District 7 offers a comprehensive core curriculum designed to meet the needs of the individual student and includes instruction in language arts, math, social science, and science. The curriculum is a result of a research-based study into the best practices in instruction of the particular content area, and it is conducted by a K-12 committee of teachers, parents, and administrators.
In addition to the basic academic subjects, all elementary schools also offer specialist classes in art, vocal music, and physical education; instrumental music and orchestra are offered at the intermediate level. A regular program of gifted experiences is available for qualified students. Although each school has its unique features and special interests, the curriculum is identical among the six primary schools and among the four intermediate schools.
Advanced classes are available at both the middle school and high school levels. Students at Edwardsville High School may elect to take Advanced Placement courses and exams. Qualifying high school students may also participate in a series of work experience situations under teacher supervision, as well as advanced vocational courses offered through the Collinsville Area Vocational Center.
In fall 2003, the historic N.O. Nelson Campus opened as a branch of Lewis & Clark Community College (LCCC). It has been renovated into a high-tech career education center that serves the residents of the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon areas. The state-of-the-art technology center serves Edwardsville High School students during the day, and LCCC students in the late afternoon and evening. Fine arts also play an important role in the curriculum. The district’s music program has won a number of prestigious awards for its band and orchestra. The drama program is frequently recognized at the all-state level with our students participating in the state drama productions.
A highly varied program of extracurricular activities also exists, particularly at the middle schools and high school. Our sports teams have done exceptionally well in recent years, with state-level appearances by many of the high school athletic teams.
|Tara Fox, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
|Paul Stuart, Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction
|Beth Jacobs, Instructional Technology Coordinator
|Barb Johnson, Administrative Assistant
Early Childhood Programs (Preschoolers 3-5 Years Old)
District 7 offers a range of early childhood programs to meet the needs of our district’s young children and their families:
The F.A.C.E.S. program (Family and Classroom Educational Support) provides free developmental screenings to all district families with children three and four years old. Speech, vocabulary, and language development; English proficiency; gross and fine motor skills; social skills; and cognitive knowledge and skills are evaluated by the District 7 early childhood team. These screenings are offered monthly through the school year and are a good opportunity for parents to gain another perspective on their child’s growth and development. Results from the screening can also be used to determine eligibility for district early childhood programs for parents who are interested in these services. To schedule a screening appointment, contact the District 7 preschool office at Goshen Elementary School at (618) 655-6250.
Prekindergarten classes (Preschool for All classes and the Highly Specialized Early Childhood classes) are available to three and four year old children who have been screened and found eligible for the program.These half-day classes are offered Monday through Friday and follow the school district calendar. These classes are free to families and serve both typically developing preschoolers and preschoolers with identified special needs.
For parents who would like a full-day preschool program for their children, District 7 offers Preschool Academy, a tuition-based program that follows the District 7 school calendar. Classes are Monday through Friday from 9:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For an additional fee, children enrolled in Preschool Academy may also access before and after school childcare through the Little Kid Zone program.
For more information about District 7’s preschool programs, please visit the following link.
Elementary Education (Grades Kindergarten through Five)
Primary Academics (Kindergarten – Grade 2)
All schools follow the same core curricula, which includes language arts, mathematics, science, social science, physical development and health, and fine arts. All curricula have been aligned to meet Illinois Learning Standards. Students also receive instruction in music, physical education, and art by specialists certified in these areas.
All K-2 students are administered ongoing assessments to determine the progress being made on the grade level curriculum. The Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy (ISEL) is administered in fall and winter to support teachers in identifying strengths and weaknesses in each student’s literacy development.
Teachers also monitor each student’s instructional reading level to ensure progress in the area of reading. Title I/ Reading Improvement assistance is available for students who need additional reading instruction in order to meet grade level expectations.
Students are assessed using unit tests, quarterly common assessments, and teacher observation in the areas of math, science, social science, writing, health, and fine arts.
Intermediate Academics (Grade 3 – Grade 5)
All intermediate schools follow the same core curriculum, which includes language arts, mathematics, science, social science, physical development and health, Spanish, technology, and fine arts. Band and orchestra are also offered to interested students beginning in the fourth grade. Students receive instruction in music, physical education, Spanish, and art by a specialist certified in these areas.
All grade 3-5 students receive ongoing assessment to determine the progress being made on the grade level curriculum. In addition to teacher observation, unit tests, and assessments to determine the instructional reading level, all students are administered the state-wide assessment each spring. The Illinois state-wide assessment measures individual achievement relative to the New Illinois Learning Standards.
Gifted & Talented Programs
Students are identified at the end of third grade for formal participation in the District’s Challenge Program. The criteria below are used to determine placement in the Challenge Program:
- Gifted and Talented Screener
- Williams Test of Divergent Thinking
- Cognitive Abilities Test
Once students are identified for the Challenge Program, principals cluster identified students into a classroom with a teacher who has had special training in teaching gifted and talented students. Students participate in enrichment activities within their regular classrooms. In addition, a gifted resource teacher serves students in grades 4 – 5 through a combination of pullout and in-class instruction.
Grade Reporting and Parent Conferences (K-5)
Grades are reported on a quarterly basis with progress reports issued at the middle of each quarter. An online system called TigerView is available for parents of students in grades 3 – 12 to aid them in monitoring their child’s weekly assignments.
Formal parent conferences are held after first quarter grades are reported. Conferences may be scheduled during any one of three scheduled days during Thanksgiving week. Special arrangements will be made for parents who cannot meet during the designated conference time. Ongoing parent-teacher communication is encouraged, and parents can expect the principal, teacher, and staff to communicate with each parent through newsletters, phone calls, websites, etc.
Middle Level Education (Grades 6-8)
District 7 has two middle schools, Lincoln Middle School and Liberty Middle School, which house all sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students across the district.
Academics The core curriculum at the middle school level consists of language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics. Individuals with disabilities receive instruction as determined by their respective Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Exploratory classes taught by specialists are offered on a quarterly basis and vary according to grade level. They include art, computer applications, vocal music, agricultural science, transition study skills, and Spanish. Students take physical education and health all three years. Students may also elect to take band, chorus, and/or orchestra.
Gifted and Talented Program Both Liberty and Lincoln Middle Schools implement an Honors Program that is incorporated into students’ academic classes. Students are identified for participation in the areas of language arts and math. Special enrichment is part of most classes and is also offered to the entire student body through extracurricular activities.
Academic Supports A series of programs has been developed to provide academic support for all middle school students – those who need occasional support and those who require intensive, small group instruction on a daily basis. The programs, which are free to all students, are designed to help a student improve his/her grades. Programs, along with grade levels served, are outlined below:
Student planners are provided to each middle school student. The planner is an organizational tool that assists students in recording and planning their work and other school activities. Direct instruction in study habits is a part of most classrooms. The planner is also a communication tool for parents and teachers.
Tutoring by certified teachers is available after school in the media center at both middle schools. Tutoring meets for an hour from Monday through Thursday. Students are encouraged to attend as often as needed during the school year. All levels of students attend tutoring sessions – from honors students to students with learning disabilities.
Seminar Classes in math and reading offer eligible students an additional period of math or reading instruction during the regular school day. Students will have topics pre-taught and/or reviewed, vocabulary instruction, further explanation of concepts and skills, etc. This class is taken in addition to the scheduled math or reading class the student is required to take. Students must be counseled into these classes.
HOPS (Homework, Organization and Planning Skills) is offered for students who were identified for additional academic supports as they transition from 5th to 6th-grade. The program is implemented during Activity period each day. During this time, students are taught a specific organization system for their binder and book bag materials. Students are also required to have their teachers sign their agendas each day to ensure homework is accurately recorded. Students must be counseled into the HOPS program.
Transition Study Skills Course is assigned to all 6th-grade students as part of their exploratory wheel. The goal of this course is to support students as they transition from elementary to middle school by providing direct instruction in: organization systems to help keep track of assignments, strategies for time management, expectations for completion of academic tasks, how to glean information from non-fiction texts such as social studies and science texts, analysis of test questions to determine the best response, skills needed to complete research and group projects, and establishing goals and developing plans to attain goals.
Extracurricular Activities The middle schools provide a variety of opportunities for students beyond the school day. Athletic opportunities include both competitive interscholastic sports and an intramural program. A variety of clubs is also available, providing opportunities for students to pursue special interests and to develop leadership skills.
High School Program
Academics Edwardsville High School provides a full range of curricular offerings to meet the educational needs and interests of its students as they prepare for post-secondary education or the world of work. Students are provided a strong core curriculum in English, mathematics, social science, and science through a choice from more than 200 courses. Four years each of Spanish, French, and German classes are offered. In addition, EHS offers an extensive selection of fine arts and vocational courses.
A minimum of 20 credits is required for graduation, 14.5 of which are required courses. A complete list of classes and course requirements are available in the course handbook issued yearly by the high school. Ninety-five percent of those graduating typically go on to institutions of higher learning.
The high school provides three work-study programs: Special Education, Office Co-Op, and Interrelated Co-Op. Students eligible for work-study must earn the appropriate number of credits, attend regular classes, and possess the skills required for the work-study program.
For students unable to achieve success in the traditional school environment, there is the option of attending an alternative high school. The graduation requirements are the same, and the goal is to reintegrate the student back into the regular high school.
Honors Program Honors courses and Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered in the core academic areas. Prerequisites and minimum grade requirements are required for selecting these courses. Honors and AP courses are weighted to address the increased academic demands within these courses.
Academic Supports Programs have been developed to provide academic support for all high school students – those who need occasional support and those who require intensive, small group instruction on a daily basis. The programs, which are free to all students, are designed to help a student improve his/her grades. Programs, along with grade levels served, are outlined below:
The EHS Writing Center, located in the Media Center, is open from 6:40 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. each day. It is staffed with English teachers who assist students with developing writing assignments, such as research papers, essays, and lab reports, in addition to answering questions related to grammar or research. Students may attend the Writing Center on a drop-in basis before and after school, during a study hall, or as a small group from a class. Honors students, students with special needs, and all grade levels of students visit the Writing Center for support as needed.
Tutoring in English, math, and science is available after school from certified teachers. Students are encouraged to attend as often as needed during the school year. All levels of students attend tutoring sessions – from honors students to students with learning disabilities.
Co-taught classes include a content area teacher (math, social science, science, or English) and a special educator who team teach, providing support to students who require additional instructional assistance to be successful in a class. Co-taught classes are available in all courses required for graduation. Both regular education students and students with special needs may access these regular education classes through the recommendation of their case manager or counselor.
Seminar classes in English and math offer eligible students an additional hour of English and math instruction during the regular school day. Students will have topics pre-taught and/or reviewed, vocabulary instruction, further explanation of concepts and skills, etc. This class is taken in addition to the scheduled math or English class the student is required to take. Students must be counseled into these classes.
The EHS Student Planner is provided to each student. It is an organizational tool designed to assist students in recording and planning their work and other school activities.
The EHS Student Handbook is available for download on the EHS website. It includes valuable information regarding student services, student discipline, and the District calendar.
Extracurricular Activities EHS offers a wide range of extracurricular activities. A partial list of organizations and athletic teams is available in the EHS Student Handbook located on the EHS website.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Data analysis takes place at all levels in District 7 – the district level, the school level, the classroom level, and the individual student level. The District has implemented a variety of diagnostic instruments and assessments that together provide a rich source of information that is used when planning for instruction for students. Results from multiple assessments are used when making educational decisions, whether it is at the curricular level, the school level, or the individual student level.
Data-driven decision making ensures that the identification of skill deficits, the action plans that are developed to address those deficits, and the instruments used to monitor the academic progress of children receiving interventions are accurate and based on objective, not subjective, information. This use of multiple data sources instead of a single source of data ensures that the most accurate conclusion is drawn when determining whether or not a curricular weakness or student skill deficit exists and whether or not the solution is working.
Using a medical analogy, a diagnosis is made based on accurate data from reliable tests, a course of treatment is then prescribed, professionals regularly monitor the treatment, and changes are made to the treatment plan if the problem is not resolved. In District 7, we are approaching curricular and student academic and behavioral problems in much the same way.