Highlights of the school's academic priorities and program are the following:
Exemplary Curriculum & Instruction. SWBA adopts innovative models in Math, Science and Reading. In order to implement the school mathematics curriculum, SWBA will adopt proven instructional mathematics curricula, the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) and the College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM). In science, SWBA will adopt the proven instructional science curricula Foundational Approaches in Science Teaching (FAST). Academy of Reading and Read XL interventions will be used in reading and these curricula are aligned with the Alachua County Schools' Reading Plan and Sunshine State Standards. CMP, CPM and FAST were all identified as exemplary curricula by the U.S. Department of Education. Academy of Reading and Read XL have good ratings by Florida Center for Reading Research.
In math, the school will provide a problem-centered curriculum and is organized into units that address ideas through a series of investigations. Each investigation contains problems for teachers and students to explore. As students explore a series of connected problems, they develop a profound understanding of important mathematical concepts that are embedded within the problems. The math curriculum uses a variety of teaching methodologies, including lecture, class discussions, manipulatives (including hands-on and computer-based manipulatives), and structured study teams. During class, students will be actively working on guided investigations, much like math labs, to develop mathematical concepts and problem solving skills. The program strategies emphasize active learning and group work; students are introduced to problem solving, communication, and reasoning through laboratory experiments and real-world applications. Concepts are developed through guided instruction, individual and teamwork, tactile and kinesthetic activities, data collection, class work, and homework. Students are encouraged to develop a positive attitude toward mathematics, to become more aware of their own thinking about problems, and to describe their efforts, both orally and in writing.
Hands-on science. In order to implement the school science curriculum, SWBA will adopt the proven instructional science curricula Foundational Approaches in Science Teaching (FAST). By employing the Foundational Approaches in Science Teaching (FAST), hands-on science will be offered to the students. The students will be directly involved in forming ideas, asking questions, making observations, and conducting experiments. Students will be up and about in the lab and actively working with other students to discover new ideas. A guiding premise of this program assumes that all students regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity- can enjoy success in science. Students will question the workings of their world and find answers in active reading, listening, discussion, and hands-on learning. The students will grapple with scientific principles as they learn how to appreciate a less-than-intuitive universe, and they will come to value those things we take for granted in our daily lives.