Here are some of the other unique features of Anser Charter School:
Journeys into the unknown for a definite purpose – are at the heart of Anser’s methodology. Although some curricular skills are taught separately; for the most part, students acquire knowledge and skills through learning expeditions that cut across and make connections among disciplines. Each expedition has specific and well-defined academic, service and physical goals. All expeditions culminate with exhibitions of final products that are presented to a wide audience and must meet high standards. This allows students to synthesize what they have learned and to demonstrate how they can use their new knowledge.
Adventure activities are included at all grade levels providing students an opportunity to challenge themselves both physically and mentally. These activities include camping, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing and the ropes course. For more information, please visit our Anser Adventure Handbook.
Students also perform fieldwork as part of their classroom expeditions. They collect data outside the school that enriches the understanding of their area of study. They analyze their findings and bring them back to the classroom to share with a wider audience.
Students are immersed in learning about, and are expected to practice strong character. The traits of responsibility, integrity, courage, compassion, discipline and respect are modeled by staff, parents and students in everything that is done at the school.
Student needs are addressed at Anser under the same guidelines and laws as any public school. Federal and State statutes identify the Boise Independent School District at the Local Education Area (LEA) responsible for serving students with special needs. Anser, as part of the LEA, shares responsibility for and coordinates with the district for special education services. Any evaluations or services offered to students must have parental consent, whether provided at Anser or the neighborhood school. Anser has adopted the Idaho Department of Education’s manual for Special Education. This manual is available here.
Anser students who qualify for the district’s Gifted and Talented (GATE) program have an option attending a program facilitated by a GATE teacher at the student’s home-district school, with transportation provided the parents. Most parents opt to keep their gifted child at Anser to take advantage of Anser’s comprehensive program that differentiates instruction to meet every student’s needs.
Anser’s foundation is built on the Outward Board principles developed by Kurt Hahn. They communicate the belief that every student plays a role in the success of the team and that each child has a unique contribution to make. The structure of Anser’s multi-age classrooms is built upon the concept of crew. Each student has the opportunity as they grow from a “younger” to an “older” to receive support and provide support to their classmates. Each student has the opportunity to share their talents and gifts, and to learn from the unique contributions of their peers. Much of an Anser student’s work is done in a collaborative group setting. This allows students to learn not only from their teacher, but to take the background knowledge their teacher provides and build upon it through collaborative work with their peers. This social construction of knowledge creates a rich, diverse learning environment where students are exposed to a wider variety of learning strategies and ideas.
Each Wednesday morning throughout the school year, the whole school gathers in the gym. All students in Kindergarten through 8th grade sit together to listen and learn from their fellow students. Each week different classroom leads WSC, presenting information about their current activities in class, reading the names of students who have been recognized school wide for good character, discussing school wide concerns and how to solve them. WSC provides an opportunity for all Anser students to develop public speaking skills, to be celebrated for good character and to become a part of the school-wide community.
Students participate in physical education activities one time per week. Anser staff also provides other physical activities at school regularly. One complete Community Based Curriculum module is dedicated to lifetime sports such as skiing, snowshoeing, swimming and ice skating. Check with your child’s teacher to find out the day and time for your child’s PE time.
Anser students (Kindergarten through sixth grades) have Spanish class one time per week. Junior High students (grades seven through eight) have Spanish twice a week. Please check with your child’s teacher to find out the day and time your child’s class is scheduled for Spanish.
Students at Anser are taught to identify the characteristics of high quality work and the process to achieve it. Through the use of student developed rubrics, working through multiple drafts, peer critique and reflection Anser students learn the importance of working hard to do their best work. Learning to refine upon their initial effort, to give positive critiques to their peers , and to take feedback and use it to improve helps Anser students work collaboratively and benefit from the diversity of ideas in their crew. Below are some examples of exemplary work created by Anser students.
Research indicates that parental involvement has a profound effect on student achievement and attitude. Parent/Teacher/Child partnerships are essential to Anser’s continued success, and participation can take many forms. An interdependent relationship between family, community and school is essential in helping every child reach his or her full potential. Family participation is one of the most vital components of Anser’s program. Given the great diversity existing among families, Anser recognizes that volunteering is a choice that is internally motivated and that the best way to get families involved is to offer a wide variety of opportunities which allow them to participate.