Downingtown Area School District’s curriculum is rooted in the instructional standards that are defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
DASD’s instructional vision is characterized by an emphasis on rigorous, challenging curriculum and instruction, engaging learning activities that are relevant and applicable for students, empowering students to take an active role in choosing what and how they learn (agency).
The DASD Visual Arts program provides students with a comprehensive course of study emphasizing artistic production through self-expression, composition and design skill, as well as critical response and historical context. This program aims at preparing students to utilize the visual arts as a tool for communication, while strengthening their skill set with regard to process, technique, craftsmanship, and presentation. Visual Arts students will engage in an explorative practice incorporating creative problem solving, collaboration, introspection and critical thinking within the context of the visual image. Students will learn to investigate and interpret the visual culture that surrounds them utilizing a blend of traditional techniques along with 21st Century skills, while also discovering their place in a global society as they contribute to that visual culture in their own unique way.
Business and Computer Science
The Business and Computer Science Department offers a number of comprehensive career and college-oriented business classes allowing students the opportunity to begin evaluating business career options and to prepare for collegiate coursework. As computer science skills are needed in every industry, the department also offers challenging computer science courses to develop the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed for success in a rapidly changing 21st century. All students are encouraged to participate in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition club, the Mock Trial Team, and the Junior Achievement program.
The mission of the Downingtown Area School District school Counseling Department is to provide a comprehensive program addressing the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. In partnership with the school community, counselors provide opportunity to develop a foundation that allows students to identify and explore individual abilities and interests. School counselors facilitate a support system that promotes academic and personal achievement and fosters the skills necessary for students to grow and contribute as productive members of a global society.
By cultivating an appreciation for effective verbal and written communication, ELA (English Language Arts) empowers students to understand and then influence the world in which they live. ELA explores the human condition by teaching empathy and compassion for others; it is a foundation for all other learning. ELA inspires and encourages students to become independent thinkers, fluent writers, articulate speakers, insightful, and critical readers.
Family and Consumer Science
Family and Consumer Sciences Education aims to empower individuals and families to manage the challenges of living and working in a diverse society. It is a comprehensive activity-based program that focuses on providing opportunities to develop the knowledge, practical skills, attitudes and behaviors needed for balancing personal, family and work/community lives. The topics covered in Family and Consumer Science prepare students for adult life and taking care of themselves, their families, and their communities.
The health and physical education department of DASD develops the physical, mental, and emotional wellness of students. This is achieved through fitness, skills, and teamwork in a variety of cooperative and group activities, while integrating goal setting and data collection. The coursework places an emphasis on lifetimes activities, as well as incorporating technology through blended learning to accommodate the newest educational and fitness trends. Additionally, the department strives to help student develop a variety of healthy habits for a lifetime.
The mission of the library program in the Downingtown Area School District is to provide a dynamic learning environment that instills essential 21st-century literacy skills through direct and collaborative instruction and the use of a wide variety of print and digital resources. Our goal is to ensure that students have the opportunity to become inquiring and engaged global citizens who are empowered to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information.
Mathematics instruction in the Downingtown Area School District is aligned to the PA Core Standards. The PA Core Mathematics Standards include Standards for Mathematical Content and Standards for Mathematical Practice. There are four strands in the Standards for Mathematical Content: (1) Numbers and Operations, (2) Algebraic Concepts, (3) Geometry, and (4) Measurement, Data, and Probability. All mathematical content instruction is framed around the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice: (1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; (2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively; (3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; (4) Model with mathematics; (5) Use appropriate tools strategically; (6) Attend to precision; (7) Look for and make use of structure; (8) Look for and make sense of regularity in repeated reasoning. DASD provides a rigorous and relevant mathematics curriculum that is centered around preparing students to achieve their post-secondary goals. DASD is committed to providing cohesive quality math instruction that not only empowers students in the classroom, but also provides students with real world problem-solving skills needed post-graduation.
In the area of Arts and Humanities, students in the Downingtown Area School District are given the opportunity to experience music in a wide array of courses and ensembles. Areas of study include General Music (K-5), Band (4-12), Chorus (4-12), Orchestra (3-12), and Music Theory (9-12). In-context training, mastery of skills, and rehearsal and performance experiences will engage students’ imagination and understanding of the world around them. Emphasis is placed on creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and personal expression through creation and performance. From this experience, students will acquire and develop skills in traditional and contemporary processes necessary to compose, perform, analyze, appreciate, and advocate for musical creations. When students are included, committed, and invested in the learning process, they will retain the knowledge gained through interactive instruction and will better master their skills and musical knowledge.
The high school offers a tiered program for students who continue to struggle with reading. For these courses, students are recommended by the DASD Reading Department, who base their decisions on the results of various benchmark and diagnostic reading assessments.
The DASD science program provides students with a comprehensive course of study to facilitate evaluation and utilization of scientific information. Disciplinary Core Ideas in Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Earth & Space Sciences are investigated using Scientific and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts consistent with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Informational instruction and hands-on learning are provided at all levels K - 12. Our elementary and middle school science programs develop enthusiasm for science and create a foundation for extensive in-depth coursework in physics, biology, chemistry and environmental science at the high school level.
The vision of the high school social studies department is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. We strive to do this by promoting: interpersonal skills, critical thinking, research, reading, advocacy, and agency.
Technology Education in the Downingtown Areas School District is the study of technology, in which students “learn about the processes and knowledge related to technology”. As a field of study, it incorporates a broad spectrum of technology, which is any innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants, and how technology accomplishes this through the interrelated disciplines of math, science, engineering, and others. Based in the design process, students gather, question, and evaluate information; draw conclusions; and act responsibly on the results as they impact on the students’ environment. Technology Education is an integral part of the education of each student.
Classical and Modern Language courses provide students with the opportunity to communicate in the target language, gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures, and to make connections and comparisons about language and other communities. While students are required to earn 1 credit for graduation, the full sequence of courses is designed to prepare students to perform in language courses at the university level and to navigate a diverse global society.