Curriculum and Assessment in Kindergarten
Falmouth’s kindergarten curriculum is based on the frameworks approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE), which include the Common Core State Standards.
The curriculum, which guides both teaching and learning in our classrooms, is implemented using the instructional practices associated with core reading programs. Kindergarten classrooms in our district draw from Tools of the Mind as well as the Journeys program. Our curricular design for the Kindergarten year fosters young children’s development of cognitive, social-emotional, self-regulatory, and foundational academic skills necessary to succeed in school and beyond.
The combination of a sound curriculum and research-based instructional strategies helps ensure that ALL kindergarten children develop a solid foundation for growth, advanced learning and later success. To make sure each child acquires that foundation, we regularly assess and provide extension, enrichment or intervention where needed.
What is assessment?
We believe that children should be supported and valued for the prior knowledge they bring to the classroom that is based on their family and life experiences. We also believe that assessment should always be developmentally appropriate. As a result, we use a variety of assessments in the classroom to gauge students’ current understandings and plan an approach to continued learning.
Assessment is the process of observing, recording, and documenting what your child knows and can do. We use this information to help your child(ren) reach their greatest potential by incorporating what we learn about your child into our daily instructional plan. This means that we try to structure the learning day so that each child has an opportunity to engage in work that is challenging, interesting, fun and individualized to their needs.
Do kindergarten students receive a report card?
Our Kindergarten report card is a progress report of each child’s progress. Kindergarten students receive progress reports two times each year. This formal report is typically sent home in January and June. We welcome any opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with you. If ever you would like to discuss your child’s classroom learning, please contact your child’s teacher.
The Kindergarten progress report provides information on the whole child (i.e., social skills, readiness skills, and academic progress). During the scheduled conference time in the fall, and at any other time during the school year, parents/guardians are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about how their child(ren) learns best. Information about your child(ren)’s development is kept confidential and will only be shared with you, as the child(ren)’s parents/guardians. The skills listed on the Kindergarten
Report Card are end-of-year expectations. We encourage you to ask your child’s teacher if you have any questions.
When should I share concerns with my child’s teacher?
Teachers are open to families’ suggestions about how best to work with a child. Developing a strong and trusting partnership between families and the school district is vital to academic and social-emotional success of each of our learners.
As a parent/guardian, you should always feel free to share your concerns with the classroom teacher. By simply contacting the teacher and setting up an appointment, you can share concerns and collaboratively problem solve solutions.
Our educators work with many families and have busy schedules. Please be mindful of their time and their daily work requirements. Unexpected visits are discouraged as it often disrupts daily scheduling or planned meetings.
What if my child's first language is other than English?
The Falmouth Public Schools offers bilingual assistance to families and children who speak English as a second language. Information about a child's progress will be presented in a language understood by the family. Let us know if and when you would like to use this service.
Who gets to see my child's school work?
Classroom-based assessments are confidential. Only staff directly involved in the child’s education can access this information, and it is with the knowledge of the classroom teacher. Parents/Guardians always have access to any information about their child. If a parent/guardian is interested, they may simply schedule a meeting with their child’s teacher to discuss what the teacher has collected or documented.