Curriculum & Instruction
An exemplary school facilitates students mastering skills as defined by the curriculum. Staff will use a variety of instructional approaches for optimum student achievement. Instruction will:
- Utilize readily available resources to support the curricular objectives.
- Be based upon curriculum objectives organized by staff in a concise manner.
- Be student-centered, emphasizing a hands-on approach to student learning.
- Integrate technology to a high degree in student activities.
- Consider SMART* goals developed by teachers on a consistent basis in order to support. SMART GOALS (Specific & Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Time bound)
- the planning and evaluation of student learning.
- Utilize inter-grade and flexible groupings to promote student interaction, build confidence and improve school climate.
Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual Program
Entry points for the Mandarin Bilingual Program are kindergarten and grade one. Previous Chinese experience is not required when beginning at these entry points and parents do not need to know the language. Because demand for the program exceeds the number of students we can accept, a lottery system takes place in order to determine which students are accepted into the program. More information on the process and deadlines are available in January.
Mandarin / English Content
Throughout all of the grades, 50% of the curriculum will be taught in Mandarin and the other 50% will be taught in English. Mandarin is used as the main language of instruction in Mandarin Language Arts, Math, and Science. English is used as the sole language of instruction in English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Health. Simplified Chinese script will be taught to all students and the Han Yu Pin Yin pronunciation system will be taught to accelerate the process of learning to read Chinese.
Assigned homework is always posted daily on Brightspace by D2L.
It is the student’s responsibility to know what homework there is and to ensure that all work is completed on time.
- Homework length will vary as needed. This is an average guideline.
- Homework may include: reviewing, studying for tests, completing assignments, and reading programs.
Parents, it is helpful if you can provide your child with a specific location and time that would be conducive to successfully completing homework. Homework should become a routine affair, even if it is a set time for reading every evening. Try to become actively involved in your child’s homework and be available to assist if difficulties arise. Please communicate in
writing, by e-mail, or by phone if there is a concern regarding homework.
Teachers will ensure that the amount of homework remains within the guidelines outlined. Also, teachers will provide adequate lead time for students to prepare for tests when applicable. The exception being a surprise quiz, which checks student ability in a specific area.
Grades 1-2: 20-35 minutes per night
Grades 3-4: 35-45 minutes per night
D2L (Desire to Learn)/ Electronic Agendas
D2L is an on-line ‘classroom’ that each teacher creates to support student learning. Only students from each teacher’s classroom have access to their own class’ specific D2L shell. It is required that students and parents log-in to their D2L shell nightly to review the agenda, books, websites, homework, discussion items, etc. that have been posted. Students are taught early in the school year on how to independently log-on to and use D2L in class, so that they are able to do so at home.
At Highwood School, we believe that being a person of character is just as important as academic success. Therefore, all students will learn about and practice a virtue of the month. Students will explore the virtue of the month through integrated lessons and during Character Circle time - a 15 minute block of the day specifically dedicated to character education, the virtue of the month, and problem solving.
Every month, specific classes will host an assembly celebrating the virtue of the month and introduce the virtue for the upcoming month. Parents are always welcome to attend monthly virtue assemblies. Please see the monthly calendar for assembly dates and times.
Character Education is also used as the main foundation for all student discipline, problem-solving, and communication by the students, parents, teachers and administration. It is an expectation that all stakeholders conduct themselves respectfully and virtuously at all times.