Secondary Education Goals
The goal of the Department of Secondary Education is to provide a High Quality education and increase student achievement in order to prepare students for high school, college, career and civic readiness. The department will create pathways to lifelong success for students of Poughkeepsie City School District. A major focus, starting at the middle school, will be to increase ELA and Math proficiency. We will prepare our students to be successful readers and writers by the end of 8th grade. In addition, the department will adopt a curriculum aligned with the Next Generation Learning Standards that serves all learners; those with disabilities, the exceptional students, and English Language Learners.
The Department will provide professional development to all practitioners on best practices on instructional pedagogy, data analysis and the use of technology in the classroom. We will increase instructional capacity in content knowledge for both teachers and building leaders. Finally, the department will develop and implement the use of data analysis in order to increase student outcomes. The objective is to create a culture of data-driven decision making using the Essential Questions:
- What do students need to know and be able to do?
- How do we know they have learned it?
- What will we do when they have not learned it?
- What will we do when they already know it?
Curriculum and Instruction
- Using the Next Generation Learning Standards, Curriculum Associates (Ready Reading, Ready Classroom for Mathematics, and the i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment and Toolkit), we are providing a rigorous curriculum that includes all students (e.g. Students with Disabilities, ELL and gifted and talented).
- Utilize various research-based instructional & learning strategies. This will include center-based teaching, whole group instruction and student supports.
- Culturally responsive (or relevant) teaching has been described as "a pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes" (Ladson-Billings, 1994, p. 382). This is essential in order for students to be active and engaged participants.
- According to Crystal Kuykendall, "culture determines how children perceive life and their relationship to the world. Because culture also influences how and what children learn, educators can use culture to improve self-image and achievement. Not only must teachers show an appreciation of cultural diversity, they must also incorporate teaching strategies that are congruent with the learning styles of their students" (1989, pp. 32–33).