State visits charter school in Royal Palm Beach

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 18:25:13-05

Western Academy Charter School teachers are interactive.

A representative from Tallahassee was in Royal Palm Beach today to find out exactly what teachers are doing to inspire kids to learn and earn the school an A rating.

Shelly Miedona, with the Florida Department of Education said, "After the FSA scores were released, one of the things that we noticed in Palm Beach County that Western Academy stood out as being one of the top performing schools as far as mastery of standards in Math."

If you ask third grade math teacher Patricia Hunsecker what's working-- she says it's having kids learn in small groups. "It is a learning model where we have three teachers for three years, and they rotate to different stations including technology, paper pencil and hands-on activities."

Instead of having a teacher teach the elementary students several subjects, each teacher here focuses on one, math, reading or writing.

Ms. H. said,  "When I was a traditional teacher, I was trying to teach all subjects by myself, to the level of mastery. It's absolutely impossible I am doing it here in math because I have 90 minutes I can do it."

A different program is working for middle school students.

The charter school's principal, Linda Terranova said, "It's very problem based, project based learning, and very high level content. It's very rigorous learning." And the State is taking notice. Shelly Miedona added, "It's not just because the teachers understand the standard, but it's the way the teachers are presenting the standards. It's hands on, it's conversation."