Students using laptops

Curriculum in District 30

An Update from the Office of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

This fall has been an exciting time for administrators, staff, and students!! Beginning with the 2022-23 school year we have been able to return to some of our pre-pandemic protocols which has been comforting. Our first priority continues to be the health and safety of all students and staff.  In addition, we look forward to continuing our comprehensive educational program, meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of students. The district will continue to provide a rigorous coherent curriculum for all of our students while adhering to any of the IDPH protocols that need to remain in place. 

Our English/Language Arts curriculum continues to be delivered during a Literacy Studio structure, an integrated and individualized approach to reading and writing instruction. During reading instruction, teachers use a variety of materials, including Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Reading and Phonics, recently adopted Making Meaning materials for grades 1st-5th, and multiple leveled readers and mentor texts that align with comprehension strategies. Other materials utilized include Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Writing, an argumentative, narrative, and expository resource, which emphasizes the Common Core writing standards and is based on best practices in the teaching of writing. With the implementation at second grade of Lucy Calkins Units of Study in Phonics, all primary students now utilize this program.  Third through fifth-grade students use Building Vocabulary, an intermediate-level program for spelling and vocabulary. Traditional spelling tests are not utilized as children work at their own pace through the stages of word study and spelling.

District 30 students are now implementing the most recent editions of Math In Focus (K-5) and Big Ideas grades 6-8) as curricular resources.  These programs are comprehensive math programs that support the Common Core Mathematics Standards and demand high levels of rigor in the teaching of mathematics. Notable shifts from previous programs include a focus on studying fewer topics in more depth, a focus on mastery rather than a spiraling approach curriculum, and the use of “models to representations to abstractions” as an instructional approach.

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.  

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. As we strive to meet our Board of Education goal of “strengthen a sense of belonging through diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that foster positive climates across District 30”, we will be participating in an equity audit during the 2022-23 school year.

Finally, all District 30 students continue to participate in programs that support social-emotional learning. During the 2022-23 school year, all District 30 staff is being trained in RULER,  a systemic approach to SEL developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Second Step, a universal classroom-based program designed to increase students’ school success, decrease behavior challenges, and promote social-emotional competence and self-regulation is used at the elementary level (grades K-5). At the middle school level (grades 6-8), students participate in a comprehensive standards-aligned program during their Advisory period, 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.

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 school year!

Warmest regards,

Dr. Melissa E. Hirsch