At Yav Pem Suab Academy you will find many successful educational practices used in other parts of the country but not yet implemented in Sacramento. These successful practices include a longer school day and a shorter summer vacation.
At the Academy, most students attend school between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday.
Kindergarten students attend between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
On August 2, 2010, YPSA opened its doors to 171 scholars and their families. By the end of the school year, 260 had enrolled. By year five, 420 scholars were enrolled. Ten years later, the enrollment is 486.
Beginning in 2008, a grassroots design team composed of parents, educators, and professionals convened to examine the problem of low academic achievement among Hmong scholars in SCUSD. When scholar achievement data were disaggregated for the Asian subgroup, Hmong scholars showed the lowest achievement when compared to others in the subgroup that included Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. This was not evident at first glance. Many in public assumed Hmong scholars were performing academically well and advancing like others in the Asian groups. When compared to other ethnic subgroups, however, Hmong scholars across the district performed the lowest, even lower than African American and Hispanic Latino, who historically were the two lowest subgroups. This was confirmed by a district DELAC presentation showing 12-15% proficient or advance on the previous state test. This suggested more than 85% of Hmong scholars were not meeting the state’s academic expectations.
Ten years later, in the recent 2018-2019 State CAASPP Summative Assessment, 50.93% of Hmong scholars at YPSA met or exceeded standards in ELA and 36.80% in math.
Our academic goal during the next five years, as stated in Element 2 of our charter petition, is to increase the schoolwide percentage meeting or exceeding standards to 80% in ELA, 70% in math, and 45% in Science. At the same time, we will increase scholar confidence though mastery in Tae Kwon Do, dance, physical education introduced in movement, and Hmong language skills.
In education, a curriculum is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process. The term often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, or to a view of the student’s experiences in terms of the educator’s or school’s instructional goals. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curriculum
Curriculum and instruction is aligned to the Highly Effective Teaching (HET) model. To successfully create new patterns in learning, both teaching and learning need to include four key elements: Meaningful content, Absence of threat, Reflection opportunity, and Context – a.k.a. MARC. When these key elements are present at the same time, it is easier for the brain to create a new pattern, i.e., new understanding.
As a result of studying at YPSA, scholars will master Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (ELA), English Language Development (ELD), Math, Science, and Social Studies. In addition, scholars will have the opportunity to learn the Hmong language. Non-Hmong scholars study the Hmong language to introduce them to a foreign language, and Hmong scholars learn the Hmong language to support their acquisition of the English language. In the course of learning the Hmong language, scholars will better understand the Hmong language and culture to develop respect for all languages and cultures. Respectively, scholars will also benefit from developing their capacities in physical education, dance, and Tae Kwon Do. Through these movement-based enrichment classes, scholars develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and pride through drills, forms, and performances. Finally, with the daily use of technology, scholars will become “digital natives.”
Within the learning of content, scholars learn the Lifelong Guidelines and LIFESKILLS to help them make good decisions about their academic and social surroundings. Teaching and using the LIFESKILLS create an absence of threat, which enables scholars to learn and practice skills leading them to become responsible citizens. This essential part of our curriculum teaches children to think, act, and behave in ways that are globally acceptable.