Curriculum development in District #109 has broken away from a compartmentalized, textbook directed philosophy to a standards-driven approach that actively engages students in the learning and assessment experience. This concept provides a framework from which teachers can develop robust units of study that actively involve students in real-world problem solving.
The goal of curriculum, instruction, and assessment is to promote high performance and achievement opportunities for all students with an emphasis on labeling services rather than students. To achieve this goal and to truly ensure that no child is left behind, the learning community of District #109 holds the following beliefs:
• Standards define the curriculum – not textbooks. Textbooks are examples of one kind of resource through which the Illinois Learning Standards can be taught. As a result, the Illinois Learning Standards Performance Descriptors will define the curriculum for all fundamental learning areas.
• Children learn best when they are actively engaged in what they are doing.
• Reading is the most important thing a child will ever learn. It should be incorporated into all teaching in all disciplines.
• Student achievement must be assessed formatively as well as summatively so that intervention strategies can be implemented in the moment.
• Professional development opportunities to develop a standards-driven curriculum, one that sparks student motivation and enhances achievement, will be ongoing and based on student data and the learning needs of the learning community.
• Curriculum development is an on-going process. As with student achievement, it must constantly be evaluated, modified, and adjusted. Assessing student progress provides one means of measuring the current curriculum's effectiveness; collecting data about student progress is another.