Chapter 5

  • ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION

    GENERAL OVERVIEW

    Our elementary schools offer a variety of educational opportunities and support programs for all students. The basic curriculum is aligned to the new Illinois Learning Standards (incorporating the Common Core Standards) and the District 15 Student Performance Targets. Learning Targets, which provide details regarding grade-level expectations for students, are available on the District 15 website, www.ccsd15.net.

    The instructional program includes the following subject areas:

    • Language arts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Music—Students in Grades 1-6 receive two 30-minute music classes each week. Kindergarten students have music instruction for one 30-minute period per week.
    • Health
    • Physical Education—Two 30-minute physical education classes per week are scheduled for students in Grades 1-6. All students are expected to participate unless a doctor’s note is submitted. Children need gym shoes that can be tied or Velcro closed with non-marking soles. Slip-ons and platform-style shoes are unsafe for running and gym activities.
    • Art—Students in Grades 1-6 participate in one 60-minute art class every week. The elements of art and principles of design are taught using a variety of media.

    RESCURCES

    The following resources are available in support of or in addition to the instructional programs listed above:

    • Learning Resource Center (library)
    • Technology
    • Video Studio
    • Band/Orchestra—Fifth and sixth-grade students may join band or orchestra. Lessons are provided weekly during the school day. Rehearsals are held before school.
    • Chorus—Chorus is a school-sponsored club that may be available for students in Grades 5 and 6.
    • Intramurals—Fifth- and sixth-grade students are eligible to participate in intramurals. Signature forms needed to participate in intramurals are available through the intramural program coordinator or PE teacher at your child’s school.

    Students are supported, as appropriate, by:

    • Student Services Team
    • School Social Worker
    • School Psychologist
    • School Nurse

    RECESS

    Students generally go outside for recess every day, so they should be dressed appropriately. Exceptions are made only when a child brings a doctor’s note excusing him/her from outdoor recess.

    Staff members provide playground supervision at all times. Children who misbehave may be placed in “time out” or sent to the office to talk with an administrator.

    Indoor recess is determined based on the following guidelines:

    • If the temperature outside, together with the wind chill, is below 0°, all students will remain inside for the entire lunch hour.
    • If the temperature outside, together with the wind chill, is between 0°–10°, the preferred procedure is a rotation of 20 minutes for lunch, a 20-minute outdoor recess, and a 20-minute indoor recess. However, at the principal’s discretion, the students may be kept inside for the entire lunch hour.
    • If the temperature outside, together with the wind chill, is above 10°, students will have regular outdoor recess.

    Other considerations include the condition of the playground and the presence of precipitation. For indoor recess, students are supervised in their classrooms.

    HOMEWORK GUIDELINES

    Homework extends and reinforces classroom learning, provides skills practice, and helps students prepare and review for lessons and tests. It is also a way to help parents stay informed about what their child is learning, and it helps children develop good discipline and responsibility.

    We encourage families to consider the importance of setting aside a specific time and place for children to do their homework. Parents should check their child’s understanding of assignments and review directions together if necessary. If there is a special problem, contact the child’s teacher.

    The following guidelines for suggested amounts of time to be spent on homework may be helpful:

    Homework Guidelines

    Reading for pleasure at home is important. Children should set aside daily time for recreational reading in addition to homework time. You may wish to establish a family reading time.