DSL Image 2

Welcome to the Department of Student Learning

  • The Department of Student Learning (DSL) oversees all aspects of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for District 25. Reading, mathematics, fine arts, physical wellness, English Learners, advanced learners, and professional learning are examples of areas supported by the Department of Student Learning.

    As a thoughtfully progressive school system, District 25 remains student-focused with a solid foundation of sound instructional strategies, a strong teaching and administrative staff, a future ready mindset, an adherence to Illinois Learning Standards, and a shared vision for what is best for students in the 21st century.


    An overview of how to navigate the student learning section of the website is included at the bottom of this page.


                                     Curriculum - Instruction - Assessment


    Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment

    Curriculum, instruction, and assessment represent the heart of DSL. Put simply, curriculum is what we teach, instruction is how we teach, and assessment is how we know students are learning. Together they form the basis for what we do with and for our students.


    Curriculum typically refers to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, which includes the learning standards they are expected to meet; the units and lessons the teachers teach; the assignments and projects given to students; [and] the books, materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course” (taken from The Glossary of Education Reform).


    While curriculum and assessment are the bookends—what we want students to know and then determining whether they learned it—instruction is where the magic happens. Instruction is where the teachers utilize their expertise of students and craft to determine the best way to have students reach and achieve the standards of what we want them to learn. It can look different for individual students, change from year to year, and vary from classroom to classroom. They are the methods we use to teach students.


    Assessment refers to the wide variety of methods or tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of students” (taken from the Glossary of Education Reform).


    A Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum

    The Department of Student Learning seeks to provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all students. This phrase originally came from the work of Dr. Robert Marzano, an important voice in the field of education.


    Guaranteed means that regardless of what teacher a child has or what school a child attends in District 25, the expectations, knowledge, and skills are the same. The instruction may not be identical, and teachers may supplement different materials for instructional purposes, yet at its core the curriculum reliably addresses the same learning goals and holds the same opportunities for student achievement.


    Viable means that the provided curriculum is realistic for students to achieve. It is readily accessible, developmentally appropriate, and challenging when suitable. Teachers can reasonably expect students to master each grade level’s learning targets.


    Navigating the Student Learning Website

    On the left side of this page, visitors will see a list of headings that are highlighted below:

    Contact Us – this page contains the contact information for all members of the Student Learning Team.

    Subject by Content – this page is for visitors interested in learning about individual content areas from kindergarten through eighth grade. Its subcategories contain all of the subject areas taught in District 25.

    Assessment – this page contains information on all district-wide assessments.

    Advanced Placement (Advanced Learning/Services) – this page contains all the information regarding advanced courses and learning in District 25.

    Summer Offerings – this page contains information regarding programs that are offered during the summer and are not a part of normal school year.

    Classroom Concepts: Elementary – this page highlights particular philosophies or over-arching instructional strategies that are used for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

    Classroom Concepts: Middle School – this page highlights particular philosophies or over-arching instructional strategies that are used for students in sixth through eighth grade.

    For Staff – this page is for internal use with District 25 staff.

    Departments – this page will take visitors back to all District Office departments.


    For questions regarding any aspects of Student Learning in District 25, please call the Department of Student Learning at 847-758-4890.