Curriculum & Instruction
District 15 is committed to ambitious and powerful teaching that is responsive to the cultural and language assets of all students in every classroom. High quality teaching is present in all classrooms, in all schools, regardless of the content area across our district. This vision is grounded in a commitment to all students as we prepare them to be a D15 graduate. Responsive practices that are culturally responsive are at the center of and embedded throughout our instructional framework. We are always continuing to deepen our understanding and to improve teaching and learning. Our instructional framework is rooted in the following key components:
- Content: All students work on core disciplinary issues in ways that enable them to develop conceptual understandings, develop reasoning and problem solving skills, and use disciplinary concepts, tools and methods in relevant contexts.
- Cognitive Demand: All students have opportunities to make their own sense of important ideas, developing deeper understandings, connections, and applications by building on what they know.
- Equitable Access to Content: All students are supported in access to central content and participate actively in the work of the class. Diverse strengths and needs are built on through the use of an extensive repertoire of strategies, resources, and technologies that enable all students to participate meaningfully.
- Agency, Ownership, and Identity: All students build productive disciplinary identities through taking advantage of opportunities to engage meaningfully with the discipline and share and refine their developing ideas.
- Formative Assessment: Every student’s learning is continually enhanced by the ongoing strategic and flexible use of techniques and activities that allow students to reveal their emerging understandings and provide opportunities to rethink misunderstandings to build on productive ideas.
The curriculum in District 15 is continually evaluated to ensure it is dynamic and responsive. Various curriculum committees, consisting of teachers and administrators, research best practice instructional approaches and programmatic resources for study, and recommend materials which allow for responsive teaching to meet the needs of diverse learners. Parents have the right to reveiw instructional materials used by their child(ren)'s classroom teachers. Parents interested in participating in curriculum studies may contact Meg Schnoor, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, email@example.com, or phone 847-963-3101.
Elementary school classes are self-contained, and junior high school classes are departmentalized. Language arts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), mathematics, science, social studies, music, comprehensive health, physical education, and visual arts are taught at all grade levels. The basic curriculum is aligned to Illinois Learning Standards (incorporating the Common Core Standards). In addition, the subject areas listed below by grade levels are also taught:
- Environmental Education—Grades K-8
- Foreign Language—Grades 7-8
- Comprehensive Health (Human Growth and Development)*—Grades K-8
- Comprehensive Music—Grades K-8
- Visual Arts—Grades K-8
- Instrumental Music (Woods, Brass, Percussion, and Strings)—Grades 5-8
- Career Education—Grades K-8
- Practical Arts and/or Tech Prep—Grades 7-8
- Consumer Education—Grades 7-8
- Computer Literacy—Grades K-8
- Physical Education—Grades K-8
*Human Growth and Development is taught as a separate unit within the Comprehensive Health curriculum. Content and activities are carefully selected for the grade-level involved. Parent involvement is essential for the success of this curriculum. Parents may view materials that will be used for instruction, and have the option to withdraw their children from this unit of instruction by sending a written request to the principal. When instruction in recognizing and avoiding sexual abuse is included in any class, parents will receive notice at least five days before such instruction begins and may choose to have their child(ren) withdraw from participation.
Instruction is based on the belief that the basics are essential. The primary focus of instruction is on the development and application of reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Students also learn basic concepts in science and social studies. Throughout the program, emphasis is placed on students becoming independent learners and problem solvers. Learning is enhanced through the use of technology.
Committees, composed of teachers, parents, and administrators, continually evaluate the curriculum and make recommendations for improvement to the Board of Education to ensure quality programs.