From the Office of the Director of Teaching and Learning
I am excited to welcome you and your children back to the start of the 2017-18 school year! It has been a busy summer. With the adoption of our new science resource and curricula aligned to the new Illinois State Standards, District 75 teachers and administrators have been actively participating in a thorough study and planning. In addition, we continue to revise and further develop our current Math and English/Language Arts programs. In light of this ongoing work, I am pleased to share with you some changes regarding curriculum, new programs, and assessment.
At the start of this school year, students in grades second through eighth will again be participating in the STAR 360 assessment. STAR 360 is a series of tests that measure a student’s general knowledge in reading and mathematics. The tests measure a student’s achievement and growth in school. Since the rigor of the assessment adjusts as a student answers each question, scores depend on two things: how many questions are answered correctly and the difficulty of each question.
This year, students at all grades will continue using Bridges (K-5), Discovery Education Math Techbook (6-8), and Big Ideas Algebra (6-8), which are comprehensive math programs that support the Common Core Mathematics Standards. These programs demand more rigor in the teaching of math. Notable shifts from past programs include a focus on studying fewer topics in more depth and a focus on mastery. For information on the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics, go to www.corestandards.org
In addition, 2017-2018 will mark the beginning of the district's transition to the new Illinois State Science Standards based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Students will be exposed to the three dimensions of science literacy: Core Science Knowledge, Science & Engineering Practices, and Cross-Cutting Concepts. For more information on NGSS, go to www.nextgenscience.org
As District 75 continues to transition our Bilingual K-5 program to a Two-Way Immersion program, 2017-2018 will have 4 classes of students at both Kindergarten and 1st Grade. These students spend 50% of their day learning Spanish Language Arts and 50% on English Language Arts. This program is open to both native speakers and non-native speakers. For more information on this program go to TWI Information
This year, teachers and administrators will begin a complete revision of our Literacy Program which includes reading and writing instruction. During this transition, students will continue to receive curricula based on the Common Core State Standards. For more information on the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts, go to www.corestandards.org
I am looking forward to a wonderful year! Please do not hesitate to contact me should you ever have any questions. I look forward to seeing you around the school district!
Director of Teaching & Learning