Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering

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1 Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering 1. What is the School Choice being offered at Chestnut Elementary? Starting in the school year, Chestnut will be an Elementary Choice School for Science and Engineering. This school choice program will be offered as an option that is open to children in Osceola County, based on their residence. This allows families with children entering grades K-5 the opportunity to choose the school they prefer for their children to attend. Currently Chestnut Elementary School is undergoing a change to become a public choice school under the jurisdiction of the Osceola County School District to offer specialized, enhanced curriculum. Additional information and program highlights can be found on the link from the school s website at or on the district website at under Choice options in the Quick links section. 2. What are the advantages of attending Chestnut Elementary over a regular public school or a charter school? Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering is theme based, and this theme may appeal to your child's interests more than a broad-based public school. Each school in the Osceola County public school system has its own advantages and must be measured by your family s particular needs and goals. However, Chestnut may offer the type of academic challenges that may be right for your child. 3. How do I know if my child is right for Chestnut Elementary for Science and Engineering? Chestnut Elementary will be offering a different focus that is academically challenging, interactive, creative, and fun. We will invite family participation in the school and have set high standards for academics and attendance. Many children thrive in this type of environment and look forward to the different projects and challenges. You and your family are in the best position to decide if this kind of school fits your child s needs, abilities, and personality. 4. What will be the theme at Chestnut Elementary? Chestnut Elementary will be Osceola County s first elementary school to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills. Our school is designed to provide an enhanced traditional curriculum with a unique emphasis on Science and Engineering, along with students learning and utilizing the essential communication and social skills. The program will develop the individual talents of students through intellectual rigor and high academic standards. 5. What will be offered within this program at the school? Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering will have a rigorous curriculum spotlighting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills. Students are immersed in rigorous problem-based and project-based learning, including investigations, virtual labs, simulations, and community expeditions to connect them with the real world. Students use critical and analytical thinking skills to construct knowledge based upon their discoveries and share their projects with various audiences. Students are highly engaged in hands-on learning activities and integrated content projects, along with exciting opportunities for enrichment electives which also refine their special talents and interests. Some special features include: Integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) content/skills Extensive Hands-on and Minds-on Explorations Cooperative Learning Teams Real-Life Problem-Solving Projects Media Research Center 3 Computer Labs 3 Mobile Tech Labs 3 Science & Math Labs Lego & Robotics Studios Engineering Construction Lab

2 Digital & Graphic Arts Video & TV Production Studio Cooperative Team Competitions Smart boards, Elmo Projectors, Smart Responders & Computers Primary Playtime is Science Outdoor Nature Classrooms & Gardens QUEST Gifted & Advanced Program Enrichment Electives 4x/weekly Variety of Extracurricular Clubs GPS Orienteering Weather Station & Green Screen Virtual Labs & Simulations Community Expedition Field Trips & Mentors 6. Why does Chestnut Elementary School wish to provide this Science and Engineering focus? Engineering is the practical application of Science, Math, and Technology to solve problems. Technologies are solutions designed by people to fulfill a need. The process that creates technologies is engineering. Engineers are inventors and innovators who shape progress. This field offers more career options than any other discipline! 7. Is the school free? Yes, it is a regular public school and it does not charge tuition. 8. How do you get to attend Chestnut Elementary? For more information about the program at Chestnut, contact the Office of Charter Schools and Educational Choices at (407) or visit the school district website at and click on Choice options in the Quick links section. Also, you may visit our school s website at for further information. Student admission is based on a random lottery system. Reedy Creek, Sunrise, Pleasant Hill, Deerwood, Koa, Bellalago & Poinciana Elementary will be given a percentage of the available seats in proportion to their total school enrollment. Once all seats for each school are filled, a waiting list will be created and available seats will go to students on the list. Applications will be accepted through April Does the lottery differentiate between schools or is it one lottery for all schools? For the first lottery period, each school will have its own separate lottery. Slots are available by percentage from each school within the approved attendance zone areas (Reedy Creek, Sunrise, Pleasant Hill, Deerwood, Koa, Bellalago & Poinciana Elementary). Once all slots have been filled, a single waiting list will be compiled. This waiting list will be used to fill any vacancies created by children moving out of the area or leaving the school. 10. Do students who live within the Chestnut Attendance Zone need to apply? No. All students who live within the Chestnut Attendance Zone are automatically enrolled in our school-wide enhanced learning program. 11. Is there sibling preference in the application process? We want to keep families together whenever possible. Toward this end, we do give preference to siblings. When one family member is chosen, all applicants in the family are placed in the school. 12. If I don't get in this year, do I have to reapply next year? Yes. The lottery begins new each school term, but those already in the program will be offered a spot each year, so there is no need for them to reapply.

3 13. What if my family applies to Chestnut Elementary School and then decides not to come? They will return to their home school and the next student on the waiting list will be offered the position. Students can reapply in the future if they are interested. 14. When are applications due? Applications will be accepted for the first lottery through April 26. Applications must be hand delivered, faxed or postmarked by the due date to be considered. Applications are accepted at the Choice office or Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering office. 15. How does the waiting list work? After all the classes have been filled, the next numbers drawn in the lottery will constitute the waiting list. If a child is unable to attend and we have open slots, we will take the first name from the waiting list and admit that student. Because there are always last-minute changes, we encourage parents to get on a waiting list. Their child could very well be selected to attend their School of Choice if an opening occurs. 16. What about transportation to the schools? We will offer "corridor" busing to Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering. This means that several pick-up spots are designated throughout the county. A parent will be responsible to transport his or her child to one of those pick-up points at the beginning of the day, and return to that pick-up point to get the child at the end of the school day. Of course, parents are always welcome to drive their child to and from the school. Transportation will not be provided to students living within a 2 mile walking boundary of Chestnut Elementary. 17. Does the school offer before -and after-care? The school does offer fee-based before- and after-school care programs. Information about that program can be obtained by calling the district s Extended-Day office at Does the school make accommodations for gifted students? Yes. Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering is an ideal place for gifted and talented students because of its rigorous curriculum. We have Gifted and Advanced cluster classrooms in our program called QUEST. This program is designed to meet students needs in order for them to stay challenged and excited about their learning. Our school has numerous teachers working towards obtaining their Gifted endorsement. 19. What are the school hours? School hours for students are yet to-be-determined at this time, for the upcoming school year. 20. Is the curriculum for reading and math the same at all schools? Yes, the school will follow all Florida Sunshine State Standards and Osceola County School District Grade Level Expectations. 21. Do the schools offer standardized tests like the other public schools? Yes. Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering will participate in all state and district testing. 22. Can Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students apply? Yes, ESE students can participate and are encouraged to apply. However, a review of the IEP will determine if specific needs can be met in this school setting.

4 23. Will accommodations be made for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students? Yes, ESOL students will be provided with regular accommodations, just as they would in any other school. 24. As a parent, what can I do? The partnership between parents and the school is essential. You can help your child by maintaining regular contact with your child s teacher, attending informational meetings, learning more about our curriculum, and joining our PTO. Sharing books with your child, assisting them with research projects, attending their conferences, and providing a structured routine for doing homework is always beneficial. 25. What age does my child have to be to enter Kindergarten? Children who are five years of age on or before September 1, 2010 may apply for kindergarten. 26. How will I be notified of my child s assignment? You will be notified by phone and US mail after the completion of lottery selection, which will take place shortly after April 26. If you are offered a seat, you will have the opportunity to accept or decline the offer within 2 weeks following the offer. This is a requirement and failure to do so will result in losing the seat offering. 27. How do I accept an offer? You can accept your offer by returning the commitment form via US mail, fax to or in person at the Office of Charter Schools and Educational Choices. 28. What if I am a parent of a student already at Chestnut? Your child will not be displaced from Chestnut. Your child is automatically in our school wide enhanced learning program. 29. What is the Support Facilitation and Co-Teach model for ESE students? Students receive instruction in the general education class whenever that class meets from a pair of teachers who together develop and deliver lessons with strategies and accommodations planned in advance. The power of this model is in the collaboration of the Exceptional Student Education teacher and the General Education content specialist who together plan and deliver instruction within that class on the basis of student need rather than program label or category. This method provides assistance for all students within the context of the general education class while maintaining expected levels of course content material and objectives for that subject. 30. What electives will be offered for students? Students will have a variety of choices for tutoring and enrichment electives. Electives will be mini-courses provided four times weekly during each marking period. Some of these electives may include the following: Robotics K-Nex & Architecture Challenges Duplos, Mindstorms, & WeDo Legos Constructions TV & Video Production Studio Foreign Languages Journalism Ticket to Read Math Magic Adventures Kitchen Chemistry & the Culinary Arts CSI Detective Lab Junior Achievement & Small Business Adventures

5 Where in the World Geography Social Studies Simulations Historical Reenactments Literature Circles & Junior Great Books Environmental Science & Weather Bug Green Thumb Gardening Young Composer s Computer Studio Puppetry & Drama Choose. Create. Compete. Engineering Lab AIMS Math & Science Labs Digital Communications and Photography CAD: Computer Assisted Design Shop Go Green: Recycling & Energy Program Zoology Think Quest Future Problem Solvers GPS Orienteering & Obstacle Course Constructions 31. What Student Clubs will be offered? Enrichment and Tutoring Clubs will be offered before and/or after school hours. Some possible clubs according to students interests are listed below, including some team competitions and tournaments. Soccer Track Golf Basketball Dance Chorus & Drama Performances Gardening Ecology Math Olympiad Science Olympiad Battle of the Books First Lego League Future Problem Solvers and Olympics of the Mind Techies & Beyond Arts & Crafts Multicultural Club 32. What are the school s colors and mascot? Our school s mascot is a Stallion and our colors are black and tan. We follow the district s Student Code of Conduct for students uniform requirements. Home of the Stallions... Build a Robot! Build a Dream! Build a Future! Come join us.

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