Guide to the District 103 Curriculum
The purpose of this guide is to provide insight to the instructional programs for District 103 elementary students. We are committed to challenging and supporting all students by providing rigorous and relevant learning opportunities that develop their college and career readiness. By providing this guide, we believe that District 103 families will be better informed and thus can partner with us in supporting their child’s education.
Learning goals in District 103 have as their foundation the Common Core State Standards for math and English/Language Arts as well as the Illinois Learning Standards for science, social studies and the arts. Our district has aligned its science units of study with the Illinois Learning Standards for science, which are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In December 2015, ISBE adopted the New Illinois Social Studies Standards. These standards are an adapted version of the College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Standards. For two years, the Daniel Wright Junior High School Social Studies teachers have worked closely with middle and high school teachers within the Stevenson Consortium to ensure alignment of content and academic rigor across all sixth through 12-grade teachers. The elementary teachers have been analyzing how the new standards align to their current units and adjusting or rewriting units using the new standards. In June 2016, new Illinois Arts Learning Standards were adopted to support the development of critical thinking skills required for high school and beyond. We have begun to collaborate with the Stevenson High School Consortium Districts to align our fine arts curriculum with these new standards for implementation by the fall of 2018.
Introduction to the D103 Curriculum
Welcome to the Parents’ Guide to the District 103 Curriculum. This guide has been created for you and will provide an overview of the rich curriculum that your child will experience as a student in our district. We have organized the guide by grade level and have also added links to additional information that support the design and implementation of the curriculum. By providing you with this overview of the curriculum, we believe that, as a parent, you will be better informed and thus can truly partner with us in your child’s education.
Our instructional program supports our mission through a curriculum that focuses on skill development in the core academic areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and social science. The curriculum also develops students’ skills in writing, technology, and social and emotional learning; and it extends to music, fine arts, world language (Spanish), physical education/health, family and consumer science, clubs, athletics and community service.
As you journey through this guide, you will see that the Common Core State Standards, adopted by Illinois in 2010, have been incorporated into the English/language arts and the mathematics portions of our curriculum. These standards provide a focused framework for teaching and learning, ensuring that all children will graduate high school with the skills they need to be successful.
In English language arts and literacy, this means three major changes. Students will continue reading and writing. But in addition to stories and literature, they will read more texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas including science and social studies. They will read more challenging texts and be asked more questions that will require them to refer back to what they have read. There will also be an increased emphasis on building a strong vocabulary, so that students can read and understand challenging material.
In mathematics, there are also three major changes. Teachers will concentrate on teaching a more focused set of major math concepts and skills. This will allow students time to master key math concepts and skills in a more organized way throughout the year and from one grade to the next. It will also call for teachers to use rich and challenging math content and to engage students in solving real-world problems in order to inspire greater interest in mathematics.
Thank you for your interest and support in District 103’s Curriculum and Instruction.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction