Academics

What do we expect our students to learn?

Core Knowledge Curriculum

The idea behind the Core Knowledge Sequence is simple and powerful: knowledge builds on knowledge. For the sake of academic excellence, greater fairness, and higher literacy, Core Knowledge provides a core curriculum that is coherent, cumulative, and content-specific in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge, grade by grade. The Core Knowledge Sequence is a detailed outline of specific content (and skills) taught in English/language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science, and the fine arts.

Academic Environment

The Core Knowledge Sequence details the specific content to be taught in kindergarten through eigth grade in the areas of language arts, history (American and world), geography, music, visual arts, mathematics, and science. The Core Knowledge curriculum exposes children, early on, to interesting and demanding subject matter, and then builds on that, year by year, in a carefully developed sequence manner. For more information about Core Knowledge, please see the Core Knowledge Foundation website at http://www.coreknowledge.org

Curriculum Maps

School Wide Curriculum Map

Kindergarten

1st Grade 2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade 5th Grade

Art

Music

Physical Education

Technology

 Writing

Where are CAS Taught 

Parent FAQ 

PSD Parent Math Toolkit 

A Parent's Guide to K-5 Mathematics 


How will we know they are learning?

5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning

PARCC website

PARCC Practice test

CDE SchoolView website

CDE Colorado Academic Standards

Homework:
Homework provides extra practice of skills and reinforcement of what has been taught at school. Parents are encouraged to work with their children at home to practice skills taught at school.
Teachers at each grade will determine the type of homework assignments that are developmentally appropriate for their grade level.
Home reading will be an expectation nightly at every grade level. Students enrolled in our Gifted and Talented program may be assigned the higher than
average amount of homework.
Average Amount of Homework Per Night
Kindergarten: 10-15 minutes
First Grade: 20-25 minutes
Second Grade: 20-25 minutes
Third Grade: 30-40 minutes
Fourth Grade: 40-45 minutes
Fifth Grade:50-60 minutes
Grading:
Report cards are sent home three times a year at the conclusion of each trimester.

How will we respond when they don't learn?

MTSS Process Guidebook


How will we respond if they have already mastered it?

Advanced Learning Plans (A.L.P.)

Advanced Learning Plans will be completed after work samples have been collected, learning surveys completed, student reflections written and conferences between the student and teacher have been held.  A.L.P.s will be completed after Thanksgiving.  A new focus for Poudre School District's ALPs, in addition to academic growth, now also include a Social and Emotional growth goal.

District Process

Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of an area of giftedness.  PSD’s Gifted and Talented program allows for a higher degree of complexity, compacted standards, grouping by readiness/ability, and a focus on problem solving skills.  Students begin GT programming in 3rd grade, the identification process, that aligns with state law, starts in 2nd grade.  Identified students must demonstrate 3 qualifying indicators/scores across 2 bodies of evidence. 

What is the Body of Evidence?

Achievement

Measure of Academic Progress (MAP)

STAR Assessments

Colorado Measure of Academic Success (CMAS)

Behavior Characteristics

Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS)

Intellectual Ability/Aptitude

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT)

Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT)

Torrance Test of Creative Thinking

Demonstrated Performance

Portfolios

Performance Tasks/Observations

Interviews

Products and Presentations

Students can be identified in math and/or reading. Each identified GT student with parent input, develops an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) annually with goals focused on their skills and needs in cooperation with school staff.   At Zach, our identified GT students experience advanced learning opportunities in reading and/or math.  Students also may experience compacted standards in math.  See page 4 for more details. 

CoGAT: [Cognitive Abilities Test] All PSD 2nd graders are screened.  CogAT is highly visual, does not have a time limit, is read aloud by the teacher, and does not require students to transfer answers to a separate answer sheet.  CogAT assesses students’ abilities in reasoning and problem solving using verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal (spatial) symbols.  A student can only take a CogAT twice during their PSD career. 

PARCC: [Partnership for Assessment Readiness for College and Careers] The PARCC is a group of states working together to develop high quality K-12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy that give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school. PARCC is given annually in 3rd-5th grades. 

MAP: [Measures of Academic Progress] An online assessment taken in 2nd-5th grade three times a year to measure academic achievement and growth in reading and mathematics.

STAR: [Standardized Test for the Assessment in Reading] An online assessment given to solid readers K-1st, all students 2nd-5th, throughout the school year.  STAR is available in math and reading.

SIGS: [Scales for Identifying Gifted Students] Given in cases of individual student referrals, SIGS is a norm referenced rating scale designed to assist schools in the identification of gifted students.  It is assessed from home and school observational data of general intellectual ability, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, creativity, and leadership.

Course Work Service Delivery

3rd Grade Mathematics

Advanced learners and identified Gifted and Talented students are ability grouped between two classes. One class is a math enrichment introducing above grade level topics and one class compacts all of 3rd and half of 4th grade standards into instruction. Supplemental materials and online programs may be used to meet student’s needs. We will review formal assessment data each fall factoring in student numbers in order to best place students into an appropriate advanced learning environment. Students have until October 1st each year to qualify.

Students have until October 1st each year to qualify for the compacted class:

  • 3 or more scores at or above the 97th percentile on nationally normed assessment (COGAT, MAP, STAR, PARCC > 790)
  • 2 or more scores at or above the 97th percentile and > 90% on the 4th grade End of Year Assessment

4th Grade Mathematics

Advanced learners and GT identified students are ability grouped between two classes. One class is math enrichment introducing above grade level topics and one class compacts half of 4th and all of 5th standards into instruction.  Supplemental materials and online programs may be used to meet student’s needs. We will review formal assessment data each fall factoring in class size in order to best place students into an appropriate advanced learning environment.

Students have until October 1st each year to qualify for the compacted class:

  • 4 or more scores at or above the 97th percentile on nationally normed assessment (COGAT, MAP, STAR, PARCC > 790)
  • 3 or more scores at or above the 97th percentile and > 80% on the 4th grade End of Year Assessment

5th Grade Mathematics (for the 16-17 school year)

One class for GT identified students only, focused on 6th grade standards. Capped at 32.  No additional students are able to enroll into this class after max cap is reached. The 2016-17 school year will be the last year for this class to be offered only to GT identified students.

3rd Grade Reading

All 3rd grade students are grouped by homeroom for reading. For identified GT Reading students, our focus will be daily GT enrichment instruction and reading comprehension ability groups for all students.  Part of the reading block will be devoted to GT students (as a whole group) working with the GT teacher. Extension instruction will be aligned to grade level standards and will include ALP development. There may be additional GT Reading homework. Students will also receive comprehension instruction through small guided reading groups led by their homeroom teacher. 

4th Grade Reading

Students are scheduled in ability grouped reading classes and receive …

  • Daily co-teaching instruction within an ability grouped reading class.  ALP Reading and Social/Emotional goal management integrated into class. Focus on depth of knowledge of 4th grade ELA standards, core novels, inquiry projects, author studies, choice menus, challenge prompts, and journaling.

5th Grade Reading

Students are scheduled in ability grouped reading classes and receive…

Daily co-teaching instruction with a grade level teacher and GT coordinator within reading classes with like ability peers.  ALP Reading and Social/Emotional goal management integrated into class. Focus on depth of knowledge of 5th grade ELA standards, core novels, inquiry projects, author studies, choice menus, challenge prompts, and journaling. 

Gifted and Talented Screening (3 scores needed):

  • All PSD Students
  • MAP (2nd – 5th)
  • CogAT ( 2nd)
  • STAR

Criteria:

  • THREE qualifying indicators
  • Span TWO different areas of the Body of Evidence
  • Cognitive and achievement

Body of Evidence:

  • Achievement scores (MAP & STAR)
  • Intellectual ability/ aptitude (CogAT)
  • Behavior characteristics
  • Demonstrated performances

Qualifying Indicators:

  • 95th percentile or higher on MAP or STAR
  • 95th percentile or higher on CogAT
    • Demonstrated performance
    • Behavioral characteristics

Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)

  • Service providers
  • Context area goals
  • Written annually

ALP Goals:

  • Math and/or Reading goal
  • Social/Emotional goal

Students new to PSD: 

Students entering PSD from another district in Colorado or from another state or country 
can still qualify for gifted services. If the student has already been receiving gifted services in 
a previous school, the GT Site Coordinator will examine assessments that have already been 
administered, and he/she will determine if the student meets PSD criteria of 3 indicators in 
at least 2 different areas of the body of evidence. It is important to notify the GT Site 
Coordinator at your child’s school as soon as possible so that he/she knows to 
begin the process of reviewing previous assessments for gifted identification in 
PSD. While a student might have received gifted services in another district or state, it is 
still necessary for previous assessments to be reviewed in order to determine if the student 
meets the criteria for PSD. Sometimes other assessments must be administered if previous 
assessments do not meet the district criteria. 
 
If a student has not been identified previously but shows potential, an educator or parent 
can complete a referral form and submit it to the GT Site Coordinator to begin the process. 
 
Note: A referral form does not equal identification. It merely begins the process of further 
investigation. A PSD educator must approve all PSD administered assessments. 

http://www.psdschools.org/department/gifted-and-talented

Behavior:  
Students are expected to adhere to the R.O.A.R. Code both in the classroom as well as during their transition to the modulars. 

Reward Levels for Golden Tickets