Next on our list of things on which Lakeside Christian School focuses in order to prepare our students for college and career is
Another name for aligned curriculum is coherent curriculum. According to edglossary.org, aligned curriculum “refers to an academic program that is (1) well organized and purposefully designed to facilitate learning, (2) free of academic gaps and needless repetitions, and (3) aligned across lessons, courses, subject areas, and grade levels.”
Simply put, an academic program with aligned curriculum would be one in which all assessments, lessons, instructions, tests, assignments, textbooks, and the like are matched in such a way as to meet standards and cohere as a whole. The purpose of this is that the students’ knowledge builds on itself naturally and doesn’t repeat unnecessarily.
When teachers work together within a school “using developmentally appropriate and well-defined learning expectations (source),” students will have a better chance at eliminating and/or closing academic gaps, therefore becoming more college prepared.
This makes sense, especially when you understand that there can be a four-year gap in academics between the best and worst state standards. This means a senior in one state might find himself at the academic level of a freshman in another state. Consistency is important.
Beyond consistency within the school is alignment to education standards that measure college readiness at grade level. Lakeside Christian School has therefore aligned with ACT Aspire testing. College and career readiness standards are their basis for measuring student improvement (grades 3-10). Aspire tests grade-level knowledge as defined by the standards of the largest states in the US.
ACT Aspire provides three types of tests: classroom assessments, interim assessments, and summative assessments. All three work together to provide insight into each student’s progress and readiness, which then guides instruction.
Why is this so important? It’s important because our goal is to work from day one to help your child become college and career ready. One way we do that is through aligned curriculum with ACT Aspire.
“ACT solutions are explicitly designed and empirically validated to assess student progress toward college and career readiness” (source).
No other organization can link student test scores and actual post-high school performance, plus the ability to then determine what must be learned to be ready for college. Our alignment with the evidence-based ACT Aspire Benchmark testing gives students, parents, and teachers the information they need to determine the right educational path and possible interventions needed to prepare them for college and career. There is no guessing or hoping; there is no pulling for grades high enough to simply graduate; instead, each student is given the opportunity to become truly prepared for life after high school.
For more information about ACT ASPIRE, please visit their website. Consider scheduling a free tour with Lakeside Christian School. We’d love to show you how ACT Aspire works, and what makes LCS different from other schools.