Curriculum Department

Curriculum Goals

Curriculum Criteria

Beyond Our Walls

Department Staff

Provident Charter School's Curriculum Goals

The Provident Charter School curriculum is rooted in Pennsylvania Core standards and guides academic instruction in all content areas and at multiple levels. Provident Charter School strives to continuously strengthen and enhance curriculum, instruction and assessment to enable students to be:

    • intellectually, physically, and emotionally healthy individuals;
    • engaged, responsible, and informed citizens capable of considering multiple perspectives;
    • college- and career-ready with a deep understanding of the soft skills necessary to collaborate effectively in an increasingly interdependent world;
    • able to demonstrate perseverance, compassion, and self-control in pursuit of lifelong learning and growth.

Criteria for a Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum

Rigor and relevance is characterized by content that is linked to core disciplinary concepts or skills and requires students to do authentic work, using methods that are specific to the discipline and applying what they know or what they are learning to solve complex problems. This involves the use of prior knowledge, the development of in-depth understanding, and the ability to develop and express ideas and findings through elaborated communication. A rigorous and relevant curriculum requires students to use knowledge to create and apply solutions to complex, real-world problems.

    • Concepts, competencies, and enduring understandings are applied to real world problems. Students at Provident Charter School are asked to apply discipline specific concepts and processes to address real world problems or complete authentic tasks. This approach provides opportunities for students to engage in deeper learning and encourages knowledge transfer. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment reflects an understanding by teachers and students of the value of applying concepts and competencies to impact the world around them.
    • Opportunities for students to engage in higher order thinking are present throughout instruction. The instruction and the learning activities presented to students require them to analyze, evaluate, hypothesize, interpret, justify, and create deeper levels of understanding to be successful.
    • Concepts, competencies, and enduring understandings are formatively assessed using PA Core standards, criteria, and a variety of formal and informal strategies. Learning objectives are clearly defined and unpacked, models of high quality work are reviewed, and rubrics are frequently and consistently applied. To help students achieve the learning objectives, their progress is closely monitored and responsive instruction is delivered. Students are provided meaningful feedback from both the teacher and their peers based on the pre-defined goals and/or criteria for the task. Students are provided access to a portfolio of their work that demonstrates progress toward mastery of learning objectives.
    • Deep understanding and progression toward mastery of critical disciplinary concepts and competencies are demonstrated. The goal of all curriculum and instruction is for students to develop an integrated, holistic understanding of key concepts. Students are able to explain problems, nuances, and multiple applications of important disciplinary concepts, rather than only presenting narrow views or performing singular applications.
    • The coherence of disciplinary enduring understandings and a culture supporting high expectations is consistent among all grade levels. Teachers within a content area have developed a universal understanding of the key concepts and competencies within their discipline and have a common understanding of the evidence required in student work to demonstrate mastery. Based upon a student’s prior knowledge, a deep understanding of a student’s individual learning needs, and the developmental differences among students, teachers adjust assignments and assessments while delivering multisensory support to students to ensure success.

Beyond Our Walls Learning Initiative

At PCS we value the importance of immersive learning to connect to the community around us. Partnerships with educational organizations open up new pathways for student growth and provide students in grades 2-8 with opportunities that otherwise might not be available. These educational partnerships bring resources and guest speakers into the classroom which enhance student and community relationships. At Provident, we understand that not every student learns the same way. We value outreach programs that can reinforce learning concepts in the classroom in a creative, innovative, and hands-on approach. Some examples of community outreach programs that we have partnerships with include the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh through Chatham University, and the Asian Studies Center and Center of African Studies through the University of Pittsburgh.

Department of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Ms. Shannon Iachini, Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Dr. Mindy Bramer, Director of Structured Literacy

Ms. Devon DeJesus, Math & Science Curriculum Coordinator

Ms. Leah Bollinger, ELA & Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator

Ms. Lisa Auther, Math Interventionist and Content Specialist

Ms. Jillian Lohner, Wilson Reading System® Coach

Ms. Rosa Reilly, ELA Interventionist, Grades 2-5

Ms. Elizabeth Risa, ELA Interventionist, Grades 6-8

Ms. Leslie Villa, Math & ELA Content Specialist – Interventionist

Ms. Morgan Bush, Math & ELA Content Specialist – Interventionist