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