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School Academics

Welcome to the Tipton Elementary School Academics

The information accessible through this page provides an overview of many of the programs which come under the direction of the Curriculum and Instruction division. Additional links are provided as a resource to both parents and students. We hope you find this information both informative and helpful.

Indiana Department of Education Academic Standards

Indiana Academic Standards describe what Indiana students should know and be able to do. These standards provide clear support and direction for curriculum and instructional choices for the Tipton Elementary School.

Indiana Standards Resources

Organized by content area and grade level, this Web site allows Indiana's Academic Standards and their accompanying resources, to be viewed, printed, or downloaded. These resources are the online tools for teachers to use in aligning classroom instruction and assessment to Indiana's Academic Standards.

Testing Programs:

ISTEP+ (Grades 3 - 9)

ISTEP was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 1987 and was administered for the first time in 1988. In its original form, ISTEP consisted of a multiple-choice component administered in March and a writing component administered in December. ISTEP originally was given in Grades 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, and 11. The General Assembly subsequently eliminated the writing portion of the test and testing in Grades 1 and 11. Minor changes were made in test forms between 1987 and 1995, but the general structure and content of ISTEP did not change significantly prior to passage of new legislation in 1995.

The 1995 law that changed ISTEP to ISTEP+ required a norm-referenced test (NRT) to allow comparisons of Indiana student achievement with national norms as well as a criterion-referenced component. The criterion-referenced component included a basic skills assessment with multiple choice questions and an applied skills assessment containing short answer or essay questions along with the solving of arithmetic or mathematical problems.

The law required that ISTEP+ must provide criterion-referenced scores based on questions that measure student achievement relative to the academic standards in mathematics and language arts established by the State Board of Education. The criterion-referenced component has always been by far the most important part of ISTEP+. Today, it is the only component.

The State Board established in 1995 that, beginning with the 1996-97 school year, ISTEP+ would be administered to Grades 3, 6, 8, and 10 in the fall rather than in the spring. The board enacted this change to enable schools to implement more flexible instructional approaches and programs to remediate students during the school year in which ISTEP+ is administered as well as in the summer.

In November 2000, the State Board adopted the Indiana Academic Standards
that represent learning outcomes deemed necessary for successful performances in school, at work, and in the community. In 2002, the Grades 3, 6, and 8 ISTEP+ tests were modified to reflect the new standards in language arts and math. The standards were incorporated into new Grade 4, 5, 7, and 9 tests in fall 2003 and the Grade 5 science test was added. In fall 2004, the Grade 10 GQE was revised to also reflect the new standards. A 7th grade science test was first given in the fall of 2005. The ISTEP+ window has changed to be given in the spring only.

ISTEP Information


Special Education

Tipton Elementary School partners with the This link opens in a new window. Kokomo Area Special Education to provide a full continuum of special education services for our students. Special education includes specially-designed instruction to meet a student’s unique educational needs and related services to support a student’s educational program. The services range from support for students placed in general education classroom settings to self-contained specialized programs for students whose educational needs require more intensive services and support.

Helpful Documents

Special Education


6+1 Writing Traits

The 6+1 Trait Writing framework is a powerful way to learn and use a common language to refer to characteristics of writing as well as create a common vision of what 'good' writing looks like. Teachers and students use the 6+1 Trait model to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness as they continue to focus on improved writing.

The 6+1 Trait Writing model for teaching and assessing writing is made up of 6+1 key qualities that define strong writing. These are:

  • Ideas, the heart of the message;
  • Organization, the internal structure of the piece;
  • Voice, the personal tone and flavor of the author's message;
  • Word Choice, the vocabulary a writer chooses to convey meaning;
  • Sentence Fluency, the rhythm and flow of the language;
  • Conventions, the mechanical correctness;
  • and Presentation, how the writing actually looks on the page.

More about 6+1 Writing Model


RtI - Response to Intervention

RTI in Indiana is designed for use when making decisions in both general education and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by child outcome data. Research supports its success in improving student academic achievement and/or behavior. In Indiana, case conference committees will consider this data when evaluating a student for a specific learning disability.
What is RTI expected to look like?

RTI in Indiana is a tiered process designed for use when making decisions in both general education and special education. Research supports its success in improving student academic achievement and/or behavior.

The tiers may include the following:

  1. Core curriculum instruction and learning environments in which students receive high quality, scientifically-based academic and behavioral instruction, differentiated to meet their needs, and are monitored for progress on a periodic basis to identify students who need additional assistance or greater challenges form the foundation of RTI.
  2. In targeted supplemental supports, educators provide students not making adequate progress in the core curriculum with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs based on levels of performance and rates of progress, while high ability students receive demanding extensions based on their data, interests, and aptitudes.
  3. Intense individual support refers to students who receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students' skill deficits for the remediation of existing problems and the prevention of more severe problems or to high ability students who require intense acceleration and/or compacting of an expanded curriculum to meet their needs.

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