Dayspring Academy

for Education and the Arts

(727) 857-6922

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Curriculum

         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:

    • Create literate citizens able to contribute to a democratic society.
    • Empower each child to achieve his or her greatest academic potential.
    • Shrink the excellence gap between the academic achievement of American students and that of their international peers from high-performing countries.
    • Shrink the fairness gap between the academic achievement of American students living in poverty and that of their economically advantaged peers.



    Core Knowledge

    Eureka Math

    Shurley English

    Delta Science

    Math XL

    Wordly Wise


  • Technology

        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.


  • Collaboration/PBL

         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:

    • Learning takes place within the contexts of authentic tasks, issues, and problems that are aligned with real-world concerns.
    • In a PBL course, students and instructors become co-learners, co-planners, co-producers, and co-evaluators as they design, implement, and continually refine their curricula.
    • The PBL approach is grounded in solid academic research on learning and on the best practices that promote it. This approach stimulates students to take responsibility for their own learning, since there are few lectures, no structured sequence of assigned readings, and so on.


         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

  • Character

         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

         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.

  • Volunteering

         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.

  • Uniforms

         Dayspring has a uniform requirement. Research has demonstrated the following:

    • School uniforms take the competition out of dress.
    • With school uniforms, everyone fits in with their school.
    • School uniforms do not suppress individuality, they enhance it.
    • School uniforms bring safety back to the school halls.
    • School uniforms have resulted in declining truancy and increased attendance.
    • School uniforms bring an image of success to learners and teachers.
    • School uniforms can alleviate some of the pressures that keep learners from wanting to attend school.
    • School uniforms improve the climate of a school, which is vital to its success, and an important factor in America's future.
  • Tuition/Cost

         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.

  • Teachers

         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.

  • Learner/Teacher Ratio

         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.

  • Assessment

         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.

  • Athletics

         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.

  • Clubs

         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

         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.

  • Lunch

         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.

  • Structured Dual Enrollment Program

         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.

  • Visual and Performing Arts

         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:


    • Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors. Many preschool programs emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will need for writing.
    • Language Development: For very young children, making art, or just talking about it, provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. When toddlers are as young as one year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling up paper and calling it a “ball.” By elementary school, students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.
    • Decision Making: According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. “If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” says MaryAnn Kohl, arts educator and author of numerous books concerning children’s art education.
    • Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting with clay, and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are more important than ever. Even toddlers know how to operate a smartphone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information. This information consists of cues that we get from pictures or three-dimensional objects from digital media, books and television.


         “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.”.


    • Inventiveness: When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. “The kind of people society needs to make it move forward are thinking, inventive people who seek new ways and improvements, not people who can only follow directions,” says Kohl. “Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better!”
    • Cultural Awareness: Arts education offers our learners a rich understanding of the people we share our planet with, their traditions, locations, expressions and culture. By bringing the content from the classroom into the arts classrooms, learners are able to engage and make connections through the arts that reinforce their learning.
    • Improved Academic Performance: Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievements. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours per day, three days per week for one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair, or to win an award for writing an essay or poem, than children who do not participate.


  • Music Programs

         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.”

  • Transportation

         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.

  • Before/After School Care Programs/A.C.T. II

         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.

  • Digital Citizenship

         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

  • Students with Disabilities or ELL needs

         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

         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

Dayspring Academy

for Education and the Arts

Dayspring Academy is accredited by:

AdvancED & Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

2016      Dayspring Academy