CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
Over the years the Upper Saddle River School district has focused on developing and supporting high quality programs in all areas of the curriculum. We have researched best practice, studied student learning, and kept abreast of educational research. When we clarified our core values as a school district we made a commitment to work with each student on developing:
- intellectual, artistic, practical and physical achievements reflecting creativity
- a strong sense of achievement and pride
- a life-long love of learning
- the ability to work together, alone or as part of a team
- an appreciation of the the connections between various subject matter
The staff has participated in extensive staff development to shape and review our programs. Each summer, since the summer of 1992, groups of teachers have worked on developing curriculum. Interdisciplinary units, mathematics, science, social studies, writing, social development, and technology have been some of the areas we have focused on. During the course of the school year, teachers have worked in teams to develop science modules, study mathematics, social studies, world language and reading approaches as well as support technology integrations. We continue to refine programs and evaluate progress.
Articulation of program within the quad district has also been a high priority for teaching and administrative staff. We have met regularly to discuss our programs so that students from the three sending districts enter high school with common educational backgrounds in the content areas.
We engage students in meaningful active learning aimed at developing knowledge and the application of that knowledge in and across content areas. We know from research that students learn best from working hands-on with the skills, content, and concepts they are learning. We want students to think about their learning, to reflect on what they know, and to examine what they want to and need to know. This is currently reflected in the development of our inquiry-based science program, hands-on, problem-based mathematics approaches, and integrated use of technology. It is supported daily in the way we teach as well.
We have developed a wide range of quality programs in the core disciplines, in thematic/interdisciplinary units, in the arts, allied technology, and health and physical education. Our students leave our schools having had many in-depth learning experiences designed to enable them to develop as knowledgeable and successful learners.