Rigorous Curriculum & Instruction


  • • Scope and sequence:
     Walt Disney Magnet School is proud to have developed language arts and mathematics curricula that are well articulated both horizontally (within each grade) and vertically (across grades). Graded textbooks (supplemented by a wide range of support materials and instructional technologies) ensure consistent pacing of instruction.

  • • Teaching Approach: We teach so that our students internalize key concepts aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), develop critical thinking skills, and become self-directed in expanding their knowledge over time. We regularly assess our students’ emerging challenges and strengths, and create flexible work groups to revisit areas that students find particularly challenging and/or especially stimulating. Student are expected to question received information, to predict and summarize, and to draw on each other’s insights to build understanding.

  • • Text Literacy: Disney school takes an integrated approach to text literacy, emphasizing the connections between students’ development of reading strategies, of reading comprehension, and of reading fluency. We give particular attention to building our students’ abilities to express themselves both verbally and in writing, so they become adept at both expository and creative expression (crucial skills for success in a changing world and in the ever-expanding information economy).

  • • Mathematics Literacy: The mathematics curriculum embeds traditional, basic math facts within conceptual thinking. As we push students towards real world problem solving we work to ensure gaps in knowledge are addressed. We encourage our students to identify multiple solutions to assignments, and to engage in “math discourse” – the ability to explain their thinking to others, and to listen respectfully to their peers’ ideas. This matches the cultural and economic diversity of our school - as a place that values many different points of view.

  • • A Professional Community of Educators: Disney school has engaged a top notch staff that is committed to constantly improving their practice. They grow as educators by looking at student work samples together, providing peer to peer observation of each other’s classes, and meeting regularly to study the literature on emerging best practices in the field


Literacy Teaching Strengthened Through the Support of a Lead Literacy Teacher

Because reading and writing are important across all subject areas, Disney School engages a Lead Literacy Teacher to support teachers in this area through:

  • • Mentoring: conferencing about challenges, brainstorming promising strategies, collaborating to meet Disney’s high expectations.

  • • Modeling: The lead literacy teacher demonstrates effective teaching strategies, with the classroom teacher actively engaged.

  • • Coaching: The classroom teachers demonstrate teaching strategies, with the literacy coach guiding teachers in reflecting upon their effectiveness as implemented.

“Teach and they can learn. As reading specialists, we need to remember that different kids learn in different ways, and that the more senses are applied in the learning, the deeper the imprint of the learning itself. Reading is not just a book. Reading is writing, reading is speaking, reading is being “turned on” by new information and wanting more, reading is understanding.”