Welcome to the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment! I am excited to be here and to continue to support the Rye City Schools in ensuring that our students are engaged in meaningful and challenging learning experiences in kindergarten through 12th grade, while aligning to the NY State Common Core Learning Standards. More information on the Common Core Learning Standards is available on the EngageNY (www.engageny.org) website.
Effective teaching depends on challenging curriculum, responsive instruction and informative assessment. Here is a brief overview of the efforts the Rye City School District makes to provide a strong foundation for successful learning.
Curriculum in Rye City Schools is rich and varied. The current K-12 core curriculum is derived from New York State Education Department standards in mathematics, English Language Arts, social studies, foreign language, the arts, technology and physical education. The Regents core is expanded at the secondary level with honors and Advanced Placement opportunities at the high school level, and by a variety of elective offerings in the middle school. In addition to the substantial core curriculum we include many other programs: instrumental and vocal music, dance, intramural and interscholastic sports, foreign language in the elementary schools, and a variety of elective and exploratory courses in the middle and high schools.
We focus on bringing our curriculum to every student through differentiated instructional strategies. Instruction in Rye’s schools is flexible enough to respond to the needs of children who learn in different ways. An assortment of instructional approaches addresses differences in students’ prior knowledge, personal interests and relative strengths and weaknesses in various subjects. The district provides special education and academic support services as required by law and best practices in pedagogy. We also provide targeted instructional support in key skill areas, such as the writing mentor program in the high school. Our commitment to developing a broad range of instructional techniques is a crucial part of our program, incorporating both existing and emerging technologies as appropriate to address the needs of all students. Teachers in our three elementary schools routinely collaborate on instruction and middle and high school teacher teams meet regularly to discuss students and coordinate instruction across the different subject areas. These forums along with departmental, faculty, and curricular meetings contribute to making instruction responsive to the varied needs and interests of all students.
New York State requires that we formally assess our students in third through twelfth grade. The assessments include: ELA and math assessments (grades 3-8), science (4th and 8th) and Regents exams (at the secondary level). Additionally, we administer standardized assessments to secure information about student progress, as well as to provide direction for instruction. Advanced Placement tests are taken by students who participate in AP courses, and most students take either the SAT or ACT (or both) as part of the college application process. In addition to these assessments, we also assess student progress formatively in reading and mathematics via local assessments and we monitor students informally, as part of routine instructional practices. Although the public sees the results of “high stakes” testing reported in newspapers and national magazines, it is often the more subtle and frequent assessment used during instruction that enables teachers to best meet the needs of each of their students.
We are committed to continually developing our practice to best reach and successfully teach every student. I invite you to participate in your child's education; to get involved in school and district programs and to continue to support learning at home. I look forward to an exciting and enriching 2016-17 school year!