Achievement Gap & Mission
Curriculum & Instruction
FAQ About Charter Schools
The Propel CreativeArts Program provides students with a wide array of fine
arts classes as an essential, required part of the core curriculum. The variety
in arts programming provides an excellent way to tap into children’s multiple
intelligences and gives the students an opportunity to express themselves
through words, pictures, music, drama or dance.
All students receive
instruction from the best professional artists in the Pittsburgh area.
Teaching artists are in residency at Propel for twelve-week trimesters. CreativeArts classes are taught by:
Pittsburgh CLO (Musical Theater)
Hip-Hop on L.O.C.K (Rap, Recording, Music Industry)
Greer Reed Productions (from August Wilson Center)
Balafon Dance Company (at Kelly Strayhorn Theater)
Staycee Pearl Dance Project
Studio J (Dance)
Pennsylvania Shotokan Karate Club
Pittsburgh Musical Theater
Saturday Light Brigade
Stage Right Theatre
... and professionals who taught classes in karate, dance, and physical education.
Students in Kindergarten through sixth grades rotate
in their CreativeArts classes every six weeks. Seventh and eighth
grade students elect their CreativeArts classes for each twelve-week
trimester. In addition, specialists in mosaic art and puppetry
work in collaboration with the certified art teacher to provide a unique visual
arts experience. Many of
these Visiting Artists rotate between the six Propel K-8 Schools, located in
Braddock Hills, Homestead, McKeesport, Montour, North Side, and Turtle
Students also elect to participate in
band or string ensemble and semi-private instrumental lessons. Each
CreativeArts module culminates in a “Celebration of Learning” where students
showcase their accomplishments. These assemblies are ways for students to
showcase achievements in the arts, as well as gain valuable experience and
confidence in performing in front of an audience.
High School Arts Academy
The Propel High School Arts Academy is an arts education program that promotes the teaching of arts as important and integral part of a student’s education. The Arts Academy models Propel’s Fully Valued Arts principles at the high school level. Programs are structured according to student’s desired interests. The arts academy provides them with tools to improve their skills and talents. Arts classes may include: Show Choir, Chorus, Dance, Acting, Band, Jazz Ensemble, Fitness, General Art, General Music, Photography, Graphic Design, Painting, and Building Trades. The program provides:
High Quality Arts Education with full-time art and music teachers that adhere to National Standards in arts education.
Community Arts Partnerships that utilize arts in the community that expose students to distinctive arts trades.
- Clear path of instruction for students to discover and develop a passion for the arts.
- Art experiences for every student, every day.
In accordance with Propel standards, the High School Arts Academy adheres to the standards of the Fully Valued Arts Program principle: Artistic expression and creativity are essential components of a complete education.
4.1 Practicing, professional Teaching Artists work with students throughout the entire school year,
as part of the standard, core curriculum.
4.2 The culture of the school building is reflected in the arts classes.
4.3 Every student may elect to receive one hour of arts education per day.
4.4 Students have the opportunity to exhibit their work at the end of every school year.
4.5 The students have an opportunity to learn to value to arts and find its relevance in their lives.
4.6 The students create their own path in the arts and are guided toward excellence.
You can read more about Propel's CreativeArts Program through visiting the CreativeArts website.
Technology integration has been a strong focus of Propel since its inception.
Our emphasis on technology is supported by a full-time Director of Instructional Technology and a K – 12 Technology Coach who are responsible for guiding and enabling all of Propel's schools to embrace various technology practices and embed technology into the curriculum.
Our teachers are constantly using technology to enhance and expand instructional practices. We make certain that every child is educated in the use of current and emerging technologies as tools necessary for living, learning, and working in the 21st century.
Some of our current technology programs include:
- Planning and implementing an annual technology fair. This year, 2011, was the third year of the event, and once again educators from many school districts and universities in Western Pennsylvania attended the event. The event focused on teaching educators about the effective use of technology in the classroom.
- Implementing SMART Technologies throughout the district; Propel is honored as a SMART Showcase District. Educators at SMART Showcase Schools and Districts use SMART products to create an appealing, interactive learning environment that increases student engagement and improves learning outcomes. All K - 8 classrooms, and nearly all high school classrooms, utilize SMART Board interactive whiteboards and other SMART products, including classroom response systems and document cameras.
- Facilitating a one-to-one laptop initiative at both Propel high schools. Additionally, several 7th & 8th Grade classes now have permanent sets of laptops in their classrooms. This high ratio of computers, along with teachers embracing Google Apps for Education and other Web 2.0 tools, is revolutionizing teaching and engaging students everyday through technology.
- Implementing mobile devices, including iPod Touch devices and iPads, into several classrooms across multiple school buildings. Students use these technologies for everything from creating multimedia products to learning content through a multi-sensory approach.
- Connecting our teachers and students with resources all over the world using multiple forms of distance learning. Propel students have connected with NASA, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the National Science Center using video conferencing equipment. Individual classrooms have connected with other classrooms across the globe via Skype.
- Partnering with Three Rivers Connect to create an educational relevant federated search engine to provide credible research collections for teachers' instructional planning purposes and also allow Propel teachers the ability to submit self-created resources in an effort to create a culture of collaboration between employees.
- An exciting Gigapan Project with Carnegie Mellon University that enables our teachers to participate in Gigapan trainings with University professors and work alongside educators on an international level. Teachers take new knowledge back to the classroom and students are active in using Gigapan Cameras to document and share images from their local communities with students in other communities around the world.
To learn more about Propel's Technology program visit their website.
Propel's science curriculum is supported by a full time Coordinator of Science Programming, who is responsible for and develops, evaluates, and implements science education alongside teachers on a daily basis. To ensure Propel students receive a well-rounded science education, Propel works with ASSET, which emphasizes hands-on, minds-on science. Throughout the school year, Propel science classrooms collaborate with local universities and organizations on various projects, which include Propel East's Green House, Propel Braddock Hills' Sunflower Field, and Propel McKeesport's Community Garden.
Propel's Science curriculum is innovative, hands-on, and inquiry based, as students become immersed in scientific problems and tasks. Through discovery, students create an understanding via exploration and carefully-created teacher-student questioning.
Discover more about Propel's Science program by clicking here, or here!
Discovery Aces is the Propel-wide enrichment program of students who demonstrate higher level skills. Discovery Aces participate in a number of community projects as well as national competitions in science, mathematics, technology, writing and the arts, among others. Discovery Aces also expand the classroom into many areas of the community by participating in various after-school and independent projects, as well as field trips to local museums and exhibits.
Current Discovery Ace Projects and Competitions include:
Future City Competition
National Chemistry Week
The Bizworld Foundation
To learn more about Propel's Discovery Aces program visit their website.