Our school curriculum is based on the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards which are mandated by the Department of Education. We are also in our second year of "restructuring" due to the "No Child Left Behind" act.
STANDARDS-BASED INSTRUCTION AT WAIANAE
Waianae Intermediate School has made every effort to align our curriculum to the Hawaii State Performance Standards and national standards. The State has set their goal for all students to be able to leave high school qualified to do college-level work without remediation. It is our immediate goal to prepare all students to enter Waianae High School or any other high school ready to succeed in their 9 th grade program.
The Learning Environment:
In Waianae’s classrooms, performance standards are ever-present: they are prominently displayed on the wall, as are rubrics and strategies for producing high quality work. Student work that meets those standards is displayed next to them. Teachers keep portfolios of the best lessons they have designed in order to share them with others. Teachers have study groups to analyze and compare student work. Common understanding of quality work and a common curriculum are important to promote learning.
As part of the effort to meet the goals of "No Child Left Behind," WIS has contracted with a private corporation, "America's Choice" for purposes of curriculum overhaul and consultation.
America ’s Choice in Waianae:
In July of 2001, teams from four of the five elementary schools (Ma’ili chose Direct Instruction) and the intermediate school were trained in the orientation to America’s Choice. In turn, these teams trained the other staff members at their schools. Throughout the school year, the teams were sent to various institutes and conferences to be further trained. At WIS, our team consists of the Principal, the Vice-Principals, one Design Coach, two Literacy Coaches, and one Math Coach.
In the school year 2002-2003, the WIS team were further trained in Writer’s and Reader’s Workshop, Math Core Assignments, Standards-driven Curriculum, safety-nets, and other segments of A.C. To help with the implementation of America’s Choice for our staff, Thursday early release of the students was approved by the SCC to allow time for professional development and departmental study groups.
In the school year 2006-2007, the math department will continue to implement the Connected Math Program (CMP) to help students improve their critical thinking and verbal skills. The Literacy Coaches will continue to train students and English teachers in Writer’s Workshop and Reader’s Workshop. The 7 th grade ELA teachers are implementing the Ramp Up to Literacy Program which consists of genre study with a strong emphasis on reading.
To supplement curricular studies, students are expected to read a wide variety of materials based on personal interest. Each student has their own reading log which is reviewed by teachers and they are expected to participate in the "Million Word Campaign."
The Million Word Campaign:
It is the belief of the America’s Choice Reform Model that if a student reads 25 books each year ( one million words), the reading ability of the student will improve. To aid in this quest, Waianae Intermediate has purchased many thousand differentially leveled books and the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. These books can be found in the school library and throughout the campus in English and other classes. The number of books will increase each year.
Here’s how this campaign works:
- In the beginning of the school year, each student is tested on the Star Reading program found in the library and English classroom computers. The reading comprehension level of the student is determined by the number of correct responses to a variety of questions. A Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is also given for each student. The ZPD provides an appropriate range of book levels that allows the student to read comfortably and still learn.
- The student then chooses a book that falls in his/her ZPD range. WIS has purchased books from 1 st grade to 12 th grade levels.
- The student records his/her reading progress in the reading log provided by the English teacher. This includes the title, author, genre, date read, and the number of pages read.
- Students are provided some time during SURFF to read. The student, however, is expected to do much of the reading at home.
- After completing the book, the student takes a reading test on the Accelerated Reader program found on the computer. A score of 60% correct is required to pass the test. If the score is lower or if a non-AR book is chosen, the student must provide the teacher with some other form of proof that the book was read. This could be an oral discussion, a short book summary, a written report about a favorite character, a literature circle discussion, or other chosen methods.
- The student then records the book information on the book log form found in the planner and in the homeroom/English class.
- Other materials that can count toward the 25 Book Campaign include texts and periodicals read in classes (assessments and further details must be provided).
- At the end of each quarter, teachers will provide the A.C. Design Team with a list of the number of books each student read for the quarter. If the student is meeting the quarterly quota (usually 250,000 words and 1 million words by the end of the year), he/she will be invited to an end-of-the-quarter celebration.
- The true measure of success will be an improvement in the reading comprehension level of the student. In May, the student will retake the Star Reading test to record his/her progress.
- Parents, teachers, and all members of the community are encouraged to read and try to meet their own quota of books read. Have your own celebrations with your children.
Our faculty and students are organized into teams to work towards the above goals. Seventh grade teams have two teachers and approximately 60 students. Eighth grade teams have up to four teachers and up to 120 students.
Waianae Intermediate operates on Middle School Concepts. One such concept is core teaming. This program involves grouping students into teams. A Core Team consists of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Math Lab teachers in the 7th grade. In the 8th grade, the Core Team consists of Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies. The teachers in the Core Team meet daily to discuss the concerns and needs of the students in their group. Also, each homeroom teacher serves as the advisor for all students in their homeroom. Core Teams are heterogeneously grouped. That is, students with a wide range of abilities are placed on the Core Teams to reflect real life communities. There are presently 14 teams at Waianae Intermediate, and every student in our school is placed on a team.
In order to achieve a high standard of student behavior across campus we have established uniform behavior expectations. These expectations are referred to collectively as "Rituals and Routines."
Rituals and Routines
Entering the classroom:
- Walk in quietly before the tardy bell.
- Sit in assigned seat.
- Start bellwork or silent reading
Exiting the classroom:
- Neatly arrange your area.
- Wait in seat quietly for dismissal by teacher.
- The teacher will give oral signal to leave class.
- Walk out quietly
Leaving during class time:
- During the first 10 minutes of each class, students are not allowed to leave.
- Student will ask teacher for permission to leave.
- Student will fill in the appropriate spaces in the Hallway Passport of planner.
- Teacher will sign the Hallway Passport. (The Passport must be attached to the planner.)
- Student will show the Hallway Passport to the teacher upon return.
- Teacher raises hand.
- Face the teacher.
- Raise your hand and stop talking.
- Wait for instructions.