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 known 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 emphasized 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 initiates were set for the 2016-17 school year. The following is a brief overview of these initiatives:

  1. Data- The district will to warehouse all newly written district curriculum in an online format called Curriculum Connector (one module in a school software package called Performance Plus). This warehousing allows for deeper analysis of district curriculum. Student data is warehoused in an online format called Performance Tracker (a second module of Performance Plus). This allows school personnel to develop a defined data set to guide instruction throughout a child’s school career. In- depth analysis tools can be used to take a deeper look at this data. This module contains state testing data (PSSA and Keystone) as well as scores on local assessments such as the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) and Orleans- Hannah math assessment.
  2. Curriculum Revision- This year we are beginning the process of researching and writing new curriculum for Family and Consumer Science as well as Foreign Languages.
  3. Elementary Literacy- 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 known 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 a Guided Reading component to complement Reading and Writing Workshops. Balanced Literacy emphasized 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. The goal for 2014-15 is for this team to pull all three components of Language Arts (Reading, Writing, and Word Study) into one curriculum document for grades K-6.
 
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