15.1. Curriculum will be a part of the inter-related approach of using curriculum, assessment, and content standards and objectives to facilitate the individualization and direction of classroom programming.
15.2. The WV Pre-K classroom must implement the West Virginia Early Learning Standards Framework (WVELSF), which is aligned with Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and the Next Generation kindergarten content standards and objectives. The content standards and objectives for programs serving eligible children are written to reflect a developmental continuum that enhances successful transitions into kindergarten. Children shall be assessed on their individual developmental progress along the developmental continuum.
15.3. Only comprehensive curricula systems and comprehensive assessment systems that are included on the approved list shall be used by WV Pre-K classrooms, including classrooms that serve children with identified special needs. The West Virginia Pre-K Child Assessment System, utilizing the Early Learning Scale, is a performance-based, authentic assessment system which will be implemented with all children enrolled in WV Pre-K programs, as per WVBE Policy 2520.15.
15.4. Selection and use of supplemental materials/curricula enhancement, that address core content areas such as language and literacy acquisition or numeracy, must be based on scientifically based research and support the philosophy and techniques of the comprehensive curriculum and the requirements of this section. Guidance provided by the WVDE will provide assistance to county collaborative early childhood teams regarding the collaborative, local decision making processes pertaining to supplemental materials/curricula enhancement.
15.4.a. Instructional practices such as worksheets, extended periods of sitting, seat work at desks or tables, flashcards, prescribed sequence of content, content areas taught in isolation, requiring all children to be working on the same skill, lack of individualization, or a high level of teacher directed instruction are not allowed as a part of the supplemental curricula.
15.5. Comprehensive curricula systems will be approved following a process similar to the process established by the WVDE, including preschool special education, for adoption of instructional materials. The approval process will include review and recommendations from local early childhood stakeholders across systems and the WVDE Pre-K Continuous Quality Improvement Advisory Council.
15.6. A comprehensive curricula system must meet the following standards:
15.6.a. include a philosophy, goals, and objectives based on current knowledge of child development and learning styles and reflect an understanding of how children learn and develop by:
15.6.a.1. addressing the developmental needs of eligible children through practices that are consistent with current, nationally recognized, most effective practice;
15.6.a.2. valuing exploration, creativity, and construction as the child’s primary learning approaches;
15.6.a.3. engaging children actively in the learning process and providing them with opportunities to make meaningful choices;
15.6.a.4. responding to individual children’s interest, strengths, and needs based on ongoing observation and assessment; and
15.6.a.5. supporting children so they view themselves as part of a larger community.
15.6.b. be balanced and designed to achieve the long-range goals for social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and academic (early literacy, early numeracy, and language) achievement by:
15.6.b.1. incorporating a wide variety of learning experiences, materials and equipment, and instructional strategies that are responsive to the differences in prior learning experiences, maturation rates, and learning styles young children bring to the classroom;
15.6.b.2. supporting a balance of large and fine motor activities, quiet and active times, individual and small and large group activities, child-initiated and adult-initiated activities, planned and spontaneous activities, and indoor and outdoor opportunities; and
15.6.b.3. addressing the development of knowledge and understanding, processes and skills, dispositions, and attitudes.
15.6.c. integrate development of all domains, abilities, and content that are relevant, engaging, and meaningful to young children; by:
15.6.c.1. meeting the developmental continuum contained in the content standards and objectives for eligible children as prescribed by the WVBE ;
15.6.c.2. building on what children already know in order to consolidate their learning and foster the acquisition of new concepts and skills;
15.6.c.3. reflecting the needs and interest of individual children in the group by including the immediate environment and world with which the children are acquainted;
15.6.c.4. supporting integration of curriculum content through use of a planning organizer (such as themes, projects, key experiences, or webs); and
15.6.c.5. including materials and activities that reflect a variety of cultures, languages, ages, abilities, and beliefs.
15.6.d. emphasize the development of thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills through strategies such as open-ended questions, investigation, imaginative and dramatic play, and peer interactions;
15.6.e. promote flexibility and adaptation to unique needs of children and families where ongoing observation and assessment are used to determine appropriate planning and adaptations for varied learning styles, temperaments, abilities, and languages or modes of communication; by:
15.6.e.1. integrating curriculum and assessment that benefits the child; and
15.6.e.2. making opportunities for all children, regardless of ability, to participate in all activities through appropriate adaptations or modifications of activities, assistive technology, materials and/or learning environments.
15.6.f. support the importance of learning during routine times of the day and meeting the physiological needs of children; by:
15.6.f.1. promoting consistency in schedules and routines and facilitating smooth transitions;
15.6.f.2. supporting continuity between home and school;
15.6.f.3. encouraging children’s participation in routines to develop responsibility and independence;
15.6.f.4. recognizing the integral role of adults during routine times;
15.6.f.5. allowing for flexibility and adaptations for individual children;
15.6.f.6. supporting positive health and nutrition practices; and
15.6.f.7. providing daily opportunities for children to rest in an area set up to reduce distraction or disturbance from other activities.
15.6.g. promote, through a variety of strategies, the essential role of families as partners in planning and implementing their child’s care and education;
15.6.h. emphasize the value of social interaction to learning in all domains and promote frequent, responsive, respectful interactions between children, staff and children, and staff and families;
15.6.i. recognize the role of children’s psychological safety in learning and include guidance techniques that support children;
15.6.j. promote the use of developmentally appropriate curriculum and assessment principles to determine how technology is incorporated into the classroom environment as a complement to, not substitute for, effective teaching or quality curriculum.
15.7. When a WV Pre-K classroom plans an activity that involves active media, the center shall ensure that:
15.7.a. the active media supplements but does not replace traditional early childhood materials;
15.7.c. staff members are available to support the activity by discussing the use of the active media with the child;
15.7.d. the computer software chosen is developmentally appropriate and supports creative play and learning.
15.8. If passive media is used, a WV Pre-K classroom shall ensure that:
15.8.a. passive media is not routinely part of the daily schedule;
15.8.c. the contents of passive media are developmentally appropriate and designed to benefit the child, with limited viewing time and the child who does not wish to watch has a choice of other activities.
15.9. The West Virginia Pre-K Child Assessment System is a performance-based, authentic assessment system which will be implemented with all children enrolled in WV Pre-K programs, as per WVBE Policy 2520.15. Comprehensive curricular assessment systems approved as part of the approved comprehensive curricula systems may also be utilized in addition to the WV Pre-K Child Assessment System. The assessment system is designed to inform classroom instruction, assist with integration of personalized learning, and to ensure the interactions, competencies, experiences, and skills of children participating in WV Pre-K programs are assessed using appropriate measures. Comprehensive assessment systems must address how the curriculum:
15.9.a. supports the whole child across multiple learning domains as he or she progresses developmentally;
15.9.b. supports family engagement and relationships with their children’s educational experiences;
15.9.c. demonstrates the child’s overall strengths and progress;
15.9.d. encourages self-evaluation by the child;
15.9.e. relies on demonstrated performance of real, not contrived, activities;
15.9.f. utilizes a variety of tools and processes;
15.9.g. allows for differences in learning style and rate; and
15.9.h. provides a comprehensive reporting system on individual children’s accomplishments, as well as aggregated data to inform classroom, site or district decision making.
15.10. Time shall be set aside for joint planning by the teacher, co-teacher and/or other personnel working with the children.