Academics

NWCS Curriculum

 Northern Wells Community School's curriculum aligns with Indiana’s Academic Standards and vertically across grade levels and content areas with increasing cognitive difficulty at each level.  The curriculum is adapted and differentiated based on student needs.  Our printed curriculum portfolios document state standards, performance indicators, instructional strategies, required background knowledge and vocabulary, assessments, and resources.

High levels of achievement are a priority in Northern Wells Community Schools.  The foundation of instruction that continues through twelfth grade begins at the elementary level with language arts that encompass all aspects of literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, health, art, music, and physical education.  Students also acquire computer literacy and keyboarding skills at this level.


The flexible block schedule at Norwell Middle School offers a gradual transition to the high school environment and enables students to complete courses of study that encourage them to pursue challenging diploma options.      

 
The more than 125 courses that Norwell High School offers with the Block 4 schedule provide students with numerous opportunities to prepare to enter two-year and four-year colleges and the workforce.  Some of these opportunities include technology education; career and technical education, which includes the Information Technology Academy; dual enrollment with post-secondary institutions; Advanced Placement courses; and internships with local businesses.
 

Student Achievement at OES

At Ossian Elementary, we celebrate having 97% of our students pass the 2013 IREAD3 statewide third grade reading assessment. We are also very proud to share that the state named us an Exemplary School as a result of the latest ISTEP+ assessment. Equal to those results, our students continue to impress us in their level of motivation to improve upon and display the soft skills listed in our Norwell Graduate Profile. We contribute this success to the dedication, hard work, and partnership between the students, parents, community, and staff in helping teach our students all the necessary skills to be college and career ready.

Math at OES

Teachers at Ossian are committed to learning and using a framework for teaching mathematics called Guided Math. This framework is comparable to Balanced Literacy in that teachers use data to make informed decisions about whole group, differentiated small group and one on one instruction. In this framework students learn in a numeracy-rich environment. Our adopted text for teaching mathematics is enVision Math. Resources in this text support teachers in their goal to help students have a deep understanding of math concepts and the real world connections for having that understanding, learn to write about their learning in math, and problem solve. Our staff believes:

  • All children can learn mathematics.
  • A numeracy-rich environment promotes mathematical learning by students.
  • Learning at its best is a social process.
  • Learning mathematics is a constructive process.
  • An organized classroom environment supports the learning process.
  • Modeling and think-alouds, combined with ample opportunities for guided and independent problem solving and purposeful conversations, create a learning environment in which students’ mathematical understanding grows.
  • Ultimately, children are responsible for their learning.

(Foundational Principles from Guided Math by Laney Sammons)

Language Arts at OES

When teaching language arts, teachers use a well-balanced literacy approach that closely follows the Literacy Collaborative model. We follow the work of researchers and authors such as Fountas and Pinnell, Jan Richardson, Robert Marzano, and Isabel Beck. Each day the students participate in a 60-90 minute reading workshop, a 60 minute writing workshop and a word study workshop. Teachers structure each block of time so they can differentiate instruction based on data using small guided group instruction, mini lessons, independent reading and writing time, and conferencing.

Technology at OES

Ossian Elementary and Lancaster Central Elementary received a Barrier Free Learning grant last year for $70,000. This money was used to provide our student’s access to iPads and provide teachers with professional development in using the technology to meet academic standards and student needs. Every general education classroom is equipped with a Smart Board and computers used to engage students in learning. We are proud of the advancements already made in using technology to support student learning and feel better prepared for the 2014-2015 school year when one-to-one technology will be implemented within all of Northern Wells Community Schools.

Science and Social Studies at OES

Ossian Elementary continues to stress the importance of science and social studies education. For example, each year all students participate in Science Fair by submitting an individual, group or class project. Many field trips in grades kindergarten through fifth grade focus on social studies and science curriculum (i.e. Challenger Simulation, Indy 500, Junior Achievement, Ossian State Bank). Our Outdoor Science Lab, located in the back of our building, is used by all grade levels to teach life and earth science. You can catch glimpses of these experiences throughout our website, some teacher blogs, and some Twitter pages. Teachers often create cross-curricular units of study where social studies and science instruction is integrated when teaching language arts and math.

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