Educational Services > Curriculum & Instruction

Curriculum & Instruction

The California State Board of Education (SBE) adopts content standards in the different curriculum areas to meet the requirements of state and federal law. The SBE also adopts curriculum frameworks for kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12) in accordance with EC Section 51002, which calls for the development of “broad minimum standards and guidelines for educational programs.” Taken together, the content standards and curriculum frameworks describe what educators, content experts, and professionals in the field expect K–12 students to know and be able to do.

School districts have the authority and the responsibility to conduct their own evaluation of instructional materials and to adopt the materials that best meet the needs of their students. A school district may use instructional materials not adopted by the SBE, so long as the materials are aligned to the state standards and there is a selection process that is thoroughly planned, conducted publicly, and well documented. At every step the district must adhere to EC Section 60002 which states: “Each district board shall provide for substantial teacher involvement in the selection of instructional materials and shall promote the involvement of parents and other members of the community in the selection of instructional materials."

Instructional Materials Adoption Process

The process for selection of instructional materials is as follows:

  • Formation of teacher and administrator committee

  • Review of current program in the appropriate content area

  • Review of adoption options

  • Pilot of materials

  • Evaluation of materials by teachers

  • Parent review and evaluation of materials

  • Synthesis and analysis of evaluations

  • Committee recommendation to the Board of Education and Board approval

  • Purchase of materials

  • Professional development

USD Curriculum

Standards-Based Report Cards Grades TK-5

Reporting student progress is an essential component of the communication and partnership between home and school and we are thrilled to have students back on campus and learning with our amazing teachers here in USD. It is important that we take into account that our students have not been in a typical school setting for over a year and a half. Currently, we are supporting our students on the routines of campus, interacting with others, and participating in classroom settings. We are rebuilding our collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills, all of which will accelerate our learning. We know much of this will take time and we will continue to adjust. Our USD teachers are working hard to set up positive classroom environments and support students’ academics to promote continued growth.

Each student will be evaluated on their individual progress towards achieving the standards and skills of their grade level. It is our goal to provide parents and students with accurate information that thoughtfully reflects where students are within their learning journey.

Union School District utilizes a performance-based scale to best reflect student progression towards standards, shown below. Each scale indicator includes numbers and verbiage that are intended to reflect student achievement towards meeting each standard within the students’ grade level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a standards-based report card inform parents?

A standards-based report card enables parents to receive accurate information based on cumulative student progress towards meeting grade-level standards. In addition, the report card: 1. Promotes more detailed and meaningful conversations at parent/teacher conferences, 2. Allows for careful and precise monitoring of student achievement, 3. Reflects grade-level standards and expectations so parents gain a complete idea of the student’s progress.

Why aren’t all standards listed on the report card?

A performance-based report card is not the same as a list of standards. The report card was developed by a group of teachers and administrators who reviewed the California Common Core State Standards to determine report card descriptors that best summarize the learning at each grade level.

Why are there no letter grades?

Several years ago, Union School District switched to a performance-based approach to better describe a student’s achievement as they progress towards meeting grade-level standards. Standards-based grades allow the focus to be on the growth taking place within the learning.

What kind of reporting should I expect to see?

Because students progress at various levels, each students’ report card will look different. At the beginning of the year, it is more likely a student will receive an Emerging (1) or Approaching (2) as the student may have not yet grasped a full understanding of the entire standard. Throughout the school year, the child should be progressing towards a Meets (3). For students who are able to show knowledge of the standards through multiple applications, they may receive an Advanced (4). It is important to remember that if your child receives a 1 or a 2 it does not mean they are failing, it means we have identified their present level of achievement and their learning will progress from there.

If your student’s numbers do not indicate growth, this should be clearly indicated in the comments section along with current interventions.

If your child receives an NA, this means the content has not yet been introduced or assessed.

Shared November 2, 2021: As we are in the 13th week of school and are focusing on social emotional development, please note that not all standards have been introduced yet and there may be more NA’s at this time of year. It does not mean your child will not have access to those standards, it means they will be occurring later in the school year.

Who to contact for more information?

Please contact your child’s teacher as they will have the best information on your child’s progress.

For information about the report card descriptors or standards, please contact the Learning and Innovation Department at (408) 377-8010 x44221

Annual Notice of Physical Education

Union School District strives to provide the highest quality educational experience for our students. Included in that is a high-quality physical education (P.E.) program in our elementary schools. California Education Code governs how much PE is taught in each classroom. As per California Education Code 51210(a)(7), first through sixth grade teachers are required to teach 200 minutes of physical education over 10 instructional days. It is at the discretion of the classroom teacher as to how and when these minutes are distributed over this time frame.

We are providing this notice to inform parents/guardians that, if they have questions regarding P.E. minutes, they should first contact their child’s teacher or principal. If they are not satisfied with the school’s response, they may contact the Director of Educational Services. If there is an interest in filing a formal complaint with the district regarding P.E. minutes of instruction, parents are to use the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedures. Forms are available at each school, the District Office and on the www.unionsd.org web site. We in Union School District encourage a well-rounded educational experience, and physical education is a strong component of that experience.