Curriculum & Instruction
The Curriculum & Instruction Department oversees the teaching and individual support that each District 401 student receives.
Director for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Leah Gauthier heads the department.
It is District 401’s vision to provide all of our students the opportunity to be successful in meeting and surpassing the rigorous expectations of the Illinois State Learning Standards.
These standards are a culmination of the Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework.
The District believes that improving upon a student’s ability to read, write, collaborate and problem solve will allow the student to have a more fruitful experience within the core contents.
An Articulated Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to ensure that students leave District 401 ready for college success, career fulfillment and a lifetime of continual learning.
To this end, the District has used the opportunity created by our Technology Initiative to build a K-12 curriculum that is articulated across contents.
"Articulation" refers to the logical progression of learning objectives from course to course and from grade level to grade level within curricular content areas.
When a curriculum is articulated, students are offered a seamless learning experience as they advance from grade to grade, regardless of the school they attend or the classroom they are assigned to.
For example, if a student is enrolled in 5th grade at one of our elementary schools, that curriculum will be the same in the classroom next door and at the other elementary building.
New Curriculum Materials and E-Texts
With an articulated curriculum throughout District 401, our staff and administration use the same language and expectations with updated and standards-based curriculum materials.
Our new materials include the following curricular programs, all of them featuring interactive e-texts that are regularly updated by the publisher:
► ReadyGEN for K-5 English language arts
► MyPerspectives for 6 and 9-12 English language arts; piloted in 7-8
► GO Math! for K-5 math
► Connected Mathematics 3 (CMP3) for 6-8 math
► STEMscopes for K-8 science
To assist teachers with the use of these and other new curriculum offerings, the District has established two instructional coaching positions: one in math and science, and the other in ELA and social studies. These positions took effect with the start of the 2018-19 school year.
Multi-Tiered Support and Blended Learning
In order for students to be successful, the District believes in establishing a multi-tiered support system to address the academic and social-emotional needs of students.
Staff and administration are busily working on developing a continuum of support services for students. This team of staff and administrators is known as the "Social Justice League" and is intent on providing and monitoring the necessary academic and social-emotional interventions needed by students.
This support system is available to all students and designed to be adaptive to their needs.
In addition to providing such support, it is also important for students to become digital learners and participate in a blended learning environment.
It is in such an environment that tools and resources become more diverse and available, providing a differentiated learning experience for all students.
Our adoption of new curriculum materials and e-texts, our use of instructional coaching, our embrace of digital learning technology and our innovative approaches to student support are just some of the ways our District strives to best serve our students, their parents and the Elmwood Park community.
We believe in our students and will continue to work to provide them the most positive and meaningful education experience they deserve.
For More Information
To learn more about curriculum and instruction in District 401, we invite you to visit the pages listed below, or click the links located in the left-navigation column of this page.