Shorewood Intermediate School offers a rigorous academic program that provides many diverse educational opportunities for our students. The following provides an overview of our Academic Departments.
Art is an essential part of our student's education. It contributes to their quality of life and enhances their overall experience at school. Here at SIS all students take two quarters of art each year. They build on skills they learned at the elementary level and prepare for opportunities as a young adult in high school. In 7th grade the art curriculum emphasizes studio arts, such as: drawing, painting, ceramics, etc. In 8th grade the art curriculum focuses on popular and communication arts, such as: architectural design, graffiti styling, screen-printing, etc. In both grades art history, art criticism, and self-evaluation are key components of the artistic process.
7th grade students with a keen interest in visual arts can apply to enroll in Advanced Art for their 8th grade year. Advanced Art meets daily during the second semester and includes more in-depth assignments and museum trips.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Roxanne Tibbits (Atwater 4-6)
Lena Lysakova (Atwater K-3)
Sheila Beck (Atwater Aide)
Angela Hamouda (SIS)
Amanda Krueger (SHS)
Our English Language Learner (ELL) program is widely acclaimed and the inclusive education model developed in the Shorewood School District has been replicated by many of our neighboring North Shore school districts. At present, the School District of Shorewood educates students from 40 countries speaking 35 different languages, a large percentage for a district with less than 2000 total students. As a district and learning community, we are very proud of our diverse population and work hard through our mission and core beliefs to meet the needs of each and every one of our students whether they are native or foreign-born. Many students and their families experienced significant hardships in their country of origin and have traveled long distances before settling here in Shorewood. We are sensitive to their journey and are committed to helping them successfully assimilate to their new community while maintaining their home language and culture.
Our unique English Language Learners (ELL) program focuses on motivating students as they face the challenging task of mastering a new language while learning occurs in all other subject areas. Teaching ELL students requires patience, persistence and special dedication. The role of the teacher has never been more important than in today's world. ELL teachers work closely with homeroom teachers to assure students are learning and engaging in the classroom. At the same time, students receive one-on-one and small group assistance throughout the day. This dual approach enables students to participate in a rigorous curriculum while receiving needed ELL support.
Hallmarks of the ELL program include
- Low teacher-to-student ratio.
- State-of-the-art technology to enhance language acquisition.
- Resource-rich learning environment.
- Dedicated professionals who are available before, during and after school for support and guidance.
Extra support and encouragement are important as ELL students move along the educational path. Teachers and volunteers are available daily for one-on-one homework assistance for an hour after each school day. Students are encouraged to utilize this free program, to set realistic goals and to take pride in their accomplishments.
BRIDGING CULTURES WITH FAMILY-CENTERED PROGRAMS
- ELL Nights: These evening programs involve the whole family in the learning process. For many of our families, these events provide an opportunity to meet other families who are also new to our community. Programming includes:
- Potluck dinners: ELL families meet and share their experiences and a meal.
- Presentation nights: Students connect what they are learning in the classroom to the world around them. Presentations occur in a variety of media selected by the student.
- Activity nights: A showcase of the learning that has occurred over the course of the school year.
- Adult classes for parents of ELL students
- Parents as Educators Program (PEP) communicating with families can further enhance the learning process for ELL students. The PEP program enables parents to participate in classes on topics including conversational English, grammar and cultural awareness.
- Computer classes that provide parents with a basic overview of computer skills and Internet resources.
Both of our environmental education programs, Outdoor Education and Winter Experience, are designed to teach students more about nature in its most meaningful context: that of the natural world. They learn first-hand what nature is and how they can preserve it. The site is Camp Whitcomb-Mason, a beautiful facility on a small lake near Hartland, complete with heated sleeping cabins, a main lodge with an enormous stone fireplace, and acres of forest, meadow, and wetlands. Naturalists from camp serve as guides and instructors, along with several SIS staff members. Both programs depend on parent chaperones and volunteers to ensure a smooth operation.
The seventh grade language arts program emphasizes writing, speaking, and research skills. Units include a study of non-fiction, short stories, drama, poetry, persuasion, and novels. Writing instruction, based on "the six traits," provides a central focus and includes peer revision and self-evaluation. Projects include the I-search, presentations, and other formal/informal fiction/nonfiction writing assignments. Students are given opportunities and are expected to apply this learning across the curriculum.
The 8th grade language arts curriculum focuses on writing; emphasis is on the process approach to expository, persuasive, narrative, and descriptive writing while using the common vocabulary of "the six traits." Students learn grammar through writing, literature, and a sentence-composing approach. Weekly vocabulary lessons help students improve their word power and understanding of analogies. Eighth grade literature focuses on short stories, non-fiction, drama, novels, legends, myths, and folklore.
Our seventh grade math program embeds concepts in engaging problems based on authentic use of mathematics in daily life. Students use problem solving techniques to solidify elementary skills and investigate intricate mathematical relationships. Areas of study include Pre-Algebra, Proportional Number Sense, Geometry and Probability.
Our 8th grade curriculum continues the algebraically-based program begun in 6th grade. It has the following characteristics:
- It is problem-centered: important mathematical concepts are embedded in engaging problems based on authentic use of mathematics in daily life. Students will develop understanding and skill as they explore the problems individually, in a group, or with the whole class.
- It provides skills practice: in-class problems and homework questions give students practice with important concepts, skills, and algorithms.
- It meets standards: both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Wisconsin State Academic Standards, and are endorsed by the National Science Foundation.
- Research evaluates these programs: it has been field tested, evaluated, and revised over a three to four year period.
- Student testing validates its effectiveness: students outperform others on tests of problem-solving ability, conceptual understanding, and proportional reasoning. And they do as well as, or better than, other students on tests of basic skills.
Every student at SIS is encouraged to make a performance music choice at both the 7th and 8th grade levels. Each class meets five days per week. The student options include:
Concert Band Program
The SIS band program includes 7th and 8th grade concert bands which perform at 4 concerts during the year. This class is open to any student with at least one year of experience on their current band instrument, and has participated in an elementary band program. The SIS Band Program has developed a strong performance standard by emphasizing a variety of musical opportunities so that every musician can become a strong, confident player. Music theory, composition, and history are taught through performance in band. Other performance opportunities include before and after school lessons, solo/ensemble festival, small chamber groups, and travel to musical events. Band students will develop an understanding and appreciation of various types of music which are beneficial throughout an entire lifetime.
The SIS Band Program also includes a Cadet Band. This class is designed for 7th and 8th grade students who want to start a band instrument for the first time or, in certain cases, switch to a different instrument. Students may choose from flute, oboe, clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba, and selection will be based on student interest and director recommendation. The Cadet Band performs a concert by itself in March and joins the 7th grade band in time for the Spring Concert in June. Upon successful completion of this class, students are eligible to participate in the 8th grade band or High School Concert Band, depending on the student's grade in school.
Membership is open to any seventh grader. Cantare performs three concerts a year featuring the entire group, small groups and soloists. This group gives students the opportunity to apply and expand on the knowledge gained in elementary school. This chorus is geared toward improving basic musical knowledge, learning how to best use and improve the singing voice, and applying that knowledge to a variety of choral music from early periods through the present day. General musicianship and vocal technique including note reading are emphasized throughout the year.
Membership is open to any eighth grader. Chorale performs three concerts a year featuring the entire group, small groups and soloists. This group gives students the opportunity to apply and expand on the knowledge gained in their seventh grade year in choir. This chorus continues to work toward improving basic musical knowledge, learning how to best use and improve the singing voice, and applying that knowledge to a variety of choral music from early periods through the present day. General musicianship and vocal technique including more advanced note reading are emphasized throughout the year.
The SIS Orchestra is open to all string students in seventh and eighth grade. Instruments include the violin, viola, cello, and bass. This performing group meets daily, and string students learn technique, musicianship, music theory, and music history through performance of a string instrument. Orchestra students may also participate in after school lessons and chamber orchestra. SIS Orchestra performances include the winter and spring concerts, Orchestra Festival in March, and solo/ensemble festivals. The SIS Orchestra also attends concerts, clinics, and tours.
This class is designed for 7th and 8th grade students who want to start learning a string instrument for the first time or, in certain cases, switch to a different instrument. Students may choose from violin, viola, cello, and bass, and selection will be based on student interest and director recommendation.
Physical Education contributes to each student's total education, not only by influencing physical skill development, but also by providing opportunities for mental, emotional, and social growth. The curriculum is co-educational and students meet daily. During their two years at SIS, students will participate in units that may include: badminton, basketball, biking, broomball, fitness, floor hockey, football, handball, hiking (using GPS locators), inline skating, lacrosse, large group games, pickleball, rollerskating, softball, speedball, strength training, team challenges, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
Seventh grade life science is a component of the K-12 sequential science program. Its emphasis includes microscope use, cellular organization, classification, heredity, simple organisms, a survey of the plant and animal kingdoms, and a study of healthy choices. Special attention is given to student awareness of science in our world through regular news article summaries, lab work, and special projects. Also covered in our Science program is a ten day unit on Health beginning in February. This unit covers alcohol and drug awareness, sexually transmitted diseases, and peer pressure discussions.
Science in the 8th grade is activity-centered, and is designed to build on students' knowledge of the physical sciences. Units of study include forces, motion, energy, matter, chemistry, earth science, and astronomy. Students are encouraged to stretch their understanding of science through a hands-on curriculum and projects focused on engineering technology and scientific communication.
World Geography: Students will become familiar with the physical, political, and cultural geography of world regions. Students will investigate the cultural perspectives of others and apply research and critical thinking skills through a variety of activities and independent projects. The primary goal is to help students make connections between geography, culture, and present issues and how they affect the world today. Students will participate in independent and collaborative learning experiences such as the Adopt-A-Country Project, Service Learning, Role Play discussions, and self-reflected final project.
Students work independently and cooperatively to gain understanding of American History by reading a variety of sources, developing and using research skills, creating projects that reflect their knowledge, and completing a variety of assessments that measure their understanding. Units of study include Colonial Life, the American Revolution, the U.S. Constitution and Government, Westward Expansion, Slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction, and Growth of the West. Writing skills gained in the Language Arts program are used throughout the year in daily work, projects, and assessments.
Students have the opportunity to study either Spanish or French. Study of a world language:
- Prepares students to communicate
- Exposes students to other people, places, and their cultures
- Enhances literacy in the target language, as well as in their own language
- Provides opportunities for student travel and immersion experiences
RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires all schools to implement a Response to Intervention (RtI) system focused on the individual student's educational experience and academic need.