The State of New Jersey requires school districts to assess students on a yearly basis to determine their competence in the basic concepts and skills of language arts and math. In Summit, for grades K, 1, and 2, district-designed skill surveys, along with reading assessments from Teachers College and the Diagnostic Reading Assessment are used. In grades 3-8 the NJASK (New Jersey Assessment of SKills and Knowledge) proficiency standards are used. We also review secondary assessment information from district programs as well as classroom teacher feedback. Students who score below established minimum levels of proficiency are recommended to participate in the District's Basic Skills Improvement Program (BSI).
The Purpose of the BSI program is to provide students with the additional support needed to improve targeted skills in language arts and/or math. All students are formally assessed each year to determine eligibility to continue in the program for the following year. Students who score at or above grade level may exit the program Those who scores fall just above grade level minimums may be offered an additional year of support.
LEARNING WORKSHOP Grades K-5
Students participate in small-group experiences including in-class support and pull-out instruction offered by a certified teacher in collaboration with the classroom teacher. This is supplemental instruction individualized to strengthen student skills and support student success in the classroom and beyond. This program is offered during the school day. Additional extended day and summer opportunities are also offered.
READING/ENGLISH SKILLS Grades 6-7
Students identified as partially proficient in the Language Arts section of NJASK 5 and/or 6, or who would benefit from intensive instruction in a variety of reading experiences may be assigned to this course in place of a World Language. Taught by a reading specialist, instruction in reading different kinds of materials including fiction and non-fiction text, forms, maps, graphs, and charts, as well as strategies for analysis and critical thinking, building vocabulary, and reading rate and fluency is provided. Proficiency in following directions, recognizing main ideas, sequencing, and drawing conclusions is emphasized.
READING/ENGLISH SKILLS Grade 8
Students identified as partially proficient in the Language Arts section of NJASK 7, or who would benefit from intensive instruction in a variety of reading experiences may be assigned to this course in place of a World Language. Reading experiences are designed to improve critical skills including, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Proficiency in following directions, selecting the main idea, identifying supporting details, sequencing, and drawing conclusions are stressed. Lessons are designed using fiction and nonfiction to motivate students and teach them specific reading analysis strategies, which build confidence when reading for pleasure or for information. Emphasis is placed on recognition of reading, speaking, writing, and listening as important means of communication. The primary objective of the course is the promotion of the use of reading skills in studying other school subjects. Students are taught that reading is an important, pleasurable, viable alternative to video entertainment. Writing Skills are also emphasized as part of this program.
MATH/STUDY SKILLS Grade 6
Students identified as partially proficient on the Mathematics section of NJASK 5 and/or 6, or who would benefit from differentiated, needs based supplemental instruction and materials may be assigned to this course. Increased opportunities for students to work toward improving achievement by strengthening their mathematic skills and applications are provided. Students practice and improve math skills, improve their success in the regular math class, and increase scores on the NJASK by building on their knowledge of key math concepts to reinforce sixth grade content. Students also learn how math skills can be used interchangeably in problem solving, how to choose appropriate problem solving operations, and how to apply math skills to various types of questions and scenarios.
MATH/STRATEGIES Grade 7/8
Students identified as partially proficient on the Mathematics section of NJASK 6 and/or 7, or who need to gain skills in basic mathematics and
pre-algebra may be assigned to this course. This cycle offers differentiated, needs based supplemental instruction and materials that provide increased opportunities for students to work toward improving achievement by strengthening their mathematic skills and applications. This course gives students an opportunity to practice and improve their math skills, to improve their success in the regular math class, and to help increase scores on the NJASK. The class focuses on student participation, collaborative learning, and activities that develop students' problem solving and critical thinking skills.
READING AND WRITING STRATEGIES Grades 9-10
Students identified as partially proficient in the Language Arts section of NJASK 8 may be assigned to Reading and Writing Strategies. This program uses individualized and small-group instruction to help the students develop mastery of the basic skills. Reading comprehension will be strengthened through a variety of materials including the daily newspaper, magazines, plays, short stories, and fiction, as well as skill exercises. Special attention will also be directed to vocabulary-building activities including such skills as the use of the dictionary, use of context clues, and recognition of prefixes, roots, synonyms and antonyms. A writing component using computers will reinforce the mastery of basic skills.
MATHEMATICS STRATEGIES Grades 9-10
Students who have been identified as partially proficient on the mathematics section of the NJASK 8 will be assigned to the Mathematics Strategies course in addition to their regularly scheduled mathematics class. This program is designed to help prepare students to develop mastery of the basic skills. Course content is based on the proficiencies and performance objectives described within the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics including the Standards for Mathematical Practice.
PHYSICS - CONCEPTUAL Grade 9
Placement in modified Physics is based on recommendations from the middle school math and science teachers. This course is designed to accommodate students with diverse learning styles who may have difficulty applying the math-based concepts in physics. Mathematics beyond simple arithmetic is not used. Students are provided with a conceptual understanding of the laws that govern the very big and the very small. Laboratory investigations are emphasized and applied to the
conceptual treatment of the course content. All of the physics concepts necessary to achieve science literacy and prepare for success in the required science courses at Summit High School are included in this section.
BIOLOGY - CONCEPTUAL Grade 10
Placement in modified Biology is based on recommendations from the freshman year Physics teachers. Modifications are incorporated into the curriculum to accommodate students with diverse learning styles and special learning needs. This is an introductory course designed to present biological concepts such as the fundamentals of living organisms, including plants, animals, and the human body, and how living organisms interact with the environment. Biology centers on
activities and laboratory experiments designed to allow students the opportunity to apply biology, and give all students an essential understanding of the subject.
CHEMISTRY - CONCEPTUAL Grades 11-12
Conceptual Chemistry is a full-year laboratory course, which provides students with the opportunity to study the same topics as in chemistry such as atomic theory, chemical periodicity, the mole concept, and energy changes in chemical reactions, but with a more descriptive approach. This course is provided for the science student who finds mathematical concepts more difficult; therefore, the mathematical aspects are approached with more review. Laboratory work and problem solving are also emphasized as the route to achieving competence in the understanding of equilibrium, rates of reaction, and oxidation-reduction.
PRACTICAL NOVICE SPANISH Grades 9-10-11
Practical Novice Spanish is a full-year course developed to help students satisfy the state world language requirement for high school graduation. This course places particular emphasis on speaking/listening competence. Speaking skills in Spanish are shaped to develop functional communication for everyday situations in Spanish, and the appropriate use of Spanish in culturally authentic situations.