The Common Core State Standards _ CCSS and Next Generation Science Standards _ NGSS define the knowledge and skills students should have to ensure readiness for college and careers. These standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and other experts to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our students for college and the workforce.
The success of the CCSS and NGSS initiative requires a partnership among stakeholders, educators, parents, and students. A community’s stakeholders are the backbone that supports and advances schools as centers of student success. Educators are the professional facilitators of student learning. Parents and guardians are the most important source of encouragement and guidance throughout their children’s entire education. Students who take responsibility for their own learning will be better prepared to enter college or the workforce.
English Language Art
Reading and writing skills support an increased emphasis on content-area learning and utilization of the resources of the media center, especially to locate and read primary sources of information. The student will read texts in all subjects and will acquire information to answer questions, generate hypotheses, make inferences, support opinions, confirm predictions, compare and contrast relationships, and formulate conclusions. The student will continue to develop an appreciation for literature by reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction selections. The student will continue to increase communication skills used in learning activities and will use online, print, and media resources to prepare presentations. The student will use oral and written communication skills to describe key concepts and information contained in the mathematics, science, and history and social science Standards of Learning. In addition, the student will plan, draft, revise, and edit writings to describe, to entertain, and to explain.
The student will be able to make and analyze informative and persuasive oral presentations, with attention to the accuracy of evidence and the effectiveness of delivery. The study of both classic and contemporary American literature will enhance the student’s appreciation for literature. The student will be able to identify the prevalent themes and characterizations present in American literature, which are reflective of the history and culture. The student will be able to write clear and accurate personal, professional, and informational correspondence and reports for research and other applications. Grammar development will continue through the application of rules for sentence formation, usage, spelling, and mechanics. The student will develop informative and persuasive compositions by locating, evaluating, synthesizing, and citing applicable information with careful attention to organization and accuracy.
Students today require more rigorous mathematical knowledge and skills to pursue higher education, to compete in a technologically sophisticated work force, and to be informed citizens. Students must gain an understanding of fundamental ideas in arithmetic, measurement, geometry, probability, data analysis and statistics, and algebra and functions, and they must develop proficiency in mathematical skills. In addition, students must learn to use a variety of methods and tools to compute, including paper and pencil, mental arithmetic, estimation, and calculators. Graphing utilities, spreadsheets, calculators, computers, and other forms of electronic information technology are now standard tools for mathematical problem solving in science, engineering, business and industry, government, and practical affairs. Hence, the use of technology must be an integral part of teaching, learning, and assessment. However, facility in the use of technology shall not be regarded as a substitute for a student’s understanding of quantitative concepts and relationships or for proficiency in basic computations. The teaching of computer/technology skills should be the shared responsibility of teachers of all disciplines.
The content of the mathematics standards is intended to support the following five goals for students: becoming mathematical problem solvers, communicating mathematically, reasoning mathematically, making mathematical connections, and using mathematical representations to model and interpret practical situations.
The purposes of scientific investigation and discovery are to satisfy humankind’s quest for knowledge and understanding and to preserve and enhance the quality of the human experience. Therefore, as a result of science instruction, students will be able to achieve the following objectives:
- Develop and use an experimental design in scientific inquiry.
- Use the language of science to communicate understanding.
- Investigate phenomena, using technology.
- Apply scientific concepts, skills, and processes to everyday experiences.
- Experience the richness and excitement of scientific discovery of the natural world through the collaborative quest for knowledge and understanding.
- Make informed decisions regarding contemporary issues, taking into account the following:
- public policy and legislation;
- economic costs/benefits;
- validation from scientific data and the use of scientific reasoning and logic;
- respect for living things;
- personal responsibility; and
- history of scientific discovery.
- Develop scientific dispositions and habits of mind including:
- demand for verification;
- respect for logic and rational thinking;
- consideration of premises and consequences;
- respect for historical contributions;
- attention to accuracy and precision; and
- patience and persistence.
- Explore science-related careers and interests.
History and Social Studies
The study of history and social science is vital in promoting a civic-minded, democratic society. All students need to know and understand our national heritage in order to become informed participants in shaping our nation’s future.
The History and Social Science Standards of Learning are designed to
- develop the knowledge and skills of history, geography, civics, and economics that enable students to place the people, ideas, and events that have shaped our state and our nation in perspective;
- prepare students for informed, responsible, and participatory citizenship;
- develop students’ skills in debate, discussion, and writing; and
- provide students with a framework for continuing education in history and the social sciences.
History should be the integrative core of the curriculum, in which both the humanities (such as art and literature) and the social sciences (political science, economics, and geography) come to life. Through the study of history, students can better understand their own society as well as others. Students will understand chronological thinking and the connections between causes and effects and between continuity and change. History enables students to see how people in other times and places have grappled with the fundamental questions of truth, justice, and personal responsibility, understand that ideas have real consequences, and realize that events are shaped by ideas and the actions of individuals. History shows the relationship among past, current, and future issues.
The goal of geography instruction is to provide an understanding of the human and physical characteristics of the Earth’s places and regions, how people of different cultural backgrounds interact with their environment. Geographic themes include location, place, human-environment interaction, movement, and region. Geographic skills include the ability to use maps, globes, and aerial imagery; interpret graphs, tables, diagrams, and pictures; observe and record information; and assess information from various sources.
The goal of civics instruction is to develop in all students the requisite knowledge and skills for informed, responsible participation in public life. Civics instruction should provide regular opportunities at each grade level for students to develop a basic understanding of politics and government and to practice the skills of good citizenship. It should instill relevant skills so that students can assess political resources, deal intelligently with controversy, and understand the consequences of policy decisions. They should be aware of their rights; be willing to fulfill their responsibilities; be able to obtain, understand, and evaluate information relating to the performance of public officials; and be willing to hold those officials accountable. They should understand the consequences of political and policy decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels.
Achieving linguistic fluency and cultural understanding is a long-term endeavor, requiring experiences beyond the classroom setting. Within the scope of the level of study, students will be able to perform with reasonable success in each of the following areas:
1- Effective Communication
- Students will learn to communicate with others in a language other than English.
- Students will improve their understanding of and ability to communicate in the English language by comparing and contrasting another language with their own.
2- Enhanced Cultural Understanding
- Students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for another people’s unique way of life, the patterns of behavior that order their world, and the ideas and perspectives that guide their behaviors.
- Students will learn about other cultures’ contributions to the world and how these contributions have shaped international perspectives.
3- Expanded Access to Information
- Students will connect with other disciplines through foreign language study, enabling them to reinforce and expand their understanding of the interrelationships among content areas.
- Students will access information in more than one language, giving them a greater range of resources and a richer base of knowledge.
4- Increased Global Perspective
- Students will respond to and contribute to their communities and the world in a more informed and effective manner as a result of the global perspective gained in a foreign language class.
- Students will gain additional prospects for further education and career opportunities as a result of foreign language study.
The content of the Visual Arts Standards of Learning is intended to support the following goals for students:
- Acquire the technical and artistic knowledge and skills necessary for creative, expressive, and artistic production.
- Select and use art media, subject matter, and symbols for expression and communication.
- Solve visual arts problems with originality, flexibility, fluency, and imagination.
- Develop understanding of the relationship of the visual arts to history, culture, and other fields of knowledge.
- Use materials, methods, information, and technology in a safe and healthy manner.
- Demonstrate understanding of the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) and the ways they are used in artistic production.
- Interpret, reflect on, and evaluate the characteristics, purposes, and merits of personal work and the work of others.
- Identify, analyze, and apply criteria for making visual aesthetic judgments of personal work and the work of others.
- Develop aesthetic awareness and a personal philosophy regarding the nature of, meanings in, and values in the visual arts.
- Develop understanding and appreciation of the roles, opportunities, and careers in the visual arts and related areas.
- Develop ethical practices, to include following copyright and royalty requirements when exhibiting art, producing art, or using the works of others.
- Nurture a lifelong appreciation for visual arts as an integral component of an educated, cultured society.