The 2011-2012 school year looks like it is going to be an exciting one for the (RTSD) elementary schools. With many new academic programs and handy online tools to help parents, Radnor elementary schools are looking forward to their students returning for another year of learning and fun.
One of the new additions to the academic roster for Fall 2011 is Reading, Writing and Vocabulary Materials. All of the RTSD elementary schools will be using the reading, writing and vocabulary materials published by the Developmental Studies Center.
According to Literacy Coordinator, Maureen A. McQuiggan, Ed.D, these well-rounded, research-based core literacy materials have been piloted in the district over the last few years with great success. Plans to expand the materials uses in all of the elementary schools were reviewed in March and April, 2011 and the Curriculum Committee of the RTSD School Board.
Another class that the elementary schools have added to their curriculum is called Making Meaning. This class helps students to develop a higher level of thinking skills by focusing on nine reading comprehension strategies that can be applied to fiction and non-fiction texts at all reading levels. This class uses Tier 2 words that have high frequencies and multiple meanings. This will help provide students with strategies for deducing word meanings when reading independently. Becoming a Writer will teach and reinforce writing skills and conventions that are aligned with the Pennsylvanian and Common Core national standards for writing. These materials won the 2011 Golden Lamp Award in Curriculum from the Association of Educational Publishers.
According to McQuiggan, the implementation of this program at RTSD’s three elementary schools will ensure that a research-based consecutive writing program will be used in all of the elementary schools from grades K-5.
Also new for the 2011-2012 school-year is the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment to all students between grades one through give.
According to Assistant Superintendent Kim Maguire, The MAP test is a computer adaptive assessment that enables the district to chart student progress in reading and mathematics over the course of one year and over consecutive years.
MAP testing has been piloted for more than two years in the district and used to monitor the progress of RTSD’s English Language Learners as well as identify special education and gifted students.
RTSD is also helping parents by providing them with online student attendance records and standard based report cards. A new standard-based report card that aligns with district curriculum to better inform parents of their child’s progress toward meeting state and national standards will also be introduced this year.