The In Focus curriculum was designed with the intent to consider inclusive practices for students with diverse backgrounds, cultures, languages, and abilities. Fundamental to this approach to instruction are foundational beliefs that recognize that teachers and curriculum need to bridge the gaps between students to gain greater understanding of nuances and inclusion.
In Focus supports students in developing the knowledge, skills, and vision to transform the communities they live in through the following inclusive practices and competencies:
- Set high expectations that all students can learn and succeed
- Design and implement rigorous and relevant curriculum
- Teach students how to respectfully collaborate
- Encourage collaboration, collectivism, and interdependency
- Encourage students to become active participants in their own learning
- Center and value students’ cultures, abilities, and identities
- Promote respect for student differences
- Invite students to process content in their home languages and cultures
- Draw on students’ culture to shape curriculum and instruction
- Invite students to share connections between their lives and the lesson topics
- Invite students to reflect, evaluate, celebrate, and strengthen their own cultures and communities
- Encourage students to find and use their own voices
- Engage students in critical and deep thinking
- Building strong positive relationships between students, families, and school staff
- Collaborate with families and the local community
- Bring real-world issues into the classroom while examining issues through various perspectives.
At the heart of the In Focus curriculum are discussion prompts that invite students to direct their own thinking and learning while bringing their life experiences into the conversations and culture of the classroom through various protocols. Additionally, we directly teach the knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with the cultures and classrooms that celebrate all students. Lessons that support culturally inclusive practices include the following: Who Am I/My Place in the World, Identifying & Celebrating My Strengths, Celebrating the Strengths of Others, Love, Belonging, Connection, Communication, Respect for Others, Citizenship & Civility, and Perspective Taking.