Instructional Methods

Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning. Teachers strive to put students in active roles during learning activities. Examples include paraphrasing information, problem-solving, hands-on activities, writing activities and critical thinking. Lessons include direct experiences with concrete examples to help students connect their current knowledge with new knowledge. Students are also encouraged to transfer basic skills to real-life applications, to work in cooperative groups and to share their work with others.

Instructional Materials

It is the responsibility of parents to inform the building principal or assistant principal if they would prefer their children not use or observe instructional materials that have content that might be offensive to them. The teachers are professional and conscientious, but we recognize that families have a right to determine the appropriateness of materials for their children. It is the responsibility of students or their parents to inform classroom teachers when they need to use an alternative set of materials for personal reasons. This complies with Board of Education policy 6:40, Curriculum Development.

A comprehensive list of core materials and major works that might be used for, but are not limited to, instruction can be found at each building or by clicking here. This list is reviewed by the Board of Education on an annual basis. This complies with Board of Education policy 6:210, Instructional Materials.

Addressing Student Performance

Classroom learning experiences are designed to help students make progress toward meeting District 116 grade level expectations and the Illinois Learning Standards. Students receive teacher feedback on the accuracy and quality of their work in a variety of ways. The most common methods include numerical scores (number of items or percentage of items correct) and rubrics (scoring guides) that describe high quality work for a given assignment.

Communicating Student Performance Results

Each school and teacher has a system for communicating with parents about instruction and the behavioral and academic progress of students. School and classroom web pages, newsletters and other materials give parents/guardians and on-going stream of information about current topics of study and classroom activities. Teachers communicate with families through phone messages, e-mails and personal notes to convey information about individual students. The comments and scores on graded work help parents/guardians tell how well their child understands assigned tasks.

Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled twice each year and at other times upon request for all levels.

Student Performance Progress Reports are sent home at the end of each semester for each grade level, summarizing a child’s performance in the classroom and in any support program in which he/she participates.

Elementary schools use a common standards-based reporting system. The progress reports align with grade level expectations and Illinois Learning Standards. Families are encouraged to communicate with teachers regarding student progress throughout the school year.