ACADEMIC OVERVIEW

 

The instructional focus of Sisulu-Walker is on the core skills of reading, language and mathematics. The school utilizes standards-based balanced literacy/balanced math curricula that emphasizes the mastery of essential reading and math skills, as well as the development of higher order thinking and processing ability. Sisulu-Walker's academic and instructional programs are designed to meet the needs of all its students, a significant percentage of whom enroll at or below grade level upon entry to the school.

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Sisulu-Walker's balanced literacy English-Language Arts ("ELA") and reading curriculum is comprised of the following elements:

  • An extended block of instruction in ELA for all students each school day

  • The use of a research proven, standards-based core reading program

  • The use of trade books and classroom libraries

  • New student preassessment using a widely-used standardized assessment test

  • Interim and year-end tests, providing both on-going assessment and data regarding end-of-year student performance

  • A phonics and phonemic awareness component to develop and support basic reading skills

  • Comprehensive and on-going staff development regarding specific ELA curriculum implementation and strategies


Sisulu-Walker's balanced math curriculum is comprised of the following primary elements:

  • An extended block of instruction in math for all students each school day

  • The use of a research proven, standards-based core math program

  • An introduction for children to all the major mathematical content domains, including number sense, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis and probability beginning in kindergarten

  • An emphasis on developing within children higher-order and critical thinking skills

  • A blend of student exposition and discussion, individual and group work projects, explorations, investigations and math games to ensure fact power

  • Comprehensive and on-going staff development regarding specific math curriculum implementation and strategies

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