As part of the district’s Strategic Plan, committees, made up of more than 100 district stakeholders, provided the district with ways the community would like to see enhancement and additions to curriculum. The district has made several changes to curriculum to make sure students are receiving a 21st Century Learning Education.
DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN (RTF)
Poland Local Schools has adopted Bridges for all elementary students. Union Elementary started the curriculum in the 2017-2018 school year, and McKinley Elementary started Bridges in the 2018-2019 school year. The adoption of Bridges has changed the manner in which math is taught. Students benefit immensely from the curriculum’s methods of instruction, structured investigations, and open exploration. On average, students receive 65-75 minutes of math instruction each day. Words like “attribute, compare, data, difference, edge, equation, estimate, horizontal, sum, ten-frame, and vertical” are used by students each day to express their understanding and depths of knowledge.
College Preparatory Math (6-8)
Grades six through eight have adopted College Preparatory Math (CPM). CPM is a conceptual math curriculum that will directly connect the work being accomplished with Bridges. CPM is a curriculum engaging all students in mathematical problem solving, reasoning, and communication. Students deepen their conceptual understanding and strategic competence, enhance procedural fluency and adaptive reasoning, and engage in mathematical discourse, and debate through problem based lessons.
Poland Seminary High School offers students a variety of math options, including courses students can earn college credit while in high school.
The courses include:
AP Calculus with College Credit Plus Calculus
College Credit Plus Pre Calculus
College Credit Plus Trigonometry
Over the last three years, the Poland Local School District has been developing and implementing an exciting literacy initiative. A five-year plan that follows, and is rooted in the Science of Reading, has been put in place.
According to The Reading League, a national non-profit that promotes knowledge to reimagine the future of literacy education and accelerate the global movement toward reading instruction rooted in science, “The science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. This research has been conducted over the last five decades across the world, and it is derived from thousands of studies conducted in multiple languages. The science of reading has culminated in a preponderance of evidence to inform how proficient reading and writing develop; why some have difficulty; and how we can most effectively assess and teach and, therefore, improve student outcomes through prevention of and intervention for reading difficulties.”
In 2020-2021, Poland Local Schools adopted Really Great Reading as its systematic phonics instruction alongside Heggerty, which enhances phonemic awareness. These programs are being used in kindergarten through grade three in order to strengthen decoding skills for our students.
In kindergarten through grade five, interactive read alouds have also been implemented. IRAs are so important because they expand students’ background knowledge, allows access to grade level texts, and encourages deep thinking and academic language within discussion.
The district also adopted a resource in grades six through twelve called StudySync to support literacy. This resource provides texts that are at grade level with vocabulary, writing, comprehension, and grammar built into each unit.
In these grade levels, book clubs have also been implemented. This is a technique used to help groups of students have real-life, collaborative discussion around longer texts. Book clubs are used as a culmination and assessment of how well students have internalized and use the systematic and explicit instruction of standards, skills, processes, and strategies taught.
Over the next few years, our teachers will be going through training in vocabulary instruction, grammar and syntax, comprehension, and writing. These trainings will take place across grade levels and all contents in order to embed literacy in all that we do in Poland.
Technology classes are in place for grades 5-8.
New, state-of-the-art Apple Lab at the middle school, which aligns with the curriculum at the high school.
Every student has the opportunity to gain experience in Apple, Microsoft and Google.
STEM curriculum is now offered to 5-8th grade students.
The high school has an AP Computer Science Class.
Every classroom now has a phone.
Adopted a Chromebook Replacement Policy
Staff has gone through development training to increase technology integration in the classroom.