Curriculum Overview

Park Ridge-Niles is a wonderful community and District 64 is proud of the excellent quality of education provided in our schools. This Curriculum Fact Sheet contains basic information about Elementary School District 64, its programs and services.

To learn more, call the District office at (847) 318-4300 or visit Student Learning pages on this website.

Our Mission

The mission of District 64 is to inspire every child to discover, learn, achieve and care.

Educational Ends

District 64 is committed to meeting the needs of the whole child and therefore has established learning goals for each area of a child’s development:  academic, social-emotional, physical, and artistic. These goals -- known as the District 64 Educational Ends -- define in broad terms what we want students to know and be able to do as a result of their K-8 school experience.

Core Curriculum

Students in all grades receive instruction in the basics of Language Arts (which includes reading, writing, speaking and listening skills), Science, Social Studies, and Math. In addition, students learn Spanish beginning in second grade. Instruction is differentiated in all subject areas so that teachers may better meet students' needs.

Art, Music, Physical Education

District 64 is committed to having students at all grade levels receive instruction in Physical Education (PE) and the fine arts. Students receive PE instruction four times a week, Music twice a week, and Art once a week at the K-5 schools. At the middle schools, PE is held daily; one trimester of Art and Music is required in grades 6 and 7; a variety of Art and Music electives are offered at the 8th grade level.

Curriculum Review Process

Curriculum is kept current in District 64. A review committee of teachers and the Department of Student Learning evaluates the curriculum and recommends changes in either content and/or instructional materials. Grade level Learner Objectives pamphlets are distributed to parents each year that state what students will learn in all curricular areas.

Channels of Challenge (C of C)

This program addresses the needs of academically gifted children. Students in grades K-2 who demonstrate a high academic achievement level are serviced in a primary enrichment program. Qualified students in grades 3-5 attend daily classes in Math and/or Reading. These students return to their regular classroom for all other subjects. C of C students in grades 6, 7, and 8 continue this specialized curriculum at the two middle schools.

Special Education

District 64 supports students' specialized learning needs through an array of special education services. Screening, diagnostics, instructional and support services are available to all residents, from birth to age 21.

Differentiated Instruction

In addition to our gifted and special education services, instruction is differentiated to meet the diverse learning needs of our students. Differentiation may occur in the content of what students learn, the process or pace of instruction, or the products that students are asked to complete. Differentiation is used to address students' different abilities, learning styles, and/or interests.

Civil Behavior

District 64’s Civil Behavior program is taught in all of our schools to help students develop the skills they need to be respectful and caring members of their families, school, and community. Lessons designed to teach responsibility, empathy, citizenship and other values are integrated into instruction in all subject areas and the daily operations of each school.  School, parent, and community groups are also working together to extend the reach of this important initiative throughout our communities.

Guidance and Counseling Services

District 64 offers a range of services designed to serve the emotional and social needs of students. Guidance and counseling services by trained professionals are available and may include short-term help, ongoing support, or outside referrals for additional assistance.

Technology

District 64 incorporates technology into its classrooms and curriculum, using technology as a tool in students' learning activities. All schools are fully computerized and networked.

Electives

At the middle schools, six exploratory courses are offered for 6th graders. Seventh and eighth graders may choose from over 20 electives. This extensive program includes Fine Arts, Science, Music, Practical Arts, Industrial Arts, and Technology.

Field Trips & Cultural Experiences

Class field trips and a variety of cultural experiences enhance the curriculum. These activities, within or outside the District, are planned to correlate to the curriculum and enrich students' learning.

Community Support

Parent involvement is both welcomed and strongly encouraged. At each school and at the District level, parent organizations provide a valuable link between home and school. The Elementary Learning Foundation (ELF) provides funds to support innovative educational programs and experiences above and beyond the District's regular operating budget.

Summer School

A wide variety of classes are offered each summer for students at all levels and includes basic skills classes, enrichment classes, computer, arts and crafts classes, and science, among others. Two 3-week sessions are held at Washington Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School.

Child Care

District 64 offers several parent-paid programs: before and after school care, an extended day kindergarten program, and a summer camp.  Information is available from the Jefferson School website.

Lunch Program

  • Students in grades 1-8 remain at school during their scheduled lunch period:
  • Students in grade 1-5 bring a lunch from home and provide their own beverage, or may order milk service for the year.
  • Students in grades 6-8 at Lincoln and Emerson Middle Schools have cafeteria lunches available.