Curriculum standards and unit planning
Unit planning forms the foundation of organizing learning for high achievement. St. Charles School provides a challenging, comprehensive, and relevant curriculum for all students. The School follows the Archdiocesan curriculum guidelines, and the California Common Core State Standards for both Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literacy. Next Generation Science Standards provide the foundation for the hands-on science program.
The curriculum is implemented with the goal that every student achieves Schoolwide Learning Expectations and content area curriculum standards. St. Charles School deploys in-depth study protocols to evaluate new curricular materials for adoption. Teachers evaluate students’ work, achievement, and progress relative to curriculum standards as measured with informal, formal, and progress-monitoring assessments. Instructional plans incorporate SLEs, content standards, practice standards, applied skills, cross-curricular standards, and Catholic Social Teachings. Targeted vocabulary, instructional resources and activities, levels of inquiry, and content assessments are defined to ensure the cohesive daily planning, pacing of instruction, and progress monitoring.
Differentiated instruction is a key element in the curriculum and manifested in methods of both instruction and assessment. Differentiation is implemented through a variety of techniques including menu assignments that allow students to choose projects based on their interests and/or best learning modalities. Acceptable accommodations are made for students with learning needs, including use of digital learning tools, small group instruction, selected seating, adjusted homework, extended time, and a variety of alternate assessment models, to name a few.
Differentiation by design: The school building has been expanded and modified, staffing organized, and teaching schedules adjusted to facilitate differentiated instruction and small-group learning for all grades K-8. Learning spaces including the library, resource room, science lab, and the new standalone classroom are employed to accommodate small reading groups, math pullout groups, and middle school writing classes.