BMI creates a learning environment where learning is occurring more spontaneously. The learning environment is more active than the traditional classroom, providing each child with opportunities to focus on individual learning experiences. To some extent, students make decisions on how they will spend their time on a daily/weekly basis.
Students are active in the development of their individual education plans and thus empowered to have a direct influence on their success in school. The development of each student’s plan affords each student with the opportunity to help direct their curriculum and the style of teaching that will best ensure success. Additionally, by having input into the teaching style that will be used, they indirectly influence the decision-making of the school.
One of the areas of emphasis is volunteer participation in the school and community service activities. Community service is a vital and distinctive aspect in the BMI curriculum. Community service provides an opportunity to interact with teachers and staff outside the role of student to teacher. It allows students to give their input into policies and decisions for the school and/or their class.
BMI Charter School believes that learners reap rewards from being active, contributing community members and from seeing their activity produce positive change. Kindergarten through third graders is required to perform 5 hours of community service and grades four through eight is required to perform 10 hours of community service. For each, one half of the hours contribute to the BMI Charter School and one half to an outside organization or worthy cause. Students may also make suggestions for various community service projects.
Students have the opportunity to participate in the Student Council. Two representatives are elective from each class. The entire school elects Student Council officers. The Student Council serves as a mechanism whereby students may formally petition the administration with concerns and also offer input.
BMI Charter School offers various clubs that students may participate in such as Science Club, Spanish Club, Oratory Club, Girls’ Club, Boys’ Club, and Rights of Passage. Participation in these activities provide students with solid experience in developing decision-making skills.
Students have input in determining the incentives that are awarded for good conduct, academic achievement, and athletic achievement.