The immediate goal of Lake Eola Charter School is to build a foundation for further academic success at the high school and post-secondary levels, to ensure that students are able to keep open a broad range of future endeavors and to prepare them to be responsible and productive citizens.
LECS will seek to systematically and cumulatively build the students knowledge and skills by providing them with a thorough and early grounding in reading, writing, mathematics, history, science, a foreign language, and the arts.
Where much of traditional education has focused on a transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the students, faculty at LECS will be seen as facilitators of student learning aimed at specific goals. Longer blocks of time will allow teachers the maximum flexibility to create in depth student projects, including, for example, visits to local museums, the library and Lake Eola. Within a given class setting, many activities and methods may be adopted to enable students to understand the concepts and facts of a subject. Teachers model the reasoning skills inherent in structuring and processing academic content so that students can begin to make decisions independently by critically thinking through questions and when necessary, using quantitative analysis to solve real problems.
The school will serve no more than 219 students in grades K-8. Classes sizes are as follows:
Kindergarten: 17 students
The school is located in the downtown business district of Orlando, and shall be open to any elementary student or middle school student who resides in the Orange County School District.
All eligible students who submit a timely application shall be
enrolled, unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity
of the program or building. In such case, all applicants shall
have a chance of being admitted through a random selection
process. The charter gives enrollment preference to a sibling of a
student enrolled in LECS, a child of a LECS employee, or a child
of a LECS Board member.
Lake Eola Charter School is committed to following anti-discriminatory statutes as set out in s.228.2001 which forbids discrimination against students or employees based on race, national origin, sex, handicap, or marital status.
Carefully designed, multi-aged, school projects will be held each year including an oratorical festival and a science and technology fair. LECS is committed to setting up content and performance standards based on International and National standards, as opposed to simply adopting the standards laid out by a publisher of a textbook series. Therefore, most of our materials will be drawn from sources such as non-fiction and fictional works, magazine articles, essays, computer software, manipulatives, and other enrichment materials. The following criteria will be used for selecting materials: 1) correspondence with the school's achievement targets for each grade, 2) subject accuracy, 3) clarity of exposition, and 4) vocabulary and ideas that build from grade to grade.
Technology will be used to research specific knowledge and to
communicate this knowledge to others. Computers are seen as a tool
for mastering knowledge and skills, rather than an end in
themselves. In grades K to 8 computer stations are integrated into
each classroom. At least one classroom computer will be networked
with the school-wide system.
Closely connected with mastery of basic knowledge is the
acquisition of positive attitudes and behaviors which are
essential for success in an advanced academic setting. These
include hard work, personal responsibility, the ability to work
cooperatively and constructively with others, a sense of fairness,
and the self discipline to initiate and complete projects.
1. Students will develop clear and effective written and oral
communication skills using standard English
Below are the general approaches to curricular development in the
core disciplines. The faculty individually and in academic program
committees will specify content and performance standards prior to
the beginning of the school year. In addition to curriculum
development, careful attention will be paid to implementing
coherent assessment standards and practices based on the
It is essential that students master the basics of reading by the
end of the 3rd grade so that by 4th grade they are prepared to
learn science, history, literature and mathematics in greater
depth. As one educator put it, "They must learn to read, so that
they can read to learn." Students need a language-rich environment
where they are immersed in meaningful reading and writing
Early preparation is necessary to build a foundation for
literacy. Studies have shown that children who are introduced to
books and other printed materials at an early age are more likely
to succeed in reading well by the time they reach 4th grade than
those who are not. For this reason, LECS believes that it is
essential to provide a Kindergarten program for early literacy
preparation which has three goals, (1) recognition and naming the
letters of the alphabet, (2) general knowledge about texts (using
a book, whether a story is told in pictures or print, etc) and (3)
awareness of phonemes, the speech sounds that correspond roughly
to individual letters.
Because LECS is located adjacent to the Orlando Public Library,
we have a unique opportunity to form an on-going partnership with
the library. This partnership includes access to special programs
such as staff lead read alouds and guest author talks.
LECS students will learn to read at least at the basic reading
level as outlined by the National Assessment of Educational
Progress Standards (NAEP) in order to progress to the 4th grade.
Grades K-3 will focus on the process of reading effectively so
that students can construct the meaning of a wide range of texts
including poetry, folktale, fables, legends, plays, speeches,
essays and other works of non-fiction. Learning phonics is central
to this process.
The language arts program in grades 4-8 will reflect a literature-based approach. It has been adapted from Nancie Atwell's program where students self-select fiction and non fiction that reflects three levels: holiday, challenge and just right choices. Through conferencing, reading logs and activities such as Book Bistro students demonstrate their comprehension. Integrated in this process teachers use mini lessons to model skills such as inferencing, sequencing and cause and effect.
Equally important to the reading process is the writing process.
Daily writing will be used as a means of processing questions,
knowledge, experiences and creative thought. Students will advance
from basic sentence structure using correct grammar and
punctuation to full length writing of essays, journals, creative
writing, and technical writing genres. Writing skills are
developed in a whole-language context.
Grades 3-8 will participate in an in class speech contest in
response to a question or topic concerned with values/citizenship.
Students will be evaluated based on grade-appropriate objectives.
The best speeches of the class contest will go on to participate
in the all school Oratorical Festival in one of two divisions:
3,4,5 or 6,7,8.
Projects such as the University of Pittsburgh Quantitative
Understanding: Amplifying Student Achievement and Reasoning
(QUASAR) show that students can reach high levels of mathematical
reasoning across the board. Three assumptions form the basis of
Pittsburgh's success in raising proficiency in mathematical
reasoning and complex problem solving: (1) All students are able
to learn a broad range of mathematical content (2) all students
can acquire a deeper and more meaningful understanding of
mathematical ideas, and; (3) all students can demonstrate
proficiency in mathematical reasoning and complex problem solving.
According to the National Council of Mathematics Teachers a shift
is needed from traditional 'paper and pencil' approaches which
emphasize computation and rote learning to an approach which
emphasizes the child gaining mathematical insight, reasoning, and
problem solving skills. Based on the NCMT's recommendations, LECS
will focus on creating a developmentally appropriate curriculum
where children are encouraged to understand the conceptual basis
and the quantitative analysis of mathematical relations. The K-4
curriculum will emphasis the development of children's
mathematical thinking and reasoning abilities. Students will use
manipulatives in order to recognize concepts such as number sense,
the meaning of fractions and decimals, techniques for forming
estimations, geometric and spatial patterns, and whole number
operations. As students come to recognize mathematical reasoning
patterns in different contexts, they are encouraged to apply these
concepts to real life situations and communicate their findings in
a variety of ways including writing, diagramming, models, and oral
In grades 5-8 students will build on the algebraic and
geometrical concepts integrated into the K-4 curriculum. By the
7th and 8th grades, the formal study of pre-algebra and algebra is
introduced. Rather than teachers leading students in a lecture
format through a math problem, the emphasis is on students solving
the problem and then demonstrating to the class strategies for
reaching a conclusion.
The science curriculum focuses on mathematical and scientific
reasoning, as well as experimentation and observation, and is in
line with the McRel Standards. Each grade level will learn a
specific body of facts, theories, and principles in the areas of
physical sciences, life sciences, earth sciences, and astronomy.
In the early grades (K-2), the emphasis will be on exploration of
the natural world including topics such as magnets, the solar
system, simple machines, dinosaurs and backyard birds. In grades
3-5 students will be introduced to the scientific method and the
use of measurement in understanding the elements of Newtonian
physics, the processes that shape life and the environment. In
grades 6-8 students will integrate quantitative analysis and the
scientific method to describe natural laws and biological
functions. All students are required participate in the yearly
LECS teaches history, geography and world cultures from
kindergarten through the eighth grade. The curriculum was
developed based on the Washington World History Project with
funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
History and geography are taught from Kindergarten to grade two
through interesting stories from around the world such as folk
tales, legends, myths, accounts of historical events, and
biographies. In grade three, students study all seven continents
in a general survey approach. Activities and discussions promote
understanding of the history, government, daily life, culture,
economy and geography of the various regions.
The transition from stories to a more detailed and factual study
of history occurs during fourth grade. Students read biographies,
study Native American Culture, the history and geography of the
United States and the history of Florida in its formation and
heritage. From grades 4-8, social studies in taught
cyclically. Year 1 is early civilization, year 2 is from the Dark
Ages through Exploration and year 3 is post exploation to modern
day. Additional themes integrated into the rotation include
Florida History in grades 4 and 5 and government in grades 6-8.
All grades study the Foundations of American heritage which
includes the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Declaration of
Independance and the Branches/duties of the government. Students
learn geography in conjunction with their study of history.
Following the McRel Standards, LECS will teach modern foreign
language and culture to every student in grades K-8. Studies have
shown that early acquisition of a second language increases the
chances that the student will be proficient in speaking and
writing a second language, as well as having other cognitive
benefits. Language classes will meet twice weekly to maximize
exposure to the sounds of the new language and to provide as much
immersion experience as possible.
In the early grades students are taught through games, songs and
dramatizations which stress oral expression and listening
comprehension. Cultural elements and basic vocabulary are
introduced and students are encouraged to play, sing, name
pictures and exchange simple sentences among themselves. By grade
4, students are introduced to the written language and begin to
learn specific vocabulary and verb conjugations. By 6th grade
formal grammar and syntax are studied. Later, reading
comprehension is increased through the study of literature and
LECS provides a comprehensive health and physical education
program in accordance with the McRel standards. Students learn
about health promotion and disease prevention, human growth and
development, nutritional science, accident and fire prevention,
and physical activity concepts. Part of the program focuses on
nonviolent strategies for conflict resolution. Special topics such
as the drug and smoking prevention, safety training, first aid,
and AIDS/HIV awareness are enhanced by community services
available in the Orlando area.
Students learn about age-appropriate aspects of human sexuality
and family life as part of the health program, provided
parents/legal guardians agree to their participation in this part
of the program.
All content on www.lecs.org is ©1998-2011 by Lake Eola Charter School, Inc. | 135 North Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801 | T: 407.246.0900 F: 407.246.6334