The Xavier School of Excellence is an adaptive reuse K-7 grade charter school located in South Bend, Indiana. The school is interesting in that it is housed in an old strip mall that contained among other things a furniture store and an Irish sandwich store. The school opened in 2009 and currently has 300 students. The school takes a multi-faceted approach to learning. While reinforcing core curriculum (the building blocks according to their mission statement) they also offer a broad cultural experience meant to foster both academic success and good citizenship. One way this is accomplished is the teaching of the Spanish language. Whereas most students do not receive foreign language until high school, Xavier’s students begin taking it in kindergarten. Another unique learning perspective involves community service. The students are given incentives to be active in the community, such as picking up trash will earn a popcorn party. As it says in the Xavier Mission Statement, “The mission of Xavier School of Excellence is to provide its students with a strong academic curriculum (the building blocks) and broad cultural experiences…” and through these innovative approaches, they are doing just that.
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