Curriculum based on the Indiana Common Core Standards as well as the Indiana state standards assures that children are taught the same material regardless of which of Noblesville's seven elementary schools they attend. Teachers adjust their methods of instruction within the classroom so they can best meet the learning needs of all children.
Kindergarten is a world of discovery. With an emphasis on meeting the individual needs of children, Noblesville’s kindergarten classrooms give young children of all abilities and skills a place to take root and grow. Regardless of where they are in the spectrum of learning when they come to school, kindergarten teachers meet them and help them move to a new place and a higher level. Through exploration and interaction with teachers and classmates, kindergartners form a base of knowledge that prepares them for the primary grades. Classes are half-day sessions.
Literacy and writing are integrated throughout the curriculum from kindergarten through high school. Instruction is based on five literacy core principles:
• Students learn to read, comprehend, and connect materials of all genres independently.
• Students learn to communicate effectively through reading, writing, and speaking.
• Teachers incorporate a balanced approach to teaching literacy including guided reading, sustained silent reading, writing, and word-building.
• Literacy instruction is integrated throughout the curriculum and everyday life.
• Students and teachers utilize all available resources.
Noblesville’s writing initiative has boosted the writing ability of students. Writing is not confined to one specific time of the day, but students are writing in every subject. In math, for example, students are writing story problems; in science, they record their observations of experiments. In music and art, they write about composers and artists. Since the writing initiative began, teachers have found that not only have students’ writing skills improved, their language skills have improved as well.
In Noblesville, math teachers at all grade levels, from elementary school through high school, work together to ensure that young students are prepared for the tougher courses that await at higher grade levels. The Indiana Department of Education identifies key standards that must be taught, but Noblesville teachers have taken the standards a step beyond and have identified Power Standards that are to be taught at each grade level, and Power Plus Standards, which are above and beyond state standards but cover material teachers believe students need to master.
Noblesville elementary schools augment the core curriculum with strong programs in media, technology, and the arts. Each school’s media center is available to classes and individual students at all times. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum through the use of computer labs, computers in each classroom, and a variety of software programs. Students attend music, art, or physical education classes daily.
Noblesville’s FOCUS (Flexible Opportunities to Challenge Us) program serves the highest ability students in grades 3-8. FOCUS is an accelerated program in reading and math that is geared toward the most able children in those areas. Children who qualify for the program receive enriched curriculum and instruction. The curriculum is taught at a more accelerated pace and is enriched to extend learning in meaningful ways.
Five elementary schools offer the federal Title I program for children who need additional literacy support to develop their reading skills. Once students are identified for the program, they receive two and a half hours a week of intensive instruction by Title I teachers. The Title I program also includes a family involvement program that helps build parents’ abilities to work with their children at home, and professional development opportunities to help teachers develop their instruction skills.
Each elementary school has a full-time counselor and a full-time nurse available to students as needs arise. The counselor works with students individually and in small groups and teaches classroom lessons on life skills. The life skills programs play a major role in Noblesville’s elementary schools as children learn to do the right thing and to treat people right. The life skills program focuses on developing character traits such as kindness, perseverance, responsibility, and integrity.