Curriculum, Instruction and Grading

During this unprecedented time, ongoing learning remains essential for our students as the foundation for their future grades, courses and post-secondary plans. As such, South Colonie Central School District has shifted to e-learning so that we can continue to support our students in their K-12 education.

The design of instruction, as well as any assignments, will align with the skill level of students of all age groups and abilities to the greatest extent possible.

General education teachers who have special education or ENL students in their class will collaborate with special education and ENL teachers to ensure that instruction meets the needs of all students.

The information below is provided as a guide for families.  Information will be updated as new guidance is provided by the New York State Education Department.  


Curriculum during the suspension of onsite classes

Teachers will  align NYS learning standards and cover essential curriculum as they provide instruction.

Narrowing the curriculum

Prioritization will focus on standards that are foundational for future learning in other courses and/or grade levels. Curriculum will be pared down, providing students exposure to and instruction in the most important standards.

High School

Teachers of Regents courses will continue to provide students with instruction focused on remaining content for the school year. 

Teachers of Advanced Placement courses will follow guidance from The College Board, which is developing AP tests for this year that will cover content taught through early March.

Teachers of college courses should follow instructions they receive from the college/university.


Instruction and assignment of work 

Instruction of new material should only be provided with direct support from the student’s teacher. This may include students’ watching video lessons, students’ watching digital lessons created by individual teachers and/or direct contact between teachers and students through other means available.

Digital platforms that students are expected to use to view video lessons must be available and accessible to all students.  If you have trouble accessing a session, please submit a Technology Help Desk ticket. Teachers will provide direct links to online resources for students in Aspen.

Teachers are encouraged to create meaningful learning opportunities for students with assignments that students can complete. Teachers should be providing assignments for students that teachers to be completed with minimal resources.


Student School Work Expectations

Grades K-4

Students will receive approximately 90 minutes of work per day for all content areas to continue to build upon essential skills previously taught in reading, writing and math.

Grades 5-6

Students will receive approximately 90 minutes of work per day in ELA and math.  Enrichment and resources provided in all other areas

Grades 7-8

Students will receive approximately 2 hours of remote learning experiences per week in each of the following content areas combined (Math, Science, Social Studies, English, and World Languages (French/Spanish), for a total of 8-9 hours of instruction each week in these five content areas combined.  Resources and activities for practice and enrichment will also be provided in all other instructional areas. 

Grades 9-12

2.5 hours of work per course each week for a total of 20 hours of work per week. 


New Material

Grades K-4

Teachers will continue to provide new learning activities focused on the review of material and concepts that were taught prior to the shutdown.  Reading, writing and mathematics will be emphasized.

Grades 5-6

Teachers in grades five and six will provide students with 90 minutes/day of new content in the areas of ELA and math.  It is understood that families have developed different schedules and routines and therefore should approach meeting these expectations according to time frames that work best for them and that fit their individual needs.  

While opportunities for new learning will be focused on reading, writing and mathematics, all teachers will continue to provide opportunities for enrichment and review across all curricular areas.  Teachers will continue to use their established platforms (Google Classroom, etc.) to communicate with students and provide access to content and activities. 

Grades 7-8

New material will be covered in grades 7 and 8 in the areas of English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and World Languages (French/Spanish).  Opportunities for guided enrichment and practice will also be provided in all other instructional areas.  Teachers will continue to deliver content through the platforms they have been using with their students to present new content.

Grades 9-12

New material will be covered at the high school level.  Teachers will continue to deliver instruction through the platforms they have been using with their students to present new content.


Grading

During the shutdown, teachers will provide opportunities for dialogue (teacher-to-student and/or student-to-teacher) as part of the instructional program and grading process.  We will also be simplifying the grading process during and account for the challenges that our students and families face with this new model of instruction. 

Teachers at all levels will use varied forms of assessments and assignments to measure and document evidence of student learning and will afford individuals with multiple opportunities for revision, re-submission and remedial supports.

When in-person classes resume, traditional grading practices will resume.

Grades K-4

We will monitor the students’ progress, but we will not be assigning grades based on the activities students are completing at home. 

Grades 5-6

Students received a third-quarter mark in courses based on their performance through March 13.  Additional assignments completed during the remainder of the third quarter included enrichment and reinforcement that was intended to assist children.

Fourth-quarter updates will be provided for ELA and math based on their performances beginning May 3.  Fourth-quarter marks will be P (pass) or I (incomplete) for all courses that are providing new content. Other courses providing opportunities for enrichment will be assigned a quarter four grade of “NG”.  Effort grades and comments will be assigned for all courses.

Grades 7-8

Students received a third-quarter mark in all courses based on their performance through March 13.  During the fourth quarter, students received required assignments in English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and World Languages (French/Spanish).   Fourth-quarter marks in these courses will be P (pass) or I (incomplete) based on performance beginning May 3.  Other courses providing opportunities for enrichment will be assigned a quarter four grade of “NG”.  Effort grades and comments will be assigned for all courses.

Grades 9-12

For students in grades 9-12 a simplified, non-traditional model of grading based on measures of student learning will be used. 

  •  “P” = This grade will indicate that there has been evidence of learning.  The student has demonstrated learning of the essential curriculum based on what was taught and assigned.
  • “I” = This grade will indicate that the content has not yet been learned. The student has not completed the assignment or the work completed does not demonstrate learning of the essential curriculum. Students will be afforded the opportunity to resubmit work to demonstrate learning and improve their grade.   

Communication 

The district is streamlining communication between teachers, students, and parents. 

Grades K-4

Families should expect that their child’s teacher will be the primary line of communication.  This communication will be concentrated on instructional and curriculum issues.  Building principals may also add to that communication as we deal with larger school-wide and district-wide communication issues.

Grades 5-8

Middle school families should expect that their child’s teachers will be the primary source of communication regarding instructional and curricular information.  The middle school principals will communicate changes in expectations for instruction, including changes to the amount of time expected by students and the covering of new material.

Grades 9-12

Teachers will make personal connections with students 1 to 3 times per week using a variety of platforms. These connections will allow teachers to present new content or skills as well as allow students to connect with their teachers in order to be guided through lessons, ask questions, and maintain personal relationships. Live class meetings will follow the agreed upon schedule at the high school. 


Student Supports

Please see our Special Education Information page for more information. Parents who have social/emotional well-being concerns should reach out to their child’s social worker, guidance counselor, or building principal.