Curriculum Overview

Grades K-5

Benchmark Literacy

Benchmark Literacy is a comprehensive K-6 reading program that provides a true balanced literacy approach to meeting the Common Core Standards. Benchmark Literacy addresses the needs of above-, on-, and below-level readers as well as ELL and special education students. 

Benchmark Literacy follows the same structure and pattern throughout the grade levels:

  • Assessments to drive instruction, determine flexible student grouping for small-group instruction, and assist teachers to frequently monitor student progress
  • Whole-Group, Interactive Read-Alouds to model good-reader strategies with award-winning literature

  •  Whole-Group, Shared Reading Mini-Lessons to explicitly teach comprehension, metacognition, vocabulary, and fluency

  •  Close Reading instruction using text-dependent strategies and scaffolded instruction to unlock access to complex texts

  •  Differentiated Small-Group Guided Reading that builds seamlessly on shared reading instruction and which addresses the needs of diverse readers.

  •  Differentiated Reader’s Theater that allows students to develop fluency and active listening skills

  • Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Word Study to build strong decoding and word-solving strategies

  •  Writing to sources that support constructed and authentic written responses to opinion/argument, information/explanatory, and narrative writing prompts.

Envisions Math

enVision® focuses on deep conceptual math understanding aided by visual models, student-centered projects, 3-act tasks, and personalized learning. Comprehensive vertical alignment from Kindergarten through Algebra 2, help schools and districts address all mathematical standards in the most effective way. This program is used in grades K-5 along with the supplemental computer program Successmaker. Successmaker is the only adaptive intervention program that directly aligns students' learning trajectories to the scope and sequence of many core programs. This gives your struggling math learners unparalleled opportunities to achieve success and build confidence with core learning concepts and skills. The data from Successmaker will be used to support students' learning and provide important information regarding necessary intervention and enrichment opportunities.

The Write Tools

The Write Tools offers a comprehensive writing program that provides teachers with strategies aligned to Common Core to teach students how to write with rich language and well-developed thoughts. It enables teachers to differentiate instruction for all levels of learners across the CCSS text types: Informative/Explanatory, Opinion/Argumentation, and Narrative: Real and Imagined. 

Character Counts

CHARACTER COUNTS! uses its Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship as a foundational strategy while using the TEAM approach and incorporating other character education best-practices. Besides promoting a focus on a positive school climate, other defining elements of CHARACTER COUNTS!  are intensive decision-making strategies, mindfulness, growth mindset, and behavioral change theories. CHARACTER COUNTS! practical strategies produce positive results in the academic, social, emotional, and character development domains (The Four Wheels of Success). Schools participating in CHARACTER COUNTS! are seeing positive results in academic performance, social and emotional skills, school climate and character development.

Foss Science 

FOSS (Full Option Science System) is a research-based science curriculum for grades K-8 developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley. FOSS has evolved from a philosophy of teaching and learning that has guided the development of successful active-learning science curricula for more than 40 years. The FOSS Program bridges research and practice by providing tools and strategies to engage students and teachers in enduring experiences that lead to deeper understanding of the natural and designed worlds.

Kindergarten Kits

Trees and Weather

Animals 2 x 2

Materials and Motion

First Grade Kits

Plants and Animals

Pebbles, Sand and Silt

Sound and Light

Second Grade Kits

Insects and Plants

Air and Weather

Solids and Liquids


Third Grade Kits

Structures of Life

Water & Climate

Motion and Matter

Fourth Grade Kits


Soils, Rocks & Landforms


Fifth Grade Kits

Living Systems

Earth and Sun

Mixtures & Solutions

Iowa Core Social Studies Standards

The academic standards for social studies reflect the belief that the informed social studies student comprehends and applies to personal and public experiences the core content perspectives of the many academic fields of social studies. Our entire social experiences, as well as our republic, are established upon the principles of individual citizenship. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the education of those future citizens. The state’s academic standards in social studies are premised upon a rigorous and relevant K – 12 social studies program within each district in the state. Engaging students in the pursuit of active informed citizenship will require a broad range of understandings and skills. It will also require an articulated district curriculum which connects students to the social world through informed instructional experiences led by teachers who are committed to active civic participation. This represents a bold step toward a vision of social studies for all of Iowa’s students.


Spaces and Places

First Grade

Communities and Cultures

Second Grade

Choices and Consequences

Third Grade

Immigration and Migration

Fourth Grade

Change and Continuity

Fifth Grade

Rights and Responsibilities