West Haven is an urban district outside of New Haven with six elementary schools (PK-4), one intermediate school (grades 5-6), one middle school (grades 7-8) and one high school (grades 9-12). All schools are identified as free milk/free lunch eligible. The district level leadership consists of a superintendent, an assistant superintendent and central office coordinators who work collaboratively with building level leadership and staff to support teaching and learning in all academic areas.
West Haven School District curricula are based upon the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) and the CT Social Studies Frameworks. All District staff were trained in the development and use of the Rigorous Curriculum Design (Ainsworth, 2010). The Design is a road map for developing course content, scope and sequence, which includes common assessments, pacing guides, performance tasks/assessments and unit planners. All core curricula are aligned both vertically and horizontally within the subject/grade level areas using this process.
Curricula in all areas stress high expectations for all youngsters regardless of their needs. Core curricula instruction begins with the classroom teacher (Tier 1 instruction). Schools implement all curricula and assessments with fidelity and consistency. These characteristics of our district compounded with appropriate professional learning and resources, directly impact student achievement and help close the gap between high needs students and the general education population. The core curriculum is the blueprint for success: At the heart of every core curriculum is the expectation that all students can learn.