In grades kindergarten through five, The Mount Washington School offers a full-day program. Each school day includes six hours and forty minutes of instruction. Reading/language arts and math are offered every day. Science, health, and social studies are offered once to twice a week. Every grade uses the Maryland State Curriculum, developed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). This curriculum outlines the standards that students must meet in each subject. This curriculum can be accessed by visiting the MSDE website, www.mdk12.state.md.us.
This weekly instructional program includes an opportunity for every student to participate in music, art, physical education, Spanish and library.
Schools across the State in 2013-14 have implemented Maryland's College and Career-Ready Standards. These standards incorporate the Common Core State Standards. Maryland was one of the first states to adopt the standards in English Language Arts/Literacy and mathematics. The Maryland State Board of Education adopted the standards by unanimous vote in June 2010.
The Common Core State Standards initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. These rigorous education standards establish a set of shared goals and expectations for what students should understand and be able to do in grades K-12 in order to be prepared for success in college and the workplace.
The standards are research and evidence based and internationally benchmarked. They have been voluntarily adopted by a total of 45 states and the District of Columbia. Maryland calls these standards the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards. Maryland also added Pre-K standards.
Gifted & Learning
The Mount Washington School is one of 10 City Schools who are in year 2 of the Gifted and Advanced Learning (GAL) Pilot program. As a GAL site, The Mount Washington School works with the Office of Gifted and Advanced Learning to not only identify students who are gifted and advanced learners, but also adopt and implement resources that meet the unique needs of those students. While we strive to meet the needs of all of our learners and provide a rigorous academic program and learning experiences for every child, our designation as GAL site ensures that we provide additional support and resources for our gifted and advanced learners.
The Naglieri, or NNAT2, test is given to all kindergartners and 1st and 2nd graders new to the school. On rare occasions, it may be given to other students, for example, if they are new to the country and have been participating in a different grade level system. It is a test of ability, not achievement. This means that it looks at how students think, not what they know. For this reason, there is no way to study for this test. It involves completing patterns and filling in blank spaces within patterns. It is meant to help identify students who possess exceptional reasoning, logic, and visual/spatial relations skills. It is one of several components used to identify students for participation in the Gifted and Advanced Learners program. It is meant to supplement information that we may already have about student achievement, such as test scores and grades.
Students in grades 4-5 who have been identified as gifted/advanced by City Schools were not assessed using the Naglieri (NNAT2). Students in these grades who have been identified were identified using historical statewide data by the district. In addition, qualitative data such as grades and teacher recommendations based on gifted learner checklists such as the Renzulli checklist, were also used. Moving forward, data from the iReady assessment in math and reading (see District Assessments) will be used as on data source for quantitative identification.
Read The Mount Washington School's most recent School Profile.
Resources & Programming
The Mount Washington School implements the cluster group model to service the needs of our gifted/advanced learners. This model includes clustering students who have been identified as gifted/advanced within heterogeneous classes and providing direct support and resources to meet their unique needs using the small group and push-in model. While our goal and focus is to differentiate and provide equity so that all of our students can meet success with our rich academic programming, many of the following programs and resources will be used this year to meet the needs of students who are identified as gifted/advanced.
Compass Learning GoQuest: This computer-based program allows students to pursue their interests and strengths during choice time, center time, or other designated times. It also contains a tool to assist teachers in planning rigorous, research-based, hands-on lessons/units.
M2: These advanced units of study for 1st graders will be implemented as a pilot this year. 2nd grade teachers will also be trained this year in a similar program.
Middle School Honors Courses: Honors Social Studies = NHD projects, Honors Science = Science Fair, Honors ELA = SpringBoard, Honors Math = Compacted Agile Mind curriculum (6-7) (Algebra 8th Grade)
Special Education is provided for students with special learning needs. Classroom and special education teachers collaboratively plan instructional activities that address the specific goals and objectives on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each student receiving special education services. Parents and school staff meet annually to discuss student progress related to the IEP and make necessary adjustments to the goals and objectives. The Dean of Student Support Services/IEP Chair, Mike Benoit oversees the special education process. Mr. Benoit is available to discuss any questions parents might have.