School Year & Academic Day

Elementary Curriculum

The elementary school program is designed to develop students’ confidence in themselves as learners, to instill a love of learning and a desire to learn.  The program helps students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to communicate effectively, understand the world around them and participate fully in a democratic society.

Students will engage in integrated or thematic study that requires them to read, write, investigate, converse, design, create, analyze, share and present data and opinions as they pursue solutions and understandings.

In addition, health, safety, computer literacy, penmanship and special projects are integrated throughout the rest of the academic day in both classes and special areas.

The classroom curriculum is aligned with NYS Next Generation Learning Standards and typically includes the following:

Language Arts: involves students in extensive reading and writing activities in a workshop format designed to develop language competence and skill through literature.  Students often choose their own reading materials and topics for writing.  The emphasis is to encourage students to love literature and to use reading and writing effectively to express their understanding of what they have learned.

Mathematics: places an emphasis on problem-solving skills to develop understanding of math concepts and applications.  Students are presented with situations or problems that require mathematical thinking.  Practice arithmetic is also provided to develop computation skills.  They are encouraged to think and talk about mathematical tasks and to seek multiple solutions to problems.

Science and Social Studies: programs are based on NYS curriculum standards.  The curriculum encourage student inquiry and uses hands-on activities to foster curiosity and a healthy skepticism.  Students read widely, use a variety of resources and write often to extend their understanding and knowledge of the world around them.

Digital Literacy: is the ability to understand, use and safely interact with technology, media and digital resources in real-world situations. We live in a digital society.  Students are given the opportunity to learn and develop digital literacy skills – starting as early as Kindergarten. From keyboarding and word processing, to computational thinking and coding.

Special Areas

All Kindergarten through fourth grade students receive instruction and participate in these special area classes. Specials are for 40 minutes once each week, with the exception of Physical Education which is for 40 minutes, twice each week.                               

  • Art: The art program is designed to help develop students’ understanding of art through hands-on-experience with imaginary and realistic design.
  • Music: The music program is designed to foster students’ ability to enjoy and understand music.  All students in grades 1 through 4 receive general music instruction.  In addition, third and fourth graders have the opportunity to learn to play recorder and grade 4 participates in chorus.
  • Physical Education: The physical education program includes activities in basic and creative movement, rhythm and dance, gymnastics, perceptual-motor skills and lifetime sports.  Games are introduced to develop skills for individual and team sports.  Students are encouraged to engage in vigorous physical activity daily at home.  They must have sneakers to participate.
  • Library: The library program is designed to support the English Language Arts curriculum and develop research skills and a joy for reading.

Assessment & Testing

Teachers continually assess student performance through observation, student conferences and review of each student’s written work or informal assessments.  Formal district-wide testing includes reading and writing inventories.

In New York State, third graders are tested in English/Language Arts (in April) and Mathematics (in April), while fourth graders are tested in English/Language Arts (in April), Mathematics (in April), and Science (in May/June).  These assessments are intended to help students reach higher standards of learning and to focus on basic skills and their applications.  The results of these tests are reported annually on the NYS School Report Card and individual student reports are sent home to parents.

Report card grades are determined by using a combination of assessments to ascertain if a youngster has learned.  Some of the ways to know if a child is learning is by looking at the following criteria:

  • New York State Tests. (Grades 3 & 4)
  • Critical thinking, problem solving and collecting data.
  • Expressing one’s thoughts in writing.
  • Students demonstrating how they arrived at a given solution(s).
  • Performance tasks demonstrating an application of skills.
  • Perseverance, organization, willingness to go beyond the task, and effort.
  • Attendance and lateness throughout the year.

Students who fall below expected levels of achievement may be offered academic intervention outside of the classroom.

Student Support Services - RTI

The building level Response to Intervention Team meets throughout the school year.  RTI is a multidisciplinary team that explores and addresses specific students concerns related to academic performance; behavior, socialization, emotions, and home environment, members include a general education teacher, reading specialist, school psychologist, school social worker, special education teacher, and the referring classroom teacher. The team will support the referring teacher by assisting in developing strategies and interventions, and/or a more comprehensive plan to address the student’s issues.

The purpose of RTI is to increase the utilization of strategies within the general education classroom to meet the academic and behavioral needs of individual students.  At the RTI meeting intervention strategies are identified and the student’s progress is monitored.  If the student’s needs ultimately cannot be met within the general education program, a referral for formal assessment may be warranted.

When formal assessments are recommended, a referral to the District’s Committee on Special Education is made.  Referrals are generally made through the recommendation of the RTI Committee.  The CSE provides formal assessments for students who are suspected of having a disability and also determines eligibility for classification.  An Individual Educational Plan (I.E.P.) consisting of goals and objectives is developed by the CSE to provide an appropriate education for students who are eligible for services.