• Department of Standards-Based Instruction

  • The Fargo Public Schools Teaching and Learning Department focuses on Standards, Assessment, and Standards-based Instruction. Standards provide the structure, guidance and goals for teaching and learning. Standards encourage the highest achievement of students, by defining what students should learn at each grade level or course. The Fargo Public Schools utilizes the State Content Standards as the foundation of the Fargo Public Schools’ standards. Starting with the State Content Standards, teams of educators work collaboratively to analyze the standards, define the knowledge and skills that students in the Fargo Public Schools should acquire at each grade level and what instructional practices will best support students in achieving the standards. Standards answer the critical question, “What do we want all students to know and be able to do?”

    Assessments provide students, educators, parents, and the public with a range of information about standards-based achievement and help to determine the best practices and policies that will result in improvements to student learning. The Fargo Public Schools uses a balanced assessment system of formative (classroom assessments to inform instruction) and summative (district assessments to evaluate student learning at the conclusion of instruction) assessments. The assessments used in the Fargo Public Schools are designed to provide students, parents, and teachers the information they need to assist all students in meeting or exceeding the standards, and to provide the district the data it needs for its continuous improvement model. Assessments answer the critical question, “How will we know if they have learned it?”

    Standards-based instruction answers the critical question, “How do we teach so that all students learn the standards?” Standards-based instruction provides educators an opportunity to collaborate and proactively plan standards-based instruction, interventions and extensions that will result in improvements to student learning. The instructional methods, materials and activities used in the Fargo Public Schools directly support the students’ achievement of the standards. The Fargo Public Schools embeds the Professional Learning Community philosophy throughout the district to assist in the standards-based instruction process. The term professional learning community describes a collegial group of administrators and school staff who are united in their commitment to student learning. They share a vision, work and learn collaboratively, visit and review other classrooms, and participate in decision making.