Instructional Programs Overview
We believe the experiences students have in our division should be relevant, engaging, and aligned with our mission, vision, and core values.
- Assessments (Testing)
- Attendance – Elementary
- Attendance – Secondary
- Career and Technical Education
- Gifted Education
- Governor’s Schools
- Special Programs
- Instructional Newsletters
- Special Education
- STEM Programs
We are also developing comprehensive, public-facing curricular documents organized around grade levels, content areas, and specific courses at the middle and high school. These resources are dynamic by nature, so we encourage our families to visit often: elementary for grades PK through 5, secondary for grades 6-8 and 9-12.
Our Strategic Plan
Our strategic plan, adopted in December, 2013, proposed a bold vision for improving our school division and put a lot of focus on improving instruction. A number of the programs and projects addressed in the first goal of that plan are described below.
“Deeper learning” speaks to our desire to re-focus our instruction beyond the standards. But that doesn’t mean we ignore them! Deeper learning is focused on preparing all students for their future through inquiry-based approaches in instruction that leads to self-motivated learners. Our 1:1 computing program has made Deeper Learning a focus by putting a device into student hands that supports anytime inquiry. To learn more about Deeper Learning, visit the Hewlett Foundation’s website.
Personalized Inquiry Based Learning
“PIbL” is our label for a brand of instruction we want to develop across all of our schools. Personalized means we’re meeting the individual learning needs of every student. It means we apply assessment data and information we have about a student’s learning style and preference to best use school time to focus on achieving learning goals. Inquiry-based means using questioning methods in the classroom that cause students to think about solutions to a potential challenge, and test their ideas through trial and error. While inquiry has often been used in the field of science, it can be used as an instructional method across the curriculum, especially in connection with twenty-first century skills. PIbL, more than anything else, speaks to our ideal model for engaged instruction. While we do like project-based (PBL) approaches in learning, we realize that is not a realistic goal given the length of the school year, our current budget for instructional resources, or the current framework of our daily schedules in the schools. Nevertheless, we will continue to make project-based approaches to learning a part of our personalized, inquiry-based approach to instruction.
Instructional Innovation Plan
We will be developing an instructional plan that clearly defines the ideas behind deeper learning and PIbL that helps us maximize the potential of every learner. Our innovation plan will leverage our investment in digital resources and technology, our knowledge about what works in education, along with provisions for high quality professional development for all teachers.