Presenters • Science • Renee Devlin – Curriculum Coordinator • George Eastburn – Science Teacher (North) • English • Peggy Walsh – Curriculum Coordinator • David Boell – English Teacher (North) • Math • Michael Lecker – Curriculum Coordinator • Julie Eastburn – Curriculum Coordinator • Rosalie Falcheck – Math Teacher (South)
Why this report • Publicly, there have been statements questioning the differences between accelerated courses and academic level courses. • Level of rigor • Homework • Pacing
What we did • Meetings with administrators, curriculum coordinators, teachers. • Coordinator and teacher review of course frameworks, assessments, resources, etc. • Observations of accelerated classes and “academic” classes. • Focused on HW practices, expectations, student engagement.
Important Understandings • Science / English / Mathematics • Frameworks • Instructional Design • Pacing • Assessments • Homework
Science • Frameworks • Aligned to the standards. In recent years amendments have been made to meet future state testing. • Inquiry based labs • Varied assessments, resources • Instructional Design • Chunking, organizers, study guides, more hands on in academic • More time to process/practice in class in academic
Science • Pacing • Assessments • Some subjects allow the academic classes to use supporting materials (formulas, tables, word banks) • Some assessments are standard (safety, element quizzes) • Homework • May count for more in academic than accelerated
English Similarities • Writing in Narrative, Informational, and Persuasive/Argumentative Modes • Reading and Analysis of Literary Fiction and Nonfiction • Speaking and Listening • Language • Sadlier Vocabulary Program • Usage and Conventions • Major Research Assignment • PSAT, SAT, PSSA Prep (Grades 10 and 11) • Assessments Differences • Levels of Critical Thinking • Facility with Language (oral and written) • Pace and Volume • Independent Work • Time Devoted to Basic Skill Instruction • Individual Instruction • Assessments
Mathematics • Frameworks – Similar Concepts and Skills each level. • Instructional Design –Planning and instruction can vary in each course depending on the collective readiness and understanding of prerequisite knowledge by students. Example: Factoring
Mathematics • Pacing: Adjusted/Monitored by complexity of the problems and applications. Example: Factoring • Assessment: consistent with the instruction and level of complexity of the course. Example: Geometry • Homework Assignments The expectations for participation and completeness of homework is the same.
Conclusions • Courses are designed to be different to support the unique needs of the learners. • Homework is routinely assigned in academic and accelerated courses. • Assessments are different, yet appropriate for the level of course. • Academic and accelerated courses are both college prep in nature (college prep is different than college major).