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Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Curriculum & InstructionAcademic & Social Emotional Learning

We take a whole-child approach to education at BES.  We consider both the academic and social-emotional learning that is needed to support academics and successful participation in the learning community.  The information on this page is not an exhaustive list all curriculum provided by teachers.

English Language Arts (ELA)

Our goal for every BES student is to be a strong reader and writer. It’s the foundation for learning everything! We follow the Literacy Expectations developed by Orange East Supervisory Union: Prekindergarten (Communication & Expression | Developing Self), Kindergarten (Reading Curriculum | Writing Curriculum), First Grade (Reading Curriculum | Writing Curriculum), Second Grade (Reading Curriculum | Writing Curriculum), Third Grade (Reading Curriculum | Writing Curriculum), Fourth Grade (Reading Curriculum | Writing Curriculum), Fifth Grade (Reading Curriculum | Writing Curriculum), Sixth Grade (Reading Curriculum | Writing Curriculum). We take a balanced approach using a variety of tools: K-2 Fundations, guided reading groups, Hegerty Bridge to Writing and 3-6 Zaner-Blose Spelling. Teachers have developed writing rubrics and and checklists to embed writing across the curriculum.



BES students are encouraged to be math thinkers! We promote concept understanding and problem solving as well as arithmetic. Along with the other OUUSD schools, BES uses a math program called Illustrative Mathematics. Following this program assures students are receiving a complete scope and sequence across grades. Teachers are trained in math instruction by All Learner’s Network.  We follow the Math Expectations and framework developed by Orange East Supervisory Union. Math Curriculum Framework: Prekindergarten Kindergarten First Grade    Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade      Fifth Grade Sixth Grade


Social Emotional Learning

We teach children how to get along, problem solve, think of solutions, and control big emotions (self-regulate).  Students receive daily lessons on character strengths through The Positivity Project.  This helps us develop a common language. It teaches students to be self-aware and to think about others. Other tools we use are Zones of Regulation, We Thinkers, Second Step,  the CASEL  framework, ASCA mindsets and behavior standards, and the Teaching Pyramid practices. We use Restorative Practices when students need help with a specific situation or more targeted learning. Restorative questions that are presented to the student:

  • What happened?  What were you thinking at the time?

  • What have you thought about since?

  • Who or what was affected by your actions?  In what way?

  • What about this was the hardest for you?

  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?


BES follows the Next Generation Science Standards using a hands-on exploration, including in our outdoor classrooms.

Unified Arts

Technology Integration Using the ISTE Standards for Students, BES students build their computer skills through weekly direct technology instruction, beginning in Kindergarten and extending through 6th grade.  Starting in older grades, students have daily access to chromebooks that they can use to support their academic learning.  Classroom teachers work closely with the Technology Integrationist to plan creative learning opportunities that blend technology into instruction and project completion. During technology class, students learn coding using a variety of sites and applications, including Kodable, CodeSpark,, Scratch Jr., and Scratch.  Students also learn the concepts of digital citizenship using curriculum from organizations like Common Sense and Google


Art Our BES artists develop their artistic skills and creative thinking in art class. Students create art using a variety of media, studying drawing, painting, fiber arts, ceramics, found-object sculpture, print-making, and more. Learning activities are based on the National Core Arts Standards, so students are given an opportunity to create art, present their artwork, and respond to / make connections between works of art and their own lives. Student artwork is presented digitally on the Artsonia website, as well as physically in the halls of BES, and at the Art Show at the end of each school year.


Music Music at Bradford Elementary school is based around the National Core Arts Standards. Students in grades K-2 focus on moving, creating and performing music on various different melodic and percussive instruments. Students in grades 3-6 Primarily follow the Music WIll curriculum, learning to create and perform modern band music on instruments such as guitar, keyboard, ukulele, bass and drums. 


PE Using the National Physical Education Standards ( BES students will engage in activities, games, and challenges to develop the physical, emotional, and social skills that encourage and promote lifelong fitness. 


Library Science The BES school library empowers students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information. 

The school library program’s instruction, reading promotion, resources, and services are developed around the AASL Standards Framework for Learners six essential Shared Foundations—Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, and Engage.  

Health & Wellness

BES teaches healthy habits and provides health and wellness instruction:

  • The Farm to School Coordinator works with food service to provide nutrition education and monthly test tastes of local produce. 
  • K-3 students have Care for Kids once a year. Care for Kids teaches children important life and safety skills as required by Vermont Act 1. 
  • Grades 4-6 receive age-appropriate puberty education, and additional health instruction on vaping, smoking, and other substance use. 



Homework is assigned to most grades.  Homework:  

  • Provides time to practice skills 
  • Reviews and reinforces skills; it's not new learning 
  • Helps to create habits of discipline and responsibility 
  • Is for children to complete, not adults.  The work should be done independently within the time frame listed below.


English Language Arts


Total Minutes





1st grade

10 minutes

5 minutes


2nd grade

15 minutes -

reading with a reading log

5 minutes


3rd grade

20 minutes -

reading with a reading log

5 minutes


4th grade

25 minutes - 

20 mins reading

5 mins grammar/spelling

5 minutes


5th grade

25 minutes - 

20 mins reading

5 mins grammar/spelling

5-10 minutes


6th grade

25 minutes - 

20 mins reading

5 mins grammar/spelling

15 minutes





Teachers check on student progress in different formal and informal ways. In addition to classroom tests and classwork, we have some required state and district tests.


Required Assessments

  • Star Assessments -reading and math​​​​​
  • Fountas & Pinnell (F&P), literacy

  • Primary Number and Operations Assessment (PNOA), math

  • Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA)

  • Vermont Comprehensive Assessment Program (VTCAP), replaced Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) in the Spring of 2023

Report Cards

Report cards go out about 2 weeks after the end of each trimester.  Report cards are based on academics and work habits.  Academics are standards based.  This means the goal is for students to get a “3” by the end of the school year. All content for the year will be on the report card.  Grades align with all schools in the supervisory union.    


The grading scale for academics:





NA=Not Assessed

Blank=Not Covered this rimester


Work Habits are based on Characteristics of Successful Learners. The grading scale is:

C=Consistently demonstrates 

U=Usually demonstrates 

S=Sometimes demonstrates 

R=Rarely demonstrates