Academics

Our curriculum is driven by the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Teachers develop lessons from district curriculum and programs to ensure effective learning opportunities for our students. Our district curriculum includes language arts literacy, math, science & social science.

Language Arts Literacy

With our curriculum, we will build a strong foundation in literacy for our children. With a balanced literacy approach, we incorporate guided reading, shared reading, independent reading, interactive read aloud, and word study into our language arts block. Our district uses  the Collaborative Classroom program to help children develop their literacy skills with Being a Reader, Making Meaning and Being a Writer components of the program. We utilize the Wilson Fundations program as part of our language arts instruction. Fundations provides research-validated strategies for K-3 with phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling to serve the needs of all young learners.

Students' reading levels are assessed three times a year using the research based Developmental Reading Assessment 2 (DRA2). This assessment tool enables teachers to identify students' reading achievement, document progress, and modify teaching methods to plan and implement instruction. Second grade students will also use the Renaissance Learning (RL) assessment four times throughout the year and first grade students will use this assessment tool two times during the second half of the year. RL will serve as a multiple measure to determine reading level and mathematics proficiency.

Mathematics

We will continue to use the EnVisionMATH program as a teaching resource this year. EnVisionMATH is based on critical foundational research and proven classroom results. EnVisionMATH develops conceptual understanding through daily problem-based interactive learning and visual learning. It differentiates instruction to support and challenge every child.

Science

Following the Next Generation Science Standards, we use the FOSS program to guide our science instruction. FOSS (Full Option Science System) is a research-based science curriculum, which provides tools and strategies to engage students in developing their science understanding. Students participate in active-learning experiences!

Social Studies

In K-2, teachers use the Social Studies standards to incorporate opportunities for our children to interact with the real world around them. Many social studies concepts are integrated into our reading and writing instruction.

SNAP Classes (Special Nishuane Arts Program)

The SNAP classes at Nishuane are an integral part of each child's academic experiences. All students receive weekly instruction in music (vocal and instrumental), physical education, art, technology, and Mandarin World Language.

Homework

Homework is given to reinforce skills taught in school as well as to teach students responsibility for their learning. As per the district Homework/Make-Up Work Policy, P-2330, the Board of Education believes that homework "provides an opportunity to broaden, deepen and reinforce the pupil's knowledge". The amount and type of homework will vary and increase as students progress through grade levels. We also strongly encourage that every child reads at home daily. Children can enjoy listening to you read aloud; they can read to you and they should read independently. Teachers will review their expectations for homework at the annual Back-to-School Night. Please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's homework.

Report Cards

Report cards are completed three times during the school year and will be available on the Genesis Parent Portal. Report cards are standardized across the district for kindergarten, first and second grades. The numbers and letters used for the keys (developmental/behavioral) should not be viewed as grades. There is no relationship between those numbers and letters, and numerical or letter grades. The report card reflects our efforts to give you an accurate and ongoing assessment of your child's academic, social, and emotional progress.

Gifted & Talented Magnet Theme

Nishuane's magnet theme - Gifted and Talented - is based on the premise that all children have gifts and talents. As an educational community it is our responsibility to identify and nurture these in each child. As such, we offer our children many opportunities to participate in a wide range of exciting areas of study.

Enrichment

Nishuane students also receive instruction from our gifted and talented curriculum support teacher. During Enrichment classes, children use critical thinking and various problem-solving strategies to explore a variety of concepts. With an emphasis on effort and attempting challenges, students engage in novel activities that are beyond those examined in their regular classrooms.

Aesthetics

Our magnet theme catalog includes a variety of courses. Families can select from a wide variety of courses - some of which we refer to as "Aesthetics". These courses are designed to allow children to explore a range of areas. As interest and skills develop, students discover what they like and can work on developing their strengths.

Creative I

Other courses that we refer to as "Creative I" provide more exploration opportunities and add to an enriching experience at Nishuane School. Participation in these courses requires that children qualify through a screening process. Screenings are conducted each year in late spring. Families will receive individual schedules, reflecting acceptance, by September, of the new school year.

All children in first and second grade have Aesthetics and/or Creative I classes for three cycles.

Kindergarten Exploration Modules

Kindergarten students experience the magnet theme in cycles two and three, for three days each week. Children have an opportunity to rotate through a series of modules - exploring the different intelligences. These investigative activities help children to develop a basis for making selections of Aesthetic and Creative I courses for first grade.

Production

In addition to the rich experiences that occur due to all of the course offerings, all children are afforded the unique opportunity of participating in a production each year. The classroom and SNAP teachers collaborate to select a play that integrates classroom learning with all areas of the show. The children contribute to all aspects of the production including set design, costuming, singing, dancing, and of course dramatic performance.

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