Curriculum Matters!

...but not nearly as much as good teaching!

-August of 2019-

Within the South Vermillion Community Schools,

...it is our mission to provide academic and social experiences that nurture the potential of all students to be productive, creative, and moral citizens.
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The SV New Teacher Mentor Program

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY #1, 2, & 3)


We are happy to welcome our new teachers! Whether it is their first year teaching, first year in our corporation, or both, we want to support our new teachers during monthly meetings designed specifically to meet their needs and requests. Our Mentor Program director is Cheryl Crockett, Reading Specialist at Ernie Pyle Elementary. Providing a comprehensive, yearlong plan of support has been an important undertaking for her, because she values the recruitment and retention of good teachers. Their first meeting of the school year was held in new teacher Michelle Brown's classroom at Central Elementary. Their September meeting will be held in Maria Sellers' room at the middle school.

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Our K-8 Language Arts Curriculum: Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY #1, 2, & 3)

Our K-5 teachers and middle school ELA teachers have begun implementing the newly adopted language arts curriculum called Expeditionary Learning. As a standards-based core literacy program that engages teachers and students through relevant, real world content, our students are learning to be problem solvers in their communities. By digging into essential questions, our students will be learning to think deeply and reflect meaningfully on their own development as learners. The central mission of the EL program is to create inquisitive learners and productive citizens, and becoming a good student is the result of that development process.

Much credit goes to our South Vermillion educators for daring greatly and stretching their professional comfort zones to create a new type of learning environment for language arts learning. Twenty-eight elementary teachers gave up the last two weekdays of their summer to participate in the EL CURRICULUM LAUNCH presented by Better Lesson to learn how to effectively implement this new curriculum. Teachers worked together in grade level teams to develop resolutions for their common concerns: teaching spelling, organizing the anchor charts and word walls, assessing student learning, setting up labs, and fitting it all into their daily schedules (three hours per day in K-2, two hours per day in 3-5, daily in middle school ELA classes).

This new curriculum is much more than just handing teachers a new teacher's edition and new student workbooks. In fact, it couldn't be more different, and perhaps that is exactly what our students need. Our teachers are working so hard to set up a dynamic teaching and learning environment that looks, feels, and sounds quite different than ever before. Teachers have been networking with one another, organizing their materials, and reaching out to online communities where this curriculum is in year 2, 3 and beyond. It is so refreshing and encouraging to see this process developing in our classrooms. Stay tuned for more updates as we dive into year one of this new curriculum.

Planning for Proficiency Training sponsored by IDOE's Office of School Improvement at Marian University on August 8, 2019

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Our Beginning of Year Assessments: NWEA's MAP Growth Tests in Reading and Math

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY #1, 2, & 3)

Students in grades K-10+ will be taking the MAP Growth Reading and Math Tests during the last two weeks of August. Teachers will use the results of these assessments to inform their instruction as they design lessons that effectively and intentionally meet the needs of their students. This year, teachers will include their students in the data analysis process in ways that will increase student ownership of their learning goals and strengthen communication between school and home. The MAP Growth Tests are administered again in the winter and spring in order to document students' academic readiness in and math and reading as the year progresses. See the Parent Toolkit below for more information on what families can learn from these formative assessments.

Implementing New K-12 Computer Science Standards

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY #1& 2)


Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is committed to expanding quality computer science education in Indiana, and all 5 South Vermillion Schools are prepared to meet this commitment by providing teachers with professional development opportunities during the 2019-2020 school year. Nextech and Code.org have been providing free trainings for Indiana teachers as we prepare to roll-out K-12 implementation of a computer science curriculum. Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly have indicated computer science education as a priority through the passage of SEA 172 (2018), requiring every school, by 2021, to incorporate computer science in each school's curriculum for students in grades K-12. Indiana currently has computer science standards in place for grades K-8 as well as 14 computer science course offerings available for high schools. At South Vermillion, we have 6th thru 8th grade computer science and business classes for every student and vocational computer science courses for juniors and seniors. Maria Sellers is preparing South Vermillion's K-12 CS implementation plan.

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Indiana Literacy Framework

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY #1, 2, & 3)


The Indiana Department of Education's goal is to increase literacy achievement for all students in Indiana. In all 5 South Vermillion schools, literacy is a catalyst for unlocking deeper learning in all content areas at all grade levels.

Guiding Principles of Literacy Instruction:

  • Literacy propels independent thinking, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and new literacies.
  • Standards-based and disciplinary literacy instruction accelerate student gains.
  • Literacy is a fundamental part of instruction in all disciplines.
  • Teachers as adaptive experts have the most impact on student learning.
  • Evidence-based instructional approaches transform an emergent reader into a skilled reader and a lifelong learner.
  • Administrators are change agents and have the power to create and to support a culture of literacy. (https://www.doe.in.gov/literacy/framework)
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The Results Are IN!

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY #1, 2, 3, & 4)

The 2019 ILEARN/I AM Results were released to school administrators on August 15th. The ILEARN/I AM is the summative accountability assessment for Indiana students in grades 3 - 8. It assesses English/Language Arts (grades 3-8), Mathematics (grades 3 - 8), Science (grades 4, 6, and high school Biology), and Social Studies (grade 5). Individual Student Reports for each content area tested will be sent home with students on Friday, August 23rd along with an Interpretive Guide for Families.

Your child's school will use the ILEARN/I AM results, along with the results from other types of classroom and school-level assessments, to make informed decisions about instructional practices and your child's specific learning goals for this school year. At this time, school administrators can share individual student results with parents and students only. School and corporation level results will be made public by the IDOE on September 4th, 2019.

The 2019-2020 SVCS Administrative Team

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College hosted our

Back-to-School Leadership Retreat in July.

We agreed to take Superintendent Chapman's challenge

to move our leadership from good to great to

THE BEST this school year.

Our students deserve our best every day.


Follow SV Curriculum on Twitter!

Melanie S. Beaver, Ph.D.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment