GWA Academic Expectations

Academic Expectations at Gateway Academy 


  • Students engage in a scheduled math class. Advisors use a standards-based approach to guide group formation and instruction.  Students generally spend a half hour in small group instruction that is geared towards where they currently are as a learner.    

  • Additionally, students use an online math program during their school day and at home. Students have a weekly requirement as set between the student and advisor.

  • Students engage in scheduled small literacy group activities. Advisors use a standards-based approach to guide group formation and instruction.

    • Students read books at their academic level, participate in discussions, and apply writing strategies that demonstrate comprehension of their reading.

  • Additionally, students are allowed independent literacy time to read and write within their areas of interest.

Personal Projects
  • Students complete approximately one personal project per trimester.

  • Personal projects begin with an inquiry or driving question. This is defined as the pursuit of a question for which there is not an immediate answer. The inquiry or driving question launches an investigation.

  • Students conduct in-depth research and record their findings.

  • Personal projects culminate in a presentation that is shared with other community members through a project showcase. Students conference with their advisor throughout the process.

  • Students are audience members for other projects through which they develop their listening and feedback skills as well as learning information.

Concept Projects (Science and Social Studies)

  • Students engage in teacher facilitated concept projects that reflect a yearly theme.  These projects are standards based and are designed to put students in the driver's seat of their learning.  
  • Concept projects aim to have students create a product that demonstrates their learning while giving them a choice in how to show evidence of their knowledge. 
  • Concept units generally switch between a science and social studies focus.

21st Century Skills: 4Cs Rubrics
  • As Farmington Area Public Schools focus on 21st Century Skills and preparing our students for future work, Gateway Academy engages students in reflection on these skills.

  • Students are assessed on the following criteria:

    • Creativity: Openness and Courage to Explore

      • Demonstrates a willingness to explore multiple ideas

      • Continues to carry on in projects when presented with challenges

      • Shows and communicates a vision of the end product

    • Communication: Using 21st Century Communication Tools

      • Regularly uses technology to enhance oral and written communication

      • Regularly uses tools to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others

    • Collaboration: Responsibility and Productivity

      • Accepts responsibilities with a positive attitude

      • Assists others as needed, values opinions and skills of all group members

      • Regularly meets requirements

    • Critical Thinking: Information and Discovery

      • Clearly explains the problem, investigation, or challenge in their own words

      • Creates an acceptable number of questions

      • Questions are usually clear and includes a driving question

Independent Learning Skills
  • Our learning environment gives students the opportunity to grow as an independent learner. We continually emphasize the following language with students:

    • I am generally getting all of my work done and at a caliber expected by my advisors

    • I focus on the task at hand

    • I am allowed to travel freely around the learning spaces without concern

    • I may use the “Island of Solitude” for working