What will Students Learn?
To create the greatest continuity with our regular programming, courses will maintain existing course codes and course names.
Students will continue to be supported with learning Priority Standards. This also enables a fluid transition between different phases of learning under emergency operations, as well as enables year-over-year sustainability.
- English Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Music Education
- Visual Art Education
- Physical Education
- World Languages
- Career & Technical Education (CTE)
- Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Class
Mathematics courses will continue in alignment with Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) guidance. Remotely, students will be provided opportunities to engage in the Standards of Mathematical Practice to learn the Math Priority Standards.
English Language Arts (ELA) will continue to be a strongly emphasized component of our students’ school day in the remote setting. Whether it’s in their actual Literacy block or English class, or its embedded in their science, social studies, or elective courses, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills are critical as students prepare for college, careers, and community life.
Blocks of time dedicated to literacy instruction will continue to include whole group, small group, and individual learning. Most blocks will be 60, 90, or 120 minutes where students will get direct instruction on priority standards using powerful and engaging literature and informational text and then be asked to engage in practice to strengthen the skills they have seen modeled and learned. Teachers will pull small groups together virtually to provide further support or extensions for those who need it and give feedback as evidence is collected that shows progress towards mastering the standards. These teaching practices are similar to what you would see if a face-to-face traditional environment and are explained in our TPS Literacy Frameworks for elementary and secondary teaching and learning.
Digital versions of student texts will be used as well as hard copy consumables where appropriate. Springboard at grades 6-10 and Literacy Packets at elementary will support the teaching and learning happening across Tacoma ELA classrooms.
Over the last few years district educator teams have worked hard to prioritize the state science standards (also called NGSS) and curate resources that align to those priorities. The standards include a combination of Cross Cutting Concepts, Science and Engineering Practices, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. Instruction begins by presenting a phenomenon (something that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc. especially something unusual or interesting) and then exploring the science behind it.
Instruction aligned to the standards often includes investigations and lots of discussion around “why” something is occurring. While this may be a bit more challenging in a remote learning setting, TPS is striving to continue to provide those rich discussions and investigations. Lessons will come from our district curriculum many of which have a strong virtual learning component: Mystery Science at elementary, The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts (STC3) at Middle School, and a combination of resources for High School Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Teams of educators have come together this summer to map out the year and make suggestions to shift face to face instructional practices to a virtual environment. When possible baggies of science materials will be distributed to students so they can still experience inquiry based learning at home.
In 2019 the Office of State Public Instruction adopted updated Social Studies Standards. As stated in the overview from OSPI the new Social Studies Standards cover content, skills, and strategies “to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. Students who receive quality instruction in social studies are engaged in learning that promotes inquiry and thoughtful civic participation.”
During the 2019-2020 School year teams of K-12 educators came together to prioritize these standards in all 5 categories; Social Studies Skills, Civics, Economics, Geography, and History. COVID 19 delayed the planned adoption process in the spring but we will resume the adoption process in the 2020-2021 school year as outlined in Policy 2020 and 2020R.
Meanwhile, interim & supplementary resources will be curated and used to align instruction with the new priority standards and remote/hybrid learning platform during the 2020-2021 school year. It will include a collection of resources from different publishers and organizations including but not limited to the STI Curriculum provided by OSPI, an updated version of our current Pearson textbook (Secondary), integrated reading/social studies units by Schoolwide Inc.(Elementary), novel/book studies selected by educator teams, and other open educational resources (OER) that directly assist in teaching and leaning the grade level priority standards.
In the time of COVID-19, we collectively believe that Music Programs are more vital than ever, given the value of arts, their ability to support the social and emotional well-being of students and their ability to foster community. Our Music educators will leverage curricular resources and innovative instruction to support student learning.
Students will engage with learning through the five strands outlined below, which align with the Priority Standards.
- Practice / Perform:
- Practice Strategies and Independent Learning
- Warm-ups; Exercises
- Music Theory:
- Key Signatures, Scales, Ear Training, Rhythms
- Notation Basics, Note Reading
- Connecting and Responding to music
- Reflecting, Goal Setting, Social-Emotional Connection
To support student learning of the Priority Standards:
Teachers throughout Tacoma are prepared to adapt and deliver high quality visual arts education throughout a variety of artistic disciplines. While we know that our content is materials heavy, we are prepared to focus more on technique and what we can do asynchronously with student success, than what may traditionally be taught in a given class during a regular school year. During Remote Learning, Visual Arts learning will focus on a variety of projects, mostly drawing and technique based that will build a body of work throughout each semester to support students with learning Priority Standards.
Evidence of student work will be collected and assessed based on personalized rubrics in relation to the strands of Visual Arts:
- Art Aesthetics:
- Conversations about art – lifelong art appreciation
- Writing about art, responding to artworks, responding to other students about art
- Art History:
- Read and respond to essays by artists, understanding the history behind major artworks, artist biographies, art periods, styles and cultural groups
- Read and respond to articles, or to create their own articles about various art history topics
- Utilize online art museums – tour various museums throughout the world
- Art Criticism:
- Examine and discuss major artworks and the work that each student creates
- Understand and discuss the merit of specific artworks and their importance to students’ own artwork
- Reflect on the quality and learning of one’s own work in relation to art in general
- Art Production:
- Learning about various components about art and art skills, and create quality work
- Learn various techniques through a carefully curated packet of visual arts materials
In the time of COVID-19, we collectively believe that we collectively believe that Physical Education programs are more vital than ever, given the value of healthy living.
Students will engage with learning through the three strands outlined below, which align with the Priority Standards.
- Physical Activity
- Activity Strategies and Independent Learning
- Warm-ups; Exercises; Technique
- Cognitive Learning
- Nutrition, Health,
- Reflecting, Goal Setting, Social-Emotional Connection
To support student learning of the Priority Standards (will link), all educators will use our adopted Five for Life curricular resources.
Each school identifies which World Language(s) they offer. Across Tacoma schools of choice, students are provided the opportunities to learn Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. During Remote Learning, students engage in the national Core Practices for World Language Learning to master World Language Priority Standards:
- Teachers Facilitate Learning in the Target Language Comprehensibly
- Students and teachers speak, listen, read, write, view, and create in the target language 90% or more during classroom time....
- Students are Guided through Interpreting Authentic Resources
- Teachers present interactive reading and listening comprehension tasks using authentic cultural texts with appropriate scaffolding while promoting interpretation,
- Students Engage with Oral Interpersonal Tasks
- Teachers design and carry out interpersonal communication tasks for pairs, small groups, and whole class instruction.
- Plan with Backward Design Model
- When planning lessons, teachers identify desired results, then identify how students will show what they know, and then plan learning experiences and instruction.
- Learn Grammar as Concept and Use in Context
- Students focus on meaning before basic grammar and form.
- Students Receive Appropriate Oral Feedback
- Students are provided corrective feedback to help them grow in the spoken form of the language, in addition to writing, reading, and listening.
Career and Technical Education teachers and students will follow Tacoma School District and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department guidelines and offer remote learning for all CTE classes to start the 2020-21 school year. If and when recommendations change, CTE classes will follow a hybrid model—some in-school and some extended remote learning—with specific safety precautions such as masks, social distancing and health screenings, until the time comes when we are all back in school full-time.
Tacoma Career and Technical Education is delivered through four foundational premises:
- Learning is Life – relevant activities breathe life into learning and reinvent the school experience as in-the-moment inquiry and exploration through the student lens.
- 21st Century Careers are Changing – communication and leadership skills are universal to all careers, present and future.
- Partnerships Matter – networking is essential for preparing students for the real-world and provides a vehicle for students to expand their personal network for career guidance.
- Prepared for the Future - each student deserves a fair “shot” at exploring their strengths and interests, and receiving the encouragement and support needed to successfully prepare for the universe of opportunities that await them in post-secondary education and/or the workplace.
Tacoma’s Career and Technical Education Department is committed to ensuring each student is ready for life after high school. Our “Big Four” priorities focus on each student developing a viable High School and Beyond Plan, earning one or more Industry Recognized Credentials, earning one or more CTE Dual College Credits, and participating in one or more student leadership organizations.
- CTE Classes – We anticipate the majority of CTE classes that are offered traditionally will be offered during Remote Learning. Any adjustments to course offerings are being made as we support the Whole Educator and finalize staffing.
- Remote learning expectations are the same as the rest of the district for our teachers and other staff members.
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) system of college and career-going support provides students with cross-curricular strategies such as focused note-taking, planning backward, and other organizational structures, collaborative study groups, and activities for high level inquiry to promote accelerated learning.
Lessons developed with WICOR in mind- Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, organization, and Reading are used in all subjects.
All middle school students are provided basic binder contents to assist in their organization. Binders should be divided into each subject area students are enrolled in. Students should use their binder to capture notes from each content area class and use those focused notes to complete assignments, study for quizzes or exams. Notes can be taken on videos, movies, lectures, guest speaker sessions, virtual tours, or readings. Once notes are taken, they should be revisited in 10 24 7 Note Repetition Strategy to ensure retention.
All of the activities in the resource list below can be handwritten on any kind of paper or typed into a document. The handouts are just a guide, and a printed version of these resources is not required.
The AVID elective also emphasizes college and career research and cross age tutorials. Tutorials follow a 10-step process facilitated by a peer or adult tutor to engage in Socratic-like questioning leading to a Point of Understanding from a Point of Confusion (POC). Students should plan to use well-written notes from class, their completed Tutorial Request form describing a Point of Confusion (POC), and a 60 second speech about their Point of Confusion in preparation for and during tutorials. Reflecting on the tutorial process and how students were able to come to a point of understanding after the tutorial session is also very important in the learning process.