CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION, AND ASSESSMENT
The Essex Westford School District supports student learning through high quality instruction, intervention and assessment and supports individual learning towards meeting required state standards in:
- mathematical content and practices
- scientific inquiry and content knowledge
- global citizenship (including social studies and world languages)
- physical education
- health education
- artistic expression (including visual, media and performing arts)
- transferable skills
The schools of the Essex Westford School District use multiple types of assessments to evaluate student learning including assessments, portfolios, projects, performances and exhibitions. These measures include formative assessments, which are designed to provide an opportunity for students to practice learning and which inform the teacher’s instruction, and summative assessments, which are designed to evaluate the student’s mastery of specific learning goals.
The Essex Westford School District Comprehensive Assessment Plan includes those state and local assessments that are required at each grade level. The Comprehensive Assessment Plan is continually changing over time to include changes in state and local assessment.
For the most recent updates on curriculum and assessment please visit the EWSD website.
Please refer to the athletic eligibility rules at your student’s school for specific information on rules pertaining to co-curricular activity preparation, academic eligibility, attendance requirements, and locker room rules.
Vermont’s Flexible Pathways Act (Act 77) provides high school students who are Vermont state residents the opportunity to use two college course vouchers during their junior or senior years in high school. Students may apply for a voucher for the semester they wish to enroll in a dual enrollment course. The voucher covers the cost of tuition for a course of up to four credits at any participating Vermont college. The voucher does NOT cover the cost of materials, textbooks, or transportation. Dual enrollment courses provide both high school and college credit when successfully completed. Interested students should meet with their school counselor. For more information, please go to www.vtdualenrollment. org.
Early College: Early College is a full-year alternative to the senior year of high school. Students take courses in college, completing their senior year of high school and their freshman year of college simultaneously, tuition-free. For more information please contact your EHS School Counselor and go to education.vermont.gov/flexible-pathways/ early-college. You can find information about one example of a science and technologyfocused Early College program here: http://www.vtc.edu/vast-faqs.
PROGRESS REPORTS AND REPORT CARDS
The purpose of progress reports and report cards is to communicate a student’s progress in meeting standards or proficiencies as well as how the student is demonstrating the learning habits that support student achievement, and to identify areas of strength and areas where improvements may be needed. The schools of the Essex Westford District use a variety of different forms of standards-based or proficiency-based reporting tools. This type of progress report/report card benefits students, teachers and parents/guardians by:
- Providing more transparency through increased information about how a student is progressing towards meeting standards;
- Allowing students to be more informed and actively engaged in their learning;
- Ensuring increased consistency across classrooms
- Providing parents/guardians with a more detailed information about grade level proficiencies.
For the most recent updates on progress reports and report cards please visit the EWSD website.
TITLE I PROGRAMS
Title I is a federally funded program designed to ensure that all children have an opportunity to access a high quality education. The goal of this federal program is to close the achievement gap for all students.
Annual Title I school eligibility is determined by the school’s average poverty rate as determined by student eligibility for Free/Reduced Lunch. Eligibility for Title I services in a school is not dependent on the student’s poverty rate but is determined based on academic performance and eligibility for intervention services.
For more information about Title I programs and related Title I policies please visit the EWSD website.
All parents and guardians, including non-native speakers, are entitled to meaningful communication in a language they can understand. The Essex Westford School District provides translation services for families in order to support access to their child’s educational program, including parent conferences, special education meetings, truancy hearings, open house events, field trip permission forms, report cards/progress reports and other critical school events and documents. Translation services provided by the school district are limited to only to school-related events and materials.
Translators can provide both oral and written translations depending on the task and the needs of the family. Our translators are able to attend meetings, parent conferences, make phone calls, translate progress reports and any number of things we need so that our EL students and families have equitable access to their child’s education. We have several on-call translators as well as a full time Nepali-speaking Liaison Prem Bhattarai. All translators sign a Translator Confidentiality Agreement which ensures that student or family information is kept in strict confidence.
For more information about the EWSD ELL Program or Translation Services please see the EWSD website.
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES (EST/504/IDEA)
Educational supports appropriate to the developmental level of students in a school are available to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles. It is EWSD policy to comply with state and federal laws concerning Act 117, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Special Education. Act 117 requires all schools to maintain a comprehensive system of educational supports and services resulting, to the maximum extent possible, in all students succeeding in the regular classroom.
As such, our schools will ensure a range of effective educational supports and services will be available to all students. This includes special education services to those children who meet the eligibility criteria established by the rules and regulations of Vermont. A parent/guardian with concerns about their child’s academic development should consult with the student’s teacher to initiate access to educational supports and services.
For more information on related policies, please refer to www.ewsd.org or contact your building principal or one of the Co-Directors of Student Support Services at 878-8168.
Educational Support Teams (EST): EST is in place to review concerns and needs of students in order to support their success. There are different levels of educational support and service available for students. Should a parent/guardian have a concern regarding student academic performance or behavior, they should contact the student’s classroom teacher. Parent/guardian concerns may be referred to the EST. Teachers may refer students to the EST as well. EST meetings allow teachers to work collaboratively to meet the needs of students and to establish follow-up procedures.