Instructional Model

Sussex Academy has evolved from a small, accelerated middle school to an accelerated middle school and high school where high standards of academic performance and behavior are expected throughout our school community. In order to synthesize our expectations, we have developed this instructional model that is based on our past successes and our current IB Diploma Program affiliation. The model describes what attributes we wish our students to exhibit, what actions they must engage in, and what actions that the professional staff must demonstrate to fulfill Sussex Academy’s Mission.


IB Learner Profile Attributes

Learner Action

Faculty Action


We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research.  We know how to learn independently and with others.  We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.


We develop and use investigative, inquiry, and research skills in all classes.


We establish learning environments of academic excellence and high standards of performance by providing student-centered learning activities in which teachers are facilitators.


We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines.  We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.


We learn the concepts taught in all classes, develop our own ideas, and perform at a high level in all classes.


We teach conceptual understanding in our academic discipline and integrate knowledge of local and global ideas through collaboration across curricula, instruction and assessment.


We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.


We use critical and creative thinking to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate problems in all classes.


We use higher-order/ critical questioning within our classrooms as we deliver content standard driven instruction through project-based and authentic learning activities.


We express ourselves confi­dently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.


We read, write, listen, speak, and present making sure that we use evidence and the strategies taught in all classes.


We use school-wide practices in all disciplines inclusive of 6+1, CSET, common rubrics, science labs/projects, and best practices of modeling, group work, public speaking, reflective practices, content specific vocabulary, and providing sufficient relevant details.  We seek to establish connections among the academic disciplines.


We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.


We live the Code of Conduct: to have Respect for others, Responsibility for ourselves, and Respect for property while acting with integrity, honesty, and fairness throughout our school.


We model and encourage professional respect and collaborative decision-making, acknowledge student ideas, and seek ways to continuously improve teaching and learning in our school.


We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.


We acknowledge and respect that others have beliefs that differ from our own. We learn about the histories, traditions, cultures, and ideas of others both locally and internationally.


We model social and international awareness and respect while exploring the histories, cultures, and ideas of peoples different than ourselves.


We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.


We demonstrate our care and empathy for others in our daily interactions as well as participating in individual and group service projects throughout our communities.


We model and foster compassionate and respectful interactions among others.  We promote opportunities for service by individual students, school teams, and whole-school activities and by engaging in community-building activities.


We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies.  We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenge and change.


We learn to be courageous, resourceful, and resilient in the face of uncertainty, challenge, and change throughout our school and communities.


We provide a safe and nurturing environment in which students are encouraged to take appropriate social and academic risks.  We take professional risks in fostering best practices and willingness to improve instruction through interdisciplinary instruction, classroom visitations, and personal and collective reflections.


We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives -intellectual, physical, and emotional -to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.


We grow to be balanced in mind, body, and spirit while working independently and with others.


We work to ensure that the school community is balanced, functioning, and focused on the whole child.


We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.


We reflect upon our academic work and our social experiences in order to reach our individual potential.


We collaborate within our professional community to reflect and refine our craft. We analyze data and consider our own practices as well as the practices of others through team meetings, whole school meetings, and PLC’s to ensure continuous improvement in delivering instruction and maintaining the school’s culture.

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