Essential Element 2 – Educational Program


Resources and Best Practices for Essential Element 2

Character Education
Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (PBIS)
Human Relations Course
Personal Finance Course

Grade Level Writing Prompts
Travel Curriculum


An educational program that is comprehensive, challenging, purposeful, integrated, relevant, and standards-based. 


Every young adolescent needs a challenging, standards-based course of study that is comprehensive, integrated, and relevant.


A standards-focused middle-level educational program:


2.1       Emphasizes not only intellectual development but also personal, social, physical, and ethical development.

2.2       Is challenging, rigorous, and purposeful.

2.3       Is comprehensive and inclusive, embracing and encompassing all of the State’s 28 learning standards.

2.4       Reflects interdependence, emphasizes cross-program connections, and promotes shared responsibility.

2.5       Is articulated vertically and horizontally, within and across the various curricular areas, learning standards, and grade levels.

2.6       Has a set of learning skills (e.g., how to study, how to conduct research, how to read for understanding, how to take notes, etc.) that are common across all grades and subject areas and taught and reinforced in each grade and subject area.

2.7       Emphasizes reading, writing, and mathematics (literacy and numeracy) across the subject areas with expectations for performance that are consistent across and within the disciplines and commonly understood by teachers, students, and parents.

2.8       Has performance expectations that are common across all grades and subject areas (e.g., students must write in complete sentences).

2.9       Is articulated with the elementary feeder schools and with the secondary receiving schools, building on the foundational knowledge and skills of the elementary grades and, in doing so, preparing students for success in high school.

2.10    Has up-to-date written curricula (that are based on and aligned with the State’s learning standards), instructional support, and learning aids for all subject areas.

2.11    Includes diagnostic assessments (similar in design to the State’s assessments) that regularly and routinely monitor the learning of each student relative to the State’s standards and community expectations.

2.12    Offers opportunities for the development of personal responsibility and self direction.

2.13    Encourages students to pursue personal interests, engage in school and community activities (e.g., sports, clubs, etc.), explore potential futures and careers, develop useful social, interpersonal, and life skills needed to live a full and productive life, and nurture a “love of learning.”

2.14    Provides targeted and timely academic intervention services that are based upon a careful assessment of the academic, social, and emotional needs of students at risk of not meeting the State’s learning standards.

2.15    Engages and involves the family, local community, and the world outside school in the education and personal development of young adolescents.