At Kha'p'o Community School, a key piece of our mission and vision is to provide high-quality, enjoyable academic opportunities that are grounded in community. We aim to incorporate western standards and align them with community values and the Tewa language.
As a tribally controlled grant school funded through the Bureau of Indian Education, KCS follows the Common Core State Standards for Reading/Language Arts and Math. We follow the Next Generation Science Standards in Science.
Instead of trying to figure out how to fit culturally-relevant instruction within these western standards, KCS teachers work to fit these western standards into culturally relevant instruction. We do this through Project Based Learning (PBL).
At KCS, PBL is a process that allows students to make mistakes, work at their appropriate level, and engage with content along side their peers. PBL is used across all areas of our school.
Our Tewa Language Department uses the Tewa Language and Culture Curriculum that incorporates specific speaking skills with interactive ways to demonstrate language usage. This includes presentations, poems, and interviews with tribal administration.
Using five inquiry based statements (pictured), K-6 teachers build five cross-curricular units that conclude in a performance-based assessment. This can take many forms, whether it be an essay, a performance, speech, project, and many other forms. The key about project based learning is that the focus is the process, not the product. How are students
Our inquiry based questions are the same every year K-6, so students continually revisit these key concepts through different lenses and ages.
Tools and Supports
Out teachers have many tools at their disposal to assist in the creation of these units. The following is a highlight of some of the programs teachers use to support student learning. All off these curriculum programs are heavily supplemented by teacher-made materials, classroom specific projects, community organizations, and other supports.
KCS uses Envision as a math program to help guide teachers in pacing and instruction. In addition, teachers use First in Math, an online math game site, to encourage students to practice math in a fun way at home and school.
Our primary literacy program is Wonders. Teachers use this program K-6 to teach phonetic and phonemic awareness, introduce literacy skills, and increase comprehension as they grow older. This is also supplemented in upper grades by literature circles and book studies. we also use writing workshop as founded by Lucy Calkins' Units of Study.
KCS partners with the Los Alamos National Laboratories Foundation to provide science instruction. Classes explore different areas of western science using a series of kits aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.