The Pre-K-3 Academic program in the Bangor School Department has its foundation in the development and acceleration of early literacy skills for all students. For more than a 15 years, the Bangor School system has been a nationally recognized leader in literacy instruction and assessment. Believing that a good school start is paramount to long-term success, and dealing with the realities of diverse student needs, a program was developed based on leveled assessment and instruction.
Teachers and administrators set high expectations and accelerate achievement. They share an intensive and uncompromising drive to help every child succeed. Parents become full partners in the literacy experience through home support. Unambiguous and targeted achievement reports are provided to parents as they work with teachers to ensure that their child meets expected reading levels. Certain instructional interventions focus sharply on the at-risk reader’s progress, most notably Reading Recovery and its “homegrown cousins” Kindergarten and grade one Literacy Groups. Bangor educators have developed and adopted a comprehensive assessment program to monitor student reading performance at grades one, two and three.
This instructional tool allows for diagnostic evaluation of student reading, giving teachers and parents vital information for informing instructional practice and for guiding support. With well-defined grade level standards in place, teachers are able to evaluate where students are in relation to the expected performance, and adjust their instruction in order to bring students to that standard. Additionally, with a strong belief in the acceleration of learning, those students who are at or above grade level are provided with the program they need to reach even higher levels of achievement.
The 2015 implementation in kindergarten through grade 5 of enVision Math.2.0, the updated version of the long standing Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley series, stretches student development in all areas of math. Aligned to Maine’s Learning Results, enVision Math continues Bangor’s commitment to offering math instruction that builds understanding of foundational math operations and skills while developing the math reasoning and thinking skills to solve multi-step, complex math problems. In addition to frequent homework, student learning is regularly assessed through a variety of measures including math journals, topic assessments, performance tasks, unit and end of the year tests.
Science & Social Studies
Science and Social Studies instruction culminates with four inquiry-based units developed by Bangor School Department teachers. In their study of the Human Body (Biology), Earth Materials (Geology), Sound (Physics), and the long-standing Downeast to Bangor Unit (Social Studies), grade 3 students experience instruction based on Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings– an effective technique for developing understanding of content and process. Instructional experiences leading up to grade 3 are predominantly hands-on, integrated activities that emphasize observation and manipulation skills and developing in students a habit of inquiry. Foundational social studies skills of basic geography and map skills are also instructed.