The arts curriculum encourages the development of creative skills; the ability to see and think through relationships of color, perspective, and aesthetics; and the capacity for individual expression through various artistic media, music and drama. Experiences in visual art, drama, music, home arts, and integrated computer technology are offered throughout grades K-8.
General music and art are taught in all District 67 schools. Students in grades K-4 have music and art at scheduled weekly times throughout the school year. Students in grades 5 and 6 have music, art, drama, and integrated computer technology weekly on a rotating basis. Students in grades 7 and 8 have courses from the areas of visual art, drama, home arts, applied technology, and integrated computer technology. These students will have daily instruction in the encore courses on a 6-week rotation.
Group instruction in instrumental music begins in grade four with string instruments and grade five with band instruments.
Students receive weekly groups lessons and weekly full ensemble rehearsals in grades 4 and 5. Students in grades 6-8 receive weekly group lessons and daily ensemble rehearsals. A letter giving details of both the band and orchestra program is sent to all parents in the spring. Chorus is offered as an after school self-funded program in grades 3 and 4. In grades 5-8, chorus is offered during the school day.
There are many opportunities for additional experiences in fine arts for students before and after school through self-funded programs such as Brainstormers, and through school-sponsored activities. They may include jazz bands, show choirs, pops orchestra, drama, and various music ensembles.
Information Literacy Program
The Information Literacy Program plays a critical role in teaching and learning activities. It is integrated into the curriculum serving the school’s educational goals and objectives by providing access to information and ideas for the entire school community.
Primary students in kindergarten through fourth grade receive instruction in the effective use of information tools. The foundational skills for understanding how to effectively access, utilize and manipulate information are developed. This instruction occurs as a part of an overall integrated process. The information skills taught directly relate to content area curriculum and to classroom assignments. Students in grades 5-8 utilize and refine their information access skills as well as further developing the skills of evaluating, synthesizing, and presenting information. Grade 5-8 information skill activities occur through collaborative lessons taught by the media specialist and/or the classroom teacher.
Language arts combines thinking, listening, speaking, reading, and writing into a developmental continuum of skills with increasing complexity. The language arts curriculum is a vehicle to prepare students to be effective and reflective communicators for the 21st Century. Language arts curriculum beliefs include:
Language and thought develop simultaneously. Engaging students in a variety of thinking processes empowers them to become active inquirers, experimenters, and problem-solvers. Students will be able to use language as a tool for developing awareness and monitoring of their thinking.
Listening skills include processing and memory. The formation of strong listening skills is the basis of comprehension and retention in all areas of the curriculum. Listening parallels the thinking processes required for active reading, speaking, and writing. Active listening is a significant component of effective communication, which includes the interpretation of both verbal and non-verbal cues. The active listener reflects upon ideas, values opinions of others, and evaluates message content.
Beginning in kindergarten and extending through grade 2, District 67 reading curriculum promotes reading instruction through four blocks: guided reading, shared reading, working with words, and writing. Children are individually monitored and guided through progressively more complex texts and skills to foster comprehension and meaningful reading experiences. Emphasis on reading comprehension strategies is increased in grade 3. Grades 4 and 5 continue to emphasize reading skills and begin moving children into the focus of the upper grades which is analysis and personal response, and the study of literary works related by theme, genre, author, and/or historical period.
The development of oral language skills includes competence in verbal and non-verbal communication. Language and thought develop concurrently; therefore competence in verbal skills promotes the development of higher-level thinking. Students develop skills in oral language through both formal and informal opportunities, demonstrating an awareness of their audience. Oral language is intrinsically linked to the learning process and is based upon the development of higher order thinking skills across the curriculum.
The District 67 writing curriculum encourages writing with a purpose, while promoting enjoyment of writing, and providing motivation to become lifelong writers. Writing is an expression of thought viewed as a process, which includes thinking, pre-writing, drafting, revising, evaluating, and sharing. Skill development is emphasized within a written context. Writing enables students to organize their thoughts and ideas and to communicate effectively with others. Through ongoing exploration of the writing process learners develop imagination and self-expression as they refine their skills in writing for a variety of purposes and audiences. The writing process is enhanced and supported in all curricular areas.
Mathematics provides essential problem-solving tools applicable to a range of scientific disciplines, business, and everyday situations. Mathematics is the language of quantification and logic; its elements are symbols, structures, and shapes. It enables people to understand and use facts, definitions, and symbols in a coherent and systematic way in order to reason deductively and to solve problems. We believe that math is:
The school library media program plays a critical role in teaching and learning activities. It is integrated into the curriculum serving the school’s educational goals and objectives by providing access to information and ideas for the entire school community.
The school library media curriculum provides instruction for student research skills as well as exposure to a variety of authors and illustrators.
Curiosity encourages inquiry; inquiry leads to knowledge. Both are equally valued. A quality science education provides structure and substance to the inquiry, and focus to the curiosity. One gains knowledge, acquires concepts, and develops ways of thinking, which provides the basis for understanding our world and how it works. Science education empowers students to make wise and ethical decisions for their future and the future of our society. Our science curriculum beliefs are:
Social, Emotional, and Character Development
The Emotional Wellness Initiative operates under the core belief that all adults who come into contact with our students have a profound impact on their development as individuals. When schools effectively promote positive character development, they actually see strong academic benefits. We know successes in life and personal wellness are linked to a set of relational skills that truly can be modeled, practiced, and encouraged each day. The skills toward working in teams, effective listening and speaking, positive decision-making, and calm conflict resolution are a top priority in our schools. With a true spirit of collaboration between school staff, parents, and the community, we successfully can guide our students toward reaching their unique potentials. The district has a robust plan to prevent bullying and intervention procedures for when it occurs. Comprehensive, research based prevention programs are used district-wide to promote pro-social behaviors. .
Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities which promotes civic awareness and competence. It honors diversity while simultaneously developing the cohesion necessary to sustain and nurture a democratic society in an interdependent world. Social studies provides opportunities to interact with others while acquiring the knowledge and skills to solve problems and to make informed and reasoned decisions for one’s self as well as for the public good. Our social studies curriculum beliefs are:
Eight themes for social studies have been identified based upon the standards established by the National Council for Social Studies. These include: 1) Culture; 2) Global Connections; 3) Production, Distribution and Consumption; 4) Individuals, Groups and Institutions; 5) People, Places and the Environment; 6) Time, Continuity and Change; 7) Power, Authority and Governance; and 8) Civic Institutions and Practices.
In conjunction with these themes, social studies will include the development of skills such as expository, persuasive and analytical writing, map interpretation, the reading of charts and graphs, critical thinking, decision-making, and citizenship. Grades seven and eight work on a two-year world history sequence with American history integrated into the program.
Technology/21st Century Learning (see also: 21st Century Learning)
In District 67 we believe that technology is a powerful tool for teaching and learning, essential in our effort to prepare students for success in the 21st century. We intend its use to be integrated into and supportive of every curriculum at all levels of instruction.
Our goal is to develop in our students, through the use of technology; problem solving skills, effective communications skills, the ability to engage in in-depth individual academic exploration, and an understanding of how to effectively access, evaluate, and utilize information.
In order to provide students access to their work from any classroom all computers are networked and students are encouraged to save their work on network servers. Networking also provides the means for information and communications to flow between classrooms, between buildings, and between District 67 and the world.
Technology literacy is the process of teaching about the computer and other technologies to develop within students the technology skills needed to effectively make use of technology in other curricular areas.
Primary students in kindergarten through fourth grade receive instruction in the effective use of information tools. This instruction occurs as a part of an overall integrated process. Information literacy is taught collaboratively between the Information Literacy Instructor and the classroom teacher. The information technology skills taught directly relate to content area curriculum and to classroom assignments.
In grades 3 and 4, each child is issued a NEO 2, a small laptop computer to develop keyboarding and computation skills to develop competence and confidence in their keyboarding and numeracy facilities. In addition, these laptops provide a tool for formative assessment and 1-1 use of a word processing tool to improve writing quality and quantity through research-based programs.
Fifth through eighth grade students each have a netbook computer to use throughout their middle school experience. Following our district’s 21st Century initiative, teachers are working together to transform classroom learning to be less teacher-centered and more student-centered. They are redesigning instructional practices and curriculum expectations to increase opportunities for engagement, global awareness, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication to a variety of audiences through a variety of means. More information on our 21st Century initiative can be found on the district website.
In addition to this initiative, Social Studies and Science teachers in grades 7-8 redesigned curriculum expectations to embrace 21st Century Learning in the Social Studies and Science classrooms supported with six carts of netbooks that will be shared among their classrooms.
(Click here for more information about the Wellness Policy)
Lake Forest School District 67 is committed to providing a learning environment that supports and promotes wellness, good nutrition, an active lifestyle, and recognizes the positive relationship between good nutrition, physical activity, and the capacity of students to develop and learn.
The entire school environment, including classroom education, physical education, and meal service shall be aligned with healthy school goals to positively influence students’ beliefs and habits and promote health and wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity. In addition, school staff shall be encouraged to model healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.
The Wellness program is a fitness-based program for first through eighth grade students. The curriculum concentrates on increasing student’s comprehension and application of fitness and movement concepts. Fitness instruction will teach the students how to apply these concepts so that they will improve their personal fitness level as well as their quality of life now and in the future.
The physical education portion of the program at the middle school will consist of heart rate monitored activities, which include circuit training, strength training, heart rate training, and other innovative methods to help students improve and maintain their individual fitness level. Students will also be using a personal fitness log to gain knowledge, set personal fitness goals, and monitor progress. During a typical week, fitness-based activities will be the focus of instruction two to three days a week. The remaining days will focus on skill development and modified games related to improving fitness and team-building/challenge initiatives.
The program also provides a high level of activity, which encourages problem solving and creativity. The emphasis is to provide diverse opportunities for individual success encouraging all students to work to their maximum through encouragement and positive reinforcement. The program promotes the enjoyment of being active while incorporating cooperation, respect, and the acceptance of differing levels of ability and leadership.
Health education incorporates skills, concepts, and ideas that enhance the total well being of the student. The program develops a balance of the emotional, social, intellectual, and physical aspects of human growth and development. This balance will help to enhance the quality of life for students. By including health education at all levels, students receive an early start to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle. It will also provide the building blocks for the development of children into capable adults who will make wise and healthy choices throughout their lifetime.
Areas included in the health area of the total wellness program include fitness, nutrition, safety education, emotional health, drug/alcohol awareness, human development, and disease prevention.
World Languages (see also: World Languages Website)
The study of world language and culture provides students with the communication tools necessary for success in the pluralistic societies of the United States and abroad. Instruction focuses on the 5 Cs:
Students begin world language instruction in second grade with Latin twice per week. The origins of words and the study of derivatives deepens the understanding of English and provides a basis for the study of other romance languages. In third grade students explore the language and cultures of French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish. From grade four through eight, students concentrate on the applicable skills in their selected language: reading, writing, listening, speaking, culture, decoding, and translating.
In 2011 the district began offering Mandarin Immersion as an option for parents who wanted their child to develop bilingual proficiency in a second language. The program is housed at Cherokee Elementary School, but free bussing from Sheridan and Everett makes it available to students across the district. This fall two classes of students in kindergarten, first and second grades (2012-13) receive a half-day of instruction spoken in English and the other half-day in Mandarin (50/50 immersion). Students in the program will continue to receive 50/50 Mandarin immersion through fourth grade. In the middle school, students will continue with the advanced study of Mandarin.
The program is based on research on how children best acquire new languages. More information about the program may be found on homepage of the district website under Mandarin Immersion. To ensure the program’s success, the district has secured partnerships with Michigan State University, neighboring school districts with similar Mandarin immersion programs, and a sister elementary school in Chongqing, China.
Lake Forest School District 67
300 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest, Illinois 60045
Phone (847) 235-9657 Fax (847) 234-5132
Mr. Michael Simeck, Superintendent
© 2004-2012, Lake Forest School District 67