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Academics in Monticello Schools, K-12

Educators in Monticello Central School District work hard to ensure that every student receives high quality instruction. They are doing so by aligning K-12 English language arts and math curriculum with the Common Core Learning Standards. They are also utlizing curriculum maps that reflect the appropriate pacing of instruction, and benchmark assessments that ensure students are learning.

Classroom instruction models the current best practices in teaching by meeting the following criteria:

  • Rigor - All lessons are challenging for every student in the classroom.
  • Relevance - All activities are connected to real-life issues and applications.
  • Relationship - Every student has a personal connection to several staff members in the school.

By working on these criteria in all grade levels, we are preparing our students with the skills and strategies they will need to work in our region or anywhere in the world.

Common Core Learning Standards

setting benchmarks for student success

Imagine a building stairwell where essential knowledge for kindergarten is found on the first floor and essential knowledge for college is found on the 12th floor. As you work your way to the top, you might stop at each landing to see how far you've come and how far you still have to go. For public schools in New York, those "landings" between each floor, or grade level, are known as the Common Core Learning Standards.

CCLS are benchmarks that set clear standards for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. Learn more about the Common Core

Monticello CSD’s APPR Plans Approved by NY State

Plans lay out teacher and administrator performance evaluations

The Monticello Central School District Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans for teachers and administrators were officially approved by the New York State Education Department on December 17, 2012. The new APPRs create high expectations for teachers and administrators, yet at the same time provide flexibility to meet the diverse needs of students and staff. Student performance on local and state exams will factor into a teacher’s evaluation. Other factors include growth in student work and assessment of classroom skills through observations by a trained evaluator. Learn more about APPR

Curriculum and Instruction

Literacy and Assessment

We are implementing instructional programming that meets students’ individual needs in reading, writing, word study and thinking in English language arts (ELA) classes and in all areas of the NY State Learning Standards. All schools continue to implement a Balanced Literacy Framework - reading, writing and word study - in all classrooms and content areas. With a stronger foundation in “first or initial” teaching, we are focusing on better ways to assess students’ strengths and needs. This begins with kindergarten and new entrant assessments and continues with general education teachers across the grades. We are expanding our assessment skills to include more diagnostic tools for our struggling learners. We have ongoing professional develop.m. ent for all teachers and administrators in the best ways to conduct student assessments.

Monticello High School (Grades 9-12)

During the restructuring process at Monticello High School, students are encouraged to connect with the academic support services offered. We have a Student Support Suite that focuses on math strategies and literacy strategies - specifically reading and writing in the content areas. The high school continues to have a strong visual and performing arts program and an Academy of Finance. Our Freshman Academy continues to be an engaging transition program from the middle school to the high school. College in the Classroom offers students expanded opportunities.

CLICK HERE to view the curriculum for Monticello High School - Grades 9-12

Robert J. Kaiser Middle School (Grades 6-8)

The staff at Robert J. Kaiser Middle School is focused on literacy strategies, specifically reading and writing in the content areas. The Continuous Improvement Team (CIT) uses data as an integral component of the improvement process. We are focusing on enhancing “looping teacher teams” who will follow their assigned students from 7th to 8th grade. The school staff continues to look at different ways to provide support and intervention for our diverse student population.

CLICK HERE to view the curriculum for the RJK Middle School - Grades 6-8

Elementary Schools (Grades K-5)

Emma C. Chase, George L. Cooke, Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary Schools

We continue to develop staff and revamp our curriculum and teaching methods. We endorse the best instructional practices and inquiry strategies used in IB schools around the world. In 2009, the Chase Elementary School was authorized to teach the Primary Years Programme. We are expanding IB professional development opportunities to the Rutherford and Cooke Elementary School faculty and will move the IB Diploma Programme into the secondary levels in the coming years.

CLICK HERE to view the curriculum for the district Elementary Schools - Grades K-5

Fine Art, MUSIC and Performing Arts

Monticello performing arts students may choose from a variety of classes throughout their educational experience. These include chorus, band, orchestra, recorder, piano, guitar, percussion ensemble, chamber music, ballet, jazz, modern dance, hip hop, music theory, music history, music technology and elements of dance. Co-curricular opportunities include jazz ensemble, musicals, chamber singers, dance company and early music ensembles. Monticello High School also offers a number of different visual arts classes including drawing, painting, studio art and commercial design.

Physical Education and Health

CLICK HERE to view the curriculum for Physical Education.

CLICK HERE to view the curriculum for Health.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

Response to Intervention, or RTI, is an educational strategy used in schools to: (1) provide effective and high-quality instruction, (2) monitor all students’ progress to make sure they are progressing as expected and (3) provide additional support (intervention) to students who are struggling.

RTI can be considered an early intervention tool that is designed to quickly identify students who need extra help, thereby preventing long-term failure. The monitoring of students allows teaching professionals to identify the exact skill areas where pupils need additional instruction that’s targeted to a student’s individual needs. If the student is not responding, other instructional approaches are used and/or the intensity is increased. This progression through more intensive instructional practices is the reason RTI is often described as a “multi-tier” system. Learn more about Response to Intervention

Teaching is the Core

In March, the Monticello Central School District announced that it would be participating in a grant-funded review of testing for the 2014-15 school year courtesy of Teaching is the Core.

Click here to view the Monticello District Assessment review.

Understanding the New York State Testing Program

Each year, students in grades 3-8 take a variety of state assessments that are designed to measure whether they are meeting the NY State Learning Standards. The following is designed to give you insight into what is involved in state testing and how to interpret the test results.

Grades 3-8 - English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics
Grades 4, 8 - Science Performance and Written

In order to earn the Foreign Language credit required for high school graduation, students must pass the local proficiency exam administered to eighth-graders in June. In addition to the above tests, Grade 2 students take the Terra Nova (ELA/Math) standardized assessment and students in Grades 9-12 may take Regents exams in Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, Global History, U.S. History, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry.

Why do students take tests based on the state standards?

Students take these tests so the state can assess how well students and schools in general are progressing in the various subject areas. The content of the tests is determined by the NY State Learning Standards and Common Core Curricula in association with the NY State Education Department (NYSED).

How is the data from the test results used by the schools and teachers?

Teachers and school administrators use group data to plan instructional programs and individual student data to learn more about each student’s skills.

How is the data used by the state?

Schools are accountable for student performance as mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The data is used to measure whether students are learning the required content.

Who will see my child’s score?

Teachers and administrators in the district will see the test scores but, as with all educational records, they are otherwise confidential. Schools send parents detailed reports on English language arts and mathematics test results once they are available from the state.

Why do I need to know my child’s test scores?

By seeing your child’s test scores, you can gauge how well he or she is developing certain skills in comparison to other students around the state. You can use this knowledge when talking with your child’s teachers about academic concerns. Scores can also make you aware of your child’s strengths.

Don't Stress About the Test

Many students (and parents) get stressed-out by the pressure of high-stakes testing. Parent Today compiled a fact sheet that gives an overview of the New York State Assessments, the Common Core State Standards and tips for managing the stress of the test. VIEW PDF

Engage NY created a video for parents about the new assessments, which are based on the Common Core State Standards VIEW

CLICK HERE for more information about the Common Core State Standards

Parent Today is a FREE e-newsletter and website, available to Monticello School District residents, that provides information and resources for engagement in the educational process. MORE