Academics

Welcome to the Scituate Public Schools Curriculum, Instruction, and Staff Development website page. This page comprises information about our curriculum and descriptions about researched-based best practices that our educators use every day to deliver the instruction that makes Scituate a great district.  

Our primary belief is that we, as educators, are fundamental in the student's development. We know that building positive relationships with students is foundational and critical. Scituate Public School educators help students develop skills and understanding that will help them throughout their lives. Our educators have high expectations and the belief that all students are able to succeed when they have engaging authentic learning experiences. We help students build creativity and the ability to think critically. To be successful in the future, students will need active collaboration and communication skills. Some of the best practices teachers employ are below.  


Social and Emotional Teaching and Learning (SEL)                                           

Students face myriad social and emotional challenges. Our foundational responsibility is to ensure students have the tools to be mentally and emotionally healthy. This year, we will continue our partnership with Dr. Nadja Reilly, a nationally respected psychologist who specializes in anxiety and depression in children and families. Also, we will continue to collaborate with the PEAR Institute, which works in conjunction with Harvard University/McLean Hospital. These providers will help us continue to develop our use of research-based strategies to foster healthy students.

Personalized Learning (PL)
                                                                                                                 
Understanding each student’s needs is fundamental for a student’s academic, social, and emotional growth. Personalized learning begins with the premise that each student brings her or his different strengths and challenges. In highly effective classrooms, educators’ use of personalized learning is intrinsic.  The teacher and student collaborate to create the student’s learning profile, which informs the learning path. In the process, the student develops self-advocacy, goal-setting, reflection skills, and determines optimal conditions for success as a learner and the ideal avenue for them to communicate their learning. In proficient personalized learning classrooms, students only progress when they have mastered the class’ specific content and skills.

Performance-Based Assessment (PBA)

Performance-based assessment tasks requires that students apply their knowledge and skills, as opposed to recall or recognition. The tasks typically do not yield a single, correct answer and are authentic. Performance-based assessments may occur on the day of a lesson so that the teacher may check for understanding or after the end of a unit of study and must address specific standards. 

Some examples of Scituate performance-based assessments include:

  • Grade 7 – Math. Students created a Rational Number Book. Students demonstrated their application of rational number understanding. Criteria included: a clear explanation; graphics; answer section; and a table of contents.
  • Grade 3 – Science. Students designed and created a masking tape car track to apply their knowledge about force and motion. Criteria for success included: creation of car, a ramp powered by a magnet; 3 turns; magnetic system able to push or pull the car without contact with the car and magnet.
  • High School Public Speaking Selective – The speech title: Personal Anecdote. Students followed a rubric, which measured physical stance, movement, gestures, facial expression, and eye contact. They also needed to pause, project their voices, and vary their voices effectively.

Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Project-Based Learning experiences begin with a real-world problem for which students find a solution.  The project must align with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Frameworks, across a range of content areas. A project-based learning is a long-term project where the teacher guides student choice and exploration of a problem. The students develop a solution to that problem and then participate in a public display of their learning, where the students share their process and solution. They summarize how and why they chose a particular problem; the research and/or experimentation they conducted; people with whom they consulted; and their solution, and how they arrived at that solution.  In developing their project, students essentially construct knowledge. The project must align with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Frameworks.

Examples of Scituate projects:

Grade 9 – Civic Engagement through Community Service Learning. Students applied their understanding of community needs and developed a solution and raised funds to address those needs. Fundraiser titles included: Cupcakes to Conquer Cancer; Lose Your Shoes; and Dare to Dance.

Gates Health and Wellness – FitFest. Students applied their knowledge in multiple ways. They facilitated audience participation in authentic fitness activities; food sampling, from recipes that they had created; dance demonstrations; and information session about health and being well.

Co-Teaching

In a co-teaching classroom, two teachers share instruction. The delivery of instruction occurs with a team comprising the classroom teacher and a special education teacher, math specialist, reading specialist, speech and language therapist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist. In model co-teaching classrooms, there is no observable difference or distinction of the role of each teacher.  Differentiation occurs for all students, not only those on a plan. Students benefit from two educators who bring different skills, knowledge, and understanding to the classroom.


 

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