Curriculum Office

Curriculum and Instruction

Dear Parents, Students, Administration, and Staff,
I am excited to share some of the following highlights in the area of curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year.

  • A number of teachers in grades K-5 will be piloting the MyView ELA series.  Grades K-4 will also incorporate Spring Math into their daily schedules.
  • Grades 7-12 Spanish teachers, as well as, Social Studies teachers will be utilizing a new textbook series this year.
  • Teachers will continue to collaborate to include common assessments within their curriculum maps.
  • Makerspace rooms will be expanding and/or further developed in each building for students to use and teachers to be coached/supported when adding to their lessons.
  • We will continue to work with local businesses, hospitals, and college representatives to explore a multitude of career path opportunities in an effort to establish programs that are individualized and that help our students succeed and gain the career skills necessary after graduation.
  • Teachers will participate in a session this coming October that will answer the questions:  How do you purposefully plan Lesson Instruction to engage all students in learning?
  • Teachers will learn how to plan effective lesson instruction that will maximize learning for all of students. Lesson Instruction is comprised of four research-based learner strategies: Graphic Organizers, Assessment Prompts, Learning Activities, and Activating Strategies. When purposefully planned according to the lesson's standards-driven Learning Goals, these strategies provide the instruction needed for students to acquire, demonstrate and retain the important grade level skills and concepts expected in the next generation standards.
  • We would like to welcome Thomas Murray to North Schuylkill.  Tom will visit NS in August.  He is an educator, author, and speaker and we are honored to have him speak at our Teacher In-Service.  Tom has done a variety of work around the country and has focused on topics such as: Getting to Yes, Transforming Education, Breaking Patterns of the Past, Culture Change, Stop Celebrating Low Leveled Learning, How Do You Model Risk Taking, Educators – The Work You Do is Powerful, etc.
  • The administrative team has discussed the Item and Scoring Samplers on the PDE website and how to link those resources with increasing our rigor on assessments and daily thinking.

I am truly looking forward to a very successful 2019-2020 school year!  Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at any time.

With Spartan Pride,
Kimberly M. Groody

Curriculum Resources

Curriculum Maps

The North Schuylkill School District Curriculum Maps are housed on a Google Document and are aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Standards Alignment System

As a tool, we use the Standards Aligned System (SAS) that is the Pennsylvania Department of Education digital curriculum and instruction resource site. The SAS is a comprehensive, researched-based resource to improve student achievement. The SAS is comprised of six distinct element which provide a common framework for continuous student, teacher, and school and district growth. The elements are Standards, Assessment, Curriculum Framework, Instruction, Materials and Resources and Safe and Supportive Schools. Numerous resources for teaching and developing high quality mathematics education programs are available on the Standards Aligned System website. The SAS portal is designed to organize and deliver educational content carefully aligned to Pennsylvania Academic Standards.

PA Core Standards

The State Board of Education adopted the Core Standards in July 2010. Since that time, the decision was made to craft a set of PA Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. A group of Pennsylvania educators created a draft set of PA Core Standards. These new standards mirror the content and rigor of Common Core, but reflect the organization and design of the PA Academic Standards. Additionally, the Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies and Science/Technical Subjects will be appended to their respective PA Academic Standards. The PA Core Standards are currently being reviewed within the regulatory review process.

Standards Documents

General Standards Information

Student Guide to PA Core Standards
PA Core Standards Parent Fact Sheet
PA Core Standards Student Fact Sheet

English Language Arts PA Core Standards

PA Core - English Language Arts, Grade PreK-5
PA Core - English Language Arts, Grade 6-12

Developing Literacy skills in reading, writing and listening is a collaborative responsibility of all educators. Classroom learning experiences should enhance and expand the communication and critical thinking skills that allow students to develop resiliency and positive attitudes as they grow into effective readers, writers, commutators and life-long learners. The Pennsylvania Department of Education embraces effective literacy teaching and learning through a system that includes a comprehensive, research-based approach that supports teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

Mathmatics PA Core Standards

PA Core - Mathematics, Grades PreK-12

The PK-12 PA Core Standards for Mathematics cannot be viewed or addressed in isolation, as each standard depends upon or may lead into multiple standards across grades; thus, it is imperative that educators are familiar with both the standards that come before and those that follow a particular grade level. These revised standards reflect instructional shifts that cannot occur without the integrated emphasis on content and practice. Standards are overarching statements of what a proficient math student should know and be able to do. The Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content closely align with the revised standards and are an invaluable source for greater detail.

Key Points in Mathematics:

  • The standards stress both procedural skills and conceptual understanding to ensure students are learning and applying the critical information they need to succeed at higher levels.
  • K–5 standards, which provide students with a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals, help young students build the foundation to successfully apply more demanding math concepts and procedures, and move into application. They also provide detailed guidance to teachers on how to navigate their way through topics such as fractions, negative numbers, and geometry, and do so by maintaining a continuous progression from grade to grade.
  • Having built a strong foundation at K–5, students can do hands-on learning in geometry, algebra, and probability and statistics. Students who have mastered the content and skills through the seventh grade will be well-prepared for algebra in grade 8.
  • High school standards emphasize applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges.  
  • Teachers shall expect that students know and can apply the concepts and skills expressed at the preceding level. Consequently, previous learning is reinforced but not re-taught. Students who achieve these mathematical standards will be able to communicate mathematically.

Social Studies PA Academic Standards

PA Core - Reading for History and Social Studies 6-12
PA Core - Writing for History and Social Studies 6 -12

Science NGSS Standards

PA Core - Reading for Science and Technical Subjects 6-12
PA Core - Writing for Science and Technical Subjects 6-12

PSSA/Keystone Dates

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) includes assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics which are taken by students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Students in grades 4 and 8 are administered the Science PSSA. The English Language Arts and Mathematics PSSAs include items that are consistent with the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Science PSSA includes items that are aligned to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science, Technology, Environment and Ecology.

PSSA Testing Windows for 2017-2018
PSSA Testing Windows for 2018-2020
Additional PSSA Information

Keystone Exams

Keystone Exams are end–of-course assessments in designated content areas. The Keystone Exams serve two purposes: (1) high school accountability assessments for federal and state purposes, and (2) high school graduation requirements for students beginning with the class of 2017. The Algebra I and Literature Keystone Exams include items written to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. The Biology Keystone Exam includes items written to the Assessment Anchor/Eligible Content aligned to the enhanced Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science.

Keystone Exams Testing Windows 2017-2018
Keystone Exams Testing Windows 2018-2020

Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT)

The Pennsylvania Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) is a set of online assessments, divided by content areas (Literacy, Mathematics, and Science), and is designed to provide diagnostic information to guide instruction in order to support intervention and enrichment. The CDT reporting system is fully integrated in the Standards Aligned System (SAS). It assists educators in identifying student academic strengths and areas in need of improvement, and provides links to classroom resources. The CDT is a computer adaptive test (CAT) and depending upon how the student responds to the first few items; the next set of items will adjust to the student’s instructional level. The diagnostic reports feature easy-to-follow links to targeted curricular resources and materials, including units and lesson plans found within the SAS system. Students receive approximately 48–60 items per test depending upon their response pattern. The CDT is an un-timed test and it can be scheduled over multiple days. The CDT is available to districts at no cost.

Select grade levels in grade 3-11 will be taking the CDT in September, December, and March.

Title I

Title I - Parent Right to Know Letter
Title I - District Wide Parent and Family Engagement
Title I - School Parent and Family Engagement
Title I - Title I Parent Compact

Dual Credit

Dual Credit Brochure

Kimberly M. Groody - Supervisor of Curriculum & Federal Programs

Phone: 570-874-0466 ext. 2700
Email: kgroody@northschuylkill.net

Robert J. Ackell, Ed.D., Superintendent

Phone: 570-874-0466 ext. 1100
Email: rackell@northschuylkill.net