Curriculum , Instruction & Assessment
The curriculum is anchored in the common core state standards, which define what students should know and be able to do at each particular grade level. Content instruction includes English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, technology, and arts.
English Language Arts
The academy is committed to utilizing curriculum and pedagogy that is research-based and has demonstrable success in independent studies. As such, the academy has selected Success for All for its primary English Language Arts curriculum. Escuela Avancemos uses another research-based literacy program called Achieve3000. Achieve 3000® delivers “daily differentiated instruction for nonfiction reading and writing that are precisely tailored to each student’s Lexile® reading level” (achieve3000.com). For more information on the academy’s adopted ELA curriculum, more information can be found, below.
With respect to mathematics, the academy has implemented the Eureka math curriculum. Eureka Math is the most widely used math curriculum in the United States, according to a study released by the RAND Corporation. It is also the only curriculum found by EdReports.org to align fully with the Common Core State Standards for all grades, K–8. To account for the diversity of ability levels on behalf of students at any given time, the academy supplements its core math instruction with ScootPad, a personalized learning platform that provides learning paths to individual students, based on standardized testing scores. The ScootPad platform directly interfaces with the academy’s mandated assessment system, NWEA MAP.
Amplify Science blends hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and argue like real scientists and engineers. Amplify Science is a state-of-the-art curriculum developed by teachers and is fully aligned to the Michigan Science Standards. It is also the only known science curriculum to receive a top score by EdReports.org and is known for its rigor.
- Amplify Science: https://amplify.com/
Students at Escuela Avancemos work toward state standards as they use a wide array of monographs, textbooks, stories, videos, web sites, maps, pictures, and other historical sources to study cultures, geography, and social sciences. Wayne RESA, the intermediate school district, provides Atlas Rubicon as a web-based site to house social studies curriculum, sample lesson plans, and assessments called Atlas Rubicon. Students at Escuela Avancemos will explore the five social studies disciplines of history, geography, civics and government, economics, and public discourse, decision-making, and citizen involvement. Students will participate in well-crafted learning expeditions that address social justice issues that relate to their immediate environment.
Arts instruction is infused throughout the curriculum and learning expeditions increase student engagement in school and thus increase academic achievement. Artistic expression and creativity are essential components of a complete education. Teachers provide students with a range of creative and cultural opportunities including fine and creative arts classes. At the end of every Arts module, culminating celebrations of learning allows students to perform, demonstrate, and exhibit their accomplishments, bringing students, families and the community together. Through arts infusion, passion is sparked that will propel students to realize their potential and become creative, perceptive, lifelong learners.
As a community and neighborhood school in southwest Detroit, the Academy’s targeted student body is Latino/Latina students. In response to this, and in commitment to the Academy’s core value of bi-literacy, all students take Spanish beginning in first grade. The curriculum used for Spanish language instruction is aligned to MAS through the work done by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (“ACTFL”). World language standards set expectations in five areas – Communication (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational), Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities – as well as three proficiency levels – Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced (ACTFL, 2012). The core Spanish curriculum for all students is Descubre, which is aligned to the world language standards.
The following assessments are used to identify student proficiency and progress:
M-STEP (grades 3-6): https://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-22709_70117---,00.html
NWEA MAP/MPG (grades K-6): https://www.nwea.org/map-growth/