CDCPS leaders often say that we are “always under construction”; we are continually evaluating, modifying, and improving our academic program. Key components include:
INDIVIDUALIZED, DATA-DRIVEN ACADEMICS
- Instruction is data-driven; a range of assessments are made throughout the year and instruction is adjusted in response to the results.
- Personal Education Goals identifying unique strengths and areas for support are developed for each student.
- Approximately 78% of students (2012-13) are English language learners (ELL). All ELL students are placed in general education classrooms and are the subject of a personalized Instructional Planning for English Language Learners document to specify instructional focus and how it will be carried out based on the student’s level of proficiency.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
CDCPS is a full-inclusion model servicing both regular education and special education students of varying disabilities. We have a special education department that provides consultation, inclusion, and pull-out services for students in need of special education. Our special education staff includes special education, occupational therapy, school counseling, speech and language therapy and physical therapy. The school provides evaluations as needed for students referred for special education services. The schools also use student assessment data to identify and respond to the learning needs of each student.
"Our son graduated from CDCPS with a great education and ready to succeed. He’s currently a junior at St John’s Prep High School and has played football and track and participated in Luna Latinos Club. The CDCPS teachers are the best and the brightest. They listen to parents and make the effort to get to know the students individually. We are very grateful for everything the teachers and staff have done for our family."
The regular school day is 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and the school offers extended day and year programs that allow students to receive additional academic support and accelerate or extend learning.
In Kindergarten 1 through grade 5, a model that includes two teachers in each classroom is used. Co-teachers provide direction for the whole team, including special needs and literacy support. Teaching teams understand that individual learning plans are essential for children who struggle with skill development and comprehension and that children’s special needs cannot be an excuse for lack of academic achievement. Teachers work closely with heads of school to analyze student achievement data, develop and refine instructional plans, and assess the effectiveness of classroom teaching relative to specific learning goals. Teachers share best practices throughout the school and often assume leadership positions relative to specific areas of the curriculum. Curriculum study groups use research to develop and implement new, improved methods to support student learning.
The school actively fosters a culture of focused learning, respect, and personal responsibility. Parents are engaged in school life through involvement with three parent groups, extensive communication with newsletters and notices, and school events held during the school day and outside school hours throughout the year.