Curriculum and Instruction Overview
Rationale and Purpose
As educators, parents, and citizens from diverse backgrounds, we share a common concern for and commitment to the welfare of our children. Therefore, the purpose of the Northwest R-I School District's curriculum is to ensure that all students will learn the same core of significant content at a specific instructional level, from teacher to teacher, and school to school. Although the curricular objectives are aligned with Missouri Learning Standards and state-mandated tests, the overriding goal is to design a curriculum that is academically rich, holistic, student-centered, and culturally diverse, honoring input and contributions from all Northwest R-I School District stakeholders.
The Northwest R-I School District is committed to the development of an exemplary system-wide curriculum that promotes high expectations for its teachers and students that results in meaningful student learning. The system-wide curriculum can best be described as a thinking curriculum, one that integrates content and process, typifying real world situations. The decisions, strategies, and practices supporting the alignment of the written, taught, and tested curriculum will be rooted in internal and external research critical to providing optimum learning opportunities for all students.
The curriculum design for each of the content areas will enhance opportunities for students to meet new standards that are simultaneously practical and progressive. The curriculum will help students realize their potential and move toward higher educational and career goals.
The purpose of the curriculum is as follows:
- Offer opportunities for hands-on experiences for students.
- Facilitate acceleration rather than remediation.
- Nurture an awareness and understanding of unique and diverse perspectives and practices.
- Enhance the creative, physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities of students.
- Incorporate materials and technological resources that support student achievement of content and process standards.
- Create a framework/mechanism for the implementation of a creative and innovative model of delivery/instruction.
- Promote student learning and acceptance of positive values/concepts.
- Foster the development of knowledge required in making sound career choices.
- Foster collaboration in a non-threatening environment.
Board policies, guidelines, and procedures will be developed to create the expectations and the context for developing well-articulated curriculum documents that contain aligned assessments. Board policies specify guidelines and procedures for selecting major instructional materials, as well as for adopting, implementing, evaluating, and revising the district's written curriculum for all content areas of instruction.
The Northwest R-I School District Curriculum and Assessment Handbook conveys the intent of the district leadership and guides the development, articulation, alignment, and evaluation of the written curriculum in all subject areas. Finally, it links the budgeting process and outlines the quality control of the designed and delivered curriculum.
GOALS: STANDARDS-BASED EDUCATION APPROACH
The Northwest R-I School District's approach to the development of the curricula is a process known as content-based education, which is based on the following philosophical precepts:
- Excellence can be achieved by all students.
- Success enhances self-efficacy; self-efficacy promotes learning and behavior that reflect sound values.
- Clearly stated objectives and goals, strong belief that students can succeed, and ongoing authentic assessment maximizes student-learning conditions.
- Real-world experiences presented at the appropriate level of challenge ensure maximum student achievement.
For each content area, the curriculum plan will incorporate the Common Core and Missouri Show-Me Standards with the expectation that all students will reach those established knowledge and performance standards. Well-defined assessments will provide the means for determining student progress toward meeting these standards. The establishment of standards, which are collaboratively developed by the school system and community, will provide a common focus and further the district's efforts to prepare Northwest R-I School District's students to become contributing citizens. Development of content standards requires the following aspects:
- Examination of national, state, and other sources of standards, e.g. Common Core National Goals 2000, and Missouri Show-Me Standards, and the Missouri A+ School Program.
- Analysis of existing curriculum.
- Reflection of the community.
- Recognition of the skills demanded by a technologically evolving world of work.
The 12th grade graduation expectations are the goals from which all content-area curriculum development efforts are to be derived. These goals shall serve as a framework for all curriculum development and instructional delivery. The expectations are multi-disciplinary in nature and direct attention to the achievement of the district's mission.
As stated on The Show-Me Standards of Missouri placemat, we believe high school graduates "...must have a good foundation of basic knowledge and skills. Equally important, though, is the ability to use and apply one's knowledge in real-life situations." The expectation is that students will graduate from Northwest R-I School District prepared for post secondary success in the work place and/or institutions of higher education. Academically literate Northwest R-I School District students will be:
- Self-Determined Learners
- Goal-Oriented Individuals
- Contributing Citizens
- Productive Individuals
- Collaborative Workers
- Skilled Problem-Solvers
- Effective Communicators
- Life-Long Learners