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Curriculum

Division Literacy Plan

With the passage of the Virginia Literacy Act (VLA) in the 2022 General Assembly, every school system is required to develop a Division Literacy Plan with the overall goal of improving reading outcomes, especially for our young students.  We are seeking the community's feedback on our Division Birth-12 Literacy Plan.  Please complete this brief form to provide the Division Literacy Team with feedback to assist us as we continue to develop the division's plan.

Career & Technical Education

MCPS offers comprehensive Career & Technical Education programs in grades 6 through 12 in the areas of Agriculture Education, Business & Information Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Health & Medical Sciences, Marketing Education, Technology Education, and Trade & Industry. Additionally, MCPS offers a robust Work-Based Learning program for high school students to gain real-world work experiences. 

English/Language Arts and Literacy

The MCPS English Language Arts program incorporates and extends the English Language Arts 2017 Standards of Learning and Curriculum Framework.  The standard-based curriculum outlines the content that K-12 teachers are expected to teach and students are expected to learn. The goals of the ELA program are to teach students to read, write, research, and communicate. Standards for kindergarten through twelfth grade are organized in four related strands:  Communication and Multimodal Literacies, Reading, Writing, and Research.  Although the strands are developed separately, they are expected to be seamlessly integrated in the classroom. Standards that incorporate rigor in English help students develop the expected performance competencies.

Tricia Metzel
ELA Administrator
triciametzel@mcps.org
540-382-5100 Ext: 1052

Kelly Rowland
Reading Intervention Coordinator/Dyslexia Advisor
kellyrowland@mcps.org540-382-5100 Ext: 1019

English as a Second Language

The MCPS English as a Second Language program provides an equal opportunity for students to participate in a language assistance program.  Students who qualify for language assistance based on the WIDA Screener receive appropriate language services until they are proficient in English and can participate meaningfully in the district’s educational programs without language assistance services.  The language assistance services and the instruction received in the classroom are based on the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 (K-12)

Services in Elementary School are provided by the ESL teacher by pulling the student out or pushing into the content/classroom.  Services in Secondary are mainly received through ESL courses and some pushing into the content.

Emily Altizer
ESL Administrator
emilyaltizer@mcps.org
540-382-5100 Ext: 1044

Fine Arts

MCPS believes that Fine Arts programs are essential for all students.  The Fine Arts programs at MCPS provide a comprehensive arts education for over 10,000 students in grades PK-12 in music, theater arts and visual arts.  The knowledge and skills that our students acquire through this instruction include the ability to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, work collaboratively and understand and empathize with cultural perspectives different from their own.  The MCPS fine arts programs challenge our students to maximize their potential and provide consistent monitoring, support, and encouragement to ensure success for all.  All of the students in MCPS, including our gifted students, English language learners and students with special needs,deserve opportunities for fine arts instruction as part of a comprehensive education.  The MCPS fine arts curriculum exemplifies the expectations established in the Profile of a Virginia Graduate and are reflective of the skills and attributes that students need to excel in the 21st Century workplace.

Elementary art and general music instruction are provided to all students in grades PK-5.  At the middle and high school levels, a wide range of elective course offerings in music, theater, and visual arts are available for all students.  Please contact our division’s lead teachers if you are interested in learning more about our MCPS fine arts programs.

Lead Elementary Music, Anne Chilcote–annechilcote@mcps.org

Lead Choral Music, Mandi Steele–msteele@mcps.org

Lead Instrumental Music, Harry Farmer–harryfarmer@mcps.org

Lead Visual Arts, Carrie Lyons–clyons@mcps.org

Lead Theater Arts, Makala Witten–mwitten@mcps.org 

World Language

The MCPS World Language program features American Sign Language, French, German, and Spanish courses that follow the VDOE Standards of Learning and proficiency guidelines from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Students gain real-world application and cross-cultural awareness through authentic resources and practices. The World Language curriculum includes receptive and expressive skills, listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the target language. Students are given opportunities to communicate effectively and understand cultures around the world.

Gifted Education

MCPS believes gifted students are those whose aptitudes and potential for higher levels of academic accomplishment are so outstanding that they require differentiated curriculum, courses, services, and opportunities to meet their educational needs. Using multiple criteria, MCPS identifies K-12 gifted learners in the specific academic areas of English and mathematics. Utilizing a cluster/resource model in grades K-8, the gifted staff collaborates with teachers and administrators to employ appropriate differentiation in curriculum and instruction and encourage high-ability students to strive for success in an ever-changing global society. To meet the academic needs of secondary students in grades 6-12, MCPS offers students the opportunity to take advanced level, honors, Advanced Placement, and Dual Enrollment courses.


For additional information, visit the MCPS Gifted Program website.

Library

The MCPS Library services are provided by professionally qualified and certified librarians in accordance with state accreditation standards .The MCPS School libraries maintain materials that:

1. Support the curriculum;
2. Stimulate the acquisition of factual knowledge and the development of literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards;
3. Contain a wide range of views on issues so that students may develop the practice of critical reading and thinking;
4. Are representative of religious, ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to the American heritage; and,
5. Are of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library media center.

Tony Deibler
Library Administrator
540-382-5100 ext. 1053
tonydeibler@mcps.org

Mathematics

The MCPS mathematics curriculum is standards-based and organized to promote student learning in both content and mathematical processes including problem solving, reasoning and communicating mathematically, making mathematical connections, and using representations to model and interpret practical situations. The Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning identify academic content for essential components of the MCPS math curriculum at different grade levels. Grades K-8 standards are organized into four core strands of mathematics:

1) number and number sense,
2) computation and estimation,
3) measurement and geometry, and
4) probability, statistics, patterns, functions, and algebra. 

Secondary courses offered include: Algebra I, Geometry, AFDA, Algebra II, Trigonometry/Advanced Algebra, DE Precalculus, DE/AP Calculus, Probability & Statistics, AP Statistics, and AP Computer Science.

Physical Education, Health, Family Life & Driver’s Education

Montgomery County Public Schools addresses the health education standards by working collaboratively. For students in grades K-5, health education is monitored by classroom teachers but instruction may come from guidance counselors, school resource officers, physical education teachers, or community-based organizations. School-based wellness initiatives also address the health education standards through events that focus on nutrition, safety, physical activity, and community resources.

View the Health and Physical Education website. 

Preschool

The MCPS Preschool program is an “at-risk” program for families that may qualify.  Families may apply through the joint application provided on the website curriculum page.  This is an application for both 3-year olds and 4-year olds through the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), Head Start, and VPI Mixed Delivery.  There are not enough slots for all MCPS families to attend preschool but we encourage all families to apply.

Preschool instruction is based on the Virginia Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDs).  Preschool teachers instruct with the Scholastic PreK On My Way curriculum which is fully aligned with the Virginia ELDs.

For more information about Preschool and how to apply, visit our Preschool Website!

Emily Altizer
Preschool Administrator
emilyaltizer@mcps.org
540-382-5100 Ext: 1044

Science

The MCPS science curriculum is standards-based and organized to promote student learning in both the content and processes of scientific investigation. The Virginia Science Standards of Learning identify academic content for essential components of the science curriculum at different grade levels. Standards are identified for kindergarten through grade six and for a core set of middle and high school courses – life science, physical science, Earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.

Social Studies

The MCPS social studies curriculum is standards-based and organized to promote student learning in both the content and application of social science skills. The Virginia Social Studies Standards of Learning identify academic content for essential components of the MCPS social studies curriculum at different grade levels. Grades K-3 standards are organized into the four core strands of social studies: history, geography, civics and economics.  Standards for grades 6-12 proceed in an integrated way, and include: Virginia Studies, U.S. History I & II, Civics, Geography, World History I & II, Virginia and U.S. History, and U.S. Government.

Testing

The testing program is housed in the technology department. For more information on testing, visit the testing webpage

Virtual School Program

The MCPS Virtual School Program is for families who prefer to have their children educated in a remote learning environment for grades k-12. Students who participate in the Virtual School Program complete 100% of coursework online for the entire year. The Virtual School Program registration is only available during the annual spring sign-up period each spring. For more information, contact your child's school or Mark Husband (markhusband@mcps.org).