Frequently Asked Questions
Aren't state assessments forcing teachers to teach to the test?
Our state assessments are based on critical thinking and reasoning skills. This means that the assessments are testing students skills and the ability to use those skills. Teaching to the test means that we are teaching critical reading, writing and math skills. Our teachers value those skills and believe that our students should be able to apply what they have learned across a variety of settings.
What are Lexile Scales?
The Lexile scale for reading provides a reading level for non-fiction\fictional text. Students are assigned a lexile reading level following assessment. Teachers utilize lexile scores to match text difficulty to individual students.
What does integrated mean? What is an integrated curriculum?
Integrated curriculum is a curriculum that makes connections between subject areas. For example, information technology skills such as using desktop publishing software are taught in language arts classes, science, social studies, etc. At the elementary level all science units also integrate content reading skills, therefore science and language arts are integrated. At the middle and high school level social studies and English teachers will often work collaboratively to integrate topics such as civil rights by integrating concepts. This means that students will learn about civil rights while also reading literature, and primary source documents from the period. Integrated curriculum helps our students make connections between the disciplines therefore they deepen their understanding of the concepts presented.
What is a pilot program?
We pilot or use new curriculum materials for a period of one to two years prior to adopting them. For example, we traditionally pilot new literature books with groups of students to determine if the materials would be an appropriate match for our curriculum. Right now we are piloting math curriculum programs in grades K through 5. We are constantly reviewing and updating curriculum and therefore, reviewing and revising materials we use to support the curriculum.