The school curriculum encompasses all the learning experiences - -cognitive, affective, psychomotor, that are planned, guided, and sponsored by the school. The students’ needs, abilities, and interests are taken into consideration when the curriculum is developed. The curriculum develops the students’ responsibilities to self, family, community, and the world.
The curriculum reflects the purpose and philosophy/mission statement, goals and objectives of the school.
Describe the process used to develop the curriculum mission/philosophy for each subject and how it reflects the purpose and philosophy/mission, goals and objectives of the school.
Curriculum development committees are made up of a teacher representative(s) from every primary level, intermediate level, and middle level. When the philosophy/mission statement is developed per curriculum, the school mission statement is incorporated into it. The school objectives of Christian living are a part of every subject area.
The school shall provide an organizational structure and an instructional program that meets needs of the students.
Describe the formal organizational program of your school (include grade structure, self-contained, departmentalization, interdisciplinary teaching teams, special subjects, etc.)
The school is divided into Primary Level, Intermediate Level, and Middle Level. Primary Level (K-) is self-contained with the exception of religion and science in 3rd grade. Intermediate Level (4-5) is self-contained with the exception of social studies and science. Middle Level (6-8) is departmentalized. Grades 1-8 receive special classes in art, music, computer, and physical education. K receives all of the above except art. In addition grade 4-8 receive Spanish. K-5 receive developmental guidance classes while 6-8 receive health classes.
The school shall develop a comprehensive curriculum plan that shall be regularly evaluated and revised as needed. A consideration of current educational research as well as the joint thinking of faculty, students and parents should be reflected in the development and evaluation of the curriculum.
Use the Curriculum Report Form (Appendix F) to provide a summary of your previous 7-year plan for curriculum development (prior to the new accreditation and self-study cycle).
(See next page: Appendix F)
Describe how your curriculum is communicated to parents and other members of the school community such as education commission, pastor, etc.
Completed curricula are available upon request to every parent, church member, the pastor, and the education commission. In the parent handbook is a brief description of the school curriculum. The long-range plan is to make every curriculum available on the school’s web site.
Curriculum Development Summary
WNSAA Standard #6.2
1. Describe the process by which curriculum is developed, evaluated and reviewed in your school.
A committee is formed of teachers from the primary, intermediate, and middle levels. The committee meets regularly throughout the school year to review the current curriculum and update it in light of new trends in education and the diocesan standards.
2. Describe the process by which textbooks are reviewed, evaluated and selected.
Sample textbooks are ordered, then reviewed by teachers at each level to make sure they fit the newly written curriculum. They are evaluated and selected on the basis of usability.
3. Identify the following information from your previous accreditation cycle:
Year 1: 1995-96 Self-study
Year 2: 1996-97 Visiting team and long-range plan
Curriculum area addressed: Religion
Year 3: 1997-98 Curriculum areas addressed: Computer/Fine Arts
Year 4: 1998-99 Curriculum area addressed: Science
Year 5: 1999-00 Curriculum area addressed: Social Studies
Year 6: 2000-01 Curriculum area addressed: Math
Year 7: 2001-02 Curriculum area addressed: English/Reading/Spelling
4. Identify the following information for your next accreditation cycle.
Year 1: 2002-03 Self-study Curriculum area addressed: Religion
Year 2: 2003-04 Visiting team and long-range plan
Year 3: 2004-05 Curriculum areas to be addressed: Computer/Fine Arts
Year 4: 2005-06 Curriculum area to be addressed: Science
Year 5: 2006-07 Curriculum area to be addressed: Social Studies
Year 6: 2007-08 Curriculum area to be addressed: Math
Year 7: 2008-09 Curriculum area to be addressed: English/Reading/Spelling
Curriculum Development Plan
Curriculum evaluation and development is an on-going process at Our Lady Queen of Peace School. Each year a committee of teachers reviews existing curricula for each grade in a given subject area. The teachers are expected to attend conventions and receive professional development in the subject area. They collect data and research concerning the subject. The teachers then evaluate the existing curriculum and rewrite, as needed, the goals and expectations for student achievement in that area. The committee also makes recommendations for texts and materials in the subject area.
(From the Queen of Peace Handbook)
All subjects in your school should be evaluated at least once in a seven-year accreditation cycle.
The curriculum reflects the fundamental principles of student growth and development as well as the specific theories accepted by the school.
Describe significant changes in program content, organization, resources or methodology (i.e. cooperative learning, multiple intelligences, flexible grouping practices) that have been used in your school to respond to the diverse needs of learners. Describe how and when these changes were implemented as well as the results of the program(s).
With the help of the resource room aides, it has been easier to address the diverse learning needs of our students. Aides are available at all levels to assist the teacher by providing one-on-one, or small group instruction when needed.
During the fall of 2002 the primary unit began using a new reading/language arts curriculum, which is a sequential, phonetic based program. This comprehensive program blends reading, phonics, spelling, grammar and creative writing. It utilizes basal readers published by McGraw Hill for both large and small group instruction. Level books are available to provide independent reading opportunities for all students. Each student in grades 1-3 has a phonics book. Students have weekly spelling words. Phonics and spelling are coordinated so that similar skills are studied in each area at the same time. Grammar lessons are integrated with the basal readers providing another means to check story comprehension since sentences used in grammar lessons refer back to the stories.
In reading/language arts teachers provide large and small group lessons. Teachers and aides are available for individual help when needed. Teachers have been trained in Project Read, which has also been integrated. Enrichment is provided by the teacher in large group lessons and activities. Science and social studies offer more opportunities for enrichment.
Both parents and teachers have seen excitement and success in reading. Parents have commented on the continuity that is provided throughout the program. They are pleased with the materials that have been sent home.
The primary unit is now using a sequential based series in math (Harcourt Brace, 2001). Each grade follows the same step-by-step process and uses the same vocabulary. Teachers provide large and small group lessons. Aides are available to help in small group and individual activities. Teachers and aides also provide remedial help and enrichment. All students receive enrichment through math games as well as other activities such as calendar work, and graphing. Reading, social studies, and science provide more opportunities for math enrichment in skills such as mapping, graphing, and measurement.
In social studies primary students use the McGraw Hill series (new in 2000). Map work is integrated throughout the year. School and Family provided us with funding for new globes and maps during 2001. Enrichment is offered through class work and a series of related stories. We are very pleased with this sequential program, which provides guidelines for common language and skill development.
The primary students use the Harcourt (2000) series. It offers a sequential program, which covers physical, life, and earth sciences. Our new reading materials strongly support our science studies.
Our religion curriculum is being studied this school year (2003-04).
A new text adopted in 2000 reflects the new curriculum. The Lab is utilized once a week for experiments. More hands-on activities are provided. Students are grouped in cooperative groups in Lab and in various class projects such as posters, dioramas, skits, and other activities. Videos and filmstrips are used to reiterate the textbook content and to keep students informed of scientists and science at work today. With the use of a variety of media, an attempt is made to reach all learners in the way that they can learn best: hands-on, visual, and auditory. The curriculum is modified as needed.
A new series was adopted in 2001, which better serves the new written curriculum. The text is also on tape for both the 4th and 5th grade, which is one way diverse needs are addressed. A project-oriented, hands-on approach is utilized. The 4th Grade has changed from a study of Wisconsin to a study of the 5 regions of the United States with an emphasis on Wisconsin when the Midwest Region is studied. The 5th Grade covers an overview of American History. A number of visual aids are used such as maps, graphs, time lines, and info-graphics. Research projects including the use of the computer lead to small group work. A modified curriculum is initiated as the need arises.
A new text was adopted in 2001. Competency in computation and problem solving skills are emphasized. As an enrichment activity Superstar Math presents a challenge to students in small cooperative groups. Calculators are used in Superstar Math and as the need arises. For students who are ready for more of a challenge different options are available and are up to the individual teacher. Such options might be providing enrichment work in a small group setting. An aide in the resource room provides remedial and enrichment work per the directions of the classroom teacher.
The sacraments are emphasized. Fourth graders receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. Students participate in mass planning as song leaders, readers, greeters, and gift bearers. Each grade level plans an all school mass once a year and plans grade level masses throughout the year. Students prepare prayer over the P.A. system for 2 weeks per year. Students reach out to the community throughout the year in food drives, seasonal gifts, sandwiches for the homeless, cards, clothing drives, etc. Students are matched with Book Buddies of another grade, which promotes caring for a non-peer throughout the year.
Students use a consumable speller, which is organized to cover the phonetic skills and spelling patterns. The curriculum is modified as to the length of the spelling list or the types of words that are required each week.
A new text was adopted in 2002. It not only includes the study of grammar, but it also integrates the six writing traits. This methodology not only promotes grammar and writing skills, but also enables students to become more skillful readers. Students are grouped in smaller cooperative groups for projects, which creatively express their knowledge of grammar. The curriculum is modified as needed.
Trade books are used to teach reading and are updated throughout the years. Literary skills and vocabulary study are all part of the reading program. Daily discussions promote understanding. Often projects are required for each trade book. A student’s independent reading is monitored. In 5th grade Book Share activities inspire others to read good books. In the 4th grade students are assigned books to read and give a report/project. Teachers also choose more recently published or award books as books to read to the class. Students visit the Library as a class for a half hour period a week. The Librarian introduces and reads new literature or genres to the class for the first 20 minutes. The rest of the time is for independent student use. The curriculum can be modified in several ways such as the level of trade book, the type of work, or the length of the assignment.
A major area of significant change is in 8th grade Math where the students are ability grouped to meet the diverse needs of all learners. In 1998-99, there were two sections of Pre-Algebra I, one section of Algebra concepts, and one section of Algebra I. Students are put into groups based on the following criteria: Iowa Basic Scores in Math, 7th grade scores, and maturity level.
Through surveys sent out at the end of the school years 2000-2002, we have learned that the overall math grade for Q.P. freshman is between an A- (92%) and an A (95%). From these results and from the overall response from parents and students, this change has been a strength. Some of the concerns of the program are scheduling and ability grouping.
The Middle School Faculty attended a Transescent Student Seminar at UW-Platteville a few years ago and developed a very complete Service Learning Curriculum. This commitment to strengthen the service component of our Religion classes has resulted in a more systematic approach to service in grades 6-7-8.
Many of our graduating 8th graders have commented that their experiences, with the younger students at Midvale, have been highlights of their Q.P. School experience. Helping the less fortunate through the Allied Dunn’s Marsh Giving Tree, Koats for Kids, etc., have also been unique and memorable service opportunities.
Other efforts to enrich our Religion curriculum include:
a. the addition of a Spring Retreat experience for the 8th graders;
b. helping the Youth Minister with food for the homeless through Grace Episcopal Church;
c. offering students fuller participation in class liturgies via cantoring, accompanying, incorporating songs utilized in school plays (i.e. Godspell), liturgical dance, etc.;
d. Working with parish staff members to bring in speakers to share their decision on a vocation (during Vocation Week).
Other areas of significant changes include:
a. having the principal direct a school play for the 7th and 8th graders is an outstanding co-curricular opportunity introduced 2 years ago; students with gifts in set design, technology, costuming, dance, drama, music, etc. are offered growth opportunities;
b. having Spanish and Art offered to more students is a “plus”;
c. the electives for the 8th graders now include more options i.e. speech, Jr. Great Books;
d. yearbook staff has expanded by including 7th graders as well as 8th graders.
In science, several teaching styles are used. An example would be a hands on approach using visual models, webites, CD-roms, and various projects. More specifically, interactive websites are often used to explain difficult concepts. Projects that incorporate this hands on approach might include DNA models, model bridges, rocketry, speed and acceleration using toy cars, and molecular model kits for viewing the structure of atoms. In this way students get real hands-on experience.
Spanish class was extended to include 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in the 2000-2001 school year. Previously, only 7th and 8th graders had Spanish class four times a week for 42 minutes. Students in 4th and 5th are now offered Spanish twice a week for 30 minutes. As well, 6th graders meet twice a week for 42 minutes. We have not yet seen our first 4th grade Spanish students go completely through all the levels. So far, we can see results from the first class to begin Spanish in 6th grade. Students beginning at younger grades are able to go further in the curriculum by the end of 8th grade which enables most to enter advances Spanish in High School.
Historical facts do not change but with the progression of historical events the manner in which we interpret and utilize the information does change. The way that history is presented is varied in all classes so as to reach as many students as possible. A variety of procedures may be used. Overhead notes, videos, filmstrips, graphic organizers, and oral and assigned reading, are all used to re-enforce history content. Class discussions and interactions between teachers and students further help to clarify the information. Tests are adjusted not as much as to the content than as to the way they are presented and administered. Examples include: oral tests, the use of graphic organizers as part of the test, and limited use of tutors to guide students through tests. If the need presents itself, students are given additional time to complete tests so they don’t feel hurried. Tutoring students after school on testing procedures and study techniques can be very helpful to students who seek out these opportunities.
Language Arts has maintained a strong emphasis on writing skills and grammar. With the purchase of new textbooks for the 2002-2003 school year, we are instructing students in the writing process by using clear-cut directions and writing samples. We intersperse writing with grammar. Spelling is presented on a weekly basis with a list of words and worksheets. We address the needs of our diverse learners by giving them a somewhat lighter load in the area of spelling when needed. The Literature program relies on good quality short stories, poetry, novels, etc. Tutoring is available after school for students needing extra instruction.
6.4 The curriculum relates to the life experiences and environments of the students.
Each faculty member should describe strategies and specific examples used to assess students’ prior knowledge and to provide relevant connections with students’ life experiences
---use KWL method – What We Know, What We Want to Learn, What We Learned
---assessments – Iowa Tests, student records, information from counselor, curriculum guides
---sharing of previous experiences: for example travel experiences
---oral questioning of students previous experience and knowledge
Connect to life experiences
---bible stories – What would you do?
---prayers and petitions for families (stresses and celebrations)
---class discussion and sharing time
---8th grade retreat
---service experiences with Midvale School (eighth graders)
---Book Buddy pairing throughout school
---service learning: cards for comfort and celebration, food/goods collection
---self-report inventory (How they feel about themselves and school)
---Music – enjoyment and appreciation in and out of school
---star student – sharing about oneself
6.5 The instructional program gives evidence of the following:
A. Effective guidance in learning activities
B. Well-defined outcomes
C. Selection and use of varied types of teaching and learning materials and experiences.
D. Adjustment of teaching method and organization to conditions and needs of students as a group and as individuals.
E. Use of varied instruments and procedures in the evaluation of the quality of learning.
F. Consideration of state guidelines for time allotted to each subject area.
Provide a copy of your current written, sequential, standards-based curriculum. Each subject area curriculum should have a mission or philosophy statement that links to the school mission, a set of standards or objectives, a description of the curriculum for each grade level, a list of resources, student assessments, and sample lesions developed from the curriculum
For the list of resources, please see 7.1 (textbooks) and 7.5 (videos, software, etc.)
6.6 The normal instructional day is at least six clock hours exclusive of lunchtime for gr. 1-12.
List the hours of instruction for students in each grade. Have available copies of your daily schedules.
Students in Kindergarten attend school from 8:00-11:00 for the AM session and 12:00-3:00 for PM session.
Students in first through third grade begin the school day at 8:00, have a fifteen minute morning recess, have lunch and recess at 11:00-11:45, have a fifteen minute afternoon recess at 1:15, and are dismissed at 3:00.
Fourth and fifth graders begin instruction at 8:00, have a 15 minute morning recess, have lunch and recess at 11:30-12:15, and are dismissed at 3:00.
Middle School students begin at 8:00, have a break from classes for lunch and recess at 11:42-12:30, and are dismissed at 3:00.
(see attached schedules for grades 1-8)
6.7 The length of the school year shall be at least 180 days, with classes in session at least 175 days or the equivalent in hours.
Have available a copy of your calendar. List the number of face-to-face student instruction days, and any professional development and parent conference days.
There are 176 and ½ face-to-face student instruction days and seven professional development/inservice days in the school calendar.
(please see attached 2002-03 school calendar)
6.8 The course of studies includes, but is not limited to: religion, mathematics, language arts – including reading, social studies, science, fine arts, physical education, and health and safety.
6.9 Teaching strategies are appropriate for the students’ ages, interests, and achievement levels. Identify the specific strategies used to address students’ ages, interests, and achievement levels. Identify the specific strategies used to address students’ ages, interests, and achievement levels in your school. This should include Title 1 students, gifted and talented, at risk, ADD, ADHD, as well as other needs of student populations specific to your school.
Teaching strategies are developed and implemented to fit the students’ ages, interests and achievement levels. Individual homeroom teachers create their lessons to be appropriate for the students they teach. Referring to the diocesan standards and school curriculum guides, the lessons are structured to fit the objectives. Subject matter, techniques and materials used are selected carefully to meet the varying learning styles of individual students.
Staff members who teach many grade levels (Art, Music, P.E., Computer, Guidance and Library) constantly vary their subject matter, techniques and materials throughout the day. Age appropriate lessons are planned to fit the ability and interest of the students who are currently in their classrooms.
Varying achievement levels are always taken into consideration. Past records of students and present performance helps a teacher adapt a lesson to be successful for each student. Re-teaching is often done to help those who struggle. Students receive small group instruction from aides especially at the primary level. Volunteer parents are used in the primary level to give more individual guidance. Additional enrichment activities are offered to challenge students’ thinking.
6.10 Provisions are made to identify and assist students with special academic needs. Describe both the process for identify students with special academic needs and how the IEP’s are implemented for any speech/language, learning disabled, or other special education students in your school.
Teachers refer students to the guidance counselor if there is a child who may need screening for a disability. (Learning Disability, Cognitive, Disability, Speech and Language Disability, Hearing or Vision Impairment or other Health Impaired Issues.) A request form signed by the parents is submitted to the appropriate school district. Madison Public Schools service most of our students. They will come to our building to do screenings and meetings. Documentation is filed in the permanent record. On occasion a student leaves the school if the staff and parents feel the child cannot be successful without additional services.
The classroom teacher puts modified curriculum and strategies into place for those students identified as LD or Language Disability. Special accommodations are made at standardized testing time. Private tutoring is coordinated through the counselor along with any decisions about schedule changes for a student. For example, in a few cases a child has been exempted from Spanish. When a child is suspected of AD or ADHD the parents follow up with an appointment with a private physician. Teachers are helpful in the process by filling out forms and reporting observations. When a child is identified, behavior management is implemented. A student is taught additional time management and organizational skills. With a physician’s recommendation, a parent may choose to use medication also.
Difficulties in speech are serviced by the public schools. Students living in Madison receive services at Midvale before, during or after school. Up to this year language students also received services but funding was not available for 2002-2003. Consultants have been used for students who had vision, hearing, O.T. and P.T. Service Plans.
6.11 A systematic standardized testing program is used with evidence that the testing program is.
utilized in diagnosis and prescription of student learning as well as evaluation and revision of the curriculum.
Describe the results of standardized testing. What is your analysis of these results? What do you perceive as being strengths in your curriculum? Concerns? What curriculum changes have you already made as a result of information? What changes, if any, do you plan?
Describe how parents are informed about student achievement test results?
The Iowa Basics Test is utilized for the purpose of curriculum analysis and revision as well as a diagnostic tool for student concerns and remediation. It is taken into consideration that results vary due to the time a particular group is tested in relation to curriculum changes. For example, the test results in Math concepts for seventh grade two years ago caused revision in the curriculum along with graphs, charts, and resources being revised in Social Studies. Also, test results in spelling and phonics led to Language revisions, and results in Science have led to an emphasis on resources and reading to improve study skills in that area. Therefore, individual test score interpretations would take these findings into consideration when judging a student’s progress.
Test results are also used to see if the state and diocesan standards are being met, to compare results to other schools, and to analyze a specific group of students in a grade to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the overall curriculum.
Parents are sent a cover letter explaining the individual results of the test approximately two weeks after the school receives the results. The principal, guidance counselor, and teachers are available to discuss the results with the parents. School-wide results are sent home via the newsletter and are also included in the Annual Report.
Summary Report for Curriculum
1. What are your school’s primary accomplishments in this area over the past five years?
Several accomplishments have been made in curriculum development over the last five years. The timetable for curriculum study and development has been followed. Curriculum across the grade levels and subjects has been reworked so that all are written in the same format. As well, the staff has worked to tie the curriculum to both state and diocesan standards. Having worked so diligently on the curriculum, the staff also wanted to make it accessible to parents. The curriculum is now also posted in the school web site.
2. What are the weaknesses or concerns in the area of curriculum?
This committee recommends three areas of improvement. Although curriculum is studied on a regular basis, Guidance, Health and Spanish have not been included in the curriculum timetable. As these are integral parts of our school, a written curriculum for each needs to be developed and included in the timetable for study.
In the current curriculum study timetable Reading/Literature, Spelling, and English are slotted together in the timetable for study. Teachers in these content areas feel that this is an overwhelming amount to look at all together. As well, funds to update the curriculum in all these areas are lumped together. These content areas should be reviewed separately an allotted separate budgets to update materials.
This committee also recommends that the faculty should work towards using standardized test results. The principal, with the faculty, should review standardized test results to determine where there are strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum. As well, a representative from the makers of the standardized tests should inservice the staff on how to read the results of these tests.
3. Through your new school improvement plan, what do you hope to accomplish in the next 5-7 years? (Please prioritize you recommendations/goals. See Appendix S for “Guidelines for Writing Recommendations/Goals”).
Recommendation: Because the curriculum evaluation has been successful, continue the yearly study. Restructure the study, however, to include a written Spanish, Health, and Guidance curriculum.
Recommendation: Because we take the time to administer standardized tests, we as a staff need to receive training on how to interpret test results and work to adjust the curriculum to student needs.
Recommendation: Because “Language Arts” covers English (grammar), Reading/Literature, and Spelling we recommend that it be given two years – English and Spelling one year and Reading/Literature another year.
Recommendation: Because the staff works so hard at keeping our curriculum updated, we should make these efforts visible to parents by promoting the use of the school web page for curriculum visibility.
Recommendation: Because Our Lady Queen of Peace offers such a rich curriculum, the staff should work to better integrate different subject areas. The staff can work towards inter-disciplinary lessons to reinforce material that students are learning and to make cross-curriculum connections. As well, specific concepts/information can be recycled so that students can progress in learning based on prior knowledge, but retain and access what they previously learned.
Committee Members: Barb Goldsworthy, Vicki McVey, Linda Musial-Lintner, Diane Sweeney, Michelle Weisensel
Home | About QP | Our Staff
Copyright 2007 to date, Our Lady Queen of Peace School
|Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files|