Curriculum and Instruction

Most Holy Trinity Catholic School


Catholic Schools have a tradition of excellence in education.

This is our draft plan SUMMARY for the development and implementation of an enhanced curriculum and instructional method at Most Holy Trinity during the 2020-2021 School Year. The most important aspects of our teaching/learning process will be based on the positive relationships of our school community, a focused and clear curriculum that includes a varied, engaging and flexible delivery of instruction.

After extensive discussion, we present the following for your consideration.

Curriculum and Instruction

Big picture

The Gradual Release of Responsibility Instructional Model

Key question: What teaching model would be effective both in the classroom and in a virtual setting?

The Gradual Release of Responsibility Model goes through four phases:

  1. "I do" - Teacher centered instruction- In this step the teacher gives a mini lesson. During the lesson the teacher is using think-aloud strategies to help the students know what he or she is thinking about the concept being taught and how the teacher is reasoning the content in order to understand it. The teacher uses visual aids, including Maps, graphs, charts etc.

  2. We do"- Teachers and students working together- The teacher(s) and students work together. There is consistent checking for understanding. Students who need extra help will receive it at this time.

  3. "You do together"- Students working together- The students will be assigned with partners or small groups. They will discuss the assignment and help each other as they complete the assignment together.

  4. "You do alone"- Students working independently- In the other three steps prepare students to do the work on their own. In step 4 the goal is to demonstrate skills. The work assigned is work the students will be prepared for.

This model allows the students to build skills naturally while being supported by the teacher then practice those skills independently.

Big picture

The Gradual Release of Responsibility Instructional Model in the Virtual Setting

Key question : How will model be applied in the virtual setting?

  1. “I do”. In the virtual setting, the teacher may use pre-recorded videos or power point slides to do the same thing. These will consist of short explanations of terms and concepts, pictures, maps and charts that the teacher would use to explain the concept. Note: It is important to understand that the I do portion is done in limited time. The recommended time is 8 to 10 minutes with even less time for younger students
  2. “We do”. In the virtual setting, time will be limited. Teachers will remind the students of the objective and check with each student to see understanding.
  3. “You do it together” In the virtual setting Partnered work or small group work is important for maintaining a connection to their peers during isolation.Breakout rooms can be used when using video conferencing software.
  4. “You do it alone” In the virtual setting, students will receive independent work when they are ready to engage in the work alone and will be given the opportunity to express understanding through varied methods. (writing, drawing, multimedia, recording, etc.)


Key question: How will teachers assess student learning?

  • Checks for understanding (formative assessment) will be frequent and will not always be as a graded assignment. Examples include: Conversation with students, exit tickets, reflection or journal, independent classwork, etc.

  • We will check that student’s progress in the mastery of material will be in-line with the goals of the unit.

    • Tests

    • Projects- Students will be given a scoring rubric listing the standard-based criteria that will be assessed. Projects may be individual, partnered, or small-group, but assessment will be individual. Students will be given the opportunity to share their projects with the school community, families, and others through virtual platforms and in-person when possible.

    • Individual assessments- are especially important in early elementary, and can be conducted virtually through multiple platforms. Individual assessments are easier and more flexible in the virtual environment.

Key question: How will we monitor, identify, and provide intervention for possible gaps in learning?

  • We will give formative assessments at the beginning of the year to determine student abilities.

  • We will continue to use the ITBS to assess the students’ growth.

  • We will continue to use IXL measures for ELA and Math and Renaissance STAR for reading

  • We will develop interventions for all students to correct any identified gaps.

  • Teachers will have regular check-ins and office hours to check students’ progress, ensure directions are understood, and provide meaningful feedback.

  • We will utilize the intervention specialists and seek their expertise when needed to develop and review all-inclusive plans for students.

Reporting Student Progress

Key question: How will we give feedback and inform parents of progress?

  • We will continue to use our current grading system, and progress report/report card schedule.

  • We will open the parent portal

  • We will meet with parents and students who are struggling with behavior and work. We will work with the parents and students to find solutions and offer extra support as needed, including goal setting, creating a work schedule, resetting due dates and providing assistance with assignments as needed.

  • Additional progress conferences will be scheduled as needed.

Big picture

Student Expectations for Virtual Learning

Key question: What will our student expectations for virtual learning be?

A set of student expectations will be developed and taught at he beginning of the year. These will include:

  • punctuality; appearing on screen; sitting up straight, dressing appropriately; muting yourself, etc.
We will reinforce these expectations consistently. Routines for meetings and instructional time in the virtual classroom will also be developed just as they are in a regular classroom setting. These activities/routines include, but are not limited to:

  • greetings, teacher-directed mini-lessons, question and answer, independent work, closing activity, etc.

Adminstrative Support

Key question: How will Administration support instruction this coming year?

  • Teacher support

    • We will provide training in the following areas:

      • Virtual instruction

      • The TEKS Resource System

      • Gradual Release of Responsibility Instructional Model

      • Other instructional programs as needed, including Rozzy Learning, IXL, Nancy Larson Science

    • We will emphasize unit planning, teacher coaching, use of data and collaboration.

    • Provide opportunities for individual training for different teachers as needed.

    • Set meaningful expectations for lesson plans, grading and instruction.

  • Material Support

    • Provide instructional materials and resources that are flexible and promote student learning.

    • Provide school supplies that students may take home to support virtual instruction.

A Final Thought

Big picture

”Elementary schools "should try to create a community school climate that reproduces, as far as possible, the warm and intimate atmosphere of family life. Those responsible for these schools will, therefore, do everything they can to promote a common spirit of trust and spontaneity." ... Teachers, both religious and lay, together with parents and school-board members, are to work as a team for the school's common good."


"Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools"


Thank you to our committee members:

Mrs. Rosa Cepeda

Miss JoLen Confer

Mr. Charles Gaucin

Mrs. Alexandra Horn

Ms. Velia Medina

Mrs. Christina Ledesma

Most Holy Trinity Catholic School

Educating the Whole Child Through Christ Centered Academic Excellence