Ferndale Area Elementary School » Curriculum


Elementary Curriculum

In providing our students with instruction that enables them to master the foundations of mathematics, the Ferndale Area Elementary has adopted the Backwards Design model.  This model takes the PA Core Standards and has the educators develop the curriculum around what every grade level needs in order to be successful.  In doing so, “Everyday Mathematics"is one piece of the curriculum for grades K4 - 5. “Prentice Hall/Connected Math” is utilized in grade 6. Our core instruction is based upon the Pennsylvania Core Standards and our teaching is aligned to these standards to provide a rigorous and high quality of education.  Teachers receive ongoing training and mentoring to provide the best for your children. As a parent, it is vital that you support your child’s education in the home. Helping with homework, asking about their day, or discussing a certain topic are easy ways for you to help educate your child. Only with cooperation between school and home can we meet the educational needs of your child.

English Language Arts

The Ferndale Area Elementary School uses as one of its many resources, the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Treasures reading program. Literature-based instuction and Guided Reading are also a part of our everyday curriculum. Phonics Boost and Spelling City are new programs introduced in the 2015-16 school year. Many of our intermediate teachers have also been trained in reading skills and strategies through the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Literacy Network program.  Finally, we are proud that we have begun a Multi-Tiered System of Support for our students including a two-tiered system that allows for further intervention for those students who are in need and to differentiate for those students who excel in the area of ELA.


The Ferndale Area Elementary School has implemented science instruction building wide.  Hands-on, engaging, inquiry is the focus of our curriculum and instruction.  The branches of life, earth and physical science are introduced and explored. 

Classroom Diagnostic Tools

The Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDTs) is an online assessment used to analyze a student's abilities in the content areas of mathematics and English Language Arts in grades 3-6.  This tool is diagnostic in nature to guide instruction, remediation and enrichment as needed.  There is no cost for the program and it is a vital tool in providing high quality instruction based upon each student and his/her needs.

DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment)

The Developmental Reading Assessment is used predominantly in grades K-2 at Ferndale Area Elementary School, but is utilized in grades 3-6 as well. The assessment measures accuracy, comprehension and fluency in the area of reading. With DRA results, educators identify reading achievement for individual students, analyze data and communicate inforamtion with administrators and the reading specialist, parents and students.  It also allows teachers to drive instruction and provide intervention necessary for the success of all students.


Ferndale Area Elementary School has adopted the use of the Aimsweb Program as a diagnostic tool in the subject of reading for the 2015-16 school year.  Aimsweb is a screening tool that is used three times a year for all students in grades K-6.  The results allow our intervention team determine the needs of our students that fall below the national percentile of being successful.  It also allows for determination of those students that are well above the national percentile of the "average" student. Tier II and Tier III intervention students are determined by this tool to provide necessary small group and individualized support.