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Curriculum and Instruction

Building strong foundations in literacy and number skills is the primary mission of elementary curriculum and instruction.  Effective instruction begins with high-quality academic standards that outline what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level.  Ohio's New Learning Standards are the basis for our curriculum maps, learning targets, and lesson plans.  OCS teachers have worked together for several years studying the standards and planning the best ways to implement them in their classrooms.

Curriculum maps outlining when specific standards are taught were developed beginning in the 2013-14 school year.  The English language arts and mathematics maps are currently being revised to incorporate new materials purchased for those areas through district Permanent Improvement levy funds.  They will be posted to this page as they're finalized in the coming months.

High quality instruction in OCS K-4 classrooms includes research-backed practices such as the use of formative assessment data to guide instruction, flexible groupings, explicit phonics instruction and comprehensive interventions for students experiencing learning challenges. 

 

Intervention and Enrichment

At the elementary level, students receive intervention and enrichment in addition to their core instruction during a set-aside period called “ICE Time.”  During ICE, or Intervention, Computer, and Enrichment Time, students receive small group intervention services, use technology to practice skills, and/or engage in activities designed to help students deepen their knowledge.  No core instruction takes place during this time so students aren’t missing important information.  Research based practices used during small group instruction include Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory reading strategies, close reading instruction, writing, and math help. Title 1 teachers and tutors, intervention specialists, and general education teachers provide the instruction.

For more information about Orton-Gillingham and close reading strategies, please click the links below.

Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory Reading Strategies

Parents' Guide to Close Reading

 

Assessment

The purpose of assessment is to measure students’ level of mastery of the standards. Oregon City Schools utilizes several different tools -- some mandated, others chosen -- to measure and evaluate student knowledge of standards and their acquisition of skills.  Examples of formal assessments we use to make local instructional decisions include STAR Early Literacy, Reading and Math assessments, the MAP Reading assessment, the Development Reading Inventory and teacher-developed, grade level based common math assessments.

Annual state mandated testing includes the PARCC tests for English language arts and math for grades three and four and Ohio's Next Generation Assessment for Social Studies in grade four.

For more information regarding these tests, please click the links below.

STAR Assessments

Ohio ELA and Math Testing Information

PARCC Practice Tests

 

Ohio's Third Grade Guarantee

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a support program that spans kindergarten through grade 3. Under the guarantee, teachers assess each student’s reading skills at the beginning of each school year. If a student is reading below grade level, the school creates a reading improvement plan for the child. That plan includes extra reading help right away and for as long as the child needs it. 

So far, the guarantee has helped most students get back on track in reading by the end of the school year. But students who enter grade 3 still struggling to read receive the added help of a specially trained teacher. There is a final strategy to protect these students from long-term academic failure: A student who has not gained third-grade reading skills before the fourth grade begins must continue in third grade to build his or her reading skills.

The child may do fourth grade work in other subjects, if he or she is able. The child also may be promoted to fourth grade mid-year, if the district’s policy permits it. 

For more information about the Third Grade Guarantee, please click the links below or talk with your child's teacher.

Ohio's Third Grade Guarantee -- How It Works

Third Grade Guarantee Information