Morgan County Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

2230 - PROGRAM OF STUDY EARLY CHILDHOOD

It is the responsibility of the Board of Education to plan, deliver, and evaluate the education programs and student support services necessary to implement a thorough and efficient system of public education. The programs of study and student support services mandated by regulations must be made available to all students. In carrying out this responsibility, the Board may: 1) cooperate with one (1) or more counties in establishing and maintaining joint programs; 2) use regional services or contract for services with public or private agencies having appropriate programs; and 3) coordinate and share programs, related services and resources with other organizations, agencies and local businesses. Regardless of the method chosen, the Board shall: 1) collaborate with local business and community groups through establishment of partnerships and a county steering committee; 2) be responsible for developing and implementing a five (5) year strategic plan that results in systematic change in the areas of organizational culture, curriculum, instruction, school effectiveness, and student support through a continuous improvement process, based on the Framework for High Performing 21st Century School Systems (see West Virginia Board of Education policy 2470, Use of Technology by Students and Educators (hereinafter policy 2470); and West Virginia Board of Education policy 2450, Distance Learning and the West Virginia Virtual School; distributing the County Board's resources as determined by the plan; and 4) be accountable to the public through the annual West Virginia Report Card.

The Early Childhood Education program addresses the growth and development of young children using an integrated, developmentally appropriate approach as applicable to build the foundation knowledge in all curricular areas with an emphasis on the acquisition of skills in reading and mathematics. Early Childhood is divided into three (3) subgroups: Pre-K, primary elementary (K-2) and intermediate elementary (3-4). As children progress from Pre-K to 4th grade, daily instruction should be designed to meet their changing educational and developmental needs.

Early Childhood Education (Grades Pre-K-4)

Programs for children in early childhood shall address the holistic needs of the child and be based on the child's developmental level. Cognitive, social/emotional and physical development needs to be addressed as inter-related areas of development. The focus for cognitive development is the acquisition of reading, English language arts and math skills. Skill building, technology utilization and learning for young children require teachers to be knowledgeable about child development and skilled in providing classrooms and instruction that meet children's needs. For grades Pre-K to 3, informal assessments, as well as formal assessments, will be used to guide daily instruction. Appropriate assessments improve the quality of classroom instruction by being responsive to individual student's needs.

Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K)

The County's Pre-K is a readiness program designed to build the skills children need to be successful in kindergarten and as a foundation for lifelong learning. Research supports the need for a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated instruction. The Pre-K classroom should have the time, space, and materials necessary to create effective environments for learning and implementation of their chosen approved curricular framework.

Teachers in Pre-K must be purposeful in planning and providing classrooms where learning occurs in the context of active exploration and hands-on discovery. In the County's Pre-K program, the emphasis is on cognitive, social/emotional, and motor development. These areas are inter-related and cannot be addressed in isolation.

Knowing the development sequence of skill acquisition is fundamental for providing high quality Pre-K classrooms. Learning activities shall be simultaneously provided for children at different stages of development. Experiencing the world is a young child's work, thus the classroom environment is a key factor in the provision of high quality learning experiences for young children. Classrooms should be designed and equipped in a manner that supports discovery, small group and individual learning, exploration, problem solving, and development. Children in Pre-K will have daily opportunities for problem solving, critical thinking and active engagement in the given content areas, below:

 A.Language and Literacy

 B.Mathematics

 C.Science

 D.Physical Health

 E.The Arts

 F.Social Studies

 G.Social/Emotional Development

The acquisition of oral language and building literacy skills shall be a primary focus. Pre-K classrooms must provide print rich and language rich environments. Learning centers that support the chosen approved curricular framework are required for Pre-K classrooms including preschool special needs. These learning centers are to be intentionally designed to support learning and the development of critical thinking skills.

Daily instruction in Pre-K shall be individualized, based on informal and formal assessments, and address the West Virginia Pre-K content standards and objectives found in West Virginia Board of Education policy 2520.15. Teachers shall utilize a variety of teaching strategies, including the integration of technology.

Primary Elementary (K-2)

The focus for K-2 is building strong reading, English language arts, and math skills. Learning environments shall be print rich and provide manipulatives for hands-on learning in mathematics. Children in kindergarten through 2nd grade span a broad spectrum of development. The development level of each child is significant in the offering of daily instruction. Teachers shall utilize a variety of teaching strategies, including the integration of technology, to assure that all children are mastering the 21st century content knowledge and skills.

In K-2 classrooms, the given content areas below are taught daily. It is required, in accordance with scientifically based reading research, that, at a minimum, a daily-uninterrupted ninety (90) minutes reading/English language arts block be scheduled during which students are actively engaged in learning through whole group, small group and reading center activities. A minimum of sixty (60) minutes of daily mathematics instruction is required.

 A.Reading and English Language Arts

 B.Mathematics

In K-2 classrooms, at least thirty (30) minutes of physical education, including physical exercise and age appropriate physical activities, shall be provided for not less than three (3) days a week. Schools which do not currently have the number of certified physical education teachers or required physical setting may develop alternate programs that will enable current staff and physical settings to be used to meet the physical education requirements. The alternate programs shall be submitted to the WVDE and the Healthy Lifestyle Council for approval.

All content areas may be integrated into classroom instruction and must be taught in a manner that supports the acquisition of strong reading, language arts and mathematics skills. Specific content area instruction in the following content areas may or may not be offered daily. Sufficient emphasis must be placed on the given content areas to ensure that students master content knowledge and skills as specified in the 21st century content standards and objectives for each subject.

 A.Science

 B.Social Studies

 C.Visual Art

 D.Music

 E.Health

 F.Learning Skills and Technology Tools

Instruction in K-2 classrooms will be individualized and driven by informal and formal assessments to help children attain the performance level of mastery or above as delineated in the approved West Virginia content standards and objectives. Strategies for early detection and intervention to correct student deficiencies in reading, language arts, and mathematics shall be employed throughout the instructional term in each of the primary elementary and intermediate elementary grades.

Components of career awareness and the application of technology shall be included during instruction in all subjects.

Intermediate Elementary (3-4)

Children in intermediate elementary may be developmentally ready for instruction that is content area focused. This does not preclude the use of integrated instruction. Intermediate elementary students are beginning the transition into middle childhood. An emphasis on the developmental level of these intermediate elementary students must be a continued consideration.

Intermediate elementary students will be taught the given content areas daily. It is required, in accordance with scientifically based reading research, that, at a minimum, ninety (90) minutes of reading and English language arts instruction be provided which shall include sixty (60) minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction in which students are actively engaged in learning through whole group, small group and reading center activities as a block or throughout the school day. A minimum of sixty (60) minutes of daily mathematics instruction is required. Sufficient emphasis must be placed on the following content areas to ensure that students master content knowledge and skills as specified in the 21st century content standards and objectives for each subject. Flexibility is permitted in scheduling the time allotted for science and social studies so that the equivalent of daily instruction is provided.

 A.Reading and English Language Arts

 B.Mathematics

 C.Science

 D.Social Studies

Intermediate elementary students shall be provided not less than thirty (30) minutes of physical education, including physical exercise and age appropriate physical activities, for not less than three (3) days a week. Schools which do not currently have the number of certified physical education teachers or required physical setting may develop alternate programs that will enable current staff and physical settings to be used to meet the physical education requirements. The alternate programs shall be submitted to the WVDE and the Healthy Lifestyle Council for approval.

The following content areas will be offered with frequency sufficient to achieve mastery of the West Virginia approved content standards and objectives for those areas and meet the needs of children.

 A.Visual Art

 B.Music

 C.Health

 D.Learning Skills and Technology Tools

For intermediate elementary students, daily classroom instruction will be based on a variety of assessments that provide for the individualization of instruction. Schedules for intermediate elementary students shall allow the flexibility necessary to provide additional time and instruction for students who are below mastery in reading, English language arts, and mathematics. Teachers in intermediate elementary classrooms shall utilize a variety of instructional strategies, including the integration of technology, to assure that all students reach the performance level of mastery or above on the West Virginia content standards and objectives. Strategies for early detection and intervention to correct student deficiencies in reading, language arts, and mathematics shall be employed throughout the instructional term in each of the primary elementary and intermediate elementary grades.

Components of career awareness and the application of technology shall be included during instruction in all subjects.

Students in intermediate elementary classrooms shall be provided the opportunity to master the standards set forth in Policy 2520.14, 21st Century Learning Skills and Technology Tools Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools.

WV State Board of Education Policy 2510