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644 Pleasant Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5400

Curriculum Review

The curriculum review process ensures a regular, cyclical review of all seven curriculum content areas: English and Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Health, and Technology Education, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Physical Education, and Fine and Performing Arts. During a seven year period, Curriculum Steering Committees for each discipline plan, develop, implement, and evaluate curriculum for all content areas.

Learning Benchmarks

Curriculum and Learning Benchmarks help teachers, parents, and students understand more clearly what students need to know, understand, and be able to do throughout their study of the core curriculum from kindergarten through middle school. These documents are distributed at parent/teacher conferences. Belmont High School teachers provide course outlines to students and parents at the start of the school year.

Benchmark documents:

English Language Arts and Reading, K-12

Program Description

Belmont Public Schools is dedicated to providing all students with a rich, rigorous, well-rounded English language arts program which empowers students with the language and thought processes to learn and to communicate.  A key to success for all students is the development of efficient and effective reading and writing skills and strategies.  Developing these skills requires ongoing staff development and parent education in the area of literacy instruction in order to use current research and best practices across the system.  Together, teachers and parents can help students develop the positive attitudes and academic skills that will enrich their lives and enable them to become lifelong learners. 

Elementary, Grades K-4:

The elementary school language arts program includes instruction in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking. Instruction in these key areas is integrated with all other areas of the curriculum. The program’s goal is for all students to develop to their fullest potential the language arts skills so central to success in school and fulfillment in life. An effective reading and writing program depends upon specific teaching in the following areas:

(a) developing an awareness of the processes of reading and writing;
(b) increasing knowledge of the print-sound code and standard writing conventions;
(c) understanding the purposes and genres used in text;
(d) developing habits of lifelong readers and writers.

Teachers guide students as they master new strategies in different contexts and gradually release responsibility to students as they practice these strategies independently. Instruction takes place throughout the day in a variety of grouping patterns (whole group, small group, individual) and in a variety of situations:

  • a read aloud,
  • shared reading,
  • interactive writing,
  • guided reading and writing,
  • independent reading and writing, and
  • reading and writing across the content areas

Foreign Languages, 5-12

Program Description

The foreign language program of the Belmont Public Schools begins with the study of four languages in grade 5: French, Latin, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Students then select one of those languages to study for grades six through eight 
 click here for a chart matching learning strengths with each foreign language.

At Belmont High School students can continue studying the same language or begin a new language. Students are required to complete two years of foreign language study for graduation, however we encourage students to study a foreign language throughout their four years at Belmont High School. We offer Advanced Placement courses in French, Latin and Spanish, and hope to implement the new Chinese Language and Culture Advanced Placement course in the near future.

The foreign language curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts State Frameworks and the National Foreign Language Standards. The overarching objective for all foreign language curricula is linguistic and cultural proficiency. These are the enduring understandings that guide our work:

  • Culture is the products, practices and perspectives of a group of people.
  • Language is a vehicle for culture and reflects a culture’s norms and mores.
  • Language and culture evolve over time.
  • Our language and culture influence the way we see the world.
  • Studying other languages and cultures broadens our perspective on our own culture and the world.

Language is taught in a communicative context, and from the earliest levels students apply what they learn to read, write, speak and listen in the target language. For students of Latin the emphasis is on using the language to read, translate and understand authentic texts in Latin.

Social Studies

The social studies program of the Belmont Public Schools is dedicated to developing informed, responsible, and active participants in democratic society who are prepared to live in an increasingly global and interconnected world.  The goal of our history and social science curriculum is to enable students to acquire the knowledge,skill, and judgment necessary to continue to learn for themselves; to participate intelligently, justly, and responsibly in civil life; to deliberate about local, national, and international issues; and to avail themselves of historical and cultural resources such as historic sites, museums, parks,libraries, and multimedia information sources wherever they may live or travel.  Learning a simple chain of chronological events does no thelp prepare students for the increasingly fast, diverse, and challenging world they will be entering upon graduation from the Belmont Public Schools. To enable them to do so, teachers must reinforce the development of 21st century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, research and analysis,reading and interpreting documents and data, as well as oral and written communication.  Throughout all of their Social Studies course work, students are consistently reminded how history is relevant to their lives.

To achieve these goals, the social studies curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts History and Social Science Frameworks that focus on a content-based curriculum revolving around the disciplines of History,Geography, Economics, Civics, and Government as well as the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy that incorporates the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies.

Contact Us

  • Administration: 617-993-5400
  • High School: 617-993-5900 
  • Chenery Middle School: 617-993-5800 
  • Butler School: 617-993-5550 
  • Burbank School: 617-993-5500 
  • Wellington School: 617-993-5600 
  • Winn Brook School: 617-993-5700
 
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