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English Language Arts

Our Collective Commitments

The following eight collective commitments are philosophical statements that underlie the standards and resources in our curriculum framework. They should guide the design and evaluation of English language arts and literacy programs. Programs guided by these principles will prepare students for colleges, careers, and their lives as productive citizens.

  1. We believe in explicit and systematic instruction in skills, including phonics and decoding, as well as language and comprehension strategies. Explicit skill instruction is especially important in narrowing opportunity gaps. 

  2. We believe rich academic vocabulary and broad background knowledge are gatekeepers to reading comprehension.

  3. We believe students should experience:

    • high quality works of literature and nonfiction

    • read alouds across the school day

    • ample opportunity and encouragement for sustained independent reading both for school and on their own

  4. We believe students should be immersed in complex and challenging texts at their grade level and above with extra support and scaffolding as needed, reflecting high expectations for all students.

  5. We will provide frequent opportunities for students to read, discuss, and write about diverse texts across genres, cultures, and time periods in order to demonstrate understanding and grow critical thinking skills.

  6. We believe developing the ability to write well demands regular practice across multiple forms and genres and opportunities to write for a variety of audiences, including expository, persuasive, narrative, and creative writing as well as explicit instruction in vocabulary and standard English conventions.

  7. We believe educators and families should view each other as resources who are both invested in supporting student’s skill in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

  8. We believe social and emotional learning increases academic achievement, improves behaviors and capacity to self-regulate, and reduces emotional distress. It is important for students to recognize aspects of themselves in texts (self-awareness), struggle productively with challenging texts (self-management), tailor language to audience and purpose (social awareness), grapple with choices faced by others (responsible decision making), and collaborate respectfully with diverse peers (relationship skills).



Carrie Willer, PhD
5K-5 Director of Elementary Education
(920) 852-5300 ext. 60170

Kelly Leopold 
6-12 Director of ELA, Social Studies and World Language
(920) 852-5300 ext. 60172