Teaching and Learning
Welcome to the Teaching and Learning page. In the Methuen Public Schools, teaching and learning are the heart of our work. We are constantly working to enhance these areas in order to provide the very best learning opportunities for our students.
|Curriculum maps were developed to incorporate the standards in the 2011 and newly revised 2017 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (which include all of the Common Core State Standards), a rigorous set of expectations defining what all students should know and be able to do at the completion of each grade. These maps allow parents to see exactly what the teachers are teaching throughout the year and which standards are covered in each unit. These maps consist of three stages; Stage 1 includes the standards, essential questions, and enduring understandings. All of Stage 1 has been made public.
Our teachers will use the curriculum maps and related resources to provide effective instruction. To assist teachers in making sure their teaching addresses the curricula, the district has a professional development program that includes full graduate courses, workshops, and support from instructional coaches in English language arts, mathematics, and the teaching of English language learners.
Assessment of student achievement has been a major focus for the district. Professional development—in the form of workshops and a graduate course—helps teachers to design classroom assessments that are standards-based. Through the new Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) 2.0, students are assessed annually in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10. MCAS assessments in science are also given in grades 5, 8, and 10. At both the district and school levels, MCAS data are analyzed to help us determine areas for curriculum revision and to assist teachers in meeting their students’ learning needs. Students transitioned to taking the MCAS online in the spring of 2019.
Students also take "interim assessments" to help teachers, students and parents understand the progress they are making towards our standards. These include the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) for K-4 readings, module assessments for K-8 math, common writing prompts in English Language Arts and History. Data from these assessment along with MCAS, are reviewed and analyzed by school staff. Some of that data will be available in Infinite Campus under the assessment tab as well allowing every teacher will be able to see at a glance how his/her individual students and the class as a whole are progressing toward mastery of specific standards. It will be possible also to track students’ progress from one grade to the next, thus easing students’ transitions.
As you can see, our faculty and administrators are working hard to provide the highest quality education to Methuen’s students. Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions regarding curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the Methuen Public Schools.
Ronald Noble Jr., Assistant Superintendent