Woodland Park Academy's Educational Programs
Partnering with families and providing diverse educational opportunities to inspire our children to change the world.
English Language Arts (“ELA”)
The Academy’s ELA curriculum is evidence-based and constructed on a staircase of increasing complexity. The curriculum provides students with the skills, structure, and knowledge necessary for success in reading, writing, speaking, listening, comprehension, language, media, and technology. These are key
components for learning in every content area, and in preparation for the demands of college and careers.
Through interaction with a range of texts and levels of complexity, students develop the ability to think critically, communicate effectively and make connections to the real world. The K-2 ELA program focuses on the building blocks of phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency. These building blocks lay the foundation that allows 3rd-8th grade students to understand, analyze, evaluate, apply, synthesize and create with the ideas students encounter while reading.
During writing, students engage in the writing process to demonstrate thinking and express their individual voices. Students produce a range of written works including narratives, informative/explanatory, and opinion pieces. Through writing lessons, students learn grammar, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, and capitalization. Students also participate in research projects.
In order to assess student mastery of the Michigan Academic Standards (“MAS”), the Academy utilizes multiple assessments to determine reading and comprehension levels and early literacy skills such as the state assessment, writing prompts, spelling inventories, and teacher-developed assessments. Results are analyzed to show student progress and drive differentiated instruction to meet the needs
of individual students. Reports from these assessments as well as quarterly reports are shared with parents.
The Academy’s strong mathematics curriculum emphasizes computational and procedural skills, problem-solving, communication, reasoning and proof, making connections, and using representations to prepare students with the mathematical skills needed in everyday life as well as the demands of high school. As students gain fluency in the K-2 program, which emphasizes structurings and number sense, they will begin to develop a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts and reasoning required for mathematical proficiency. Students learn to represent and communicate ideas through the use of intentional talk, conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition. Students investigate and analyze problems and possibilities using logical thinking, reasoning, and proofs.
Bridges Math is one instructional tool used to facilitate math instruction. Pre-tests, post-tests, and formative assessments throughout each unit of instruction provide teachers, students, and parents evidence of learning and adjustments that need to be made throughout the mathematical units. Technology supplements the math curriculum with one-to-one Chromebooks or Ipads for applications, games, and skills practice. The Academy also assesses student achievement by administering the Northwest Evaluation Association™ (“NWEA™”) Measures of Academic Progress® (“MAP®”) and the state assessment to determine student proficiency and growth.
The Academy implements the Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum (“MC3”) to provide real-world experiences while teaching about our communities, our country, and our world. The social studies curriculum includes journaling, role-playing, literature references, mapping and graphing, oral and written presentations, developing critical thinking skills, inferring, drawing conclusions, predicting, and incorporating writing processes. The program uses multiple intelligences to address varying student learning styles. MC3 builds a strong knowledge of economic principles so students understand the impact of economic forces internationally and in the student's own home and communities. Social studies instruction is driven by the MAS and utilizes a variety of assessments including, but not limited to, teacher-generated tests, authentic assessments, and the annual state assessment.
Science, Health, and Physical Education
The science, health, and physical education department at the Academy are based upon the premise that investigation, exploration, and experience are essential for understanding the environment and ourselves.
Instructional materials utilized for Kindergarten through Fifth grades are from Cereal City Science and middle school materials utilized for instruction are from IQWST (Investigating our World Through Science and Technology). Both resources support the Next Generation Science Standards, integrating phenomena, crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science and engineering practices. Learning outcomes are achieved through hands-on experiences and technologically driven instruction. All lessons align with the MAS and use both summative and formative assessments through performance evaluations, student assignments, and teacher observations.
K-8 physical education instruction focuses on activities that develop fundamental motor skills and health practices. This is accomplished through aerobic activity, drills and practice. Emphasis is placed on the importance of nutrition, exercise, skill practice, and overall physical and mental health. Basic skills necessary for participation in sports, creative movement, and games are introduced early. The curriculum moves toward highly structured and competitive activities that emphasize important character traits such as team building.
Developing safe and healthy relationships begins in Kindergarten and progresses until students graduate from the Academy. Students learn personal safety skills. Fifth graders learn about their changing bodies. At the middle school level, a human sexuality program is implemented that focuses on developing positive and appropriate relationships. This program is abstinence-based and consists of many activities that deal with making good choices and reacting appropriately in social situations.
The Academy has competitive-level sports teams in grades 4-8. Additionally, the Academy sponsors dance clubs that are open to all ages.
The Academy’s fine arts program is a very important part of the Academy’s overall curriculum.
Through the fine arts program, students develop intellect, an understanding of the culture and creative nature of musical, visual, and kinesthetic artistry, and make connections between the arts, technology, and other aspects of social life. Using creative performance, students apply the expressive skills of music and develop critical thinking skills to explore multiple forms of problem-solving. The fine arts staff appreciates the need for various avenues of instruction. By the very nature of the arts, students are given the opportunity to learn through multiple presentations.
The Academy’s visual art and performing arts programs are provided to all students in grades K-5. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders are offered art and dance electives. Students have additional opportunities to engage in specialized dance after school through tap, ballet, and clogging. The Academy produces music and dance performances several times during the year, engaging parents and the community. These performances share all aspects of the fine arts program. Visual art students display projects during performances.
The Academy provides one-to-one devices for each child to utilize within the curriculum. Students are
provided cross-curricular opportunities through the use of multiple technology tools. Various skills are taught such as proper device etiquette, internet safety awareness, digital literacy, keyboarding, and program usage integrated into all subject areas. Students are also provided with the opportunity to use online resources, applications, and web-based programs. Student accounts are provided for each student and students are taught how to use the accounts to support and enhance curricular learning.
The assessment of student learning guides the staff and students at the Academy. Many different styles of assessment are applied to the measurement of objectives. The assessment takes the form of formative, summative or benchmark.
The formative assessment that takes place in the learning environments at the Academy guides the instruction and adjustments made by teachers. Academy teachers use a variety of strategies to ensure proper instruction is administered. Teachers use quick visual checks of student understanding. In addition to these visual checks, the teachers can use formal written checks to ensure that the instruction is adjusted properly. When teachers assess student mastery after instruction has been delivered, a variety of summative assessment styles are used. Teachers at the Academy often use tests, quizzes, projects, problem-based authentic opportunities, presentations, and various other products to measure the learner's accomplishment from the instruction.
At the Academy, a team of educators measures student learning several times per year using benchmark assessments. These assessments include but are not limited to; Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2), NWEA MAP, and Unit Tests. These assessments are administered in the fall, winter, and spring to ensure value-added instruction. The Academy also administers the mandated statewide measure as determined by the Michigan Department of Education.
Preparing Middle School Students for High School
The Academy is fully invested in preparing our students for success in the next step of their lives. For Academy students, the next step is high school. The Academy takes a multi-faceted approach to this preparation.
For More Information about Woodland Park Academy's Curriculum, please call our Office.