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Student Programs
Bensenville School District 2 offers a wide range of student programs to provide a challenging, well-rounded curriculum in order to prepare students for a world of opportunity.


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Curriculum is made up of three components: Learning targets often referred to as standards (what students learn), assessment (methods for determining if they are learning), and instruction (how we ensure learning occurs). What follows is a brief description of what District 2 students are offered. A detailed listing of grade level learning targets can be found at www.bsd2.org.

Choral

Grades 3-5 and middle school students are given the opportunity to develop and refine their vocal skills through participation in a mixed chorus. Public performances are scheduled during the school year.

Fine Arts

Students in Kindergarten-8th Grade are taught by fine arts specialists who extend student knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for the various art forms.

In Kindergarten, music is used to support student literacy development, build social interaction, and coordinate movement skills. In Grade 1-8, students are given opportunities to listen, improvise, compose, and perform music.

In visual arts (Grades K-8), students are taught drawing, painting, sculpture, graphics, and various types of media.

English Language Arts and Literacy

The way we taught students in the past simply does not prepare them for the higher demands of college and careers today and in the future. In English language arts and literacy, this means three major changes. Students will continue reading and writing. But in addition to stories and literature, they will read more texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas including science and social studies. They will read more challenging texts and be asked more questions that will require them to refer back to what they have read. There is also an increased emphasis on building a strong vocabulary so that students can read and understand challenging material.

Foreign Language

Elementary students in grades 3-5 can participate in a voluntary after-school Spanish program according to established entrance criteria. Students in Grades 6-8 may choose foreign language as an elective. 

Health Education

Parents/guardians shall be provided the opportunity to preview all materials used for instructional purposes on AIDS, family life instruction, sex abuse, anabolic steroids or organ/tissue transplantation. Parents/guardians shall be given at least five days written notice before instruction on avoiding sex abuse begins.

No student shall be required to take or participate in any class or course on AIDS, family life instruction, sex abuse, or organ/tissue transplantation, if his or her parent/guardian submits a written objection to the Building Principal. Refusal to take or participate in any such course or program shall not be reason for disciplinary action or academic penalty.

Instrumental Music

A band program is provided for students in 5th-8th Grades. Band gives students an opportunity to develop, enrich, and refine instrumental performing skills. Public performances are part of the program.

Grades 4 and 5 have opportunities to participate in Chorus, hand chimes, Orff Club and Music Makers.

Math

In mathematics, teachers now concentrate on teaching a more focused set of major math concepts and skills. This will allow students time to master key math concepts and skills in a more organized way throughout the year and from one grade to the next. Teachers use rich and challenging math content to engage students in solving real-world problems and to reason logically in order to inspire greater interest in mathematics. 

Physical Education

Physical education is taught in a developmentally planned and sequential curriculum that fosters the development of movement skills, enhances health-related fitness, increases students' knowledge, offers direct opportunities to learn how to work cooperatively in a group setting, and encourages healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle. Unless otherwise exempted, all students are required to engage daily during the school day in a physical education course. Health and safety are also studied.

Science

Illinois' current science standards became effective in February 2014 and are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards focus on the big ideas in science and emphasize the common practices that scientists use every day, such as planning investigations, developing models, and designing solutions. The NGSS encourage students to learn the processes of science in a deep, meaningful way through firsthand investigative experiences, instead of just memorizing facts for a test. 

Hands-on experimentation and instruction are used to give students scientific knowledge and skills in the areas of earth, life, and physical science. Safety goggles and eye wash stations are provided in the classrooms where the hands-on experiments are conducted.

Social Science

Learning experiences in history, geography, and economics are provided to children in the District 2 social science program. Children study citizenship, community, cultures, freedom and justice, government, human rights, and natural and human resources. In addition, all schools shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on Constitution Day, each September 17, commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution. However, when September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, Constitution Day shall be held during the preceding or following week. The curriculum also includes a unit of instruction on the Holocaust and crimes of genocide, including the Nazi atrocities of 1933-1945, Armenian Genocide, the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and more recent atrocities in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan. In all schools, the curriculum includes a unit of instruction on the history, struggles, and contributions of women and a unit of instruction on Black History, including the history of the African slave trade, slavery in America, and the vestiges of slavery in this country, as well as the struggles and contributions of African-Americans.

S.T.E.A.M.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math

7th and 8th grades students will experience geometry through real world applications, small group collaboration, and technology in our Math Lab course.

Spanish

7th - Greetings and basic conversational Spanish, people descriptions, daily activities, sports, food and restaurants, Latin American countries and culture.

8th - Discover the Hispanic culture through virtual trips to Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, vocabulary and phrases related to activities at home, sports, going on vacation, purchasing food at restaurants, and shopping at the mall.

Music

7th - Discover the evolution of "Pop" music, exploring how music has changed and evolved into current pop music.

8th - Compose songs and music and create rhythms using instruments, iPads and additional electronics.

Applied Math and Robotics

6th - Students will learn the basic concepts of programming, computational thinking, and apply mathematical logic to solve problems involving robots.

7th - Students will learn intermediate concepts of programming while using mathematics and computational thinking to solve problems that model real life scenarios.

8th - Students will learn higher level concepts of programming and apply their learning to solve problems with their robots. Students must reason abstractly and identify patterns to better understand systems and develop solutions to problems based on evidence and data.

Science Lab

7th - Apply the scientific process to forensic analysis through exposure to fictional crime scenarios and hands-on labs.

8th - Explore real world science through hands-on activities.

Art

7th - Conduct art research and create an artifact or image. Learn how to read a painting based on the elements of art. 

8th - Learn how to develop techniques: water color, 2-Dimensional art, and illusion of depth.

STEM Lab

The goal of STEM Lab is to foster a learning environment in which students are guided to produce original ideas, objects, and structures according to certain specifications using concepts and skills from math, science, and technology. STEM Lab is meant to empower students with the tools, resources and freedom necessary to grow their capacity for creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills. Each grade level has a theme and mini-units that are unique to their grade level. 

 - 6th grade - STEM Overview and Gaming
 - 7th grade - The Environment
 - 8th grade - Physics 


Assessment
Assessment is the ongoing process of collecting, gathering, analyzing, and reflecting on evidence to make informed and consistent judgments to improve student learning. Though tests (especially standardized tests) may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word assessment, District 2 utilizes a wide range of methods for supporting student learning.

In BSD2, we are building a firm foundation with a valid and reliable balanced assessment system that includes varied and multiple measures for determining students' learning progressions, including student self-assessment. In addition to the daily, formative assessments that teachers administer to determine students' in-the-moment needs, the following identifies a broad range of assessments: 

  • Type I (PARCC): A reliable assessment that measures a certain group or subset of students in the same manner with the same potential assessment items, is scored by a non-district entity, and is administered either statewide or beyond Illinois.
  • Type II (District-Level): Any assessment collaboratively developed or adopted and approved for use by the school district and used on a district-wide basis by all teachers in a given grade or subject area.
  • Type III (Classroom-Level): Any assessment that is rigorous, that is aligned to the course curriculum, and that the qualified evaluator and teacher determine measures student learning in that course

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

The PARCC assessments are designed to measure whether students are on track for college and careers. To this end, PARCC assessments ask students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in an in-depth manner. Students are asked to answer various types of questions, show their work, and explain their reasoning. All students in Grades 3-8 are tested in reading and mathematics in late spring. The Illinois State Board of Education replaced the former ISAT test with the PARCC in the 2014/2015 school year.

Illinois Science Assessment

In compliance with federal testing requirements, Illinois requires the administration of a science assessment to students enrolled in a public school district in grades 5, 8 and once at the high school level. The high school assessment utilizes a course-based model with content aligned to Biology I. The assessment is administered generally in May in an online format and is aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards for Science incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which were adopted in 2014. 

ACCESS Testing

English Language Learners are tested on English Language proficiency to determine eligibility for ELL services.


Erin's Law
Erin's Law is a state mandated law that was signed by Governor Quinn in January 2013. All public schools in Illinois are mandated to provide age appropriate personal body safety lessons to children in grades Pre-K-12. Students will learn who their trusted adults are, they will learn the difference between safe and unsafe secrets and the difference between safe and unsafe touch. Lessons will be taught 4 times throughout the year. A parent  meeting will take place in September to go into further details about this law and the program taught in school.

PBIS
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports is a framework from which good behavior is systematically described and taught through expectations and rewarded when observed. Students accumulate points in some form that qualify them for special events, privileges, or small prizes. The expectations are taught to all children, and all staff members from bus drivers and lunchroom helpers to teachers follow the same set of expectations. There are behavior expectations for common areas such as hallways, bathroom and cafeterias as well as classrooms or other smaller environments. The PBIS team in each school evaluates discipline referrals to determine where their lessons should be focused. The framework mirrors the three-tier approach in Response to Intervention. Behavior data is analyzed by the PBIS team regularly in order to identify challenging behaviors and to create goals for improvement. Middle School behavior expectations can be found in the PBIS Behavior Matrix found in their student agenda.

Reading Intervention Programs
District 2 has Reading Specialists working at each building in partnership with the Classroom Teachers in supporting student's literacy needs.

Student Social and Emotional Development
Student social and emotional development is incorporated in the District's educational program and is consistent with the social and emotional development standards in the Illinois Learning Standards. The objectives for addressing the needs of students for social and emotional development through the educational programs are to: 

  • Enhance students' school readiness, academic success, and use of good citizenship skills;
  • Foster a safe, supportive learning environment where students feel respected and valued; 
  • Teach skills to all students;
  • Partner with families and the community to promote students' social and emotional development; and 
  • Prevent or minimize mental health problems.

Summer School Program
Students that are not proficiently reading at grade level will take part in the 15 day summer school program. Data from interventions and assessments given throughout the school year will help identify students that would benefit the most from the program. District 2 teachers teach the summer program. They focus on fluency, phonics and comprehension to help students become proficient readers at their grade level. Students will also take part in a writer's workshop to develop their skills as authors. Students learn essential skills in math as well to support their success to the next grade level.

New in 2015/2016 was the Summer School Expansion Program. This summer program met once a week throughout the month of July. Students continued the good work that they did during the regular summer program in the areas of reading and writing. This allowed students the opportunity for additional learning and support throughout the summer.

Students must show regular attendance (no more than three absences) and successfully complete their summer work to be considered for promotion.

Other students may be invited to attend the program as space allows.


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