Christa McAuliffe School

Christa McAuliffe School

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Christa McAuliffe School

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Christa McAuliffe School is a public elementary school and middle school (K-8th grade ) located in Saratoga, California, in the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD). Named for Challenger astronaut Christa McAuliffe, it is one of four alternative schools in the district, accepting enrollment from anywhere within CUSD.

The primary differentiators that make McAuliffe an alternative to CUSD's neighborhood schools are its focus on educating the whole child and its parent participation. As opposed to back-to-basics schools that focus on the three Rs, McAuliffe teachers use a constructivist educational approach, employing an integrated, holistic curriculum that includes both social and broad academic learning. At McAuliffe, parent participation is not just encouraged, but one of the requirements of enrollment. This, along with professional teacher's aides, provides a very high ratio of adult instructors and/or aides to students.

An important part of the McAuliffe experience is a series of overnight field trips. For example, while studying the settlement of the American west, third grade students go on a three-day trip where they simulate parts of the settlers' lifestyle.

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