District Curriculum Overview
The curriculum includes rigorous academic requirements: foreign language starting in kindergarten; and outstanding music, art and drama programs. The entire curriculum has been reformatted to show desired results. The staff uses authentic, hands-on assessments, in addition to traditional tests, to measure achievement.
The district is in the process of moving all of the curriculum into a digital program, called Atlas. Atlas allows the district to display the curriculum in a consistent format to stakeholders, called a curriculum map. A curriculum map is a tool for organizing what Westport students are explected to know and be able to do in each subject each year.
Curriculum maps are created by the teachers, who spend many hours reaching consensus about the curriculum that is essential for students. The content of the maps includs and often exceed state standards.
The Westport Public Schools curriculum maps show the following information:
- Enduring Understandings – core concepts and processes that are the focus of the curricular unit
- Essential Questions – what teachers want students to think about relative to the content area
- Content – what teachers expect students to know as a result of studying a unit
- Skills and Application – what teachers expect students to be able to do as a result of the knowledge gained from what is taught in the unit/course.
Curriculum maps are not lesson plans. Rather, they are broad outlines of what students need to know and be able to do each year.
When viewing the maps, please keep in mind the ongoing nature of the work. Teachers continuously revise the curriculum as appropriate based on the latest research, and therefore, continuously revise the maps. Teachers will differentiate the curriculum and adjust as necessary for students.
This is the first year in providing maps to parents and the public in general. Maps in most subjects in K-5 are available.
COMPREHENSIVE PUPIL SERVICES:The pupil services staff includes school psychologists, school social workers and school counselors. Staff members assist student in their development as emotionally healthy, socially competent, productive members of society. They provide such services as assessment, counseling, developmental counseling, consultative services, and workshops for staff and parents. Through various specialists, the school system provides early intervention and prevention services, crisis intervention, and referral to community resources. Each school team of pupil service providers collaborates with parents, teachers, and the community in assisting children with the learning process.
GIFTED PROGRAM:We have a gifted resource teacher at each elementary school and middle school. High school students have Advanced Placement opportunities.
SPECIAL EDUCATION:We have in-building services for most students with mild to moderate disabilities, and programs for students with more severe handicaps. Pre-school handicapped youngsters whose PPT requires a nursery school program are served in an inclusive setting at an elementary school. The program is open to the general population on a fee basis. The high school includes a regional Life Skills program serving students from 15 area communities (on a tuition basis) as well Staples.
TECHNOLOGY:Electronic capabilitiesare are continually being expanded as the school system implements its strategic technology plan. Computer access to the Internet is available at all schools. Teachers are collaborating to use the rich resources of the Internet to expand and enrich instruction. Student use of electronic resources are supervised at all levels. Students and their parents are required to sign an "Acceptable Use Agreement" before gaining access to electronic resources.
Elementary (Grades PreK-5)
Our pre-K program , Stepping Stones, is open to the general population on a fee basis. Students identified as having special needs attend at Board expense, as required by law. For information about registration, call 203-341-1712.
Starting with our full-day kindergarten, elementary schools provide an enriched, hands-on curriculum using a balanced approach to reading and writing which stresses both skill development and use of real literature. Students in grades K-5 are also taught Spanish, art, music, P.E. Technology skills are co-taught be a computer teacher and the classroom teacher. Every elementary school has a full-time, certified librarian and a school psychologist.
Middle Schools (Grades 6-8)
Our two Middle schools use a team-teaching approach so that specific groups of teachers get to know the same groups of students. Each middle school has a student advocacy program. Activities include intramural sports, clubs, and co-curricular music, drama and literary activities. Each school has a full-time, certified librarian and school psychologist. Each middle school also has an after-school program operated by the Department of Continuing Education.
Staples High School (Grades 9-12)
Graduation Requirements: Students must take 25 credits during their four years (7 in grade nine, 6 in each of the others).
Administrative Staff: Teachers are supported by four assistant principals and department chairs. Counselors, social workers and school psychologists, as well as special education teachers, are supervised by a full time coordinator of pupil services.
Activities: Participation in co-curricular activities is high, and through the years, Staples has won many accolades for scholastic competition drama and music productions and student literary works. The school has been honored for having the state's best athletic program, and has repeatedly won good sportsmanship awards. Staples teams win Division and State championships with regularity. Students spear-headed drives to end hunger and won four Governor's Awards.
Facilities: Library Media Center, student-operated FM radio station, TV studio, field house, track. and pool. The auditorium is a fitting back-drop for top notch music and drama performances.