Preschool for All

CPS, with funding from the Illinois State Board of Education, provides a grants-based fund for qualifying schools to offer a high quality preschool program called Preschool For All (PFA). Since 2007, IAMS has offered two half-day PFA preschool classrooms for four year olds. Children are accepted into the PFA program through the CPS lottery system. Each preschool class offers a morning program and an afternoon program for 2.5 hours to serve approximately 80 children per year.

of the Americas

IAMS uses a Curriculum of the Americas that adopts a prescribed focus area for each academic year and establishes a strong foundation within the history and current lives of Latino people. As students in the primary grades learn about who they are in relationship to their family and their community, they learn to value the role that their own family plays in a culturally rich community. With our own grassroots Curriculum of the Americas, students study We are Community (Pre-K-1st) and We are Indigenous People (2nd-5th). During the middle grades, students study the indigenous heritage of Latino people through learning about the present and past indigenous communities including the Taínos, Incas, Mayas and Aztecs. At the middle school level, this sophisticated knowledge and identity as Latino people and communities is applied to studying the history of Latin America as it relates to current issues of social justice, environmentalism, imperialism and capitalism, all in the context of We are Scholarly Activists.

Literacy Philosophy

We believe that children can learn to listen, speak, read and write in two languages concurrently.

With that in mind...

  • We believe that skills and strategies in literacy transfer between languages without translation, across the curriculum, and throughout the grades.
  • We believe that consistency is of utmost importance in teaching in two languages because it is more efficient, comprehensible, and communicable for the entire learning community.
  • We believe that children learn more effectively if they understand the expectations at the beginning of the unit.
  • We believe that because students are in different stages of language acquisition, they need different learning goals.
  • We believe that children develop language and literacy skills best when they are provided with a variety of instructional settings, including integrated, target, and developing language groupings.
  • We believe that all children, at every level, can participate in and drive literate conversation that develops their critical literacy skills, respectful discussion skills, and active listening skills.

To create an environment to support these beliefs...

  • We are committed to strategy-based literacy instruction that is consistent from grade-to-grade and across the content areas.
  • We are committed to ensuring that every unit of study will have a clear beginning and end, carried out in one language and driven by assessment.
  • We are committed to maintaining the integrity of a single language in any given time or setting.
  • We are committed to communicating clear expectations to students and families at the start of each unit, including expectations for students in their developing language.
  • We are committed to providing literacy instruction in the following settings: integrated English, integrated Spanish, target language English, target language Spanish, developing language English, and developing language Spanish.
  • We are committed to teaching Reading and Writing using authentic, culturally rich literature that is relevant to children’s lives and the world around them and providing authentic writing opportunities that encourage children to express themselves in meaningful ways.

If we achieve these goals, we will cultivate bilingual, biliterate, and multicultural graduates.

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