School District 197’s elementary schools provide an environment that fosters curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. The elementary curriculum provides students with the basic skills necessary for success in subsequent years. The curriculum, in magnet and non-magnet schools, allows for student inquiry and hands on learning through instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, physical education and more. Technology is integrated throughout to enhance learning.
School District 197 is committed to all students receiving high quality math curriculum and instruction. The district uses Bridges Math and Go! Math, a standards-based math curriculum for students in grades K-4. The district is also committed to making sure teachers are well supported in their efforts to understand math content and best practices in instruction.
Bridges In Mathematics
The Bridges Math curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understanding of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems. Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation and open exploration.
GO Math! Combines 21st century educational technology with modern content, dynamic interactives and a variety of instructional videos to engage today’s digital natives. Students are supported through the universal access features of the program as they learn to think critically and apply their math knowledge.
A comprehensive core reading program (Collaborative Literacy) was adopted and is used in kindergarten through 4th grade throughout School District 197. Collaborative Literacy was implemented in all K-4 classrooms during the 2020-21 school year. Collaborative Literacy includes three main components:
Being A Reader (BAR): Being a Reader is a K-2 resource that teaches foundational literacy skills in a structured literacy format to ensure students know how to read by the end of grade 2.
Making Meaning (MM): Making Meaning teaches reading comprehension skills, discussion techniques and also has a vocabulary component.
Being A Writer (BAW): Being a Writer teaches students how to be fluent writers while generating ideas and clearly communicating them across various genres of writing.
The following resources have been created to assist families in supporting their student's learning at home.
There are many important fundamental skills early readers need to practice. One of these important skills is fluency. Reading a text fluently means that the reader is able to read all the words accurately, reads at a conversational rate, and reads with appropriate expression. A fluent reader is more likely to comprehend a text better than someone who struggles with fluency. Click here to see examples of students reading fluently at grade level.
iPad Users: If you would like to see these examples as an iBook please click here to download the iBook.
District 197 recently adopted Studies Weekly as the Social Studies Curriculum. Studies Weekly is a weekly reader that provides engaging articles aligned to Mn state standards. The Studies Weekly curriculum highlights District 197's commitment to providing students with authentic culturally relevant materials.
The art specialists in School District 197 believe that art is the communication of ideas and feelings through visual images and symbols. Success in art is determined by the student's ability to process and create images using a variety of resources. A comprehensive, well-organized art program should guide students in their personal discovery of visual arts. Art exercises students' critical and creative thinking processes, helping them articulate and solve problems in multiple ways.
Through the study of art and artists of different cultures and historical periods, students gain significant understanding of themselves and others. They learn to view art as a reflection of cultural ideas, beliefs, and social conditions and develop thinking and verbal skills through discussions of their art and the art of others.
Art enables students to learn to communicate in a highly effective, nonverbal media. The demands of the 21st century require today's students to live and work in a rapidly changing technological society. Through art education, students develop visual literacy, learning to perceive and respond to the visual world. The district’s goal is to provide quality art education that develops all these valuable skills while enhancing student learning in all discipline
Young children have a natural capacity for inquiry and exploration. School District 197 uses the Inspire Science curriculum. The science program provides a structure for guiding, enhancing and enriching the child's experiences. It helps students develop skills to reflect on and communicate about these experiences and observations. Science experiences will meet the developmental needs of students through hands-on, minds-on activities.
Science is taught by a science specialist at each elementary school. The district also has a partnership with Dodge Nature Center that provides all students with 3 field experiences tied to the curriculum and state standards annually. Classroom teachers also take on 1-2 science units to ensure all State standards are covered.
The District’s elementary music program provides an opportunity for all K-4 students to discover, learn, develop, and refine their musical knowledge and skills through a comprehensive variety of aesthetic experiences. The elementary music program is intended to align with the middle school program. The goal of the program is for students to develop an appreciation of music, understand the deeper meaning it communicates, and appreciate its life-long value. Students in all grade levels participate in 90 minutes of music a week.
The goal of physical education is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity. Elementary students in all grade levels participate in 90 minutes of physical education a week. The physical education curriculum is aligned to the 2018 Minnesota Physical Education standards that can be found on the Minnesota Department of Education website.
The District’s health curriculum includes lessons at each grade level, Kindergarten through Grade 8 in 10 themes: Mental Health, Social Emotional, Human Growth and Development, Bullying, Self-Image and Identity, Digital Citizenship, Nutrition and Decision Making. Health lessons are taught by the school counselor, classroom teacher or through a physical education specialist. Lessons are aligned to the National Health Education Standards which can be found on the Minnesota Department of Education website.