Frequently Asked Questions
Rigorous curriculum that is customized for each learner is emphasized at Dayspring Academy. Dayspring uses the Core Knowledge Sequence which guides our teachers in understanding “What Every Child Needs to Know”. The curriculum tools we use to teach content, standards, and skills are: Core Knowledge LA and History, Eureka Math, Math XL, Ready Gen, Shurley English, Hands-on Science Kits, Wordly Wise, and Handwriting Without Tears.
Dayspring offers detailed curricular guidance and materials to schools, teachers, parents, and policy makers, to anyone who believes as we do, that every child in a diverse democracy deserves access to enabling knowledge. By providing open access to an exemplary curriculum for preschool through twelfth grade, we endeavor to:
Dayspring uses a technology rich environment to enhance learning. Our secondary campus is a 1:1 iSchool campus. Our elementary campus is a 1:3 iSchool campus. Technology is used for collaboration, creativity, and research. Dayspring educates learners on digital citizenship through Common Sense Media to help navigate a complex world. Dayspring places emphasis on 21st century skills and these skills are used to enhance content learning, problems solving, and collaboration.
Problem-based learning (PBL) is an approach that challenges students to learn through engagement in real-world problems. PBL develops both problem solving strategies and increases knowledge bases and skills by placing learners in the active role of problem-solvers confronted with a real-world situation that simulates the kind of problems they are likely to face in future life situations and in their future careers.
PBL is student-centered, which makes a fundamental shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. The process is aimed at using the power of authentic problem solving to engage students and enhance their learning and motivation. There are several unique aspects that define the PBL approach:
PBL is unique in that it fosters collaboration among students, stresses the development of problem solving skills within the context of professional practice, promotes effective reasoning and self-directed learning, and is aimed at increasing motivation for lifelong learning.
*San Francisco State University
Dayspring developed and implemented a unique school wide Character Key program which promotes virtues, morals, and civic responsibility. Dayspring understands that not only is what one learns important, it is equally important how one uses that knowledge. Our DayspringISMs promote and reinforce good character in every classroom and at every event.
Homework is necessary for skills practice and reinforcement of academic content. It allows for more efficient use of class time as learners prepare for a topic before class, practice new skills, or reinforce previously learned material. Homework is used in collaboration with teaching, is not given as a routine, but is assigned to maintain rigor, reach academic excellence, and encourage independence and responsibility.
The greatest factor to affect a child’s learning is parental support and involvement. Dayspring requires each family to volunteer 15 hours to enhance their child’s learning experience. The 15 hours are designed to promote engagement with each child’s learning through field trips, school activities, family learning events, and other school and learning engagement functions. Being involved in a child’s learning is the most important factor, and our volunteer requirement helps to facilitate that learning.
Dayspring has a uniform requirement. Research has demonstrated the following:
Dayspring Academy is a tuition-free public charter school. Fees include those normally charged by public schools, such as supplies and special program costs. As with other public schools, charter schools are funded by federal, state, and local tax dollars based upon enrollment.
Dayspring teachers are highly qualified, state certified teachers, all of whom go through a rigorous employment background check, employment history review, and evaluation process to ensure a high quality team.
Dayspring is in compliance with the state required class size cap equivalent for charter schools. Kindergarten through grade 3 allows 18 students per teacher as an average class size cap level; grade 4 through grade 8 allows 22 average class size; and grade 9 through grade 12 is under 25. Many of Dayspring’s classes fall well below the class size cap level based on the class period and subject area.
Dayspring uses assessment for the purposes of guiding learning and informing learners, teachers, and parents. Dayspring uses a differentiated assessment approach customized to each learner in order to diagnose and enhance learning. As a public charter school, Dayspring complies with all state required assessments.
Dayspring offers several athletic opportunities. Certified physical education teachers located at each campus guide learners in physical activities. Sports clubs that run through the year, such as street hockey, basketball, and running, are part of Dayspring’s athletic offerings. While not a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association, Dayspring has agreements with each of the local public schools to allow eligible Dayspring learners to participate in their zoned middle school or high school sports program if desired.
Dayspring offers many rich after school programs that foster camaraderie, competition, and social growth. Dayspring has State and National Award winning Odyssey of the Mind teams, National Honor Society, robotic clubs, hockey teams, dance teams, award-winning Thespian clubs, student council, Interact, digital effects, aeronautics clubs, science clubs, and more.
Recess is an important component of a learner’s daily schedule at Dayspring. Supervised recess in excess of 20 minutes is provided for learners kindergarten through grade 5 and for grade 6 through grade 10 on a daily basis.
Dayspring participates in the Pasco County School Wellness program (see link), and provides for free and reduced lunch for those that qualify. Extended lunch time is provided for kindergarten through grade 5.
Dayspring has a unique program for all 11th and 12th grade learners in its partnership with Pasco Hernando State College. Dayspring’s Structured Dual Enrollment program enables its high school learners to take college classes to meet their high school requirement. Dayspring learners have the ability to graduate with their Associate of Arts degree while simultaneously completing their high school diploma. For more information, please see our DUAL ENROLLMENT link on our website.
Dayspring provides a rich environment where every learner is required to participate in the arts. At Dayspring, the arts are not an extracurricular activity, but an integrated part of the core curriculum, with programs that include, but are not limited to: dance, drama, visual arts, band, choir, ukulele, and digital design. Research has proven that the arts enhance learning in the following manner:
“Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past,” says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.”.
Musical education is a critical part of Dayspring’s core curriculum. Every learner will be exposed to, and participate in, various forms of music education including playing various instruments, voice, reading music, music theater, and the like. Research has proven many benefits as a result of music education.
A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts. Johnson compares the concentration that music training requires to the focus needed to perform well on a standardized test.
This relationship between music and language development is also socially advantageous to young children. “The development of language over time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process music,” says Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and a practicing musician. “Language competence is at the root of social competence. Musical experience strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent.”
Dayspring provides bus transportation on space available and first come first serve basis. Bus transportation within 2 miles of each campus is a courtesy and is not always available. Learners must be signed up for bus transportation via our bus transportation form (see link). See bus posted routes.
Dayspring provides before and after school care programs on a fee basis through the Act 2 program. Free snacks, homework assistance, arts and crafts and games before school from 6:45 a.m. until start of school and after school until 6:00 p.m. are provided for children grades K-6. For more information please see our Act 2 page on our website.
Being a good digital citizen is more than knowing your way around the web. It's about connecting and collaborating in ways you didn't even know were possible.When you teach digital citizenship to your learners, you help create a positive school culture that supports safe and responsible technology use. Our K–12 Digital Citizenship program includes comprehensive learning resources for learners, teachers, and family members. Dayspring partners and implements resources provided by Commonsensemedia.org.
Dayspring understands that each learner is unique with every child having their own talents and challenges. Dayspring provides ESE and ELL services, Occupational Therapy, and speech services through licensed, certified instructors. However, on rare occurrences Dayspring may not be able to service all types of ESE needs including, but not limited to Level IV extreme nursing service.
Field trips are a crucial part of learning at Dayspring Academy. Dayspring provides over 45 field trip opportunities for its learners. Educational field trips bring to life cultural, real world experiences, and give practical examples of those subjects learners are studying in the classroom. While their purpose is essentially to educate, field trips can also be a fun bonding experience for everyone involved, providing for reinforcement of learning, additional learner engagement, socialization, and new cultural and community experiences.
“If we are going to be a decent country, if we are going to be a decent world,
we have to be dedicated to the proposition that no one will be a prisoner to the circumstances in which they’ve been born.”
- Condoleezza Rice
for Education and the Arts
Dayspring Academy is accredited by:
AdvancED & Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
2016 Dayspring Academy