Magazine article District Administration

Past Districts of Distinction Honorees with Model Curriculum Programs

Magazine article District Administration

Past Districts of Distinction Honorees with Model Curriculum Programs

Article excerpt

Schaumburg SD54 Schaumburg, Illinois

Having students achieve reading fluency by the end of third grade is an important goal for the Schaumburg School District in Illinois--and one that also includes English language learners.

The district's language and culture department developed a writing curriculum for a 10-week, after-school assistance program for ELLs in grades 2 through 8.

Students met twice a week and studied one topic at a time, such as weather. Topics aligned with students' science and social studies classes. Students watched videos, collaborated with peers and read short passages with visual cues.

The teachers were given interactive flip charts, lesson plans and student reflection pages for planning and instruction.

Minnetonka Public Schools Minnetonka, Minnesota

A few years ago, both Minnetonka middle schools launched an accelerated science curriculum for students with an advanced level of content knowledge, innate curiosity and passion for science.

The curriculum covers four years of science in grades 6 through 8, and prepares students to complete AP physics as Teachers were also able to model specific strategies to improve each student's language abilities. The lessons focused on expository writing in the early grades and opinion or argumentative writing in grades 6 through 8.

In just one year, the number of ELLs who met the state of Illinois' English proficiency criteria jumped from 570 to 707 students.

Advice for starting a similar program:

* Seek federal funding, or Title III dollars, to create programs that align with an instructional framework and promote professional development. …

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