Department of Curriculum and Instruction Overview
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction primary objective is to ensure that every student is prepared and equipped for success in the 21st Century through the development of a global curriculum and solid instructional program that recognizes and celebrates individual, cultural, social and learning differences and styles. We believe that all students can learn if given the opportunity and resources required to meet their individual learning needs. Student growth and continual learning is the primary reason for students attending University Heights Charter School.
Success For All Model
The Success For All Model is a streamlined approach that ensures that everyone in the organization from school district personnel to teachers uses student achievement as the primary focal point for planning, and development. It serves as a platform that builds the capacity of the organization, the schools, teachers and students. The components of the model include the Curriculum, Instructional Delivery and Assessment of learning and for learning.
Students learn best in both a supportive yet challenging learning environment. Each campus offers an academically rigorous curriculum, delivered by a caring, supportive, and attentive instructional team. We can therefore expect high levels of learning achievement for our children. The curriculum is aligned to the National Common Core Standards, the New Jersey Learning Standards and includes English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Physical Education/Health, French, Dance and Technology. The curriculum is focused on global awareness while reiterating personal responsibility and local community involvement.
Teachers utilize varied instructional strategies to meet the individual needs of each student. Some of the strategies include cooperative learning, peer teaching, small group discussions, inquiry-based labs, guest speakers and field trips. Re-teaching activities are used as needed and individual tutoring is also available. Early childhood teachers use developmental checklists and mile markers to determine growth, development and achievement of students.
University Heights’ teaching faculty uses a variety of formative and summative assessments to ensure students are engaged in learning. Formative assessments are a part of the instructional learning process. They are used to inform and adjust teaching and learning through the feedback process,and are considered learning through practice which is the key to student progress. With feedback, students are informed of strengths and weaknesses and can target areas to work on. Additionally, teachers quickly discover students grow areas and successes. This allows them to address problems immediately through remediation or enrichment. Examples of formative assessments include: Quizzes, Independent Classwork, Do Nows, Exit tickets, Homework, Writing Journals.
Additionally, summative assessments are used to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional time frame. These assessments have a high level of accountability and in many cases are used as a part of the grading process. Examples of summative assessments at the classroom level include: end of unit test, chapter tests, projects, Term papers, semester exams and report card grades to name a few. Additionally UHCS District also uses summative assessments to measure the progress of the students, teachers and schools. These include state assessments and benchmarks.