Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Clinton Public Schools is committed to providing a strong, cohesive, and engaging curriculum that supports the needs of all learners. We recognize that curriculum, instruction, and assessment do not exist independently of each other but, rather, work in concert to ensure that student learning in maximized.

The Office of the Assistant Superintendent works closely with teachers and administrators to provide students with a rigorous curriculum that is grounded in state and national standards and supports the mission and strategic priorities of Clinton Public Schools. A backwards designed curriculum writing process modeled after Understanding by Design (UBD) is utilized by curriculum renewal teams (CRTs) in all content areas. Each team is focused on creating authentic and relevant learning experiences and varied means of assessment to identify what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. In addition, a district-wide curriculum advisory team (DCAT) is in place to provide guidance and feedback to through the curriculum renewal cycle.

Clinton Public Schools employ a variety of instructional strategies to help all students become independent learners and critical thinkers. Elementary teachers utilize the workshop model for reading, writing and mathematics. Central to the workshop model is the mini-lesson during which the teacher teaches the students a skill or strategy through demonstration and direct instruction. Students then work in small groups to apply their new learning. This is also when teachers conduct small groups (often determined by specific needs and/or abilities) and individual conferences with students.

At the secondary level, Clinton Public School's Foundation Skills and Competencies are the focal point of instructional strategies. The district has identified a set of ten academic skills that are essential for all students to master to become independent and collaborative learners. These skills are taught in all disciplines and are intended to provide teachers, students, and the community with a set of common expectations that will enhance curriculum development and continuity of purpose, assist teachers in planning instruction and assessment, and improve student performance.

Student assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Assessments are designed to provide teachers, students, and parents with useful information regarding academic progress at each grade level and in each content area. Clinton Public Schools incorporates a variety of teacher-created formative and summative assessments, along with authentic performance tasks and state- and nationally-normed standardized tests to help teachers guide their instruction .  

Recently, Clinton Public Schools adopted NWEA MAP Growth assessment for use with all elementary school students in grades 3 through 8 to identify students who may have gaps in reading and math skills so that teachers can plan supports appropriate for each child.

NWEA MAP Growth is an online, computer-adaptive assessment. Computer-adaptive means that the difficulty of questions will adjust based on each child’s performance. As students correctly answer questions, the next question will be a little harder. However, if students answer questions incorrectly, the next question will be a little easier. Through this adjustment process, the computer will narrow in on just the right level for each student. The universal screening tests are given three times each year: fall, winter, and spring.

In conjunction with classwork, assessments, and observations, MAP Growth allows teachers to stay informed about what their students are ready to learn and adjust instruction accordingly. 

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