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ISK is adopting a Topic-Based Integrated Curriculum approach in the Middle School while still providing the breadth of subjects needed for students to acquire basic skills in a wide variety of subject areas.
An integrated curriculum allows students to pursue learning in a holistic way, without the restrictions often imposed by subject boundaries. It recognizes that the curriculum includes reading, writing, listening, speaking, literature, drama, social studies, math, science, health, physical education, music, and visual arts. The curriculum also incorporates investigative processes and technology. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining partnerships with families; having knowledge of students and how they learn; and building upon the community and cultural context. Integrated teaching and learning processes enable students to acquire and use basic skills in all the content areas and to develop positive attitudes for continued successful learning throughout Middle School.
Integration acknowledges and builds on the relationships which exist among all things. An integrated curriculum implies learning that is synthesized across traditional subject areas and learning experiences that are designed to be mutually reinforcing. This approach develops the child’s ability to transfer their learning to other settings. Projects and themes are valuable instructional tools for accommodating all learners in the classroom. Skills are taught as needed to accomplish projects
Characteristics of an Integrated Curriculum

An integrated program includes:

  • Experiences to develop students’ attitudes, skills, and knowledge and to help them make connections across the curriculum
  • Activities that provide for a range of abilities
  • Activities that are both teacher-initiated and directed and child-initiated and directed
  • Whole class, small group, and individual experiences
  • Opportunities for critical and creative thinking
  • Teacher, peer, and self-assessment
  • Opportunities to experience learning as a meaningful whole

Student Performance Assessments

Student performance level are assessed and graded in a variety of ways including through projects, class work, presentations, tests, quizzes, assignments and various other methods, which will all be graded and factored into their Grade Point Averages (GPAs). The instructional methods employed by teachers are designed to progressively evaluate the students’ academic development and encourage learning and understanding through critical thinking and application of learned knowledge rather than rote learning.

Students are expected to demonstrate effort in completing assignments, participating in classroom activities, demonstrating the ISK CLIPPER Values and consistently performing to their individual level of ability.

All students in Middle School are assessed according to the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards or, for some specialist subjects, equivalent Standards-based assessment criteria. The level of achievement against these standards generates a “Letter Grade” as well.

Grade Point Average (GPA) and Honor Roll

A student’s GPA is determined by assigning a number to each letter grade a student earns and an average is then determined. This process occurs each semester. A student’s GPA is used to determine eligibility for the Honor Roll (3.4 GPA or above). For a detailed look at the GPA system refer to the Student-Parent Handbook.

In order to be eligible for the Honor Roll, a student must have at least a 3.40 unrounded GPA. Furthermore, no student will be eligible if he/she receives a “no credit” grade. The Honor Roll is figured at the end of each quarter. A semester Honor Roll is also determined.

Student Report Cards & Transcripts

Grades in progress are issued twice during each semester, once at the end of each quarter, and only the final grades for each semester are recorded on the student’s transcript.

Parents will receive individualized printed reports of all grades to date. Formal parent conferences will be held in the first three weeks of quarters two and four to discuss student progress. A teacher or parent may request individual conferences as necessary.

College and Career Readiness Pathway

ISK has adopted the College Board College and Career Readiness Pathway assessments. The series of assessment consist of ReadiStep (eighth to ninth grade), PSAT/NMSQT (10th to 11th grade) and SAT (11th to 12th grade). These integrated assessments measure a student’s college and career readiness from the eighth through 12th grades.

For Middle School students, the Readistep assessment progressively measures the reading, writing and mathematical knowledge and skills that they need to be on track for success in high school, college, and careers. The result of the assessments are not factored into a student’s GPA. It is only for the purposes of internal use to help provide feedback for school administrators to identify the skills students need to further develop, and initiate early interventions at critical points in students’ school careers before transition to High School.

Read more on the Readistep assessments

Transition to High School in ISK

Students move from one grade to the next after successfully completing an academic year. The middle school program of studies requires students to spend three full years of study before being promoted to the high school program.

You will find more detailed information on the school’s academic policies and programs, and general information for Student and parents in the Middle School Student-Parent Handbook