Does our school teach phonics?
Yes. We believe a solid foundation in phonics is extremely important to increase fluency and reaching comprehension. However, phonics is not taught in isolation, but rather as part of a balanced literacy approach.
When I was in kid, Kindergarten was mostly playtime. Why are expectations for Kindergarteners so high now?
There has been a drastic increase in Texas regarding the standards of learning we are required to meet at every grade level. The learning expectations are rigorous, and we can’t afford to wait until first grade to begin. We must start early to make sure every child is able to meet those standards. Luckily, we are finding that kindergarten children are much more capable of meeting these expectations than previously thought.
STAAR is the state mandated test administered to students beginning in grade three. The items measured on the test are directly aligned with the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) that we must teach at each grade level. Not all subject areas are tested every year, so the areas tested by the STAAR at the elementary level include:
Third Grade Reading and Math
Fourth Grade Reading, Math and Writing
Fifth Grade Reading, Math and Science
State law requires that children must pass STAAR test at certain grade levels in order to be promoted. Currently, students in fifth grade must pass both reading and math to be promoted to sixth grade. It takes a lot of work to help make sure the students are well-prepared to be successful on these important tests, so your child’s teacher may rely on your support at home.
What else do I need to know about the curriculum?
The Deer Park ISD curriculum is based on the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). These TEKS have been outlined by the state of Texas as the skills and concepts that must be taught at each grade level. If you’d like to know more about the TEKS that are tested at your child’s grade level, you can visit the Texas Education Agency website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/teks/index.html