When combined together, the 12 Pillars described below ensure that CAPS scholars develop into moral citizens and knowledgeable scholars prepared to excel in and graduate from college.
OUR COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO LEARNING
Even the most talented, knowledgeable person needs the character traits listed above to find success. At CAPS, we teach these traits explicitly.
Our instructional programs not only fulfill the rigorous NJ State Learning Standards but also anticipate success on the SAT, ACT, and AP Exams, and in college learning as well.
CAPS scholars have a longer school day, accumulating the equivalent of 30 extra days each year compared to typical public school students. This allows not only for longer classes but also for extra periods of math, literacy, and science each week in most grades.
Many CAPS classrooms cut the student:teacher ratio in half with co-teaching. So that all scholars can succeed, co-teacher reach more students during independent work time, provide special support for scholars with specific needs (“Inclusive Co-Teaching”), work with small groups, and even provide one-on-one tutoring.
Breadth and Rigor
Because CAPS schools offer both more learning time and co-teachers, scholars will not only cover all the knowledge and skills of a course but also have the opportunity to master all of it as well.
The Reading Wonders program includes systematic approaches to phonics and reading comprehension, which we support with multiple hours of daily literacy learning. Our history curriculum is based on the acclaimed Core Knowledge program. Our K-5 science program involves twice the hours of the national average and even includes lots of lab work.
Our teachers use every assessment to identify what scholars know and still need to learn. Then, they respond by adjusting lesson plans and planning individual and small-group support. Major assessments, such as the NJSLA, SAT/ACT, and AP Exams, are also key sources of data that drive decision-making about our programs.
In Socratic teaching (aka “shared inquiry”), a teacher builds classroom dialogue using probing questions, responding to scholars’ responses with more questions. This approach, central to the CAPS approach, encourages scholars to think critically and deeply about content and ideas instead of looking only for “right” answers.
Good writing involves engaging deeply with a subject matter. The Toulmin model, used at CAPS in all grade levels and subject areas, structures the process of argumentative writing by requiring scholars to make a claim, define the issue in the claim, support the claim with evidence, justify that support, and consider possible counter-claims.
Knowing a second language enriches cultural experience and opens doors later in life as well. While most of our scholars study Spanish, we offer other languages as well depending on demand and resources.
A.P. Courses for
All H.S. Scholars
Advanced Placement (AP) courses expose scholars to college-level material while in high school, earning them high school credit and often college credit as well. Success in AP courses is correlated with higher college matriculation rates, higher GPAs in college, and higher college graduation rates.
Arts & Athletics
Well-known fact: Students who engage in the arts and who participate in athletics have higher rates of college enrollment and success. Each year, our scholars create art projects that lead to staged galleries, self-publish comic books, perform in concerts and plays, and show their strength on the field.