FORT STEWART, Ga. - Many changes are in the works for Fort Stewart Schools under the Department of Defense Education Activity that parents and students will see for the 2011-2012 school calendar. Although the 2010-2011 school year is over, administrators have started planning for the next one. The ramp-up for next year begins with school registration over the summer. From now until July 14 and July 26 until August 3 registration will be conducted from 8 a.m. until noon in all Fort Stewart schools.

The mission of DoDEA is to provide an exemplary education that inspires and prepares all DoDEA students for success in a dynamic, global environment.

That being said, new programs such as the Benchmark Assessment System, which is a series of texts that identifies a student’s current reading level and progress over a period of time.

The assessment will provide DoDEA educators, parents and students a consistent system-wide reading assessment tool that will assist in:

• Determining students’ independent and instructional reading levels
• Determining reading placement levels and group students for reading instruction
• Selecting texts that will be productive for student’s’ instruction
• Assessing the outcomes of teaching identifying students who need intervention
• Documenting student progress across a school year and across grade levels
• Informing parent conferences

There will be a full implementation of pre-k through 6th grade Social Studies curriculum resources and materials. The new DoDEA adopted curriculum for k-6 Social Studies is published by Scott Foresman. The Scott Foresman Social Studies authorship team is comprised of recognized researchers and educators in the field of social studies education. The authors developed a research-based, comprehensive program that included curriculum design, implementation, instructional trends and methodologies, assessment, and teacher training.
In every unit of social studies instruction, reading skills are taught, modeled, and applied. The reading skills strand provides explicit instruction in reading skills and the application of those skills to nonfiction expository writing. By applying those skills, students are prepared to read nonfiction materials, which is a fundamental aspect of successful social studies education.

Scott Foresman Social Studies was developed in a format that provides easy access to the content, a consistent format for students, and cues to assist teachers and students in reading the text.

All assessment options reflect the learning activities, content, and skills students have learned. The range of assessment choices, including formal and informal, performance, or portfolio assessments, assures that students have integrated the information and can communicate that learning to others.

Short-term and long-term projects spark creativity and help integrate social studies with other content areas, including language arts, science, and mathematics.

Also new for next year will be a new mathematics curriculum for all grade levels. According to DoDEA, the newly adopted curriculum for mathematics instruction grade 6 is Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Math Connects. Math Connects provides opportunities for students to build their understanding of mathematical concepts and ample practice to master important skills. Most importantly, all concepts are taught through and practiced within a strong problem-solving environment, insuring that students become life-long problem solvers.

This coming school year will also bring extracurricular activities to the Stewart schools such as the art club, fitness club, performing arts, technology club as well as Extended Learning Opportunity, which is an afterschool program available for students who need additional time and support.

Parents can contact their child’s Stewart school by calling the school via the information provided below.

Brittin Elementary School: (912) 368-3324, Diamond Elementary: (912) 876-6094, Kessler Elementary School (912) 368-3598. Stewart school hours are 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and breakfast hours are from 7:30-8 a.m.