Upper School Overview and Educational Philosophy
Philip's Academy Charter School recognizes the upper school (grades 5-8) years as a time of tremendous change and growth. Between the ages of 10-14, young people experience major physical, emotional, psychological and intellectual changes in their transition from childhood to adolescence. The process is one of twists and turns, and even some occasional "bumps in the road." This journey is, however, one of immense challenge, excitement and reward. Upper school students are naturally curious, caring, loyal, passionate and energetic as they begin to take on a greater interest in their peer group and to explore their personal role in the world at large.
The Philip's Academy Charter School Upper School philosophy recognizes and values the developmental needs of the upper school student. We seek to ease the journey into young adulthood by creating an environment that not only addresses the academic necessities of the emerging adolescent, but also responds to his/her social, emotional and physical needs. In recognition of the fact that students grow and mature at different rates, Philip's Academy seeks to address individual academic and personal needs as far as possible. We also understand that while upper school students seek to have greater control over their lives and to exercise independent decision-making, they also have a need for positive relationships with adults, as well as freedom within boundaries. To this end, the Upper School at Philip's Academy promotes on-going student teacher interactions, and a Grade Level Dean system that provides each student with an adult advocate and guide.
Upper School is a time when young people may increasingly challenge rules and authority as they begin the process of understanding both the world at large and their place in it. Philip's Academy respects this important developmental stage, while at the same time heeding the adolescent's continuing need for structure and limits. The Upper School strives to maintain a balance between rigid restrictions and too much freedom. It is our profound belief that true education, learning and control must come from intrinsic motivation and understanding as opposed to arbitrary rules and regulations. To this end, we view the discipline process as part of educating the whole child and strive to maintain limits, while helping students to understand and own their decisions. As a way of addressing the needs of students for increased autonomy, Philip's Academy provides opportunities for students to exercise responsibility and to get involved in their community through a variety of community service and student leadership programs.