Indiana Area School District                          501 East Pike  Indiana, PA 15701

724-463-8713                                                                                                                                  FAX: 724-463-0868

Contact: webmaster@iasd.cc

 

 

CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION

Entrance Ages for Kindergarten and First Grade Students

Promotion Guidelines

Grading Procedures

Report Cards

Curriculum

Homework Guidelines

Student Schedule and Schedule Changes

Participation in Graduation Ceremony

Homebound Instruction

Other Resources

 

Entrance Ages for Kindergarten and First Grade Students

Kindergarten – The children in the Indiana Area School District who attain the age of five years on or before August 31 are eligible to enter Kindergarten that school year.

First grade – The children in the Indiana Area School District who attain the age of six years on or before August 31 are eligible to enter Grade 1 that school year.

Promotion Guidelines

At all levels, the final decision for student promotion rests with the building principal in consultation with faculty and staff.  Teachers, counselors, support personnel, and parents/guardians aid in this decision.  A student will be considered for promotion in Grades 7 and 8 unless he or she fails three (3) or more subjects or fails to demonstrate academic growth through a district approved remedial program. 

Grading Procedures

The Indiana Area School District’s grading scale is as follows:  A=4(93-100%), B=3(85-92%), C=2(77-84%), D=1(69-76%), F=0(68% and below).  All advanced placement courses at the senior high school are currently approved for weighted grading as follows:  A=5(93-100%), B=4(85-92%), C=3(77-84%), D=2(69-76%).  Elementary students in kindergarten through Grade 2 are assessed within a developmental continuum.  

Report Cards

Student progress is reported four times a year for students in grades 1-12.  For kindergarten students, student progress is reported twice a year in January and June.  Children who participate in a special education program also receive quarterly progress reports based on the goals and objectives of their Individualized Education Program.

Curriculum

Pennsylvania’s public education system is regulated by Title 22, Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. Chapter 4 establishes our state’s Academic Standards and Assessment. Academic Standards define what every student should know and be able to do in core curriculum areas. Pennsylvania’s public schools currently have adopted Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening; Mathematics; Science and Technology; Environment and Ecology; History; Civics and Government; Geography; Economics; Family and Consumer Sciences; Health, Safety and Physical Education; Arts and Humanities; Career Education and Work, and World Languages.

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) currently provides student assessment in the areas of Reading (Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8), Mathematics (Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8), Writing (Grades 5 and 8) and Science (Grades 4 and 8). Keystone Exams in the areas of Algebra I, Biology, and Literature will be given to all grade 11 students in 2012-2013. The Keystone Exams will replace PSSA exams for grade 11. In addition, all students enrolled in Biology, Literature, and Algebra I in 2012-2013 and beyond will take the respective Keystone Exam in the Spring.

Additional local district assessments are conducted each year.  A complete schedule of all assessments is mailed to parents at the beginning of each school year.

Elementary Curriculum

Secondary Curriculum

Elementary Curriculum

Reading and Language Arts form the cornerstone for students’ academic success.  The Reading and Language Arts curriculum at the elementary level includes reading skills, literature, written expression, spelling and language skills.  Students develop their ability to read independently, to read critically for information in all subjects, and to demonstrate comprehension of text.    

The Language Arts Committee recommended the Macmillan Treasures series for adoption (K-5) in the spring of 2008. Initial implementation took place in the fall of 2008.  Click the links for research supporting the Macmillan Treasures series.  Treasures Research Alignment    Treasures Research by IESD

Mathematics instruction focuses on computation, measurement, mathematical reasoning, problem-solving and communication.  Students also learn to use appropriate technology in their study of mathematical concepts and skills.

The elementary Science curriculum focuses upon hands-on exploration of science concepts.  Students expand their understanding of our natural world as they investigate living things, our physical environment, and our body systems.  Major themes of diversity, life changes, the interaction of matter and energy, and the interactions of systems are studied across grade levels.  Students apply the scientific process, make predictions, observe through laboratory experiences, and apply technology in their inquiry activities.

Social Studies includes the study of History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Government.  Students acquire an understanding of U.S. and World History, of maps and World Geography, of money and personal budgeting, and of the roles and responsibilities of local, U.S. and world citizenship.  Thematic units and interdisciplinary units are used to build students’ understanding of these concepts as students examine their family units, school community, local community, state, country and the world community.   

Special Subjects:  All students participate in weekly classes of Physical Education/Health, Art, Library and Vocal Music.  Students in the upper elementary grades may also participate in Band and Chorus.  Technology instruction is provided to students in the intermediate grades, and instrumental lessons are also available to students in Grades 4-6. All grade 3 students participate in violin lessons.

Enrichment Support:  Students who are identified as Mentally Gifted receive Enrichment Support services, as specified on their written Individual Education Program (IEP) plans.  Enrichment Support may include support in the students’ regular curriculum, and support through extension or enrichment instruction outside the students’ grade level class.

Secondary Curriculum

The secondary schools operate on an eight period, forty-minutes per period school day. Graduation Requirements include successful completion of 24 academic credits (including 4 English, 4 Social Studies**, 3 Mathematics, 3 Science, 2 Health & Physical Education, 1 Computer Technology, 0.5 Family and Consumer Science and 6.5 Electives. (**Students who attend the Indiana County Technology Center for three years must complete only 3 Social Studies credits). Students must demonstrate satisfactory school attendance as specified by the district’s Attendance Policy and must complete a culminating project in which the students apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information, and communicate significant knowledge and understanding. For the graduating classes of 2015-2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams will also be given. For the classes of 2017 and beyond, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will expand these requirements to include the following: 1) Passing 2 English courses (Composition and Literature, 2) Passing 2 Mathematics courses (Algebra I, Algebra II, or Geometry), 3) Passing 1 Science course (Biology or Chemistry), and 4) Passing 1 Social Studies course (Civics and Government, US History, or World History). 

*A student who does not score "Proficient" on a Keystone Exam, after 2 attempts, will be eligible to complete a project-based assessment however the student must also have taken the course and met local attendance and supplemental instruction requirements. The project-based assessment is designed expressly to help students supplement a Keystone Exam score in order to meet the graduation requirement for proficiency. A project-based assessment can raise a student's Keystone score to the "Proficient" cut score but not beyond it.

Students who are disabled may receive a regular high school diploma upon successful completion of the goals and objectives of their Individual Education Program (IEP). 

Students who are English-Language Learners (their dominant language is not English) receive appropriate instruction to facilitate their achievement of English proficiency and proficiency on the Academic Standards.  Students who receive English as a Second Language instruction are expected to meet the requirements for graduation.

There are recommended courses of study for students who plan to attend higher education, for those who plan to enter a business career, and for career objectives in the arts, technology, and health/human services.

Specific information on required courses, electives, and Indiana County Technology Center programs is provided to every student in the spring of the school year as students, their families and school personnel plan academic programs for the following school year.

Homework Guidelines

The Indiana Area School District does not have a district-wide homework policy.  However, the district believes that home study is an important part of the educational process.  Parents can encourage good study habits and provide a learning environment in the home.  Recognizing that parents and teachers will both have an active role in making home study effective, the district offers the following suggestions:

  • Consult with the teacher to understand the purpose of the home study, the methods used by the school, and the type of help that will meet your child’s needs.
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable, well-lighted place for study, with proper furniture and study tools.
  • Help your child budget time for study, hobbies, special lessons, home responsibilities, and recreation.
  • Give help when needed, but without actually doing the work.
  • Encourage your child to complete the assignment and give praise when the work is done well.
  • Make constructive suggestions but avoid severe criticism and undue pressure.
  • Provide feedback to the teacher, counselor, or building administrator regarding problems, such as time, difficulty, and progress.
  • Encourage your child to seek additional help from the teacher at school.

Student Schedule and Schedule Changes

Secondary schools in the Indiana Area School district operate on an eight period per day, five-day schedule.  All students must schedule a minimum of thirty-five periods per week each semester, unless administrative approval to carry a lesser course load is received.  The periods that remain after a student’s schedule has been developed will automatically become periods devoted to supervised study, library work, special educational assistance, and other activities. 

When scheduling courses, strong emphasis must be placed on the importance of careful course selection.  The school bases its needs, staffing, books, and supplies on course selections.  After a schedule has been developed, schedule changes will be considered ONLY in merited cases, and then only with administrative approval.

Participation in Graduation Ceremony

  1. In order to participate in the commencement exercises, seniors must have satisfied all district requirements for graduation.
  2. The administration reserves the right to deny student participation based on unacceptable conduct and/or appearance.
  3. Students must attend all graduation rehearsals unless excused by the building principal.
  4. Diplomas will be withheld from students pending the resolution of all school-related financial obligations.

Homebound Instruction

When a student is prevented from attending school for an extended period of time due to an illness or injury, the school district will provide homebound instruction.  Requests for homebound instruction must be submitted on a form which is available through each building principal. 

Other Resources

Additional information on district curriculum is available in student handbooks, in the Course Description book, and in the Attendance, Behavioral Guidelines and Discipline Policy booklet distributed each year.