Curriculum Review

  • Writing Process  

    Our curriculum cycle has been designed to follow a six-year process. One year is spent researching new trends and best practices in the particular area. An evaluation of the current program is completed. The next year, recommendations for program renewal/revision are completed. Following that year, implementation of the newly created or revised curriculum is initiated. The next three years of the cycle are used for refinement/development of the curriculum. The Curriculum Development Cycle is recorded on an attached document.

    During the year of curriculum writing, department chairpersons from each level (elementary, intermediate, and secondary) meet to develop the scope and sequence for the curricular area. Actual revision of the curriculum is based on the current national standards in that field, Pennsylvania State Standards, and local district and community input.

    The Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction introduces the curriculum writing process to the department or specific individuals who will be writing curriculum. All curricula are written to follow a standard format that includes: Unit, Content Standard, State Standard, Content, Student Performance, Resources, and Assessments. Each Content Standard must be measurable and appropriate assessments to reveal understanding of the Standard must be noted on the document. The written document should also include remediation and extension possibilities, as well as technology components and career connections.

    At the secondary level, all efforts will be made to offer release time to teachers in order to accomplish curriculum revision in a timely manner. In general, each teacher will be offered two release days to write curriculum. Working in pairs has been beneficial. Specific dates and times for curriculum writing are arranged through the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

    At the intermediate level, all efforts will be made to offer release time to teachers in order to accomplish curriculum revision in a timely manner. Because of the nature of the intermediate school curricula, more than two release days to write curricula may be necessary. It would beneficial for colleagues to work together. Specific dates and times for curriculum writing are arranged through the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

    At the elementary level, teachers may be given release time; however, past practice has allowed teachers to complete the curriculum writing on their own time. They are then paid curriculum rate (not to exceed 20 hours to complete the work.) A combination of the two may be necessary depending upon the area being revised. Specific dates and times for curriculum writing are arranged through the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

    The development of new courses is compensated at the curriculum rate.

    New curricula should be completed by May 15, of the "on cycle" year. Department Chairpersons will be responsible for proof reading the document for accuracy.

    Monitoring Days 

    Department Chairpersons are offered the opportunity to grow professionally by participating in "monitoring days." These days are provided to visit colleagues in the Chairperson's curricular area in his/her building or another building. Department Chairpersons are entitled to five days for this purpose. During a year that curriculum is "on cycle," more days may be requested. For K-12, 4-12, 6-12, and 9-12 Department Chairpersons who have colleagues in more than one site, one monitoring day per month is available.

    When the Department Chairperson is monitoring, the building principal and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction must approve notification. An agenda should accompany the request for release. Keep in mind that the Department Chairperson must spend the entire day in other buildings or report back to his/her home school. Brief documentation indicating time spent in other buildings and who was contacted should be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.