6-8 Academics Overview

Lisle Junior High School: The Five Cs of Learning in the 21st Century
Community • Collaboration • Critical-Thinking • Creativity • Communication

Lisle Junior High School is dedicated to the District's mission of equipping our students with the essential education, skills, and experiences necessary to find success throughout their lives - in school, in the workplace, and in society as a whole.

We live in a world that is constantly changing, and as a result, necessary changes have taken place in education as well in order to remain effective in accomplishing our mission. P21®, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, has identified the “Four Cs” (Collaboration, Critical-Thinking, Creativity, and Communication) as skills that are essential for success, and therefore, must be developed by all students in all subject areas.

In addition, the incorporation of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction has played a crucial role in establishing what we believe to be the fundamental “Fifth C” of learning - Community. Especially during these middle school years, our students first need to feel safe, supported, and connected if we are going to be able to assist them in reaching their full potential.

Departments

Career & Technical Education (CTE)

The mission of Career and Technical Education (CTE) is to provide college and career readiness instruction through a dynamic, hands-on curriculum, providing students the education and skills necessary to prepare them for a wide range of college majors and/or careers. Students will acquire the ability to work independently, as part of a team, and think creatively to solve problems.

English

The English/Language Arts (ELA) Department’s instruction focuses on composition, language, and literature and is designed to encourage students to become critical and analytical readers, logical and insightful thinkers, as well as skilled users of written and oral communication. Our Common Core aligned curriculum offers the opportunity for students to hone their language potential in coursework that provides each student with the appropriate level of cognitive challenge while preparing them to engage in a complex, dynamic society.

Fine Arts

Students who study the Fine Arts explore the mediums of art and music to examine and strengthen innate human characteristics and to better understand themselves.  We study a variety of cultures and traditions. Through individual and collaborative work, sometimes with the use of technology, students learn to expand their creativity, to problem solve using divergent and analytical thinking, and to appreciate beauty and affect.

Mathematics

The mission of the Mathematics department is to provide students with the mathematical concepts and skills necessary for a successful future. The curriculum, instruction, and assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and Standards for Mathematical Practices. Students are encouraged to think for themselves and to make conjectures while persevering through challenging tasks, enabling all students to be critical thinkers and collaborative problem solvers.

Physical Education & Health

The Physical Education/Health Department equips students with the tools necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle while also educating students to be self-directed learners, collaborative workers, complex thinkers, quality producers, and community contributors both now and in the future.

Science

Students in our science classrooms are not expected to simply learn science. Instead, they are expected to be scientists. Utilizing curriculum, instruction, and assessments aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards as well as the Science and Engineering Practices, our students engage in all the practices of true scientific investigation - Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Developing and Using Models, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, and Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.

Social Studies

In alignment with the recently adopted C3 (College, Career, and Civic Life) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, the Social Studies Department implements an inquiry-based learning approach in which our students develop critical thinking skills, communicating their learning in a variety of both verbal and written forms. Students gain invaluable experience as they learn and grow into informed and engaged citizens.

World Languages

The mission of the World Language Department is to foster the acquisition of another language. The purpose of learning another language is to communicate with the people who speak it and to understand their culture. Students will realize that learning another language has long lasting effects in both their personal and professional lives.  Students will expand their multi-cultural and global awareness, allowing them to better function as global citizens. Teachers emphasize the importance of students demonstrating their ability to read, write, listen, and speak in the “target language”. A balanced system of assessment is utilized to continuously monitor student progress within each of these essential aspects of communication.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data-based problem solving and decision-making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting all students.  

Enrichment & Acceleration Programs

The Lisle District 202 Board of Education believes that all students across the achievement spectrum should be challenged and supported to develop their potential. Accelerated placement is the placement of a student at the instructional level that best matches that student’s needs by allowing access to curriculum that is usually reserved for older students. Accelerated placement is open to all students regardless of race, ethnicity and gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability who meet the district’s criteria of high ability. Accelerated placement options include early entrance to kindergarten and first grade, subject acceleration and whole grade acceleration.

Throughout sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, accelerated placement opportunities include placement in an accelerated mathematics course and/or an honors-level literature course. Students qualify for placement in these courses based on standardized and local testing, classroom performance and learning behaviors. Assessment of qualifications is an ongoing process. Referrals for subject and grade level acceleration should be submitted to building administration.

 

Academic Supports

Lisle Junior High School teachers meet the needs of all learners. Teachers use a differentiated approach to instruction and actively plan for students' differences so that all students can best learn. Teachers divide their time, resources, and efforts to effectively teach students who have various backgrounds, readiness and skill levels, and interests. Teachers provide differentiation by allowing students to have choice in many of their learning opportunities. Teachers work with small groups and individual students to target skills and provide the necessary feedback to help students move forward.

In order to effectively assist students in reaching their full academic potential, Lisle Junior High School offers a wide range of academic supports during the school day and beyond. Academic intervention courses in mathematics and reading provide students who demonstrate deficiencies in these areas with individualized, small group learning experiences geared toward “closing the gaps” in prior learning while also supporting their current acquisition of grade-level concepts and skills. After-school programming is available as well in order to further support students in need of additional instructional support or simply a safe and structured environment in which to work and study.

Social Emotional Learning Supports

Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

The District works to implement SEL through climate, culture and infusion. Climate refers to building safe and respectful learning environments throughout the school and school day, direct instruction refers to using a variety of programs to explicitly teach SEL skills and infusion refers to the integration of SEL principles throughout instruction.  In a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) approach integrates SEL curriculum and strategies to support positive behavior.

All students are actively engaged in biweekly SEL lessons utilizing the secondSTEP® curriculum, which was recently updated and revamped for middle school. A major component of this new version is an increased focus on developing a “growth mindset”, which many regard as a necessary first step toward fostering all other positive character traits and skills, such as perseverance and empathy.

Special Education

Lisle District 202 offers a full continuum of special education and related services to students found eligible to receive special education services. This process involves a comprehensive evaluation and looks at many aspects of child’s development. You or your child’s school can request an evaluation. Schools use many strategies to help students receiving special education services succeed in general education settings. These strategies include: assistive technology, accommodations, modifications, and push in/pull out services. Please visit the Student Services section of our website for a complete District overview.

Lisle Junior High School is committed to the success of all students. Reflective of this commitment is the placement of students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Inclusion facilitators are on the staff to individually assist those students with Individual Education Plans (IEP). Students with IEPs may participate in any of a variety of education settings in order to best support their growth.

 

 

Additional Information

Instructional Technology

Lisle Junior High School currently operates under a 1:1 Chromebook policy. Students are loaned these devices, including a charger and a case, with the expectation that they will treat the technology with care. Teachers of all subjects utilize these devices to enrich their curricula. With pedagogy still as a guiding factor, teachers design lessons that maximize these devices and enhance engagement for all learners. Students are responsible for ensuring the device is charged and ready to use in class. Lisle Junior High School utilizes a variety of digital tools including Google Apps for Education, along with other instructional platforms. The integration of technology provides an enhanced learning experience for our students and gives them an opportunity to redefine what mastery looks like in any content area.

Grading Understandings

  • Grades communicate student achievement of learning standards; students’ grades should not be reduced or inflated due to student behaviors outside of the standards.

  • Standards are clearly communicated to students with clear indicators of proficiency and exemplars.

  • Grading policies are consistent among teacher of a course and common assessments are utilized to measure student achievement.

  • Students learn at different rates and should have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge of standards; students are expected to take steps to correct errors of knowledge, understanding or skills.

  • Formative assessments are used to provide descriptive feedback in order to allow students to self-assess progress towards a standard.