • Responsibility – Highest standards of performance
  • Intellectual Investment – Inquiry, personal growth, and achievement
  • Service – Change agents and a spirit of selflessness
  • Excellence – High-quality and exemplary results
Essence Prep - Public School Vitals

The Essence Prep Learner Profile represents six attributes (V-I-T-A-L-S) that are part of the mission and vision of our campus. We know these attributes will allow our scholars to become leading agents of change within their communities by helping them to discover who they are as individuals.

  • Values: EPPS students will be able to internalize the core values of Essence and align them with their personal values so that they can become global citizens.
  • Interests: EPPS students will be able to feel safe and excited about exploring their interests and then using those interests to serve others and their community.
  • Temperament: EPPS students will be able to discover their temperament and how it has an impact on various situations they encounter. This will allow them to be able to respond to each situation that fits who they are as individuals.
  • Activities: EPPS students will engage in a variety of activities that will help them to develop critical thinking and social skills.
  • Life Goals: EPPS students will work daily towards goals that they have set for themselves. Each student will work towards that goal with the assistance of an Essence Prep staff member.
  • Strengths: EPPS Students will utilize their strengths and talents to discover the world around them. Their strengths will support harnessing a sense of agency in each student so that they are able to take on the world.

Curriculum Handbook

A Guide to Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Essence Preparatory Public School

Academic Model
Supporting student agency and mental health by implementing Essence Prep VITALS grounded in social and emotional development
Provides a safe and inclusive environment in which all students have the opportunity to thrive
Embracing community engagement through the implementation of a robust after school program with an enrichment focus
Developing the whole child through the arts and a leadership curriculum that is supportive and engaging
Creating leading agents of change through project-based learning and a solid literacy and numeracy foundation
Essence Prep Mission

Essence Preparatory Public School, through rigorous academics, intentional character development, and cultivating student knowledge of self, prepares all kindergarten through eighth grade students for high school, college, and beyond as leading agents of change in their communities.

Curriculum Selection

Curriculum resources at Essence Prep were chosen based around our school mission to prepare every kindergartener through eighth grade scholar for high school, college, and beyond as leading agents of change in their communities. Our curriculum is aligned horizontally (across content areas) and vertically (across grade levels) to the TEKS standards.

RISE Literacy

Scholars need literacy in order to engage with the written word in everyday life and it plays a vital role in transforming scholars into socially engaged citizens. Literacy at Essence Prep will focus on supporting scholars by providing them with ways to learn about and understand the world by working with them on and enhancing their literacy skills to benefit them in the future.

  • Reading: Amplify Reading is a K–8 student-driven literacy program that provides both enrichment and remediation for all students, leveraging the power of compelling storytelling to engage students in personalized reading instruction and practice.
  • Writing: Creating classroom experiences that develop a love of writing and allow children to express their thinking requires thoughtful, intentional instruction. Amplify provides multiple opportunities for students to practice their writing skills. Teachers facilitate student discussion, provide a model for the respectful exchange of ideas, and help students develop their own voices via the Amplify Writing Framework.
  • Making Meaning: Watching students learn to read: magic. Knowing how they get there: science. Amplify CKLA is grounded in the science of reading, bringing those researched insights and proven practices into your classrooms (remote or otherwise).
RISE Numeracy

Mathematics gives students access to important mathematical ideas, knowledge and skills. Numeracy at Essence Prep will focus on connecting their learning with their personal lives. Numeracy has an increasingly important role in enabling and sustaining cultural, social, economic and technological advances.

Math Assessments

  • Daily opportunities for formative assessment (i.e., Check for Understanding (CFU), Exit Tickets).
  • Checklists to track information about the Mathematical Practices and about Benchmarks that can best be assessed via observation (K-5).
  • Quick checks in the form of quizzes every 8-10 sessions that familiarize students with a variety of test question formats (1-5).
  • Embedded assessments that ask students to show and/or explain their work (1-5).
  • Teacher Notes that accompany the embedded assessments, and provide analysis of student work that meets, partially meets, or doesn’t yet meet the benchmark, as well as suggestions for what to do with students in the latter two categories.
Math Principles: The Six Principles of Mathematics (NCTM)

  • Excellence in mathematics education requires equity—high expectations and strong support for all students.
  • A curriculum is more than a collection of activities: it must be coherent, focused on important mathematics, and well-articulated across the grades
  • Effective mathematics teaching requires understanding what students know and need to learn and then challenging and supporting them to learn it well.
  • Students must learn mathematics with understanding, actively building new knowledge from experience and prior knowledge.
  • Assessment should support the learning of important mathematics and furnish useful information to both teachers and students.
  • Technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students’ learning
Learner Support

  • Most lessons have some combination of activity-specific intervention, extension, and/or ELL suggestions.
  • An Intervention, Practice, and Extension block at the end of the day in which additional lessons and activities will be given to support the learning needs of our scholars
VITALS (SEL)

Caring School Community is a comprehensive, research-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program that builds school-wide community, develops students’ social skills and SEL competencies, and enables a transformative stance on discipline.

A focus on the whole school community

  • Relationships matter
  • Comprehensive leadership guidance
  • A unique stance on discipline
  • Creating calm, orderly learning environments
  • Addressing inequitable discipline practices
Essence Prep - Academics: State Curriculum

State Curriculum Expectations

Preparing our students to not only meet, but exceed the state expectations

Essence Preparatory Public School, through rigorous academics, intentional character development, and cultivating student knowledge of self, prepares all kindergarten through eighth grade students for high school, college, and beyond as leading agents of change in their communities. Essence Prep takes great pride in upholding a high standard of excellence.

As a state public school, we are bound to follow the state curriculum guidelines in order to prepare every student to not only pass, but in our case, to excel on the annual state STAAR test. Achieving a passing score is commendable but it is not our gauge for overall student success and pursuit of excellence. At Essence Prep, all of our scholars know, and understand, that education is a privilege, and a necessary tool for success in life.
Therefore, the following curriculum overview is simply our scaffolding for building every student’s secure and stable foundation upon which their unique and challenging academic experience will follow.

For a general overview of the standards necessary to fulfill a comprehensive college readiness academic program see: Texas College and Career Readiness Standards

Essence Preparatory Public School (Grades K-5)

The EPPS elementary school academic program uses the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS) state standards as the foundation for student achievement and growth.

The following grade level documents provide the elementary TEKS by grade level across all subject areas: