In 2017, the Mineola Union Free School District conducted a systematic curriculum review to determine the effect of rapid technological advances would have on K12 school systems. Superintendent, Dr. Michael Nagler was determined that any new curriculum would include the following:
• Alignment to NYS Learning Standards
• Allow students to “own the learning” through more opportunities for student choice in the way they demonstrated their understanding and the path in which they take to get there
• The ability to share the curriculum with other K12 systems
• Reinforce systems of thinking and problem solving
• Instill the belief that learning is a life-long process
The Integrated Curriculum
Mineola UFSD uses an interdisciplinary approach to delivering high quality curriculum to all students. The Integrated Curriculum is complex, vibrant and highly nuanced. To promote an equitable and excellent learning experience the Integrated Curriculum incorporates elements of design thinking, advanced literacy, and multiculturalism. To truly embody the Mineola’s mission and to further inspire students to make a difference, Mineola’s units of study incorporate learning pathways, student choice, and enrichment opportunities that align to and extend the Next Generation ELA and Science Standards as well as the Social Studies Framework standards. Mineola, through the integrated curriculum, has taken a bold and creative step in preparing its students for the 4th industrial revolution and the future!
Mineola’s Curriculum cultivates knowledge by integrating the content areas of History, Science, Geography and English Language Arts. These four major areas of study are coalesced under a thematic conceptual umbrella that is guided by an essential question such as ‘How is one’s story shaped by his/her culture and geography?’ Students are asked to consider the essential question throughout the unit of study via articles, literature, various texts that promote diverse perspectives and multimedia from a variety of disciplines that are coalesced into aligned text sets. Furthermore, students explore and experience content as they make it come to life through coding, outdoor learning opportunities, STEM related activities, and interest-based learning tasks. All of these opportunities allow students to demonstrate their knowledge in a myriad of ways, providing the students with the optimal conditions for student choice and self-determination.
Students engage in the 4 C’s as the skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication are organically embedded in each lesson of every unit. Students culminate their unit of study by demonstrating their understanding creatively through the Application of Knowledge Assessment. These performance-based assessments truly ignite excitement and passion in Mineola’s students by asking them to employ design thinking, become active participants in a diverse democracy, solve real-world problems, and be agents of social as well as political change. Students as young as 5 are taught that they, too, have a voice and that their voice is important in affecting change!
Learn more by visiting our YouTube Channel or accessing this short video overview
The Essential Questions