Curriculum and Instruction

The Wynantskill Union Free School District is committed to providing a rigorous course of study that is rich and personalized for all students in grades K-8. As educators, the faculty and administration pursue the best that research offers to guide us in constructing a developmentally appropriate academic program that successfully prepares children with 21st century skills. We strive to provide a thorough foundation for students in all subject areas, including technology, and global literacies such as economics, health, the environment and world cultures. This goal is reflected in our district’s Curriculum Course Descriptions.

Throughout the school year, there will be periodic curriculum updates about our academic program which will be sent home and also posted on this site. In addition to curriculum development, the district provides an intense and well-articulated program of professional development for our talented faculty to support them in pursuing new research-based instructional practices and to provide teacher orientation, mentoring and instructional coaching for all teachers across grade levels and disciplines.

Throughout the year, parents and community members often have questions about our program and curriculum. We welcome your questions and comments about our work and will maintain an ongoing dialogue with our parent partners. Please e-mail Superintendent Thomas Reardon if you have a question. We are proud to work with the Wynantskill community in meeting the needs of our students and preparing for the future.

Common Core Learning Standards

The Common Core Learning Standards are a set of national learning expectations developed by teachers, administrators, parents and education experts from around the country. These standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn in K-12 Math and English Language Arts.

There is a great deal of similarity between New York State’s current standards and these national standards; however, in the coming years, there will be some changes in what your child will be taught. Some information will be new and some content will be taught in a different grade level than in the past. Implementation of CCLS began in 2011-12 in kindergarten through second grade. This year all grade levels from kindergarten through eighth grade will be aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards.

For more information regarding Common Core Learning Standards:

Standardized Testing

To provide schools, teachers and parents with an assessment of student achievement, New York State has developed the New York State Testing Program. The New York State tests are designed to measure how well students have mastered necessary skills and to monitor the effectiveness of instructional programs.

The standardized test:

  • Measure a student’s knowledge and overall achievement
  • Measure a student’s mastery of specific skills
  • Provide information to schools that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs
  • Monitor the performance of schools and school districts for the purpose of accountability to the public.

What kinds of responses are students asked to provide on these assessments?

For the English Language Arts Test, students are tested on their reading, listening, and writing abilities by reading and listening to passages and answering questions based on those passages.

For the Mathematics Test, students solve problems and demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts and procedures. They must often support their answers by showing the steps they used to solve problems and by explaining the mathematics processes and concepts involved.

The Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test and the Grade 8 Intermediate- Level Science Test, is designed to measure the content and skills contained in the Elementary-Level Science Core Curriculum, Grades K–4 and the content and skills contained in the Intermediate-Level Science Core Curriculum, Grades 5–8. Both tests consist of two required components: a Written Test and a Performance Test. The Written Test consists of multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The Performance Test consists of hands-on tasks set up at three stations.

The Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test is designed to measure the content and skills contained in the Intermediate-Level Science Core Curriculum, Grades 5–8. The New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test consists of two required components: a Written Test and a Performance Test. The Written Test consists of multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The Performance Test (Form A) consists of hands-on tasks set up at three different stations.