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Dear Parents,

I am very excited to kick off the 2017-18 school year! With each new school year come some needed changes to what we have done in the past. This year we are excited to implement a new math resource in grades K-5 titled Eureka Math! Eureka Math is a fast paced, highly engaging resource that builds a students’ conceptual understanding of math to produce math literate students. The Eureka Math resource is becoming very popular in the Midwest and many districts are moving towards this and achieving great results. I am excited to watch our teachers embrace this new resource and I anticipate great results from our students.

For the first time 157-C will offer the integration of technology in a 1:1 environment for our fifth grade students. Two new instructional technology coaches were added to aide in this transition. We will add more technology each year until all students in grades fifth through eighth are equipped with a device for their use during the school day.

After many years of research and planning we have developed a new ENCORE rotation for grades 3-5. An introductory Spanish class will replace library time at Chelsea school. Every student in grades third through fifth will experience Spanish once week for the entire school year! We have found the very best teacher and have created a fun and engaging curriculum for our Chelsea students. I cannot wait to visit this classroom!

In grades 6-8 our focus will be on the teaching of writing. We have successfully implemented a writer’s workshop model in grades K-5 with terrific results and we are now bringing that same model to our middle school. Our instructional coaches will be working alongside our middle school teachers to assist in the development of wonderful writers!

Our middle school science teachers have also been hard at work this summer to deepen their understanding of fostering inquiry into science lessons. Our science teachers have teamed up with Lincoln Way science teachers to plan for a seamless transition in this content area.

I am excited to announce that HCMS is the recipient of a grant through Illinois Math and Science Academy which will allow our students to engage in a STEM ENCORE class each year! This new STEM class replaces the technology rotation that was previously offered. STEM class will be hands-on, engaging and most of all FUN! I am anxious to observe this new class!

One of the biggest changes to 157-C will be a new online assessment called Fast Bridge. Fast Bridge assessment replaced the Terra Nova assessment that we have traditionally given in years past. Fast Bridge technology based assessment will be administered to our students in grades kindergarten through eighth and will be given three times a year. This assessment will provide information in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. We will be creating new criteria for advanced and honors placements later this year after collecting our results with this new assessment.

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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