Sela PCS has grounded its curriculum in learning standards currently in use by excellent schools across the country, including other language immersion schools in DC and in Hebrew-language schools in other cities. The academic curriculum at Sela aligns with the school’s mission and drives the success of our students in both their English and Hebrew language studies. The standards meet or exceed the DC Standards of Learning, and guide all elements of the curriculum, through the choice of appropriate instructional tools and resources, teaching models, and assessments.
Sela PCS adheres to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce. They are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Sela PCS also bases its science curriculum from both the national Next Generation Science Standards and the science standards established by the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) , synthesizing them into something accessible, interactive, and relevant for our students.
English Language Arts
In Kindergarten through 5th grade, Sela PCS builds the foundation for successful readers and writers through the use of Pearson’s ReadyGEN English Language Arts Curriculum. ReadyGEN is an integrated and well-balanced approach to reading and writing instruction for Grades K-5 classrooms. Authentic texts with modeling and teacher-directed activities drive learning and motivate readers. Students read authentic literary and informational texts. Instruction focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening in response to authentic texts within the framework of the workshop model of instruction.
Students read from 12 authentic texts at every grade level. Interactive Anchor Texts help students engage and blend technology. Texts are carefully selected to reinforce unit themes and are focused on building content knowledge.
Backward mapping helps students meet Common Core and OSSE ELA and literacy standards. Instruction provides specificity, time, and sequencing for a cumulative progression. Everything in a unit is designed to prepare students to respond to the Performance-based Assessment.
Modeling, scaffolding, and close reading strategies support readers with complex text. Integrated intervention is included for skills improvement or intensive remedial instruction.
Eureka Math (originally called EngageNY Math) is a Common Core aligned math program developed by Great Minds. This curriculum was designed to teach math as a coherent body of knowledge that follows the proper learning progressions required for true math fluency, and not just a set of skills. It works to instill deep, conceptual understanding that students can build on as high as they wanted to while also allowing them to find the joy in the subject.
The goal of Eureka Math is to help all students become fluent in mathematics. Fluency goes beyond just knowing how a particular process can be used to solve a problem. It also requires understanding why that process works. With the Eureka Math curriculum, students learn to think, strategize and solve problems… not just get answers.
Its intentional knowledge building increases equity in the classroom and supports student achievement and teacher practice.
Sela PCS’s science program: 1) develops students’ science literacy and provides meaningful and engaging learning experiences to enhance students’ intellectual curiosity and build students’ proficiency in science; 2) teaches students how to manipulate scientific tools as they expand their science vocabulary; and 3) strengthens students’ logical reasoning and critical thinking skills, as well as their abilities to apply scientific methodology and inquiry to make connections between books, and between texts and their own experiences.
The aim of Sela PCS’s science curriculum is not only to teach science content, principles and practices, but also to train students to use inquiry and scientific methods to learn independently and to solve problems. Teachers guide students to collect and record first-hand data, to represent and analyze it.
Accordingly, Sela PCS’s science education programs is inquiry-based and rooted in “real world” situations and experiences.
The Sela PCS social studies program is designed around the concepts of democracy and diversity. The social studies curriculum aims to help students to make sense of the world in which they live, make connections between major ideas and their own lives, see themselves as members of the world community, and understand, appreciate, and respect the commonalities and differences that give the United States character and identity.
In addition, within the broad subject of social studies, students have opportunities to explore anthropology, archaeology, geography, history, philosophy, and sociology.
Dual-language programs such as Sela PCS provide a particularly special environment for these topics as students will learn to view the world through multiple languages and cultures. Students will also be able to learn about and celebrate the diversity that exists within the school, as students at Sela PCS will inevitably come from varying backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. It is also important to recognize that social studies provides an important avenue for focusing on literacy.