Mission and History
Mission & History of Charette
Charette exists to inspire students:
- To become practitioners of city planning as a life-long civic engagement strategy;
- To act as guardians of historic buildings;
- To learn in a proficiency based, high-tech and work-like environment, and
- To help build and preserve a collaborative and community immersed school
Providence has been referred to as the “Design Capital” and, as such, serves as a perfect location for Charette with its theme of urban planning. As long as people have a propensity to adapt and reshape their environments, urban planning and historic preservation will remain a self-perpetuating theme. Charette connect students to the future and past while challenging them in the present. The creation of a citizenry aware of the complexities of effective communication and collaboration, design-thinking and planning is as critical to our country’s survival in the 21st Century (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2017) as the creation of an educated and literate citizenry was to our country’s success as a World Leader and democracy in the 20th Century. Currently, urban planning concerns, such as the I195 tract, the IN Bank Building (aka Superman), the Rhodemap Plan, the future of Providence’s Waterfront, new mass transit systems and spaces, port expansion, preserving open space, increasing capacity of ground water runoff containment and crumbling infrastructure and neighborhood revitalization are all issues which need smart answers, and smarter citizens, to help solve them.
Charette’s Guiding Principles:
- Pedagogical Guiding Principle: Blended learning is an effective technique for proficiency-based learning and allows the teacher to be able to analyze data and close skill gaps in a more targeted fashion. Blended learning allows for a highly differentiated learning environment where students can achieve acceleration in one subject and receive remediation in another simultaneously. After close examination, the applicants strongly believe that the Summit Program and Learning Platform offers a state of the art means of promoting student learning and thus the selection of Summit Learning for Charette.
- Curriculum Decision Guiding Principle: Sophisticated e-courseware, such as the Summit Learning Platform exists today and is only getting better over time given the research and development provided by prestigious universities, specifically, Stanford Center for Assessment (SCALE), Learning, and Equity. Charette believes that with the right mix of courseware providers an ideal program of study can be built to serve all kids.
- Assessment Practices Guiding Principle: Assessment is the heart of modern teaching and learning and Charette needs multiple levels of assessment to make the best decisions. The Summit Learning Platform allows for short cycle assessment data to be used by each teacher on a daily if not hourly basis. Well vetted rubrics developed by SCALE will guide the development and assessment of in school and community-based projects. Classroom formative and summative assessments and statewide assessments linked to National Standards inform progress over time (NWEA) and serve as an indicator of future proficiency on the PSAT and SAT. The core curriculum will be aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
- School Culture Guiding Principle: Charette will be a small school of students and adults brought together in advancement of their passion for the past and belief in the future. Essential to Charette success is a focus on two things: the establishment of strong trusting relationships within our school community based on an on-going effort to meet the needs of all members. The themes of Urban Planning and Preservation Arts lend itself to the creation of a school culture based on problem solving, inquiry, teamwork, shared vision, and the need to use technology to expand the school experience beyond the four walls of the school and into the community a true Learning Community for students and teachers alike aided by innovative use of technology.
- Academic and Organizational Guiding Principle: Charette believes that only through meaningful committee work, and school-wide dialogue which includes all stakeholders, does true school improvement happen. Charette is committed to supremely educating students to high levels of achievement and to bring into school context local issues which need to be grappled with and solved. Charette believes that professionals who are members of various organizations can support teaching and learning together by bringing their unique talents and perspectives to the school-wide conversation about quality work and results.
History of Charette:
In September of 2018 a small, safe, and supportive charter high school opened its doors to 84 students in the 9th and 10th grade. This year, the school is a full four-year high school with grades 9-12. Drawing applicants only from Providence, Charette High School was born from a love of the city. The themes of urban planning and historic preservation will be a vehicle to understand how Providence’s future will be shaped while its past respected.
Charette is a blended learning environment, using the Summit Learning Program in its college prep program. Our themes of Urban Planning and Historic Preservation are the way in which Charette students engage the community and learn to become participants in civic affairs and problem solvers and critical thinkers. Charette is not a school specifically designed for students who want to become architects or planners. We’d like it if that passion was fostered by Charette, but we’re realistic. Any student who wants a four-year college prep high school experience in a dynamic environment will love Charette. The theme of urban planning and historic preservation will get our students into the community and they’ll be working on cool projects as a regular part of their school day and experience!