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What is Integrated Curriculum ?

At JCS, we believe that learning is driven by student interest in the real and natural world.

In Spring of 2016, Instructional Leaders introduced an integration model to connect Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Writing using technology as a tool for exploration and collaboration. Our process, guided by current research, is to identify key components of an integrated curriculum with global perspectives, develop a planning guide for teachers, and to design and begin integration in 2016-2017. Next, we will review units to ensure learning tasks represent Common Core, Next Gen, SEL, and ISTE for Students. Our goal is to have a fully integrated curriculum in the 2018-2019 school year that incorporates CCSS, NGSS, SEL, and ISTE standards.

Jackson Charter School Integrated Unit Planning Template

Collaboration is at the heart of every decision at JCS. We know that critical conversations reveal roadblocks and that uninterrupted time with team members leads to solutions. From teachers to administrators to parents and the community, we model collaboration on a daily basis. Our collaboration model is based on the research of Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner’s communities of practice, where groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do learn how to do it better through regular interaction (April 2015). In 2015, JCS worked to embed opportunities for collaboration daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly to ensure vertical and horizontal articulation of academics as well as communication regarding professional practices.

Daily

Teachers participate in 80 minutes of uninterrupted collaboration with  grade level partners, grade level clusters, student support teams, mentor or Instructional Coach.

Weekly

Teachers plan instruction with general education, special education, and paraprofessionals. Our focus areas to improve achievement include differentiation of core reading and math instruction to ensure all learners can access grade level material.

Monthly

Grade level teams work to design integrated units during School Improvement Days. During this time, teachers use the Jackson Charter School Integrated Unit Planning template to write driving questions, connect community resources, design hands-on learning experiences, and scaffold learning tasks.

Quarterly

Staff members come together to analyze vertical articulation in focus areas to brainstorm solutions for ensuring continuity from one grade level to the next. Focus areas are determined through informal and formal observation. Sample Integrated Units in each grade cluster as they become available.
(Artifacts to Be Released in August 2016)