Academic Standards are establshed for both content and processes. Quite simply put, this is what we want students to know and be able to do. The standards are organized into subject areas (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, the Fine Arts, Physical Education, etc...) and then layered into courses and grade levels (ex/ biology history, geometry).
The District's academic standards are aligned to the grade level and course content developed through the Michigan Department of Education.
The elementary and middle level curriculum is organized by grade level (K-8). In grades K-5 students are in self-contained classrooms for the core subjects of reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. Specialized teachers teach physical education, health, art, and music classes. Students are grouped into teams for the 6th grade level. Each student has two primary teachers, one teacher mathematics and science and the other teaches reading, writing and social studies. In the 7th & 8th grade years, students have a specific teacher for each content area. Students also have choice in their elective class and may select from art, band, choir, or STEM courses.
The high school curriculum is presented through courses. Each course has established academic standards. A sequence of courses has been established to ensure students are learning the content and processes in a way that scaffolds rigor in each particular content area. For example, Algebra I is taken before Algebra II. The master schedule of courses offered at the high school level includes both required courses and elective courses. Required courses shall be taken and students must earn a passing grade in all of these courses to earn a diploma from the Disrict. Elective courses are designed to expand the depth and breadth of a student's knowledge and skills. These course also provide choices for the student. Hillsdale High School uses a four-year rotating schedule for electives. This provides an extensive menu of courses across all content areas.
The Hillsdale Area Career Center is operated by the ISD and provides multiple programs for high school students. Students usually begin in their junior year and the courses operate on half-day schedule. Students continue to take classes at the high school for the other half of their day. The Career Center campus is located in the Hillsdale Industrial Park.
Dual Enrollment is another way the school district expands the curriculum for students. Qualifying students may enroll in college courses concurrently with their high school coursework. Our students are fortunate to have two college options available within our community, Hillsdale College and Jackson College. There are also online options available for additional colleges and universitites.
The Early Middle College is a program developed through a collaboration of all high schools in Hillsdale County, the Intermediate School District and Jackson College. Students may apply for this program at the end of their sophmore year and programming begins in the junior year. This program provides a fifth year of enrollment within the school system. During the 5th year, the student is enrolled at Jackson College taking college coursework toward a designated credential, career pathway, or be working toward an associate's degree.