Curriculum and Professional Development


Curriculum Overview

The Dearborn Public School District offers a warm, safe, and caring learning environment for your child. We offer a wide range of educational opportunities such as an early college program as well as many advanced and highly specialized math and science programs.


Mathematics is the science of patterns and relationships. It is the language and logic of our technological world. Mathematical power is the ability to explore, conjecture reason logically, and use a variety of mathematical methods effectively to solve problems.

Whether you are making or giving change, calculating the numbers of days until your birthday, or figuring out your grade, mathematics is a constant and important part of our daily lives. The ultimate goal of the math program in Dearborn is for all students to develop the mathematical power to participate effectively as citizens and workers in our contemporary world.

The Everyday Math series is used in Dearborn elementary schools. Pre-algebra is introduced beginning in sixth grade, and students continue through a high school course of study that incorporates Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. Additionally, students can opt to take higher level electives, including Physics, Statistics, and Advanced Placement classes, either at their home buildings or through intensive programs offered at the Dearborn Math, Science, and Technology Center.


Science and its applications play a significant role in our everyday lives, from the challenge of developing vaccines to finding alternative energy sources to exploring Mars. In Dearborn, the ultimate goals of the science program are for all students to understand their surroundings and comprehend and appreciate the relationships within these surroundings. During the next decade, demand in the United States for scientists and engineers is expected to increase at more than double the rate for all other occupations. The Dearborn Public Schools science program will prepare students to meet the challenges of this ever-changing future.

In Dearborn, in addition to thematic units in grades kindergarten through seven, students study Earth Science in 8th grade, Biology in 9th, and can then opt for either Physics or Chemistry as their required third year of science. Additionally, students can choose a variety of elective classes, offered at all three high school and at Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology, including Forensic Science, classes on the environment, and Advanced Placement selections.

Our curriculum is aligned with the Michigan Science Standards which are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Social Studies

Social studies prepares young people to become responsible citizens. In Dearborn, our social studies program of instruction and assessment incorporates methods of inquiry, involves public discourse and decision making, and provides opportunities for citizen involvement. Each year, students receive instruction that allows them to think and act as historians, geographers, political scientists, and economists. Students are also taught to respect and reflect core democratic values in their daily activities.

Each grade focuses on specific content: Kindergarten, Myself and Others; 1st grade, Families and Schools; 2nd grade, the Local Community; 3rd grade, Michigan Studies; 4th grade, United States Studies; 5th grade, Integrated US History (through 1791); 6th grade, Western Hemisphere Studies;

7th grade, Eastern Hemisphere Studies; 8th grade, Integrated US History (through 1898); 9th grade, World History and Geography; 10th grade, US History (through modern day); 11th grade, Economics (one semester) & Civics (one semester). Students can also choose high school elective classes in Psychology, Sociology, and Advanced Placement selections.

Language Arts

Dearborn Public Schools provides instruction for students in grades PK-12 under the Balanced Literacy Framework. Teachers at the elementary level instruct during Readers and Writers Workshop each day. The Daily 5/CAFÉ instructional framework provides opportunities for students to increase their stamina and develop independence during time spent in daily reading and writing. The Daily 5 and CAFE model of instruction was implemented in Dearborn during the 2010-2011 school year (Boushey and Moser, 2006, 2009). The Daily 5s are: Reading to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, and Word Work.

CAFÉ is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expand Vocabulary. The teacher and student select student goals in the appropriate category and the teacher provides strategies for the students to work on. Small group instruction occurs in strategy groups of no more than three students.

The sixth grade implemented Daily 5/CAFÉ the second semester of the 2011-2012 school year. The strategies are incorporated into the 6th grade classrooms where students continue focusing on core Café goals to improve reading achievement.

At the secondary level, the district is implementing Readers Apprenticeship into content area classes to develop literacy skills and engage students with challenging texts. Readers Apprenticeship is a framework of reading strategies that engage students in a range of classroom routines that motivate students and meet content area learning goals.
The framework relies on four interacting dimensions that support reading development: Social, Personal, Cognitive and Knowledge-Building (Fielding, et al 2003).

The 6+1 Traits of Writing framework (Culver, 2002, 2006) provides the structure for teachers to teach writing in grades K-5. The six traits are: Ideas, Organization, Voice, word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions. The “+1” is Presentation. Teachers use the Writers Workshop instructional model to provide mini-lessons on process writing.
Students move through the stages of brainstorming ideas, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.

World Languages

Credit for two years of the same world language is required for high school graduation beginning with the class of 2016. The high schools offer Arabic, Spanish, French, German, and American Sign Language based on student interest.  Middle schools will offer Arabic, Spanish, and/or French based on student interest.