At Kuumba Academy Charter School, we believe in developing the whole student through arts-based activities and rigorous academics, all delivered in a safe, caring environment with teachers and staff who are committed to ongoing professional development.
Rooted in the Arts
Christina Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) founded Kuumba Academy Charter School (KACS) in 2001 as a unique nonprofit/public school partnership based on the idea that all children can soar in school and life, given the right support.
Our students are taught a carefully sequenced curriculum in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical fitness, and Spanish. But it’s not just all academics, all the time—studies have shown that daily exposure to music, theater, dance, and visual arts help students grow academically. In partnership with the CCAC, KACS actively integrates visual and performing arts in our daily curriculum.
Strong Academics & Support
Everything we do aims to ignite children’s passion for learning. We base our challenging curriculum on the nationally recognized Expeditionary Learning (EL) model, which organizes student learning around a project-based, learning-by-doing approach. The EL model emphasizes student inquiry, critical thinking, and real-life connections and experiences. These are proven methods for success among “high need” populations.
At KACS, student-centered instruction ensures that children receive the individualized assessment and academic support needed, along with guidance to achieve specific educational goals. Our model encourages academic depth over breadth, a local context, and alignment with the Common Core State Standards.
Recent data proves our instructional model, coupled with a nurturing staff and technology-based school environment, is working. KACS students are recognized for their hard work.
Ongoing Professional Development
KACS teachers and staff are committed to continuous professional growth and development. Our faculty members are trained in the latest instructional models, receive mentoring and classroom coaching, and benefit from opportunities for collaboration, classroom empowerment, and university instruction and partnerships.
Learning in an urban setting within Wilmington’s Creative District exposes KACS students to a diverse world, with the opportunity to engage in rigorous learning both inside the classroom and throughout the community. Through fieldwork, community partnerships with business leaders, and visits from accomplished artists, KACS students broaden their view of the world every day. And a focus on heritage, self-expression, and serving others helps our students build pride from the inside out.
KACS knows that to be successful in the 21st-Century, students must be skilled in the latest technology. Our students begin honing their technical and computer skills during regular classroom instruction in kindergarten. Students learn how to utilize computers and the Internet as research tools, how to access and evaluate information for problem-solving, and how to work collaboratively using online tools and resources. Additionally, our teachers use specialized software to provide individualized lesson plans and tutoring.
Starting Education at Home
KACS believes that parents and guardians are a child’s primary educators. In cooperation with guidance at home, KACS embraces cultural awareness and empowers students to achieve academic and artistic excellence. We believe that children who are at-risk for academic failure can be high achievers and change agents in low-income communities when parents, guardians, and teachers engage them in a culturally-relevant, community education model.
We believe that young people who incorporate positive values in their lives are better prepared to achieve academically, and more likely to become productive, contributing citizens. A keen focus on values guides our instruction at KACS, where we subscribe to the Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). We also incorporate our core values (Respect, Responsibility, Creativity, and Persistence) into our daily curriculum.