WILTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Reading: Our K-2 program provides a balanced literacy approach allowing students to use multiple strategies to access a broad range of authentic fiction and non-fiction text. Students are instructed to independently apply effective reading strategies which combine meaning, structure and graphophonic cues to retrieve meaning from text. On a daily basis, students participate in shared reading experiences, guided reading instruction with flexible grouping, and independent reading practice. Reading in the content areas is an additional reading experience for K-2 students. Running Record assessments and dictations inform on-going reading instruction. Reading comprehension instruction is extended with follow-up activities, including discussion, written responses, and the Accelerated Reader Program.
Writing: As independent skills develop in reading, they are closely linked to writing instruction. Writing occurs in all areas of the curriculum. Formal instruction in the narrative genre begins in Kindergarten and continues through grade 2. Using literature as models, lessons in all parts of the narrative are introduced and practiced. In-house writing assessments occur at each grade level with a modified rubric used to evaluate the students’ writing. Introduction to poetry, expository, and persuasive writing is also included in the writing program. Students develop phonetic spelling skills, semantic knowledge, and writing mechanics for daily application in writing journals, dictations, and Writers’ Workshop. Students are encouraged to use technology in the writing process. Grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling are included in a mini-lesson through Daily Oral Language.
Spelling: A formal spelling program begins in grade 1. At each grade level specific high frequency words, as well as common spelling patterns, are mastered.
Reading: Reading instruction occurs daily, with students engaged in small guided reading groups, shared reading, independent reading, and whole class reading for a particular book study, or reading in the content areas. An important emphasis at grades 3-5 is comprehension of both fiction and nonfiction text, where students are explicitly taught such strategies as questioning, visualizing, making connections, and predicting. These strategies are then practiced in order to make students more actively engaged in reading while they are reading. Using selections from a literature series, leveled books and novels, and nonfiction books and articles, vocabulary development, word study, comprehension skills, oral reading, and written response become the focus of reading instruction in a reader’s workshop. Junior Great Books with its inquiry process where students must use the text to support ideas, opinions, and statements is an addition to the total reading program. Students also enjoy Literature Circles where choice of book and some of the responsibility for discussion and written response is given to the students.
Writing: Writing occurs in all areas of the curriculum. Grammar, usage, and mechanics are taught as part of the integrated language arts, as well as Daily Oral Language. Formal instruction in the narrative genre with expanded expectations from the students’ instruction in grades K-2. Using literature as models and specific lessons in all parts of the narrative occurs throughout grade 3. In grade 4 the expository genre is introduced and expanded in grade 5, with particular emphasis on organization, main idea, and details. Students learn how to write a five paragraph
essay. In-house writing assessments occur throughout the year to help refine instruction and provide information on individual student’s needs. Student writing is scored using such strands as overall development, organization, support, sentence structure, word choice, and mechanics. Poetry, story writing, letter and report writing are additional products of the writing program. Writers’ Workshop gives students the opportunity to practice the process of writing with drafting, revising and editing, conferencing, and publishing. Students use word processing to draft, edit, revise, and publish written work. Cursive writing is taught in grade 3.
Spelling: There is a formal spelling program in grades 3-5, with students learning patterned words, as well as high frequency and content words. In addition, personal words become an important part of the spelling program.
At the middle school, the program goal of all language arts classes is to increase each student’s ability and desire to communicate effectively. To this end, classes are organized to provide time, instruction, and opportunity for students to develop into strategic, critical, and responsive readers and writers. These goals are reflected in interdisciplinary teamwork as well as in language arts classes. Although the communication process is divided into parts for the purpose of explanation, these parts tend to become interrelated and interdependent in the classroom.
Writing: In formal pieces of writing, emphasis in grade six is placed on the structure of well-developed paragraphs in all writing. In formal pieces of writing, emphasis in grade seven is placed on the logical development of the topic sentence with solid main points and supporting details within one-to-three paragraph writing pieces at the beginning of the year and within three-to-five paragraph essays later in the year. In grade eight the emphasis is placed on thesis-based, multi-paragraph essays. The writing process technique is used and includes pre-writing, planning, writing a first draft, conferencing, revising, editing, and proofreading of the final draft. Process writing is used to develop a variety of writing experiences including descriptive, expository, persuasive, and personal narrative pieces of writing. Other writing experiences may include writing poems, journals, stories, and timed, impromptu pieces as well. Writing in all team classes reinforces the skills covered in all language arts classes.
Grammar: In grade six, formal instruction focuses on the correct use of capitalization rules, recognition of the four sentence types, the correct use of rules regarding commas, quotation marks, and apostrophes, and the recognition of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs. The primary text is Warriner’s English Composition and Grammar: Introductory Course. In grade seven, formal instruction includes the recognition of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Grammar study also includes pronouns and antecedents, the study of subjects and predicates, more advanced rules of capitalization, commas, apostrophes, and the avoidance of sentence fragments and run-on sentences in written work. The primary text is Warriner’s English Composition and Grammar: First Course. In grade eight, formal instruction begins with a review of the eight parts of speech, pronoun and antecedent agreement, and subjects and predicates. Additional formal and informal instruction focuses on direct and indirect objects, subject complements, subject/verb agreement, comparison of adjectives and adverbs, correct use of tense, phrases and clauses, and introductions to parallelism and verbals or participles, infinitives, and gerunds. Punctuation instruction focuses on the use of semicolons, quotation marks, and italics. The primary text is Warriner’s English Composition and Grammar: Second Course.
Literature and Reading: Students read a wide variety of selections from lists of required reading in addition to a number of individually chosen books and nonfiction materials. In sixth grade, in addition, students learn the strategic behaviors of good readers for before, during and after reading. Teachers read aloud to students regularly, and the librarian offers book talks to enhance book selections. Class discussions, writing assignments, regularly scheduled reading during which students set goals and keep records of their reading, and other various activities develop strategic, critical, and responsive readers.
Students, in addition, learn to vary their reading speed for a variety of purposes and materials. Finally, they continue their study of literary analysis by applying literary terminology to help them better understand the relationships between literature and life. As students progress through the middle school program, they show their increased growth and development in all of the areas mentioned above as they learn to interpret more difficult figurative language and analyze deeper meanings of text.
Multi-media activities are used directly or discussed in the classroom. Students summarize, evaluate, and respond to various viewing experiences.
Speaking and Listening
Opportunities are provided for formal and informal presentations and for student participation in evaluating these presentations. Large group and small group discussions provide additional opportunities and incentive to improve speaking, listening, and notetaking abilities.
Spelling and Vocabulary Development
Students learn to recognize the importance of using correct spelling in their written work through various teacher-directed activities. In addition, by using a vocabulary text entitled Vocabulary Workshop (Level B, C, or D) and reading selections, students will increase their vocabularies by the end of the year. Emphasis is placed on correctness and precision in each student’s writing.
Throughout the year, strong emphasis is placed on study skills, including organization, concentration, listening, note taking, following directions, and test taking. In grade six, students learn to independently use the following graphic organizers: Herringbone, K-W-L, 3-2-1 Summary, and Cloze. In grade seven, students learn to cite reference and research. Also, students learn to independently use the following graphic organizers: Discussion Web, Venn Diagram, 3 Sentence Summary, and T-Chart. In grade eight, students add paraphrasing and correctly incorporating direct and indirect quotations into a body of work. After study skills are introduced and/or reviewed, they are reinforced in all team classes.
At Wilton High School the English Department has designed a program that respects each student’s interests, abilities and goals. At the same time, the program acknowledges the common need of all students to think critically and communicate effectively through reading and writing. In this program, the students move thorough sequentially required courses that advance the skills of writing, grammar, language appreciation, vocabulary development, speech, listening and literary analysis. They may also elect appropriate literature courses from offerings of varied content on graduated levels of sophistication.
Four full years in English are required for graduation:
- One year in Grade 9 and Grade 10
- One semester in a writing course
- One year in literature study in Grades 11 or 12
- Courses in media study, theatre, or creative writing do not meet the requirement for literature study.
In kindergarten through fifth grade we use Everyday Mathematics. This program is part of the University of Chicago Mathematics Project, which was a long-term project designed to improve school mathematics in grades K-12. Standards used in developing the Everyday Mathematics program and curriculum are considerably higher than in most other programs. This program builds on fundamental mathematical strands such as numeration and order, measures and measurement, reference frames, patterns, functions, problem solving and sequence. Moreover, it uses more of the mathematical spectrum by exploring data and chance, geometry and spatial sense, algebra and the uses of variables. Everyday Mathematics students study important concepts over consecutive years through a variety of formats, building on and extending concept understanding.
Students are expected to know addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Students are also exposed to a variety of processes and procedures for addressing and solving mathematical problems. Parents become involved in the homework “HOME LINKS” where parent participation is strongly encouraged. Mathematical tools such as calculators, templates, tape measurers, and geoboards are some of the manipulatives used in problem solving. Not only does this program challenge all students, but it is also exciting to students, teachers, and parents.
There are six components of the mathematics curriculum in grades six through eight at Middlebrook School:
1. Careful sequencing of skills and concepts built upon a variety of student experiences.
2. Mastery of algorithms – rules with understanding.
3. Development of an intuitive sense of number.
4. Problem solving – the ability to relate and apply mathematics to the world in which we live.
5. Communication and reasoning – being able to think and communicate with others using the language of mathematics.
6. Close monitoring of student progress.
Students in grades six, seven, and eight take any one of a number of courses based on their ability and past performance. These include, Grade Six Mathematics, Grade Seven Mathematics, University of Chicago Transition Mathematics (Pre Algebra), Algebra, or Geometry and are described as follows:
Grade Six Mathematics:
This course provides experiences for grade six students that emphasizes the early adolescent’s transition through stages of mathematical learning. Mathematical topics explored in grades four or five with concrete materials or pictorial representations are revisited through verbal descriptions and symbolic representation. New and more difficult concepts are explored with a variety of concrete, pictorial, and symbolic representations. The foundation of this course is the University of Chicago’s Sixth Grade Everyday Mathematics.
The curriculum emphasizes “mathematical modeling” of situations from every day life and other school subjects. Everyday Mathematics blends mathematical strands such as numeration, measurement, probability, data gathering and analysis, geometry, and pre-algebra with themes such as science, geography, sports, and architecture. Calculators, manipulatives, and other tools are an integral part of the curriculum.
Grade Seven Mathematics:
This course is designed to give students the power to solve problems not by formula or rote, but by using various problem solving strategies to make math work in any situation they encounter. Problem solving is emphasized by presenting mathematics as part of students’ everyday lives. Calculators are incorporated whenever their use is appropriate.
The course continues the development of topics that were introduced at the concrete level in grade six. The topics include estimation, exponents, operations with fractions and decimals, percent, geometry, and ratio. New topics to be introduced include number properties (associative axiom, inverses, identity elements, communicative axiom, distributive axiom), place value for any decimal, using exponents, fraction and decimal equivalents, percent equivalents, rounding of decimals, percent of a number, solving open sentences, area and circumference of a circle, areas of triangles, squares, rectangles, parallelograms and trapezoids, surface area, volume, ratio and proportion, statistics, and the metric system.
University of Chicago Transition Mathematics (Pre-Algebra):
This course has three content themes: applied arithmetic, pre-algebra, and pre-geometry. These themes are interwoven in a development that emphasizes how operations of arithmetic are used in mathematics and in the real world. Scientific calculators are used throughout the course and enable many types of problems to be considered.
The transition to algebra is done by examining three uses of variables in detail: as pattern generalizers, as abbreviations in formulas, and as unknowns in sentences to be solved. Variables are represented on the number line and in the coordinate plane. Basic algebra skills are introduced in the development of pre-algebra skills. Geometry is also stressed via its connections with arithmetic, measurement, and algebra.
This course is for students who have successfully completed University of Chicago Transition Math and uses the University of Chicago Algebra textbook. The course has a far wider scope than traditional algebra courses and includes significant work on statistics, probability, and geometry. Scientific calculators are used throughout the course.
The approach is highly integrative. Applications, statistics, and geometry are employed to develop and exemplify the algebra of linear equations and inequalities. Models for arithmetic operations are immediately extended to expressions and equations involving variables. Graphing of lines is heavily emphasized. Probability concepts are studied along with algebraic fractions. Curvilinear functions represented by exponential growth and by parabolas originate from the study of contemporary applications in science and personal finance. Systems, polynomials, and square roots are linked to the study of geometry and motivated by applications.
This course is for students who have successfully completed Algebra in grade seven and uses the University of Chicago Geometry textbook. Coordinates, transformations, measurement formulas, three-dimensional figures, and proof work are all emphasized. To teach writing proofs and other mathematical arguments more effectively, the course lays a foundation of prerequisite understanding step by step. Real-world applications are provided throughout the course. In addition, connections are made with topics covered in Algebra that are reinforced and extended. Scientific calculators are used throughout.
The Mathematics Program at Wilton High School consists of three strands and several elective courses as shown below. Each strand consists of a series of courses designed to provide the most complete curriculum possible for every level of student. To allow each student to successfully complete the strongest four year program possible, there are several places where it is appropriate for a student who is performing well to change strands. Students follow the guidance of counselors, teachers and parents when making a course selection.
|Strand I||Strand II||Strand III||AP Courses|
|General Math||Algebra 1-2||Algebra 1-3||Calculus AB|
|Elem. Algebra A||Plane Geometry||Geometry 3||Calculus BC|
|Elem. Algebra B||Algebra II-2||Algebra II-3|
|Int. Alg/Num. Trig.||Pre-Calc/Discrete Math|
It should be understood that there is a great deal of flexibility if a student wishes to change from one strand to another for reasons of performance, motivation, mathematical maturity, teacher-student-parent consultation, and department recommendation.
While currently undergoing revision, the existing science curriculum based upon National and State standards was written by staff. In kindergarten the three science topics are: Animal Study (including Insects), Rocks, and Senses. In grade one, students study Air, Sun and Water, How People Move Things, Body Systems, and Pond and Meadow (including Life Cycles). Grade two areas of study are Life Then and Now, Endangered Species, Electricity and Magnets, Solar Systems, and Staying Well. Grade three students study Ecosystems of Forest and Oceans, Sound, Volcanoes and Earthquakes, and Understanding Handicaps. Grade four subjects are: Spring River Study I, Electricity, Earth, Planets and Space, The Making of Environments, and The Great Body Shop I. Grade five consists of Fall River Study II, Models and Designs, Land Forms, Fast Plants, and The Great Body Shop II.
The science program in grade six is exciting and centers on four major themes: Energy, Systems and Interactions, Scale and Structure, Stability and Change. The themes are connecting strategies that unify the sciences. They are interwoven throughout the year and are developed as appropriate to each unit studied. The interweaving of these major themes creates a curriculum that involves the study of more than one discipline of science during each unit. Students are involved with hands-on activities almost daily. They explore, observe, record, discuss, and reason about science, nature, society, and technology. Also, all students receive instruction about the effects and consequences of drug, alcohol and tobacco use in their science classes. The primary text for the course is Science Interactions 1.
The course in grade seven is a continuation of an integrated science program begun in grade six. The four major theories developed in grade six are further expanded. They are interwoven throughout the year and are developed as appropriate to each unit studied. The primary text for this course is Science Interactions 2. Also, health topics, including discussions about the use and effects of drugs, alcohol and tobacco as well as sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS are also included in the grade seven science program.
The course in grade eight is the third year of our integrated science program which was begun in grade six. The four major theories developed in grade six and grade seven continue to be expanded. They are interwoven throughout the year and are developed as appropriate to each unit studied. The primary text for this course is Science Interactions 3. Also, the course does include an intensive study of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and their effects on individuals and society. AIDS curriculum is also taught during this unit.
At Wilton High School, over four years, students may select from a wide variety of full year and semester science courses. Decisions on which courses students take depends on several factors: individual interest, future education plans, and academic background. The chart below indicates the kinds of choices available at each grade level. One year of a physical science and one year of a biological science is the state requirement for graduation.
Students intending to take any Advanced Placement Science course must have taken biology, chemistry, and physics or have the written consent of the A.P. science instructor and the Science Department Instructional Leader.
GENERAL SEQUENCE OF SCIENCE COURSES
|10th Grade||11th Grade||12th Grade|
|Chemistry 1, 2, or 3||A.P. Biology|
|+ A.P. Chemistry||A.P. Chemistry|
|+ A.P. Biology|
|Biology-1||Physical Sci-1||Geoscience||A.P. Physics|
|Biology-2||Physical Sci-2||Chemistry 1, 2, or 3|
|Biology-3||Chemistry-3 or (2)*||Environmental Sci||Geoscience|
|*Students new to|
|district only||A.P. Envir. Science|
|Physics-3 or (2)||Physics 2 or 3|
|Semester Courses||Semester Courses|
SCIENCE LAB PROGRAM: Students experience two double periods for their Biology, Physical Science, Chemistry and Physics courses.
These lab-oriented science courses give the student a chance to investigate in depth some specialized and integrated areas of science. These courses require successful completion of two one-year courses in high school science. The Science Department course offerings based on content are classified accordingly.
|Physical Sciences||Biological Sciences|
|Physical Science 1 & 2||Biology 1, 2, & 3|
|Chemistry 1, 2, & 3||Human Biology|
|Physics 2, 3||Animal Behavior|
|Environmental Science||A.P. Biology|
|A.P. Chemistry||A.P. Environmental Science|
|A.P. Physics||Human Biology-2, 3|
The Social Studies program in kindergarten through second grade exposes the children to different cultures and includes a study of holidays and traditions both in America and around the world. Kindergarten children discuss themselves, their families and classroom communities and also focus on the importance of farms and the Postal Service. They are exposed to different countries and beginning map skills while reading and participating in activities based on the book, Letters From Felix. Students in first grade study their school and neighborhood as a community as well as the integral role that transportation plays. Through discussions of current events they continue to develop map skills while gaining an awareness of issues that affect them, their families, community and the world. Second grade students first study Wilton, past and present, and then a different state and country while continuing to develop an awareness of the world using maps and globes as models.
Educational experiences in Grades 3-5 will assure that students will be able to: examine primary and secondary sources; read challenging primary and secondary source materials; identify the main idea in a source of historical information; identify ways different cultures record their histories; examine data in historical maps, photographs, art works, and other artifacts; create timelines which sequence events and peoples; examine data in order to see people and events in their historical context; develop an understanding of cause and effect within the historical context; and develop written narratives and short interpretative essays, as well as other appropriate presentations from investigations of source materials. In third grade students begin studying the United States as a country. Fourth and fifth grades concentrate on their country’s historical roots, acquiring a general overview of the major events and people who have helped to form our nation.
The curriculum explores prehistoric and classical periods of history. Topics begin with archaeology, which serves as a springboard to the study of early human development and the growth of civilizations. The program is also designed to examine the world’s first civilized societies, Sumer and Egypt, and classical Greece and Rome. Emphasis is placed on these societies’ contributions to western civilization.
Map skills, global awareness, and research skills are developed throughout the year. The text, A Message of Ancient Days, and many rich library and technology resources, are used as the basis of the program.
The focus of grade seven Social Studies is World Geography. Understanding that geography is the study of people and places, students explore these two topics through the use of the Five Themes of Geography, the National Standards for Middle School Social Studies, and the Culture Wheel. Map skills, global awareness, and research skills are directly taught and reinforced throughout the year. Students participate in cooperative groups, interdisciplinary team work, and project-based study. Other development skills targeted include: reading in the content area, information gathering, writing in a variety of formats, presentation of ideas and knowledge in small and large group settings, and the ability to read, interpret, and create various maps. The processes of goal setting, activity planning, and self evaluation are introduced in different ways. As cultural empathy is an important goal, attitudes are a major concern of every geography class.
In eighth grade, students focus on American Studies and use a thematic approach and a four-faceted goal structure – knowledge, skills, the affective domain, and social participation. Through a variety of learning approaches, including cooperative grouping, interdisciplinary team work, and project-based study, all goals are treated in class. Assignments and requirements are tailored to the needs of the individual students.
The course takes an in-depth look into several areas of American history. The content is structured around four themes including: Discovery and Exploration, The Growth and Development of the American Economy, The Development of Law in Constitutional America, and Conflict in American History. Emphasis is placed on the process of learning by encouraging students to take active roles in their own educational experience. Targeted skills include: reading in the content area, information gathering, writing in a variety of formats, presentation of ideas to a variety of audiences, debating issues, and developing the art of inquiry.
The Social Studies program at Wilton High School has as its prime objective the development of citizens who are generally knowledgeable about the world in which they live and specifically well-informed in terms of our own society and its evolution. In order to accomplish these objectives, a four-year sequence of courses is offered. The courses have been designed to provide the student with knowledge about the world both past and present, to teach the skills needed to evaluate data and make decisions, and to provide the opportunity to reflect on the values that have shaped societies. Three full credits of Social Studies are required for graduation. One of these must be in United States History and a half credit must be in Government. It is recommended that Western Civilization will be the introductory Social Studies course for incoming students. In addition to the recommended sequence, students during their junior and/or senior year will enroll in a one-semester area studies course (Latin American, Asian, African, Middle East, or Russian Studies) and a one-semester Social Science course. NOTE: Beginning with the class of 2004, students must take a one-semester course in Government. This satisfies the social science recommendation. The following sequence in recommended for 9th and 10th grades:
|9th *WESTERN CIVILIZATION||10th *US HISTORY|
|*Department recommended sequence for most students|
|**Open to students who have been identified as gifted and/or talented; other students may enroll based on interest, academic record, and teacher recommendation.|
The World Languages Program at Wilton Public Schools encourages the study of one or more languages to promote global understanding. World Language instruction begins with Spanish or French selection in the fourth grade at Cider Mill School. The World Language Program in French and Spanish is taught at Middlebrook School through a proficiency-based learning approach. This methodology provides students with a structural sequence in the development of the fundamental language skills that can be used in everyday life. Through the study of a foreign language, students develop an awareness of, and a more positive attitude toward, other cultures and civilizations.
The sixth grade study continues the work done in grade five. It is a proficiency-based program, which, while still emphasizing listening and speaking skills, puts increasing emphasis on reading and writing. In French the program is Allez, viens and in Spanish the program is Adelante. The seventh grade continues the work done in sixth grade and also is a proficiency-based program. In French the program is Allez, viens and in Spanish it is En Camino. The French and Spanish programs in grade eight continue to be proficiency-based learning with the focus on reading and writing skills. Supplementary reading is employed occasionally. More in-depth, spontaneous language production is expected. In French, the program is Allez, viens! Level 2, and in Spanish, Ven Conmigo! Level 2.
In all three grades, in addition to acquiring specific language skills, other goals include continuing to develop a positive attitude toward a foreign language, studying foreign cultures, and accepting the cultural diversity that exists in the world. In addition to the basic text, there are support materials: student workbooks, classroom audio CD’s, videotapes, and a CD ROM program.
The World Language courses continue at Wilton High School with Spanish, French, German, Latin and/or Russian at Wilton High School where students have the option of:
- continuing their language study to complete an eight-year sequence in French or Spanish;
- beginning the study of French or Spanish and melding into the eight-year sequence in the third year (for French) or in the fourth year (for Spanish);
- studying German, Latin or Russian throughout a four-year sequence.
As language expresses the essence of a people, our World Language Program fosters a gradually deepening knowledge of the culture, geography, history and social institutions of another country or countries. In addition, it provides a differing perspective on one’s own culture and language.
World language study is also a developmental experience which implies progressive learning of the fundamental skills of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The general goals of the World Languages Program are to develop in students an increasing ability: 1) to understand the spoken foreign language, 2) to read it with ease and enjoyment, 3) to write it, and 4) to speak it.
All courses in the World Languages Program at the high school have access to the audio and computer language laboratory facilities. Scheduled language lab programs are designed to present materials of cultural interest and to reinforce linguistic skills learned in the classroom.
In addition to the 4 – 12 World Language Program at the Wilton Public Schools, The Center for Global Studies Magnet School provides students from Southern Fairfield County high schools with an opportunity to study the Japanese and Chinese culture through course offerings in language, literature and history. CGS students live with host families and attend a special schedule of classes for a two week home-stay and study-tour with its sister high schools in these countries.
Technology education instruction begins at Middlebrook School. In grades 6, 7, or 8, a student takes technology education which combines woodworking, metalworking and computer graphics. This course meets twice every six days all year.
At Wilton High School, technology education provides opportunities for all students to develop an understanding about the technical, consumer and occupational aspects of industry and technology. Students acquire technical knowledge through creative and problem-solving learning experiences. Through such activities as planning, designing, constructing, and using tools, machines, and computers, students gain practical experience. Courses include the following: mechanical and architectural drafting, electronics, CAD, robotics, power and automobile mechanics, and The World of Technology courses.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
As with technology education, family and consumer sciences instruction begins at Middlebrook School. This course combines working with foods and clothing and also meets twice every six days.
At Wilton High School, the program consists of child development and culinary arts courses. The child development course provides opportunities for students to acquire both knowledge and skills related to early childhood development and career options. The focus of the child development internship is working with preschool children in a full-time, tuition paying program. The culinary arts course furnishes an environment in which high school students can learn marketable food service skills. The Wilton High School “Culinary Café” provides the opportunity for students to develop occupational and personal skills, explore job and career options, including entrepreneurial skills required for employment.
The business department at Wilton High School offers a program designed for the college-bound student interested in acquiring business knowledge in selected areas, as well as for the student interested in acquiring job skills. The diversity of the courses offers many opportunities for obtaining valuable information and practical training. Computer applications and activities, along with business simulations, are used in most courses. Courses include the following: accounting, business law, personal money management, marketing, computer skills and keyboarding, computer applications, and computer programming.
FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS
The Department of Fine and Performing Arts of the Wilton Public Schools (FAPA) encompasses programs in music, visual art, and theater. This department unites the creative and instructional energies of music and art staff on a K-12 basis. Instruction in the arts is age appropriate, sequential and on-going. The teaching staff is experienced and certified in arts instruction and is represented by instructional leaders in art and music K-12. The entire arts curriculum is coordinated by a K-12 FAPA instructional leader.
MUSIC PROGRAM IN GRADES K-8
General music classes meet twice weekly. There are additional opportunities for students to pursue instrumental or vocal instruction.
String instruction begins in grade 3 at Driscoll and Miller Schools. Through grade 5, in-school group lessons are given weekly for those students who wish to take them. The full orchestra class meets after school once a week. Public concerts by all string groups are held frequently during the school year.
Instrumental instruction (brass, woodwinds & percussion) begins in grade 5 at Cider Mill School. The program consists of one group lesson and band, each meeting once per week. Students at Cider Mill School can also participate in the co-curricular musical groups: Cider Mill Singers, Advanced Strings and 5th Dimension.
At Middlebrook School the band and string programs consist of group lessons of 10-12 students. Group lessons are adjusted in frequency through grades 6 – 8; grade 8 meets every other day. The full band and orchestra rehearse on a pull-out basis. Seasonal concerts and a spring recital are regularly scheduled. Jazz Ensemble is a co-curricular class and meets one day per week after school.
The choral music program is scheduled in similar fashion with solo and group work determined by the music literature in use. Performances are usually held in conjunction with instrumental and string concerts.
MUSIC PROGRAM IN GRADES 9-12
At Wilton High School, there are three instrumental ensembles: Concert Band (130), Wind Ensemble (45) and Jazz Ensemble (20). Concert Band is open to all students while the Wind Ensemble is an auditioned ensemble available to grades 9-12. Auditions for the Wind Ensemble are in the spring of each year. The Jazz Ensemble is also an auditioned ensemble, but is open to grades 9-12 in the band program. The Jazz Ensemble meets one night a week for two hours. Auditions for Jazz Ensemble are in the fall of each year.
The Marching Band is the combination of the Wind Ensemble and the Concert Band. During the marching season, (August through Thanksgiving Day), the Marching Band rehearses as an ensemble every Wednesday as a pullout from academic classes, and every Wednesday night. The Marching Band performs halftime shows during the home football games and travels as a pep band to all away games during the football season. All students in the band program are in the marching band.
All students are scheduled an in-school lesson with the band director.
Similarly, the Wilton High School string program is available to all students interested in orchestra. Specialized ensembles and select orchestra are based upon student audition performance.
At Wilton High School, there are four choral ensembles: Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Men’s Choir and Madrigal Singers. Concert Choir (140) is open to all male and female students grades 9-12. Chamber Singers, Men’s Choir, and Madrigal Singers are select vocal groups combined of grades 10-12 chosen by audition during the prior school year.
In addition, students at the high school may elect courses in Music Theory.
Every student is required to complete one credit in art or music to graduate from Wilton High School. All music programs at the high school are offered during the school day and meet on a daily basis with the exception of men’s choir and jazz ensemble. The music groups at the high school are very active in local, regional and interstate competitions, festivals and adjudications.
VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM
Students in the Wilton Public Schools may participate in visual arts classes throughout their school experience. Art education is a required activity in kindergarten through grade 8. In grades 9 through 12, art courses are elective. All classes are taught in specialized art studio classrooms by staff members certified in art education. The art programs are designed to provide students with continued and sequential opportunities emphasizing self-expression and creativity in a wide variety of art media including: design, graphics, painting, ceramics, drawing, lettering, fabrics, and sculpture at the K-5 level. In grades 6 and 8, the above areas are expanded upon with emphasis upon the creation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art work of a more advanced nature. Integrated units of study are designed around arts resources.
At the middle school, visual arts is required of all grade 6, 7 and 8 students. In grades 6 and 7, students take a basic design course which meets 45 periods per year and deals with fundamental skill building in both 2-D and 3-D areas. Art 8 deals with advanced units of study in ceramics, sculpture, painting and design. Students are required to take Art 8 which meets 60 periods per year. Often the arts are integrated into other curricular subject areas.
At the high school level, students may elect a variety of semester courses. All students must complete one credit in the arts to graduate. Introductory through advanced courses are offered in drawing, ceramics, photography, jewelry, crafts, painting, sculpture, and commercial design. In addition, computer graphics and desk-top publishing are offered. The basic drawing course serves as an entry point for further study through grade 12. In addition to in-school art exhibits, student art works are selected for a district K-12 art show held at the Wilton Public Library, the Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards, and several regional juried shows. The annual Wilton High School Arts Festival is a four-day in-school event which features displays, guest artists, performers and professionals in the arts. These presentations are accessible to the total school population.
DRAMATIC ARTS PROGRAM
Drama and speech options at the high school include public speaking and two theatre arts courses. An active drama club produces several major theater productions a year. Typically, shows involve orchestra and choral participation of high quality along with professional quality direction and choreography. Usually three major shows are produced each year along with an underclassmen production.
PERFORMANCES AND EXHIBITS
In all arts programs, student work is presented in concerts, performances and exhibitions several times each year. In addition, students in grades 7-12 have the opportunity to enter juried shows such as the Aldrich Senior Show, Connecticut Woman’s Club Show, and Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards, and be adjudicated for honors in CMEA regional, state, and select national music festivals.
Physical education instruction is offered twice weekly in grades K-5 and every other day in grades 6-12. At Wilton High School two credits (four semesters) of physical education are required for graduation. Students take one semester of Physical Education per year. The eleventh and twelfth grade courses include a health component. Intramural sports begin at grade four at Cider Mill where they are held prior to the beginning of the school day. At Middlebrook they are held as an after-school program. Included in the intramural program are football, soccer, floor hockey, softball, volleyball and basketball.
The interscholastic sports program at Wilton High School is comprised of the following sports:
Field Hockey – Varsity, JV and Freshmen Boys’ Swimming/Diving
Boys’ Soccer – Varsity, JV and Freshmen Boys’ Basketball – Varsity, JVGirls’ Soccer – Varsity, JV and Freshmen and Freshmen
Football – Varsity, JV and Freshmen Girls’ Basketball – Varsity, JV
Girls’ Swimming/Diving and Freshmen
Volleyball – Varsity, JV and Freshmen Wrestling – Varsity and JV
Coed Cross Country Coed Indoor Track
Cheerleading Gymnastics – Varsity Ice Hockey – Varsity and JV Coed Skiing
Baseball – Varsity, JV and Freshmen
Boys’ Lacrosse – Varsity, JV and Freshmen
Girls’ Lacrosse – Varsity, JV and Freshmen
Coed Golf Team/Girls Golf Club
Softball – Varsity, JV and Freshman
Boys’ Tennis – Varsity and JV
Girls’ Tennis – Varsity and JV
SPECIAL EDUCATION AND SPECIAL SERVICES
The Wilton Public Schools comply with all State and Federal regulations pertaining to educating handicapped children. In the Spring of 1998 a Compliance Review was completed by the Bureau of Students Services, Connecticut State Department of Education and the Wilton program was determined to be in full compliance.
Services to students with a disability begin at age 3 and continue through graduation from high school or age 21, whichever comes first. Services are provided as prescribed by the Planning and Placement Team through an Individualized Educational Plan written for each student with a disability. Each school in the district has a range of services which include Speech and Language, Special Education, Psychological and Social Work services. Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are also available. All services are provided by personnel certified by the State Department of Education.
The Wilton Public Schools offer a range of options for students who require special education. Consultation, indirect service, resource room assistance and total self-containing are possible. The extent of service and place for delivery of the service are determined by the school-based Planning and Placement Teams. If the Planning and Placement Team determines that a student cannot benefit educationally from a program located in Wilton, then an out-of-district placement may be considered. It is the policy of the department to evaluate only those children who are registered in Wilton. Every effort is made to evaluate and develop programs for students who are new to the district in a timely manner. Christine Chambers, Director of Special Services (762-3381), will be glad to answer questions concerning the special education program and support services.
WILTON GIFTED/ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
The essence of the Wilton philosophy for gifted/enrichment is to provide co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities, as well as differentiation within the classroom to meet the special needs of the advanced learner. The first approach allows individual teachers and groups of teachers, along with the support of the aides, to differentiate within the classroom setting. The second approach provides challenging extension activities in which students can participate outside the classroom. This philosophy addresses the development of specific areas within the context of the whole child’s education.
At the K-8 level, gifted/enrichment instructional leaders, gifted/enrichment instructional aides, interns, classroom teachers, and administrators are all components of an enrichment support team approach for the delivery of appropriate instruction. This is planned through meetings with the enrichment team (as mentioned above) to discuss enrichment opportunities from the school’s curriculum models. The building enrichment aides assist students and teachers in the classroom to facilitate student work. Through this dual approach (differentiation within the classroom and co-curricular/extra curricular activities), students in Wilton are given a wide variety of enrichment options throughout the year.
At the high school level, the gifted/enrichment program includes options such as an interdisciplinary ninth grade Humanities course. Other honors/accelerated courses are offered in grades 9-12 in English, Math, World Language, Social Studies and Science. Advanced Placement courses in English Literature, English Language, U.S. History, European History, French, Spanish, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Environmental Science, Calculus and Art Portfolio may be taken in grades eleven and twelve, and independent study options in selected subject areas also are available. Advanced/select courses are offered in Art, Music, and Theater Arts. Independent study options and senior interest project options also are available at Wilton High School.