Standards-Driven Planning and Instructional Resources

The LHA Education model is transitioning to full alignment to the Common Core State Standards, which define what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. These standards guide instructional planning and delivery. LHA provides schools with a common scope and sequence upon which teachers develop unit and lesson plans. Teachers use the Understanding by Design framework, which supports the backwards planning process. Through this process, teachers design units by identifying the most important learning goals that students will meet and what type(s) of evidence will effectively demonstrate students’ mastery.

Classroom instruction includes a mix of whole-class, small group, and individual work. Teachers follow a pattern of presenting engaging mini-lessons to demonstrate new skills, creating flexible groupings in which students can practice those skills and giving students practice work that they can do independently. All work gives students numerous opportunities to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in terms of mastering specific standards.

Data to Drive Instruction

At LHA, we use a variety of assessments and data tools to inform instruction, identify areas of growth, and increase student achievement across the Network. The three main sources of data are (1) state assessments, (2) NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) for grades 2 and above and the Primary Grades Assessment (PGA) for students in Kindergarten and first grade, and (3) curricular assessments aligned to state standards.  In addition, individual schools may monitor student achievement using other assessments, including state specific diagnostics and/or Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), etc.  

All of these measures combine to create a rich data set that teachers and school leaders use to inform instruction as well as monitor student, grade level and school progress on an ongoing basis. The ongoing collection and analysis of data guides teachers’ planning of instruction and ensures that teachers plan instruction to meet students’ individual needs.

More Time on Instruction

To ensure that all students master the work necessary to prepare them for college, LHA provides more time on task.  This means a longer school year (190 instructional days) and a longer school day (8 hours).   Instruction begins promptly at 8:00 A.M. and students work diligently throughout the day until bus dismissal at 4:00 P.M.  We believe this is urgent work and that every second counts, therefore we push the limits and ensure students have learning opportunities through the last possible minute of the day.