Curriculum in District 30
An Update from the Office of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! We have had a wonderful start and are looking forward to all we are going to accomplish this year!
Our English/Language Arts curriculum continues to be delivered using a Literacy Studio structure, an integrated and individualized approach to reading and writing instruction. The primary grades lay the foundation for learning and skill development with a comprehensive reading program including phonological awareness and phonics instruction. Each succeeding grade builds upon the achievement of students, as they become fluent readers, writers, speakers, listeners, and viewers. With texts and tasks that become increasingly sophisticated through the grades, students develop confidence and proficiency in oral and written language, comprehension, and critical thinking skills. Teachers use a variety of materials including leveled readers and mentor texts that align with comprehension strategies, and all instruction and materials align to the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards. District 30 recognizes the importance of differentiating instruction to maximize achievement for all students and that language skills are essential to furthering learning, communication, career development, and the human spirit.
District 30 math instruction is aligned to the Common Core Mathematics Standards. Comprehensive programs (Bridges in kindergarten, Math in Focus in grades 1-5, and Big Ideas in grades 6-8) support the standards and demand a high level of rigor. Notable shifts from previous programs include a focus on studying fewer topics in more depth, mastery rather than a spiraling approach curriculum, and the use of models to foster conceptual understanding.
Our students continue to participate in the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests, a series of assessments that measure a student’s general knowledge in reading and mathematics. The tests measure a student’s overall growth and progress in school. The assessment also informs the school system regarding instruction. Scores depend on two things: the difficulty of each question and how many questions are answered correctly.
As always, our first priority is the health and safety of all students and staff. To that end, all members of the District 30 community continue to participate in programs that support social-emotional learning. Last year all staff members were trained in RULER, a systemic approach to SEL developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This year the RULER approach will be rolled out to all students. In addition, elementary students will continue to engage with the Second Step resources, a universal classroom-based program designed to increase students’ school success, decrease behavior challenges, and promote social-emotional competence and self-regulation. Middle school students (grades 6-8) will use their Advisory period to participate in a comprehensive standards-aligned program that addresses the specific needs of the middle school population. Both programs impart the foundation students need to become skilled decision-makers and to exhibit responsible behavior in personal, school, and community contexts.
District 30 exists to create a community that craves learning, fosters resilience and cares deeply about every student. We embrace all aspects of diversity and its contributions to learning. Equitable access, representation, and participation in educational opportunities generate the most effective learning environment for ALL students and prepares students to become global citizens. We do not tolerate racism, hate, or other discriminatory actions. We are committed to meeting our Board of Education goal which is to “strengthen a sense of belonging through diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that foster positive climates across District 30”.
As we strive to meet the academic and social emotional needs of all students, please do not hesitate to contact me should you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your child(ren) and/or programming. Enjoy the 2023-2024 school year!
Dr. Melissa E. Hirsch