The following information is a summary of the content programs implemented at Monte Vista.
For general education students, Language Arts is taught using the ‘Treasures’ Reading program, which is a district requirement for all schools within APS. Last year represented the first year of this program’s implementation across the district, but only in 1st through 4th grades. This year the program is being implemented at each school across all grade levels (K-5th). To address the needs of primary level students who have not yet achieved proficiency, the school uses the ‘Fundations’ Reading program (K-2 grades) as an intervention program in conjunction with the ‘Treasures’ Core Reading program. As well, the school, across all grade levels, continues to use a Balanced Literacy approach to reading which incorporates literature-based instruction supported by our ‘Bookroom’ (a PTA and school investment at this point of over $20,000) which houses multiple copies of leveled-reading texts to be used for small-group work and the instruction of important processes such as Shared and Guided Reading...strategies essential to the development of strong literacy skills in students. For Special Education students at all APS schools, Language Arts is taught through the following Reading programs: SPIRE (K-5th grades) and Wilson (3rd-5th grades). These two programs represent the core Reading programs for these students.
For general education students, Math is taught using the Math Investigations program. This program is taught at approximately 11 or 12 schools in APS while all other APS schools implement the Everyday Math (EDM) program. Our school used EDM for 6 years, but switched to Math Investigations 4 years ago, preferring the latter program for its strength in developing numeracy or number sense skills, in particular, and for its constructivist or inquiry approach to math problem-solving, in general. In addition, our school, along with a growing number of schools in the district, has been integrating Add+Vantage Math over the last two years with the core Math Investigations program. The Add+Vantage Math program is not a curriculum, but rather it is an assessment tool that not only identifies discreet individual student skill deficits in Math, but also provides intervention strategies for teachers to use to improve those skills in students. Just recently, the district expressed its desire to see more schools using Add+Vantage Math...so it seems that Monte Vista is “ahead of the curve” and we are pleased with this recognition along with increased support from the District we hope to have in the future.
For several years now, teachers continue to use Foss Kits in the teaching of Science. These kits, filled with materials specific to a theme (e.g. the study of fossils, electric currents with batteries, microscope slides, etc.) provide hands-on or “experiential” learning opportunities for students and provide teachers with lesson plans for teaching the various topics. Social Studies is taught using a basic text, (published by MacMillan/McGraw-Hill,) and each series has a different focus or theme for each grade level (e.g. Communities (1st grade), NM History (4th grade), US History (5th grade), etc.). Both Science and Social Studies are content areas that teachers enhance through special projects, field trips, guest speakers, to name just some of the things teachers do to enrich these curricula.
In all ways, the school addresses the core standards of the district and the State Department of Education (PED) and, in doing so, feels very proud of the work we do on a day-to day-basis.