At Challenger School, we are committed to empowering children with the values that will help them achieve joyful, productive lives. Rationality is one of the seven values that are at the core of our philosophy.
Rationality is the use of reason—the ability to define and apply logic—to discover knowledge, guide our decisions, and discern reality for what it really is. This means stepping back from impulse or emotion and thinking clearly as we evaluate situations based on observable facts. When we use reason to distinguish between belief and knowledge, we keep our minds open to learning.
Challenger helps students develop rationality in our elementary and middle school literature classes by not just reading the words. When our students dive into novels like Animal Farm by George Orwell, our teachers teach students to question the words. To stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying assumptions, a typical Challenger middle school class will carefully evaluate the depicted society by asking and answering questions like these:
The class will use rationality to evaluate the implications of a world that lacks individuality and freedom. This in-depth analysis helps students grasp the significance of logical decision-making and cherish individual rights.
In math, it's not enough to know the answer; understanding the process is crucial. Take the example of fractions: we don't merely provide a set of rules. Instead, we delve into the “why,” using visual tools and relatable scenarios. This methodology fosters a deeper comprehension of mathematical principles through rational understanding.
For example, when teaching students how to add fractions with different denominators, we don't just give them a formula to memorize. We might start by visually representing the fractions using pie charts or number lines. We might explain that if one person has 1/4 of a pizza and another has 1/2, combining them means you have 1/4 plus 1/2 of a pizza. By visually demonstrating this, students can see how the parts come together to form a new fraction, 3/4 in this case. By understanding the concept behind the operation, students are more likely to apply the knowledge correctly in different situations and remember the process in the long run.
Hands-on learning in our science classes provides students an opportunity to explore rationality in the natural world. Students are encouraged to hypothesize, observe, and then draw rational conclusions. For instance, in exploring plant growth, students might predict the impact of sunlight and water, monitor the growth, and conclude based on their observations, thereby emphasizing the significance of grounding conclusions in tangible evidence.
By integrating these principles into our curriculum, we are arming our students with the tools they need to lead joyful, productive lives rooted in reason and honesty. As Challenger students incorporate the power of rationality into their lives, they are prepared to become future leaders, thinkers, and innovators.
You can now view the academic performance of your first through eighth–grade child online. Every Friday evening, your child’s averages and scores for the week will be updated and available for you to view through your PowerSchool account.
To learn how to view your child’s performance in PowerSchool, watch this brief video. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the campus office to request a meeting with your child’s teacher.
The American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 10 will take place on November 8. Challenger students in grades 6–8 who qualified during the 2022–23 academic year will be invited to participate in this year’s AMC 10 competition.
Hosted by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and designed for students in grade 10 and below, the AMC 10 is a twenty-five question, multiple-choice examination in mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills.
Challenger will email registration information to parents of students who qualified. Students and parents can find more information about the competition by visiting the MAA website.
Elementary students will commemorate Veterans Day this month. Some students will have the opportunity to write to military personnel currently serving overseas. Others will read or hear first-hand accounts of veterans throughout U.S. history. The purpose of these activities is to honor the American men and women who have defended freedom around the world.
Feast Day is a Challenger tradition and an opportunity for students to enjoy traditional Thanksgiving food and celebrate the blessings of freedom and prosperity.
For grades 1–8, and some kindergartners, the lunch caterer at many of the campuses will be offering a special meal that you can order for your child and/or yourself. You will receive additional information from your campus soon. If you won’t be purchasing a Thanksgiving lunch for your child, please remember to send a lunch from home.
Our preschoolers, and some kindergartners, will learn about the first Thanksgiving and celebrate with their own in-class snack feasts (this will vary by program and campus). A notice with details will be sent home with your child soon if his or her class will be participating. Remember to provide a lunch for your child that day. The preschool and kindergarten feasts are a large snack, but it will not be replacing their lunches for the day.
Challenger School will not be in session November 22–24. We hope that your family enjoys a happy Thanksgiving!
Beginning November 27, grade 3–8 classes will hold in-class spelling bees. Class bees will feature spelling and vocabulary words students have learned or will learn in class during the year. Class finalists qualify for the campus bee, which utilizes words and vocabulary from the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Good luck to our stellar spellers!
Students are excited to present their Christmas Sings and Christmas Concerts next month. As we get closer to the performances, check our website for schedules, and watch for invitations to these festive events.
Please remember to label all outerwear clothing, water bottles, lunchboxes, and other belongings just in case items end up in the lost-and-found.
As the weather gets cooler, make sure your child is dressed appropriately in outer clothes that he or she can handle with little assistance. Please don’t send an umbrella with your child; when combined with backpacks and lunch boxes, an umbrella is difficult to manage.
We will go outside every day possible, despite any cold weather.
2021 National Blue Ribbon School