Why the School of Tomorrow?
What makes A.C.E. different from other curriculum providers is its individualized, self-instructional, mastery-based approach. PACEs allow students to absorb subject material at their own pace rather than being forced to learn at a pace set by a teacher in a classroom environment. Instead of being labeled by a chronological grade, each student may advance according to individual learning abilities. For instance, a student placed in the fifth grade in a traditional school setting may be taking varying levels of PACEs in the A.C.E. system. This same student could be taking Level 4 math, Level 5 science, and Level 5 English. Students may move ahead in some subject areas and proceed at a slower pace in others.
American program contains a course of Phonetics lasting for four months; it begins on the first grade. On finishing the course, the following subjects are taught: Science, Social studies, English, Word Building and Mathematics. For Georgian students it is not obligatory to study Mathematics in English as in this field the school gives priority to the program developed by the Ministry of Education of Georgia.
Learning material is written in the language the child can understand easily. There is one supervisor (similar to the headteacher in Georgian program) and several monitors in the learning center, who help each student individually in problem solving. It is worth-mentioning that such an individual approach facilitates the integration of children with special needs in educational process. It allows the students to discover and develop their talents and skills.
The program is provided with special forms: Congratulations Slip, Goal Card, Star Chart, Homework Slip, Honor Roll etc. Every student has his/her desk (office) with star charts displayed on them. The star charts show how many PACEs (textbooks) each student has done in each subject. This encourages students and motivates them to work efficiently.
PACEs are numbered and each one includes a test. The material given in a PACE is divided into three parts. After each part the knowledge is measured by Check Ups. The last page is the Self-Test. After completing it successfully the student is allowed to take a test and move to the next PACE.
Learning material gradually becomes more difficult. After completing the 8th grade material the student has to take the TOEFL test after which they are awarded by relevant certificate.
After moving to High School, the supervisor together with the student and the parent outlines an academic project. For graduation the student must collect minimum 23 and maximum 30 credits. Four-year project of compulsory and elective subjects is established. Compulsory subjects are: Algebra I, Algebra II or Geometry, English I, English II, English III, English IV or Literature, World History, World Geography, Biology, Chemistry or Physical Science, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey or Life of Christ, Etymology, Computer Literacy, Physical Education.
Elective subjects are: Spanish or French, Business Math, General Business, Economics, Accounting, History of Civilization I, II, American History, Music, Health, Art etc.
Georgian students get credits in Russian, Georgian, and Georgian history. The school teachers help students to take SAT test and to fill the application forms for colleges and universities. The school uses 3 scale GPA system
Education received at School of Tomorrow gives the student an opportunity to pursue learning in any university of the world.
The A.C.E. program also enables schools and homeschools to administer PACEs to multiple students on different grade levels with minimal staffing. Kindergarten and first-level students are taught with a phonics-based program that requires direct instruction from a supervisor or parent. From the second level on, the student is guided by the self-instructional PACEs. School supervisors and homeschool parents give limited assistance to help students discover learning through the material.
Core curriculum provides students with academics, skill building, reading practice, character and wisdom training. This complete package begins with reading development and progresses through high school, giving students a solid foundation for pursuing their life goals.
Students who are more skilled may progress at a faster rate or may accelerate in the areas of their academic strengths. Slower students are encouraged to do their best but are able to work at their levels of proficiency and proceed as they are capable.
Each core subject consists of 12 PACEs per level. Typical students work daily on one PACE in each subject and may be performing at varying levels. The diagnostic test results help to identify academic weaknesses and prescribe a path to help students catch up. Most students complete at least 70 PACEs per year, while maintaining academic balance by completing about the same number of PACEs in each assigned subject.
A.C.E. has taken the conventionally styled textbook and divided it into bite-sized, achievable worktexts called PACEs. Each PACE is similar to a unit in a textbook. Each level consists of 12 PACEs in each subject. PACEs integrate character-building lessons into the academic content, and self-instructional activities are carefully designed to develop thinking skills and create mastery learning.
Students begin their PACE work by noting their goals, the concepts they will learn. From the beginning of each PACE, they know what is expected and assume the responsibility for their own learning!
Throughout the curriculum, the introduction of new vocabulary words is controlled so that no new vocabulary word is used without the student first learning its meaning and pronunciation. Additionally, these words are repeated a certain number of times to ensure mastery.
Explanations and illustrations add excitement to each lesson, and innovative learning activities reinforce the interesting text material.
Each PACE contains several Checkups, which are quizzes covering a section of the PACE. If mastery in an area is not achieved, the Checkup will reveal that weak area. Students can then take the time necessary to review and learn those concepts before proceeding to the next section.
Upon completion of the activities and Checkups, students prepare to take the Self Test. Here students evaluate themselves, and a supervisor/tutor determines readiness for the final PACE Test. When the Self Test is successfully completed, the student turns in the PACE and takes the PACE Test the next school morning. The PACE Test objectively measures student mastery of the material.
Since 1970, A.C.E. PACEs have proven to be effective tools for goal setting and for achieving academic excellence.
Students using the A.C.E. curriculum for the first time take the free aceconnect Diagnostic Test to evaluate where they are performing academically and to prescribe where they should start. Whether students are transferring to a school using the curriculum or are from a homeschooling family, the Diagnostic Test helps identify any “gaps” in a student’s education. PACEs are then assigned to help the student continue his educational journey.