Curriculum and Instruction

The Buckeye Learning Experience

The Buckeye Elementary School District staff is committed to providing every child access to world-class learning opportunities which allow them to explore, grow, and achieve in a positive and nurturing environment.  Accordingly, we consistently focus on high quality curriculum and the most effective and research-based teaching strategies to deliver first-rate instruction.   The following are the foundations of the Buckeye Elementary learning experience.

  • Instructional Practices.  We are committed to classroom practices that have been clearly shown to positively impact student learning. BESD students can expect a rigorous classroom that supports active engagement with the curriculum, guided by a dedicated and caring teacher who is invested in each child’s success. Fundamentals are strategically taught and then applied, allowing our students use their newfound learning.
  • Assessment.  As an Arizona school district, BESD assesses students as directed by the Arizona Department of Education by using the AZMerits annual test for students in 3-8th grade. Detailed information on this assessment can be found at  on the Arizona Department of Education’s Assessment page.  The score results are provided to parents as soon as they are released to the district and our schools closely monitor performance and seek ways to constantly improve.
  • Language Arts.  Literacy skills are vitally important for student success, and BESD has developed an intensive instructional program for its students that provides multiple tiers of support, including targeted intervention or extension opportunities.  Students can expect rich reading and writing environments that teach foundational skills such as phonics, as well as opportunities to be immersed in reading and writing as readers and authors.
  • Mathematics and Science.  A quality mathematics and science program is more important than ever, and in BESD, our students develop skills that allow them to attack the most rigorous challenges.  Using our carefully and strategically developed Buckeye Curriculum, which was built upon the Arizona Math Standards, teachers guide our students on strategic journey where skills and concepts are explored, taught, reinforced, and applied in a way that is meaningful and useful.  Further, BESD students develop and practice critical thinking and analysis skills that best position them for success in a rapidly changing education and work landscape.
  • Social Studies.  Children are naturally curious about the world around them, and in BESD our teachers leverage that curiosity to envelope students in essential concepts of world, United States, and state history.  Importantly, students are asked to develop a deeper understanding of these events and how they have shaped our world through inquiry, debate, simulations, writing, and literature.  Major concepts of civics are also taught and reinforced, as BESD recognizes and honors that our great democracy’s  strength is rooted in its engaged and educated citizenry.
  • Special Areas.  BESD is committed to providing our students a well-rounded educational experience, and we realize that some of its most impactful components are not always measured on state assessments.  The arts, physical education, and a variety of other program options are made available to students not as an “extra,” but as an essential piece of educating the entire child.   We have an incredibly talented and committed staff of teachers who are passionate about their work and who lend their talents in their content area to help students appreciate that field in new and unique ways.
Learning Pod_JSM

Curriculum and Instruction Contacts:

Ana Gutierrez
Executive Director of Curriculum & Assessment
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Julie Case
Director of Literacy
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Nancy Pratt
Director of Instruction
Email: [email protected]

Tom Espy
Director of Research & Assessment
Email: [email protected]

Chryste Berda
Math Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

Heather Orozco
Science & Social Studies Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

Katie Preston
Curriculum / ELD Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

Nicole Belden
District Gifted Education Specialist
Email: [email protected]