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Dear Parents,

I am excited to kick off the 2018-19 school year! Every school year brings new and exciting changes to curriculum and instruction. This year we are eager to implement a new digital Social Studies resource in grades 6-8 titled Discovery Education Social Studies tech book! The new Social Studies tech book is a highly engaging online resource that will replace a traditional Social Studies textbook. All of our middle school Social Studies teachers have been trained in the implementation of this new technology and cannot wait to get started with all of the new instructional possibilities in their classrooms.

For the first time our middle school will be a 1:1 technology environment for kids! Students will be assigned a laptop for use during their time at HCMS and they will utilize it to access resources, engage in learning activities and participate in class. Teachers have been hard at work learning how to enhance their curricular units so all students receive a powerful and engaging education.

As you may recall, HCMS was the recipient of a grant through Illinois Math and Science Education (IMSA) which allowed our students a rich STEM experience during their ENCORE rotations. This year we will bring new units to our STEM curriculum through IMSA. These new STEM offerings will be highly motivating for our students and we cannot wait to see them in action!

Chelsea school will also be providing units from IMSA in their STEM classes for grade 5 students. Each year we will add another grade level until all of Chelsea has IMSA STEM units of study!

Our new math implementation went well in grades K-5. Teachers and students learned new ways to problem solve using the Eureka math program. The lessons were highly engaging and fast paced. Both teachers and students were challenged with math. We will continue to find new ways to enhance our new math resource and develop activities and assessments that are rigorous for our students.

This school year we will offer a new advanced math class for students in grade 5. We were able to capture two classes of exceptional mathematicians that will participate in this accelerated math program. We will monitor student growth in this new course to make future programmatic decisions in other grade levels.

Students in grades K-5 will participate in a new structured word inquiry study. Structured word inquiry will complement our Words their Way word study program to enhance spelling, reading and vocabulary development. We are excited to explore the meanings of words and are expecting this new learning to carry over into reading and writing.

Last school year was the first year we administered a new online assessment called Fast Bridge. Fast Bridge technology based assessment will be administered to our students in grades first through eighth grade and will be given three times a year. This assessment will provide information in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. We used this new data as part of our criteria for advanced and honors placements in both ELA and math.

We are always excited about the endless opportunities 157-C has to offer and we will continue to grow and learn just as our students do. If you would like to know more about our curricular expectations please use any of the links below to open the document you would like to view. If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Educationally yours,

Mrs. Janet McClarence, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

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