§ 4.21. Elementary education: primary and intermediate levels.

 (a)  The primary program shall ordinarily be completed by children who are approximately 8 years of age. School districts, including charter schools, shall provide opportunities for individualized rates of learning and social and emotional development that reflect differing rates of development and learning styles of young children.

 (b)  Curriculum and instruction in the primary program must be standards-based and focus on introducing young children to formal education, developing an awareness of the self in relation to others and the environment, and developing skills of communication, thinking and learning. Literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension and developmental writing will begin in prekindergarten and kindergarten, if offered, and developed appropriately for the primary grade level.

 (c)  The intermediate level program shall ordinarily be completed by children who are approximately 11 years of age.

 (d)  Standards-based curriculum and instruction in the intermediate level must enable all students to reach the proficient level on the local assessment system and the Statewide assessment system. Academic standards will guide the focus on learning specific subject matter content.

 (e)  Planned instruction aligned with academic standards in the following areas shall be provided to every student every year in the primary program. Planned instruction may be provided as separate course or other interdisciplinary activity.

   (1)  Language arts, integrating reading, writing, phonics, spelling, listening, speaking, literature and grammar, and information management, including library skills.

   (2)  Mathematics, including problem-solving and computation skills.

   (3)  Science and technology education, involving active learning experiences for students.

   (4)  Environment and ecology education, involving active learning experiences for students.

   (5)  Social studies (civics and government, economics, geography and history).

   (6)  Health, safety and physical education, including instruction in concepts and skills which affect personal, family and community health and safety, nutrition, the prevention of alcohol, chemical and tobacco abuse, knowledge and practice of lifetime physical activities, personal fitness, basic movement skills and concepts, motor skill development, principles and strategies of movement, and safety practices in physical activity settings.

   (7)  The arts, including active learning experiences in art, music, dance and theatre.

 (f)  Planned instruction in the following areas shall be provided to every student every year in the intermediate level program. Planned instruction may be provided as a separate course or as an instructional unit within another course or other interdisciplinary instructional activity:

   (1)  Language arts, integrating reading, writing, spelling, listening, speaking, literature and grammar.

   (2)  Mathematics, including problem-solving and computation skills.

   (3)  Science and technology, including instruction about agriculture and agricultural science.

   (4)  Environment and ecology, including instruction about agriculture and agricultural science.

   (5)  Social studies (civics and government, economics, geography and history).

   (6)  The arts, including art, music, dance and theatre.

   (7)  Understanding and use of library and other information sources.

   (8)  Health, safety and physical education, including instruction in concepts and skills which affect personal, family and community health and safety, nutrition, the prevention of alcohol, chemical and tobacco abuse, knowledge and practice of lifetime physical activities, personal fitness, basic movement skills and concepts, motor skill development, principles and strategies of movement and safety practices in physical activity settings.

 (g)  Planned instruction aligned with academic standards in the following areas shall be provided to every student at least once by the end of elementary school. Planned instruction may be provided as a separate course or as an instructional unit within another course or other interdisciplinary instructional activity. See section 1511 of the School Code (24 P. S. §  15-1511).

   (1)  History of the United States.

   (2)  History of the Commonwealth.

   (3)  Geography.

   (4)  Civics.

 (h)  This section does not preclude the teaching of other planned instruction designed to achieve a school entity’s mission, goals and academic standards.

 (i)  School districts, including charter schools, shall determine the most appropriate way to operate their primary and intermediate level elementary programs to achieve the purposes under subsections (b) and (d) and any mission, goals and academic standards as determined by the school entity.

 (j)  Students who have not achieved proficiency in reading and mathematics during their primary grades (K-3), as determined by the school entity, shall be afforded additional instructional opportunities through a grade-level learning plan developed by the school entity. The plan will assist the student in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve at the proficient level. Assessments to measure proficiency shall be described in the local assessment system under §  4.52 (relating to local assessment system).

 (k)  Students who have not achieved proficiency in reading and mathematics by the end of grade 5 as determined on State assessments under §  4.51a (relating to Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) shall be afforded instructional opportunities to develop knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the proficient level.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  4.21 amended under sections 121, 2603-B and 2604-B of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § §  1-121, 26-2603-B and 26-2604-B).

Source

   The provisions of this §  4.21 amended February 15, 2008, effective February 16, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 872; amended February 28, 2014, effective March 1, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 1131. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (350149) to (350150) and (332273).

Cross References

   This section cited in 22 Pa. Code §  4.27 (relating to physical education and athletics).



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