Content - What to teach
Instruction - How to teach
Assessment - How do we know
- District Vision for Curriculum
- Importance of Coherence in Curriculum
- Assessment Philosophy
- Content Program Philosophies
- Curriculum Design Process
- What Does Understanding Look Like?
- At-Risk Programming
- ELL Program
- Talented and Gifted (TAG) Education
- Special Education District Developed Service Delivery Plan
- Teacher Quality Meeting Agendas and Minutes
District Vision for Curriculum
The LC curriculum (content, assessment, instruction) is intentionally aligned K-12 and teachers implement with fidelity.
- Students achieve deep understanding of essential concepts and skills as teachers instruct conceptually (use conceptual instruction).
- Instructional planning begins with how learning will transfer to real world applications as teachers identify big ideas, enduring understandings, and essential questions.
Importance of Coherence in Curriculum
A coherent curriculum strives to connect purpose and classroom experiences through planned and specific progressions of learning for students. Many research studies confirm that a major key to increasing student achievement hinges on a common framework and alignment of instruction, content and assessment. At Lewis Central, professional learning communities and collaborative teams of teachers and administrators continually work towards a coherent curriculum through research based instructional strategies and collaboration around planning. Some of the details are provided within this document. Our goal is to assist in providing a clear understanding of our district’s beliefs around designing effective learning opportunities in the classroom.
The belief of the Lewis Central learning community is that assessment is for student learning, is student-centered, and involves a commitment by all stakeholders. Student-centered assessment motivates, encourages, and inspires students’ passion for learning when it is delivered in a timely and reasonable manner and includes purposeful feedback. Assessment is standards-based, and includes a variety of methods that guide instruction and inform instructional decisions.
Meaningful assessments serve clear and appropriate purposes, reflect valued student learning targets, and are designed to yield accurate results about the learning targets.
Purpose: The assessment purpose must be clear for both designers and users. Before assessing, the appropriate purpose will be determined by asking the questions, “Who will use the results, how will they be used, and how will results be communicated?”
Targets: All assessments (for and of learning, informal and formal) must be aligned to learning targets informed by the adopted standards. Targets must be clearly communicated to the students.
Design: It is important to match the intended learning targets to the appropriate assessment method. No one design choice is superior to the other; the selection is dependent upon the learning target and the purpose of the assessment.
Content Program Philosophies
Periodically programs are reviewed and revised to reflect current best practice in the specific content area. The district began to include these K-12 program overviews in 2016. As such, additional content areas will be included as they are reviewed and revised in the coming years.
K-12 Literacy/English Language Arts Program
K-12 Physical and Health Education Program
Curriculum Design Process
Lewis Central adheres to a backwards design process that merges Concept Based Instruction (Dr. Lynn Erickson) and Understanding by Design (Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe) using state mandated content as well as local standards developed from state, national and industry standards.
Units of instruction are built on important concepts, and relationships among those concepts, that transfer learning in the form of Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions developed to provoke continuous inquiry. We begin with Stage One of Understanding by Design (UbD): Desired Results. In addition to Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions Transfer Goals are developed, standards identified, and the knowledge and skills students must possess to successfully transfer their learning conceptually are outlined. Once this has been established the next stage is Determining the Evidence. We ask the question: How will we know when our students have reached the Desired Results? Many times this will come in the form of a Performance Task, with additional summative assessments along the way.
After we establish, conceptually, where we want students to be and have outlined the knowledge and skills of a unit that will scaffold learning to reach the conceptual level; developed the summative assessments that will determine student success, we then turn to Stage Three of UbD: Learning Experiences and formative assessments to guide daily instruction within the unit.
This planning occurs within grade or course level collaborative teams of teachers, whenever possible. Targeted instructional strategies are identified, but overall these strategies assist our instructors in teaching for understanding, categorized into three areas: transfer, make meaning, and acquire knowledge and/or skill. Effective instruction to facilitate each of these is essential in all our classrooms.
What Does Understanding Look Like?
Lewis Central Community School District has developed a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of at-risk students in grades Pre-School - 12. Any student at Lewis Central who is at-risk in the areas of academic skills, career skills, or personal/social skills may be eligible to receive services through the at-risk program. The at-risk program at Lewis Central has procedures and criteria to identify students who may be at risk, ongoing educational programs and strategies to address individual needs, and procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of the programs and services provided.
Click here to download the At-Risk Plan
The district works to improve programming for second language learners.
English as a Second Language (ESL) services at Lewis Central Community School District are designed to meet the individual needs of all English Learners (EL’s). Lewis Central had identified the following goals for all EL’s in grades PK-12:
- EL’s will meet or exceed English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and understanding.
- EL’s will meet or exceed proficiency in grade level appropriate skills.
- EL’s will have equal opportunity to access the general education curriculum.
- EL’s will be taught by highly qualified and credentialed instructors.
While services may vary due to individual needs, instruction is provided through a collaborative effort between the ESL teacher and the general education teachers. The district employs 2 full time teachers that provide direct services to students’, collaborate with general education teachers, and monitor the academic achievement of all EL’s in grades PK-12.
The LAU (EL) plan that includes information about identification, assessment procedures, program delivery, professional development, evaluation and special program is available at the Educational Resource Center. Many school documents are available in Spanish and can be obtained from each building office or the ERC. Translation and interpretation is also available upon request. Please contact Laurie Thies at 712-366-8311 if you have any questions.
Talented and Gifted (TAG) Education
257.44 Gifted and talented children defined by Iowa Code.
"Gifted and talented children" are those identified as possessing outstanding abilities who are capable of high performance. Gifted and talented children are children who require appropriate instruction and educational services commensurate with their abilities and needs beyond those provided by the regular school program.
Gifted and talented children include those children with demonstrated achievement or potential ability, or both, in any of the following areas or in combination:
1. General intellectual ability
2. Creative thinking
3. Leadership ability
4. Visual and performing arts ability
5. Specific ability aptitude
Iowa allows each school district to identify which of these five areas on which to focus.
At Lewis Central, the TAG program focuses on general intellectual ability and specific ability aptitude.
1. Identified gifted students receive ongoing, differentiated services in the classroom.
2. Building and district staff development supports differentiated instruction.
3. TAG strategists collaborate with classroom teachers to meet student needs through curricular modifications.
4. TAG strategists may also provide direct instruction.
Strand of Service
The core of this program model is a shared responsibility that better meets the unique needs of the gifted learner. A type and degree of exceptional ability is determined. Ability as well as opportunity and interest are areas where accommodations may occur.
All students participate in classroom instructional activities. Inclusive programming promotes an enriched learning environment. Exposure to a variety of experiences piques student interest in specific fields of study.
The TAG program sponsors additional opportunities that are open to all students. Unique abilities and interest emerging during the Inclusive Strand may lead to consideration for participation in the Selective Strand.
Selective programming addresses the areas of student strengths, interests, and creativity. Collaboration between the classroom teacher and the TAG strategist provide differentiated learning opportunities inside and/or outside of the classroom setting.
Highly selective programming addresses areas of exceptional academic strengths. TAG strategists work with the classroom teachers, parents, and students to develop a differentiated learning plan. The plan may include classroom modifications as well as direct instruction by a TAG strategist.
For more information about the TAG program, click on the links below:
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Special Education District Developed Service Delivery Plan
The Iowa Administrative Rules of Special Education require that each Iowa school district create a delivery system for special education instructional services.
The content requirements of the plan have been met through a series of five questions:
- What process was used to develop the special education delivery system for eligible individuals?
- How will services be organized and provided to eligible individuals?
- How will caseloads of special education teachers be determined and regularly monitored?
- What procedures will a special education teacher use to resolve caseload concerns?
- How will the delivery system for eligible individuals meet targets identified in the states performance plan and what process will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the delivery of eligible individuals?
A committee comprised of parents, general education teachers, special education teachers, an AEA representative, and district administrators met over a series of meetings to develop a plan for eligible individuals in the Lewis Central District that meets the states requirements and addresses best practices in special education instructional delivery.
District Developed Service Delivery Plan for Special Education