After School

Our Instructional Vision


The purpose of the EFC instructional principles are to define, at a high level, what we believe must be true for all students to meet our mission.


Over time, these principles will help to align our instructional frameworks and approach and informs our decisions related to program development and instructional support.


What core beliefs or principles will help us make decisions and drive the design of our academic model? Who are we as a network? Who aren’t we?


Four principles define our instructional vision: mastery, agency, acceleration and engagement. These instructional principles are interconnected. For example, student agency requires active engagement, and true engagement cannot be obtained without rigorous instruction, and accelerated student outcomes require the habits and mindsets of self-direction. The beliefs and definition below provide some clarity on what these priorities are in theory and practice.

  • Principle 1:


    We believe a core task of educators is to ensure that each student builds the knowledge and skills necessary to reimagine and transform our world, and succeed and thrive within it.

    Specifically, students must:


    1. Apply learning: transfer skills and content knowledge to authentic and meaningful situations by designing, constructing, and creating new models and solutions 

    2. Think critically: apply tools and techniques to formulate and solve problems, synthesize and question complex ideas, consider multiple perspectives and revise thinking

    3. Communicate effectively: clearly write, speak, and present ideas through a variety of media, within and across disciplines, for diverse audiences and purposes

  • Principle 2:


    We believe that to succeed in the 21st century, students must develop “agency”, or the capacity to originate and direct actions for a given purpose. Empowering students with agency is complex work, as agency requires we focus on a set of foundational habits to be internalized.  

    Specifically, students must:

    1. Demonstrate growth mindset: readily take risks, recognize and build on personal strengths, consistently work to improve skills through practice and effort, and actively seek resources and feedback

    2. Feel a strong sense of self-efficacy: believe in one’s own capabilities to organize and execute strategic action to attain identified goals

    3. Self-regulate as learners: set goals, plan, organize, self-monitor, and reflect; maintain awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings; and manage one’s emotions, attention and behaviors to reach identified goals

  • Principle 3:


    We believe that all of our students, regardless of background, must make accelerated progress towards mastery of rigorous standards. Because each child has their own unique learning trajectory, we must provide a targeted and strategic program designed to accelerate their learning. To this end, EFC schools provide a Multi-Tiered System of Support that combines universal access to the state standards with coherent supplemental and intensive supports.

    Specifically, all students must have ACCESS to: 

    1. Rigorous grade-level content:

      • Multiple opportunities to engage in learning 

      • Multiple opportunities and formats to demonstrate learning 

      • Appropriate language and concept scaffolds to support content accessibility

    2. Supplemental and intensive supports, as needed:

      • Flexible and responsive direct instruction in rapid data cycles focused on highest leverage skills

      • Data-informed pedagogy that includes progress monitoring and instructional mitigations towards clear learning targets

      • Behavioral and social-emotional supports that facilitate student engagement and access to classroom instruction

      • A strong asset orientation that seeks to acknowledge and celebrate academic growth and build student confidence

  • Principle 4:


    We believe that when students are challenged in meaningful, rigorous and relevant tasks, learning at its core is a joyful experience. Relevant learning requires inclusivity of the diverse backgrounds of all students, social processes that promote collaborative interpretation of ideas, and authentic tasks that mirror the world at large.

    Specifically, students must: 

    1. Sustain attention on rigorous learning tasks: explore all dimensions of a complex problem to build on existing schema and deepen understanding of the world

    2. Demonstrate a passion for learning: broaden curiosity through inquiry into authentic, content-integrated tasks

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