School Office Phone: 970.384.5200

Educational Plan

Educational Plan

Core Academic Curriculum

  • TRCS will align all learning and curricular decisions with Colorado Academic Standards (CAS).
  • TRCS will focus on preparing students with 21st Century skills for college and/or career path.

Reading

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  • All grade levels will receive a minimum of 90 minutes of integrated language arts instruction each day.
  • The Continuum of Literacy Learning and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) by Pinnell & Fountas will be used as both an assessment tool and a guide for teaching reading.
  • Researchers evaluated the Leveled Literacy Intervention system (LLI) implemented in Tift County Schools (TCS) in Georgia and the Enlarged City School District of Middletown (ECSDM) in New York during the 2009-2010 school year. The study found that LLI positively impacts K-2 student literacy achievement in rural and suburban settings. They determined that LLI is effective with ELL students, students with a special education designation, and minority students in both rural and suburban settings.
  • Instruction that actively engages students in asking questions, summarizing and synthesizing text, and identifying important ideas improves comprehension. Proficient reading involves using more than one strategy at a time. It involves a constant ongoing adaptation of many cognitive processes (Collins-Block, C, and Presley, M. 2002). Harvey, Goudvis and Wallis explicitly teach instructional techniques such as questioning, predicting, imaging, inferring, synthesizing and determining importance.
  • Every classroom will have a print-rich environment including classroom libraries, which contain a variety of reading materials and levels for independent reading.
  • Every classroom will contain abundant literature and leveled texts related to project themes provided primarily by Sundance and Newbridge literacy sets.

Writing

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  • Writing instruction and expertise will be drawn from two sources: 6+1 Traits Writing and Routman’s Transforming our Teaching through Reading/Writing Connections.
  • Students will regularly meet in pairs and small groups to brainstorm, discuss, and receive feedback from peers and teachers on their writing. They will also reflect and revise pieces in their writing portfolios, understanding that writing is a continual and a learned process.
  • Writing will be one of the primary mechanisms through which Place-based Project learning will be communicated.

Mathematics

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  • TRCS will use Saxon Math as the foundation for our K-8 curriculum and supplement it with additional resources from the National Math and Science Initiative.
  • Students in Grades 6-8 will focus much of their mathematical studies on pre-algebra and algebra in preparation for high school coursework.
  • Math will be taught during a dedicated math time each day (60 minutes in Grades K-8) and integrated into Place-based projects where applicable to support the conceptual understanding and application of critical mathematical ideas and provide opportunities for students to use 21st Century Learning Skills (life/career /communication skills). -Math will be taught in both a whole group setting using flexible ability groupings. Saxon allows students to gain and retain critical thinking concepts and use them in real-world situations. This integrated and connected approach provides deep, long-term mastery of the content and skills called for in the Common Core State Standards.

Science and Social Studies

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  • Rich and In-Depth Study -Integrated Learning In-depth study of social studies and science will take place during integrated learning blocks scheduled every day.
  • Each year, students in Grades K-8, will complete one science and one social studies Place-based Project (PBP) utilizing CAS in science and social studies. The (BVSD) Elementary and Secondary Curriculums in Science and Social Studies standards/skills will assure that high leverage standards at each grade level are taught and assessed within the PBP.
  • Each PBP will require students to apply 21st Century learning skills by researching, reading, writing, speaking, investigating, collaborating and thinking critically about compelling topics.
  • Students will keep ongoing records of their learning in science and social studies through Passage Portfolios that will be presented to an authentic audience on a regular basis closely tied to intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivation (Lepper, M. R., Henderlong Corpus, J., &Iyengar, S. 2005)

Middle School Rigor and Second Language Acquisition

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  • TRCS students will take Spanish classes for a minimum of 45 minutes a day and apply what they have learned to Place-based Projects after three years of Spanish instruction.
  • For native speakers of the language, Spanish instruction will focus on applied reading and writing. For second language learners, the primary focus will be on the spoken language followed by reading and writing.
  • According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), second language acquisition develops 21st Century learning skills, increases future job opportunities, and prepares students to think and interact in a global economy (12). -Benefits of learning a language at an early age also include intellectual growth, enhanced mental development, increased flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening (Gandara, P. C., & Contreras, F, 2009)13.
  • As identified, TCRS anticipates that close to one-third of its students will be ELL. By developing their first language, native Spanish speaking children are able to narrow the academic achievement gap that exists between Latino and White students (Saavedra, A. R., & Opfer, V. D. 2012)14.
  • The design of Place-based Projects includes consultation and collaboration with experts in the field as well as projects that may culminate in service learning. This will provide unlimited opportunities for students to develop and use the skills identified by Saavedra and Opfer.

21st Century Skills

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  • Students will regularly consult with local experts in PBP content areas through fieldwork, classroom visits and internships.
  • Biannual demonstrations of learning will be organized whereby students will present what they learned to a panel that includes peers, community members and parents. -Feedback will be given to students both orally and in writing using PBP rubrics. -Students will be required to reconcile this feedback with their own self-assessment. This process of questioning, researching, problem solving, collaborating, presenting, and reflecting is one way in which TRCS will help studentsacquire21st Century skills.
  • Additionally,as students gain competence in Spanish,they will be required to present portions of their demonstrations in Spanish.
  • Project Based Learning (PBL) helps students retain content longer with a deeper understanding of what they learned ( Penuel, W. R., & Means, B, 2000) is more effective than traditional methods for teaching math, economics, language, science, and other disciplines (Mergendoller, J. R., Maxwell, N. L., & Bellisimo, Y.,2006)
  • Students perform as well or better than traditionally taught students in standardized test (Parker , 2011)18, students demonstrate better problem solving skills because they are able to apply what they learn to real-life situations (Finkelstein, et al., 2010)

Place-Based Learning

Resources on Place-Based Learning:

Center For Ecoliteracy (www.ecoliteracy.org/strategies/place-based-learning)
Place-based learning begins with asking questions such as, “Where am I? What is the natural and social history of this place? How does this place fit into the larger world?”

Promise of Place (www.PromiseOfPlace.org)
Enriching lives through place-based education.

Teamwork and Teamplay (www.TeamworkAndTeamplay.com)
Building unity, community, connection and teamwork through active learning.

The Rural School and Community Trust (www.RuralEdu.org)
Helping rural schools and communities grow better together.

What Kids Can Do (www.WhatKidsCanDo.org)
Voices from the next generation.

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Contact TRCS

Mailing Address:
    Post Office Box 188
    Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
Physical Address:
    195 Center Drive  (Map to School)
    Glenwood Springs, CO  81601
Phone:  970.384.5200
Email:  info@TwoRiversCS.org