Major Curriculum Initiatives
For nearly a decade, the General McLane School District has been working to transition from a traditional basal reader approach to Language Arts to what is often know as a Balanced Literacy approach. Through literacy coaches and supporting resources, the district has grown in its knowledge, understanding, and practice of this workshop approach to Reading and Writing. Balanced Literacy also includes Guided Reading and Word Study components to complement Reading and Writing Workshops. Balanced Literacy emphasizes the need for students to learn within the context of authentic reading of primary sources, authentic writing of literary and informational pieces. Balanced Literacy requires a prescribed approach to Word Study as well. Word Study includes concepts of phonics, grammar, mechanics, spelling, and vocabulary. During the 2012-13 school year, a team of teacher-leaders developed a comprehensive curriculum for Writing in grades K-6. In 2013-14, the team developed a comprehensive curriculum for Word Study. In 2014-15 the team pulled all three components of Language Arts (Reading, Writing, and Word Study) into one curriculum document for grades K-6. Teachers in grades K-6 started the 2015-16 school year with a complete English Language Arts curriculum that is fully aligned to PA Core Standards.
Each year, the administration of the General McLane School District sets goals for the school year through the Strategic Planning Process. Several major curriculum initiatives were set for the 2017-18 school year. The following is a brief overview of these initiatives:
- Improve Learning for Students- Teachers will be taking a closer look at assessment throughout the school year through cohort and in-service activities. The middle school will pilot a “Mass Customized Learning” unit which seeks to capitalize on technology to reach small groups of students at their level of proficiency. Develop criteria to offer acceleration in math for middle school students performing at high levels.
- Encourage Creativity, Innovation and Collaboration- Teachers will be taking a closer look at how to foster creativity in students to a greater degree. Technology Education will be re-writing curriculum as well as implementing “Inventionland” and “Ice House” curriculum.
- Curriculum Revision- This year, new curriculum will be written in the areas of Family and Consumer Science as well as World Languages. We will begin the research process in the areas of Technology Education and Computer Science in preparation for re-writing curriculum next year.