Integration of a Critical Curriculum
IDCS Educators help their students look at subjects, ideas and problems from multiple perspectives. Students are encouraged to find the story that's untold. In critical pedagogy we "disrupt the commonplace, consider multiple viewpoints, focus on the socialpolitical, and take action to promote social justice." (Creating Critical Classrooms) Educator Ira Shor defines critical pedagogy as "Habits of thought, reading, writing, and speaking which go beneath surface meaning, first impressions, dominant myths, official pronouncements, traditional cliches, receive wisdom, and mere opinions, to understand the deep meaning, root causes, social context, ideology, and personal consequences of any action, event, object, process, organization, experience, test, subject matter, policy, mass media, or discourse." (Empowering Education)
Higher Order Thinking Skills
A concept in education based on learning taxonomies such as Bloom's Taxonomy in which learning is a multi-step process where students must first remember and understand, then apply and analyze before finally evaluating and using that information to create new content.
Art inclusion, studio art, and art workshop are offered to all children. Suzuki violin is available to children as young as the age of four and individual piano instruction to children as young as age five on a "pay as you go" basis. Students in grades 4 and over are offered instrumental music (woodwinds, brass, and percussion) free of charge. Weekly music instruction starts in Kindergarten. Students will have several opportunities throughout their time at IDCS to participate in musical performances. Artists in Residence have mini workshops with groups of students throughout the school year, these Artist Residencies have been everything from painting murals, performing plays that combine art and science to creating new and original songs from scratch.
The Integrated Day Charter School is proud to be a Connecticut HOTS spotlight school. Connecticut HOT Schools integrate art and academics with democratic practices. Research indicates that learning integrated with art benefits students in multiple ways including a higher understanding of reading and math as well as thinking and social skills. It has been shown to increase motivation and help in the creation of a positive school environment.