Boston — articulate -- To arrange in connected sequence; fit together; correlate. (So the Second College Edition of Webster's New World Dictionary defines this verb.)
If the town's primary schools are run on the open classroom plan, or are ungraded, or provide both group and individual attention so that the pupils can move at their own academic speed, then the next level of schooling should correlate with this educational philosophy and not ignore it.
If the town's high schools want graduating seniors to be fairly fluent in a second language and have a good language laboratory as well as skilled language teachers available, then those same languages need to be introduced in the elementary schools, with opportunities -- daily -- for older students to tutor younger ones.
Itf it is clear early in a student's academic career that he or she will not be going on immediately to a four-year college, then career exploration and counseling must start in the elementary grades, continue through junior high and senior high, and be provided after the pupils graduate or drop out of school.
If the sports program in the primary and elementary schools is designed to include both boys and girls and to emphasize lifetime sports (more than highly competitive spectator sports), then the junior and senior highs should provide for the same informal intramural individual and team sport activities.
If the town's high school English teachers expect graduates to have read certain poems, novels, plays, and nonfiction books, then they must work closely with primary, elementary, and junior high teachers and librarians to see that these books are available and part of the articulated school program.
If the study of natural and physical science is undergoing rapid expansion, and one or more of the high school science teachers have kept up with the changes, then they should be responsible for seeing that the information taught -- particularly at the primary and elementary levels -- fits together with what will be taught later in secondary school.
If a diagnostic study of the town's test scores, particularly at the junior and senior high school levels, shows that spelling and arithmetic reasoning are consistently poor, then these skills should be taught in a correlated manner from K-12.
The pupils may come and go from a class, a school, or even a school district, but the articulated school program should hold fast.
Next week: The teachers' room.