Winter 20-21 Curriculum Newsletter

Everything related to curriculum and instruction in Butler!


Winter Has Been Busy in the Curriculum World!

Despite some hurdles this year, we are eagerly moving ahead with curriculum developments, instruction and assessment practices, and continuing our work to achieve district goals. Our ongoing goals are always to support teachers and help students find success within the Butler School District. We are proud of the work we've accomplished together with our dedicated staff of teachers and service professionals.

Math Curriculum Writing

Math teachers on our district-wide vertical articulation team have been busy writing our new math curriculum and exploring resources to support to new curriculum. We are very excited to share the new curriculum with the rest of the district and the Board of Education in the Spring.

BHS is Proud to Offer New Elective Courses for the Fall

As a response to strategic planning surveys and in an effort to provide more choice and opportunities for our students, Butler High School will be offering over 30 new semester elective and full-year core courses for our students in the fall. We have been busy writing curriculum and selecting resources to provide new learning experiences for our students.

Please visit our Google Slides presentation below to read more about specific courses we will be offering in each department. Some highlights include courses like Human Genetics, Engineering and Robotics, AP Music Theory, Contemporary Literature, Journalism, American History Through Film and Music, and American Sign Language.

Seniors will have new options for their English IV Courses:

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Students Participated in Hour of Code

Hour of Code is a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. BHS Juniors and Seniors in Mr. Arabia's Computer Science class worked with 3rd and 4th grade students at Aaron Decker School to code computer games. It was a great success!

Students Earn Seal of Biliteracy

6 Butler High School Juniors and Seniors passed the testing requirements to earn the New Jersey State Seal of Biliteracy. By achieving the Seal of Biliteracy, students demonstrate that they are able to speak, read, listen and write in two or more languages at a high level of proficiency.

The Seal of Biliteracy opens up a sea of vast opportunities for those pursuing higher education or joining the workforce. As the world increasingly becomes more global, the need for employees with bilingual and multilingual skills has also been increasing

The Seniors who passed will be honored at a BHS Awards Ceremony on the spring. Congratulations to all students who passed the requirements! We are so proud of Hannah Quiros, Wiktoria Jaworska, Kaled Lopez, Kinnereth Lopez, Alia Santos, and Julia Sklodowska.

K-12 Benchmark Assessments

We are continuing to improve efforts in data collection and analysis. At the K-8 level, we have spent time looking at Star 360 Benchmark scores and using that data to drive instruction. Teachers have received training from Renaissance and are working in Professional Learning Communities to discuss trends and plan for small group instruction.

At the 9-12 level, we have been working in Professional Learning Communities to build teacher-created benchmark assessments that align to the curriculum standards and will help us track our students' progress.

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Social Studies Teachers Working To Make a More Inclusive Curriculum

In response to the increasingly diverse and multi-faceted world we are living in, and to support the new educational mandates put out by the New Jersey Department of Education, our Social Studies teachers are laying the groundwork this year to start building a more inclusive and inquiry-based curriculum during the 21-22 school year.

Next year, our K-12 history will be taught with the inclusion of the narratives of people from a wider range of racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, and backgrounds and will include education on the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, in accordance with NJ Education Laws C.18A:35-4.35 and C.18A:35-4.36.

BHS Students Compete in DECA States Competition

This year's DECA States Competition is entirely virtual, and students are currently competing throughout the month of February! They completed their 100-question test online recently, and will now begin recording their virtual role-plays. We will have the results from the States competition in the beginning of March, and our students are looking forward to possibly competing in Nationals which will also be fully virtual and will take place in the spring.

DECA (or Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an association of marketing students that encourages the development of business and leadership skills through academic conferences and competitions.

The Arts and Music...

RBS and BHS Holiday Winter concerts were a success thanks to Dr. Nishimura, Ms.Lowndes, and Mrs. Bocchino for all the hard work (and production) it took to share our students’ talents.

At Aaron Decker it was a collaboration of media, art, and music that gave us a wonderful winter arts and musical showcase. Thank you so much for all of your hard work Mrs. Wisneski, Mrs. Hennig, and Mrs. Casey!

The marching band is busy planning a full regular season in Fall 2021 with 55 members signed up so far. Parents are welding and painting equipment and doing so much for the program. The concert band and choir are both planning to conduct a spring concert either outside or virtual in the spring. Stay tuned.

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BHS Creative Writing Students Read Holiday Stories to Children at ADS

BHS Creative Writing teacher Ms. Nash inspired her creative writing students to compose digital holiday stories that they read to ADS students in their Zoom classes. Both BHS and ADS students were thrilled to participate in this joyful experience.
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