Q. What types of literature are read?
Please see our reading list via this link: https://www.greatheartsamerica.org/great-hearts-life/great-hearts-curriculum/curriculum-overview/
Q. What Science curriculum is used?
We are heavily indebted to the work of E.D. Hirsch Jr. who developed the Core Knowledge sequence. https://www.coreknowledge.org/
Q. Due to today’s political climate and rhetoric, will students be subject to one view or will all political views be explored equally and justly?
We prefer to keep current politics out of our classrooms and schools as we believe it is a distraction to learning. We will not have mock elections or other events of a similar nature as we believe these can be unnecessarily divisive.
Q. How much opportunity does your curriculum allow for self-directed learning?
There will be opportunities for individual projects in each grade, each year. Our seniors all graduate having written and publicly defended a Thesis. Socratic teaching, at its heart, is directed by the teacher who assists the student in the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
Q. Would you describe your program as more achievement based or more skill/knowledge based?
Our focus is on the rich heritage our Classical, Liberal Arts Curriculum. We believe that the study of the great texts and the philosophical questions that man has wrestled with for centuries is the best way to form a student to be a truly free human being.
Q. Is there a particular approach for neurodivergent and gifted students?
We have a full Special Education department in each school that seeks to assist every student in their care to participate as fully and as richly with our curriculum as possible. Those students for whom academics are less challenging will find our emphasis on providing explanations for statements and proof for answers to be a substantial challenge.
Q. What can you do for individual students that excel is specific subjects?
We continue to challenge students to know that which is being studied as thoroughly as possible. This often means that getting an answer “right”, merely is the first step in the exploration of truth. In literature and history, we are often challenging students to support their answers with proof from the shared text being read, while in math we are often insisting that students prove that their answer is correct, allowing them to demonstrate that they can explain the solution from a variety of different angles.
Q. Will other languages be offered or is Latin fundamental to the Great Hearts curriculum?
Great Hearts Forest Heights will start Latin at Kindergarten. In high school our students will get to choose between continuing in the Classics or moving to a modern foreign language.
Q. What is the reason for Latin instruction?
First and foremost, we believe that the study of Latin, in and of itself is good. It is also a foundational language of many of the arts we study, including science and grammar.
Q. What year does spalding end and how does it differ form year to year up through 8th grade?
Our Spalding phonetic study will end after the 5th or 6th grade. Each year the students will be reintroduced to the phonograms, manuscript and cursive writing. The word list at which each grade begins will get progressively more difficult and complex.
Q. What sports will be offered and at what grades?
We are very committed to a full and vibrant athletic community. At this time, we can not commit to the full availability of athletics, as this requires trained coaches, community interest, and appropriate facilities. Our first full high school in Texas, Great Hearts Monte Vista North has the most fully developed athletic program and should serve as an example for our own community. https://greatheartsmontevistaathletics.org
Q. What is the school year schedule? Mid-term breaks?
Please look up the academic calendars of some of our sister schools for examples:
Great Hearts Northern Oaks: http://files.constantcontact.com/79ccc661501/8610fa67-e964-48d3-827e-7739dabde36f.pdf
Great Hearts Westen Hills: https://westernhills.greatheartsamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2018/04/2018-2019-GHWH-School-Calendar.pdf
Q. What are the school hours?
An estimated start and end time will be 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Q. How is lunch handled?
Students can bring their own, purchase one at school or receive a free or reduced lunch (if eligible).
Q. How long and how many recesses do kindergartners get?
Kinder through 2nd grade will receive at least 2 recesses per day of about 20 minutes each, 3rd grade and above will have one recess of at least 20 minutes.
Q. What does discipline look like?
We ask our teachers to teach, not to be disciplinarians. We use gentle reminders and other attention forming techniques to assist our students to stay on task. Students whose behavior distracts from the teaching task at hand are escorted to one of the administrators who will continue the disciplinary process allowing the teacher to focus on teaching.
Q. How long after the first phase of construction will the gym and cafeteria be built?
Phase 2, which will house the future middle and high school will be built 2021-2022, our third year, and will include a gym and high school building. Our multi-purpose room and our gym also serve as our cafeterias.
Q. What will be the planned route for drop-off/pick-up? Is off Prue the only way?
Maps will be published detailing the route over the summer. Prue/Research road is the only main road our site has access to.
Q. How often will emergency evacuation drills be conducted?
At least monthly.
Q. Are teachers certified?
Some are, some are not. We love our certified teachers, but we also have the freedom to hire teachers who are morally good, passionate about children and learning, and who don’t have certification.
Q. Tell us a bit more about how teachers are trained.
First year teachers will spend about 6 weeks prior to the school opening in subject specific training. Weekly staff meetings will also consist of group training foci, but the bulk of training will be handled by myself through intense classroom observation and coaching feedback sessions.
Q. How are teachers evaluated for effectiveness?
I will be highly present in each teacher’s classroom right from the beginning of the year to the end and will constantly be coaching their pedagogy, testing, and classroom management skills.
Q. What are the education requirements for Great Hearts teachers?
Each Lead Teacher, as opposed to the Teacher’s Apprentice, must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Q. Is Great Hearts a private Corp.?
We are a not-for-profit charter school.
Q. Are there any community outreach opportunities for the students?
Yes. These develop throughout the school year.
Q. When is the lottery decision notification?
Q. What is the selection criteria?
We are open enrollment. We have no selection filters. We ask no questions of race, socio-economic status, intellectual ability or academic prowess prior to applying to our school.
Q. How many spots for existing students that want to transfer to the new location are currently allotted?
Our school will be opening as a Kinder – 6th grade and will have three classes of thirty students at each grade.
Q. How well do homeschoolers transition to a Great Hearts program?
All students find there is a bit of an adjustment to our schools. The ease of adjustment depends largely on how similar the student’s prior scholastic environment was to our own. Those who come from joyful and ordered environments adjust quite quickly.
Q. Do you offer an after-school program?
Yes! For more information, please email the director of our co-curricular program, Christine Jagge for information about our Athenaeum program: Christine.Jagge@GreatHeartsTX.org