English / Language Arts Curriculum K-12

Following a review of literacy research as well as a review of instructional practices and programs, Fountas & Pinnell was implemented  to enrich Bangor’s K-5 literacy program.  Designed to support Maine’s increased literacy standards required of all students, Fountas & Pinnell integrates literacy skills and reading competencies across a variety of genres.

Fountas & Pinnell offers students both non-fiction and fiction experiences to build foundational competencies and to equip students with the skills required to support close reading and critical thinking.

Recognizing the relationship between reading and writing, Fountas & Pinnell provides students with opportunities to respond to what they have read in an analytical or critical context while also ensuring students develop their skills in informative, narrative, and opinion writing.  Students receive explicit writing instruction and analyze quality writing intended to mature their skills as writers.  At grades 4 and 5, identified gifted and talented students enrolled in accelerated ELA access Fountas & Pinnell instruction at an advanced level.

The common structure and language of Fountas & Pinnell provides a core experience for students as they progress through Bangor’s K-5 schools.  In addition to Bangor’s continuous professional development model, teachers participated in extensive professional training in Fountas & Pinnell with a particular emphasis on best practices supporting successful implementation.

The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) identifies students’ instructional and independent reading levels along a readily understood letter continuum from A to Z.  This K-3 assessment, administered 3 times a year, allows teachers to observe student reading practices one-on-one and continues Bangor’s long standing commitment to purposeful assessment and communication of student literacy growth.

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) measures students’ reading comprehension in grades 4-8.  The NWEA is a nationally normed assessment. The results inform daily instruction and allow teachers and principals to monitor student growth.

The middle level ELA curriculum exposes students to a variety of reading materials and literacy forms with a progressively complex analysis of literature during the 6-8 experience.  Common Units in ELA (experience for all students) focus thinking and writing on developmentally-appropriate literacy concepts and themes.  Studying various literacy genres, including essays, historical fiction, non-fiction, short stories, and poems, students apply reading strategies to unlock their exploration of the text.  In response to their reading, students receive explicit writing instruction in informative, narrative, and opinion writing.  An annual grammar assessment informs classroom instruction.  Accelerated course options at each grade provide highly motivated and able students with advanced learning experiences in writing, reading, and higher order thinking.

The ELA curriculum at Bangor High School, aligned to national standards, includes grade level common assessments where students demonstrate mastery of both local and national standards.  Instruction is designed to address the needs of all students through supported courses that build year to year.  Reading, writing, research, and grammar skills are further developed each year creating a comprehensive exploration of literacy genres and expansion of skills.  Honors and Advanced Placement courses offer engaging instruction for the highly able and motivated students.  A variety of elective course offerings complement the ELA experience.

Mathematics Curriculum K-12

Mathematics instruction is enhanced with the K-8 adoption of the Pearson/Savvas enVision series, enVision Math. Aligned with the state and national standards, enVision is grounded in research and develops students’ conceptual understanding of math. Lessons move from concrete ideas to abstract representations building a deeper understanding of math concepts which allows students to solve real -world problems.

Instruction targets math fact fluency for all students K-8. Accelerated math classes are offered beginning in grade 4 at both Fairmount and Mary Snow.

Middle school math instruction is enhanced with the 2016 adoption of enVision Math providing instructional continuity grades K-8. For students studying pre-algebra, the Prentice Hall instructional program is used as well. Both Bangor middle schools, JFDS and WSCS, offer Algebra l and geometry for students’ math study as current State of Maine high school graduation requires proficiency in Algebra II . Accommodations are offered for the highly able math student who displays achievement beyond the traditional levels of acceleration as well as for those students requiring further support.

At Bangor High School, students elect from twenty-six courses including eight Advanced Placement and Honors offerings to satisfy the requirements of four years of math study with proficiency through Algebra II.

For the highly able math student, study extends through linear Algebra, AP Calculus BC, and Multivariable Calculus. Students with demonstrated math skills beyond these offerings receive an appropriate level of acceleration to further extend their study.

Yearly, students compete in math team competitions where BHS has won multiple state championships and where students score among the state’s top mathematicians.