Hornet Park Elementary School Program Plan
The K-1 program focuses on the core curriculum areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Character traits are integrated into the social studies standards. In each core area students progress through a continuum of learning experiences designed for mastery of academic standards. Students have multiple opportunities to learn at a high level in each curriculum area. Teachers provide challenging instruction, monitor progress, and assess achievement.
Kindergarten and first-grade students have learning opportunities in the related curriculum areas of art, music, physical education, and applied technology. Teachers who are trained in each of these areas provide instruction. Students are assigned for approximately 40 minutes each day to one of the related curriculum areas rotating through all four classes every four days.
Classroom Organization/Teacher Teams
Students are heterogeneously grouped in each classroom and three or four classrooms are grouped into teams with a combination of kindergarten and first grade. Students are assigned to a looping class where they have the same teacher for two years. Some students may be assigned to a kindergarten class that moves as a group to a different first-grade teacher who is a part of the same team. Other students may be in a kindergarten or first-grade class that teams from time to time with a class or classes of the other grade level.
For example, two kindergarten and two first grade classes may be a part of the same team. However, from time to time during the week students may be grouped by achievement, interest, or learning style rather than by grade level. Research shows that these classroom organizational patterns allow students to progress more rapidly. These patterns also allow teachers and parents to become more familiar with each other and to work more closely together.
Continuous Progress Philosophy
Continuous Progress is an educational philosophy where individual student learning follows a sequential and developmentally appropriate continuum of knowledge articulated in the Core Curriculum Standards adopted by the Board of Education. The continuous progress philosophy enables teachers to be more aware of each child’s learning needs and his/her achievement. Classroom instruction is designed to challenge students to work at the level where they can be most successful and where they can move to higher levels of achievement. Instructional strategies include teaching and re-teaching students who do not master required standards. Grouping within classrooms is flexible, short-term, and focuses on meeting students’ learning needs.
Teachers utilize academic centers that reinforce instruction in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Centers allow for differentiated learning activities. While some students are assigned to work in centers other students work with the teacher in small groups on enrichment or remediation activities.
Assessment of Standards
Assessment data is a significant component of the kindergarten and first grade program. Much of the assessment is focused on performance – what students can do rather than what they know. For example, there is less emphasis on assessment that requires students to match a letter to a sound and more emphasis on assessment that requires students to demonstrate they can use the sound when writing a sentence. Students are given pre-tests before instruction occurs and post-tests after instruction is completed. If the pre-test shows students already have mastered a standard, they do not spend their time learning something they already know. In this situation instruction focuses on the next standard on the continuum. If the post-test shows they have not mastered the standard, they receive additional instruction on that standard.
Reporting to Parents
Students are assessed on curriculum standards regularly and a detailed report is given to parents each nine weeks. Benchmarks establish the level at which students should achieve for each grading period. The report includes information about standards a student has successfully mastered, standards on which he/she is still working, and standards he/she should have mastered for each nine weeks. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled in the fall and spring to review in more detail the achievement of each student. All of these means of reporting enable parents and teachers to focus more specifically on areas for improvement and challenge.
When a student begins to fall behind where he/she should be in any curriculum area, the classroom teacher provides additional learning opportunities. When a student still does not master the required standards the teacher develops an individualized plan to assist the student. The plan is in writing, shared with the parent, and implemented during the school day. The student receives remediation until the appropriate standards are mastered. The K-1 school follows the Beech Grove City Schools Program Plan for Low Achieving Students.
Students who achieve beyond the established benchmarks in a specific curriculum area have opportunities for enrichment activities. These activities challenge them to achieve at a higher level. The K-1 school follows the Beech Grove City Schools Program Plan for High Ability Students.
- A special education teacher is available to work with students who have learning handicaps.
- A home school advisor is available to work with students, parents, and staff to provide assistance for attendance and behavior problems.
- A nursing assistant is available to work with students, parents, and staff to provide information about healthy living habits and to support students who are ill.
- An English as a Second Language Assistant is available to work with non-English speaking students.