To create a foundation for students to become scientists, mathematicians, writers, free-thinkers, guardians of our waters and responsible citizens of the world.
To offer a quality public education based on the best practices of accelerated learning that reflects the diversity of the children of Monroe County. OSCS offers a rigorous academic program, producing students who meet or exceed the State Standards in English, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. While nurturing curiosity, creativity, and imagination, we encourage children to become independent, responsible, and self-motivated learners. Through a uniquely prepared environment and the use of special didactic materials, the students progress through individual educational programs centered on the surrounding marine environment.
The Ocean Studies Charter School Principles:
Research has shown that the best predictor of future success is a positive sense of self-esteem. Our programs, based on self-directed, noncompetitive activities, help children develop strong self-images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism. Our teachers prepare the classroom environment in an ordered arrangement with carefully chosen, hands-on, sequential learning materials, designed to be challenging, developmentally appropriate, and aesthetically appealing. Used in the noncompetitive classroom, the materials allow each child to develop at his/her individual rate.
The years between five and eleven are prime for establishing an academic foundation and are also the years when a child learns the ground rules of human behavior most easily. OSCS takes advantage of these years to help a child prepare to take his/her place in society through the acquisition of good study habits, responsible citizenship and manners. While our program stresses academic achievement, the atmosphere minimizes stress and competition and accentuates each child’s strengths and successes through cooperative learning.
OSCS Curriculum Plan:
The curriculum plan covers reading, writing, spelling, grammar, handwriting, Montessori mathematics, Singapore math, geometry, geography, cultural geography, botany, zoology, art, physical education, history, marine science, and research skills all aligned with the Common Core and STEM Curriculum. Our unique marine science curriculum serves as a catalyst for our students to become engaged and excited about learning. Each class has aweekly field trip that connects and integrates the lesson plans with real-life experience. The children have the benefit of experiencing our near and off shore waters by boat and kayak. We use the field trips for research, journaling, and developing investigative techniques. The students will be asked to think and write about their experiences as they are experiencing the outdoors.
At OSCS, we take advantage of our unique surroundings and use them as a classroom as well. Our curriculum has sparked interest both in and outside the school resulting in community outreach and independent research at home. We see the students grow with inquiring questions and better understandings of the local environment. Each classroom has two certified or credentialed teachers and the school has a full marine science teacher who works with small groups on projects continuously throughout the day. The school has an outdoor science lab and a media equiptment in each classroom room. The outdoor science lab provides a hands-on, tactile experience for learning science. The lab houses various marine environments and specimens of which the students take care. Equipped with microscopes and other scientific tools, this lab provides for experimenting, studying, charting, practicing the scientific method, and the investigative reporting of data. Each classroom contains computers,tablets, access to media streaming, a marine science library, and the students’ science portfolio work.
OSCS had its inaugural year in 2011 and is the only marine science based school in the Florida Keys. OSCS has more than doubled its enrollment, from 38 students last year to 104 in 2014. The school is also the recipient of the CSP Grant bringing our school a substantial amount of money to enhance the program over the next two years.