Put in simplest terms, curriculum is the sum total of all the skills and content knowledge that a child should learn at a particular grade level, in a particular subject area. At ICSA, we are revising our curriculum to be aligned with the AERO Common Core Plus Standards. Standards and benchmarks are the goals and essential learning that should be covered at every grade level.
Many of you who are connected with the US Embassy, Department of Defense or Department of State may already be familiar with AERO, because this initiative sprang from the desire of American sponsored overseas schools (ICSA is one of those!) to use standards-based curriculum for their learning communities abroad. If you want to know more, please visit www.projectaero.org.
The following information about curriculum and standards is taken directly from the homepage of the AERO website.
“AERO is a project supported by the U.S. State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools (A/OPR/OS) and the Overseas Schools Advisory Council to assist schools in developing and implementing standards-based curricula. Project faculty use the AERO Common Core Plus Standards as the basis of the professional development they provide.”
“AERO provides a framework for curriculum consistency across grades K-12 and for stability of curriculum in overseas schools, which typically have a high rate of teacher turnover. AERO’s resources, workshops, and professional consultation services help overseas schools implement and sustain standards-based curricula. This effort is in alignment with research-based trends in the development of curriculum worldwide, and particularly with the Common Core initiative in the U.S.”
“AERO’s Vision: American-sponsored overseas schools will know how standards-based education can and should strengthen a school’s curriculum, teaching, assessment, and, most importantly, student learning. These schools will develop and sustain a program of standards-based learning in their schools.”
At ICSA, we are using the AERO Common Core Plus Standards for Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, World Languages and Visual Arts. We also use the SHAPE standards for Physical Education, and NHES for Health Standards, K-12 21st Century Student Outcomes for technology. In addition, we use the College Board standards for the AP Courses offered in Upper School. We continue to aspire to deliver a high-quality educational experience for your children.
Do we offer the IB? The answer is not yet….We are a work in progress, with our desire to become an IBO Diploma Program school underway. In Fall 2014, we were accepted as a candidate school. We are in the initial stages of this process, and hope to offer the IB here at ICSA next year, if all goes well through the authorization process.