Foothill Adventist Elementary School

1991 Landess Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035 (408) 263-2568


Differentiated Instruction

The teachers at Foothill are fully credentialed in the Differentiated Instruction methodology. Often referred to as an educational philosophy, differentiated instruction is viewed as a proactive approach to instruction. The model of differentiated instruction requires teachers to tailor their instruction and adjust the curriculum to students’ needs rather than expecting students to modify themselves to fit the curriculum. Foothill teachers are committed to this approach because we believe that who we teach shapes how we teach, because who the students are shapes how they learn.

Differentiated Instruction involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content, to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas and to developing teaching materials so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability.

Differentiation stems from beliefs about differences among learners, how they learn, learning preferences and individual interests. Research indicates that many of the emotional or social difficulties gifted students experience disappear when their educational climates are adapted to their level and pace of learning. Differentiation in education can also include how a student shows that they have mastery of a concept. This could be through a research papers, role play, podcasts, diagrams, posters, etc. The key is finding out how your students learn and displaying their learning in a way that meets their specific needs.

The school year is divided into four quarters (or grading periods): Two quarters make up one semester, and therefore, there are two semesters in the school year. Progress reports will be issued at the end of each quarter.Grades will be reported in one of three ways:

Kindergarten Grades 1-2 Grades 3-8
ES - Exceeds standard
MS - Meets standard
AS - Approaching standard  
NS - Needs support

E - Excellent
S - Satisfactory
N - Needs Improvement   

A - Superior
B - Above average
C - Average
D - Below average
F - Failure

It is the responsibility of each teacher to provide parents with an ongoing report of the student's progress. Parents are welcome to discuss a child's progress with a teacher at any time. However, formal Parent-Teacher Conferences are held after the first and third quarters. Progress reports are sent home with the student at the end of the second quarter and picked up the last day of school at the end of the fourth quarter.

The school, in cooperation with the Central California Conference Department of Education, provides parents with achievement test results from a standardized testing program (Iowa Test of Basic Skills). These tests are administered to the students in October, starting at the third grade level. The results of these tests are carefully monitored by the staff, school board, and Office of Education to ensure academic quality in each classroom.

Foothill hosts an Awards Assembly at the end of each semester to recognize the student’s accomplishments. Along with certificates for high achievements in each subject, students are also acknowledged for perfect attendance and citizenship. At the 2nd semester awards assembly, trophies are awarded to students in grades 3 – 8 for making it onto the High Honor Roll and Academic Excellence list.


Honors 3.0 – 3.4 GPA
High Honors 3.5 – 3.9 GPA
Academic Excellence  4.0 GPA


Related Information

Academics K - 4th 5th - 8th Atheletics Fine Arts Outdoor Education Science Fair Test Scores