Friday, 19 January 2018
  • Fourth Grade
  • Third Grade
  • KG - Field Trip
  • Recess - 2nd Grade
  • Recess 4&5th
  • At Como Zoo


Star of the North Academy - SNA CURRICULUM


Star of the North Academy’s core academic program will use the following curriculum:


A) Language Arts: Houghton Mifflin Journeys: With digital tools and results-driven instruction, Journeys Common Core is a K–6 reading program aligns well with the Results-Oriented Method and instructional strategies that SNA is implementing schoolwide. The vocabulary instruction builds better readers and writers while also providing intervention for struggling students. Journeys Common Core in SNA’s classrooms will provide Mn standards-based instruction integrated into every unit and lesson, digital learning tools including mobile apps and interactive whiteboard lessons, and scaffolding and differentiation opportunities incorporated into in every lesson.


B) Math: Everyday Math: Everyday Mathematics will help students connect math inside the classroom to the world outside the classroom. Their research-based, research-proven approach promotes creative thinking, problem solving, and use of language. SNA will incorporate the use of reading comprehension, speaking, listening and writing skills into the instruction of mathematics to maximize practice with English language.


C) Social Studies: Harcourt Social Studies is a comprehensive K–5 curriculum with components like Leveled Readers, the Homework and Practice Books, Online Assessment, and complete teacher resources to plan for and implement differentiation.


D) Science: ScienceFusion is a state-of-the-art science program designed for developing inquiry and promoting use of language including reading comprehension skills for informational text and writing. The digital curriculum, virtual labs and hands-on activities, and write-in science textbook develops important critical thinking and language skills that prepare students for success in future science courses and in the workplace.


E) Technology, Art and Music will be integrated into the other subject areas.


F) Physical Education will be aligned to state standards. The Physical Education Teacher will develop the curriculum.


Star of the North Academy’s core academic program will use the following instructional practices:


1. Backward Design


       Professional development and implementation with fidelity will be the key drivers to the success of Star of the North Academy. We will begin with a clear understanding of Backward Design where the end goal drives the process. Backward design is a method of designing educational curriculum by setting goals before choosing instructional methods and forms of assessment.


       Each teacher will determine the end goal for students at their grade level. For grades K-2 teachers will use the NWEA-MAP for Primary testing and the teacher created post assessment based on the MN state standards. For students in grades 3-8 the end goal will be developed from three assessments: MCA III Assessments, NWEA-MAP assessments and the teacher created post assessment based on the MN state standards. The teacher- created, standards based assessment will be administered both as a pre-test in the fall of the year and as a post-test in the spring to show overall growth for the academic year.


2. Standards Driven Planning and Implementation


         Once the teacher has determined the actual calendar dates for these assessments they will design a map of the state standards working backwards form the goal date. The purpose of the mapping is to ensure that instruction will be delivered and mastered on all state standards prior to the end goal date. The teachers will create a pacing guide for each term to guarantee instruction on all standards will be met. This pacing guide is used as a tool to drive lesson planning and instruction forward.


       Upon completion of the curriculum map the teacher will design the assessment tool to be used following instruction that will provide a clear analysis of the learning that has taken place. The learning will be broken down into terms with an assessment, based on standards, for each term. Once the assessments for pre-testing, post-testing and terms have been completed the teacher will begin to examine the individual weeks per term and create a quiz for the material to be taught. All of this should be completed before actual lesson planning begins.


       Lesson plans for each teacher/grade level will be critically monitored by the lead teacher for content and rigor. For our purposes rigor is defined as the development of knowledge and skills that are expected of students at that grade level. A well written lesson will include alignment to the standards and curriculum, a strong belief that ‘right is right’ and accepting less does not help the student to grow, higher-level thinking on the part of the student moving into application of the skill, and a gradual release of responsibility of knowledge from the adult to the student.


3. Response to Intervention


     SNA will use RtI as a pre-referral intervention and as a regular education strategy. It will also emphasize alternatives or interventions that are designed to assist the student in general education before resorting to special education services. These pre-referral interventions might include Section 504 accommodation plans, tutoring, and other support services. Star of the North will have highly trained teachers committed to implementing Tier 1 with a high degree of integrity and fidelity. SNA’s Tier 1 approach is intended to support most students, regardless of any IEP accommodations, in attaining assessment outcomes that meet minimum proficiency benchmarks. While Tier 1 includes all students making adequate progress, at Star of the North Academy all students will also benefit from data informed, personalized small group or 1-on-1 teacher intervention. This personalization, and move away from the whole-group model of instruction, helps ensure that most SNA students stay within Tier 1. The results of well-implemented RtI models indicate that around 75%–80% of children should be expected to reach successful levels of competency through Tier 1 delivery. SNA will also contract with a respected and highly knowledgeable director of Special Education, who will oversee the licensed, full-time Special Education teacher and assist SNA in contracting with specialists to meet the needs of each student with an IEP.


          If, as monitored through assessment and observation, the student is not responding to the first level of interventions, SNA will provide Tier 2 interventions, which are more intensive and targeted than Tier 1. Tier 2 interventions will be designed by a Student Success Team, and they will more closely target the areas in which the child is having difficulty. Students in Tier 2 may move primarily to 1-on-1 intervention with instructors and focus on improving instructional-level as well as grade-level skills. Their learning plans will be adjusted accordingly and reviewed within six weeks to monitor growth and progress made. The time allotted to see if the child responds to interventions in Tier 2 may be longer than in Tier 1, but the overall process is much the same. If the child shows adequate progress, then the intervention along with IEP accommodations has been successful. It is possible that, if the problem is caught early enough and addressed via appropriate instruction, the child can learn the necessary skills and continue with IEP accommodations in general education without a Tier 2 Intervention.


     If the child does not respond adequately to the intervention(s) in Tier 2, then a third level becomes an option for continued and yet more intensive intervention such as an increase in the frequency of specific direct instruction as intervention, shorter assignments to show mastery, and increased time for completion. Placement in Tier 3 at Star of the North would indicate a high need, given the already highly personalized and individualized nature of SNA’s model in Tiers 1 and 2.


4. Data Analysis


       Finally, data analysis and a targeted response to the data have proven to be successful. These components will be utilized at Star of the North Academy as well. Through early dismissal on Friday’s teachers will be allowed the time to analyze assessment data on a weekly basis. Data will be analyzed at the classroom and grade level. Teachers will look at class wide and individual student scores to determine the success in learning. They will also examine the standard and benchmark data to determine the outcome of their instruction and create re-teach or intervention lessons as needed. When a high percentage of students are scoring low on a particular strand it should be a clear indicator that the teacher has failed in delivery of the knowledge and will need to redevelop the lesson and provide additional instruction to the entire class. If individual students have not grasped the concept the teacher will provide small group or individualized intervention to those students. These intervention lessons must be carefully planned and implemented to assure student success. Scholars should be re-assessed following the intervention to assure mastery of the skill.


Click the link below for ESL Program Description

ESL Program Description


Literacy Plan

SNA Literacy Plan