EH(LOCAL) - CURRICULUM DESIGN
The Board recognizes the need for and value of a systematic curriculum to enable all students to achieve standards of excellence. The systematic curriculum shall:
State District expectations of what students should know and be able to do;
Promote continuity and the cumulative acquisition of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), prekindergarten through grade 12;
Provide all students equitable access to the District curriculum; and
Provide all teachers equitable access to the District electronic curriculum.
The Board shall encourage and support the professional staff in its ongoing efforts of curriculum review, development, and evaluation. To establish standards for the design, delivery, and management of a systematic curriculum and to be responsive to students, parents, the school community, and state requirements, the Board sets forth this policy to be followed by the Superintendent and all staff.
Curriculum is defined as the knowledge and skills/content and processes to be taught and learned at the appropriate grade levels, subject areas, and/or courses in District schools.
The curriculum shall emphasize the core knowledge and skills that are necessary for productive and responsible community membership and for profitably pursuing further training/education. It shall be the objective of the written curriculum to enable each student to acquire an education appropriate to the student's needs, diverse interests, ambitions, and abilities.
The Board shall allocate resources to develop, implement, and evaluate a curriculum to achieve these objectives.
The curriculum shall reflect the best knowledge of the overall growth and development of the whole child, the academic needs of all learners, and the content and performance expectations of the District, state, and nation. The model for curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation shall include the following components:
Curriculum (written instruction);
Instruction (taught/delivered curriculum); and
Evaluation (tested/learned curriculum).
The taught and tested curriculum shall be aligned with the written curriculum.
While instructional differentiation shall occur to address the unique needs of students, that instruction shall be derived from the Board-approved curriculum that is common to all students.
The Planned Written Curriculum
The District expects that learning will be enhanced by adherence to a curriculum that promotes continuity and cumulative acquisition of skills and knowledge from grade to grade and from school to school. The curriculum should reflect the best knowledge of the growth and development of learners, the needs of learners based on the nature of society, the desires of the residents and taxpayers of the District, state laws, and state Board rules. The curriculum is designed to provide teachers and students with the District's expectations of what students must learn. Teachers are required to follow the curriculum of the District.
Subject area written curriculum and instructional guides shall be developed for all grade levels and subjects in the District. The expectations are that:
All curriculum will be documented in writing;
The curriculum will be reviewed and updated continuously;
Teachers will have access to the Hallsville electronic curriculum and use the objectives in the curriculum to develop daily lesson plans; and
Administrators will ensure maintenance of consistency between the written curriculum and the curriculum objectives actually taught.
Instructional resources such as personnel, textbooks, software, and other materials shall be selected based upon their alignment with the curriculum objectives and curriculum priorities of the District.
Staff development will be designed and implemented to prepare staff members to teach the designed curriculum.
The Taught Curriculum
The District has several expectations of the teaching process. Teachers have a right to expect that their teaching efforts are part of a broad plan of quality education. There must be assurance that teachers and their colleagues are working toward a common goal. All faculty members have a responsibility not only to contribute to the refinements of the written curriculum but also to teach to the curriculum objectives. Teachers are required to use the Hallsville electronic curriculum as their primary source of instructional direction. The principal shall ensure that optimum use is made of available written curriculum materials and instructional time.
The design and implementation of the curriculum will be aligned with the planned and written curriculum as presented to students by the teachers and the tested curriculum as determined by student assessments. Each of these three components of the curriculum shall be matched to bring about a high degree of consistency.
All curriculum decisions, including but not limited to, elimination or addition of programs and courses and extensive content alteration, will be subject to Board approval. Curriculum proposals from employees will be presented first to central administration. If the proposal is acceptable at that level, it will then be presented to the Board.
The Hallsville Electronic Curriculum shall direct instruction for all subject areas or courses. The format for this curriculum will be a collaborative District-level decision. The Hallsville Electronic Curriculum will:
Reflect alignment to state assessment objectives; and
Include scope and sequence, objectives to be taught, assessments in acceptable format, aligned resources, time frame, and instructional strategies.
The Hallsville Electronic Curriculum shall serve as a framework from which a team of teachers will develop units of study, common lesson plans, and approaches to instruction that will serve the student's particular needs at a particular time. The curriculum shall be used to map a logical sequence of instruction.
In addition to consistent delivery of the objectives in the curriculum, instructional delivery shall be based on sound teaching principles grounded in educational research. Instructional supervision efforts shall focus on these sound teaching principles. The systematic process shall include:
Establishing a school climate that continually affirms the worth and diversity of all students.
Expecting that all students will perform at high levels of learning.
Ensuring that all students experience opportunities for personal success.
Varying the time for learning according to the needs of each student and the complexity of the task.
Having both staff members and students take responsibility for successful learning.
Assessing current student skills or learning for instructional assignment.
Analyzing the content of each objective so that instructional strategies match content and assessment.
When appropriate, sequencing tasks into a hierarchy of learning skills to maximize the effectiveness of instructional delivery.
Orienting students to the objective(s) to be learned.
Initial teaching to the objective(s) that provides varied approaches, adequate practice time, and multiple opportunities for learning and success.
Assessing student mastery of the objective(s) to determine the need for movement to a new instructional objective, extension/enrichment, or corrections.
For those who attain mastery, progressing to the next objective or offering extension or enrichment.
For those who do not attain mastery, providing correctives and/or modification of instructional strategies until mastery is attained.
Staff development will be provided for teachers on research-based approaches to teaching to provide them with alternative ways to improve teaching so that all instructors will be as effective as possible.
The Tested Curriculum —Evaluation
The District shall establish assessment approaches for determining the effectiveness of instructional programming at District, school, and classroom levels. Evaluations will focus on determining the extent to which students are achieving and maintaining mastery of curriculum objectives and the extent to which instructors are displaying effective conveyance of curriculum in the classrooms.
District staff shall design and use a variety of assessment approaches in determining the effectiveness of the planned and written curriculum, the taught curriculum, and instructional programs. Periodic reports shall be made to the Board concerning these assessments.
The tested curriculum is to include the following components:
State-level assessments as required.
A District criterion-referenced assessment system that documents, records, reports, and awards credit for student skill attainment.
An assessment approach developed for grade levels and courses not tested by the state testing program.
A criterion-referenced information management system at the classroom and building levels for coordinating timely instructional planning, student assessment and placement, instructional delivery, and program evaluation.
A program evaluation component that guides curriculum redesign and instructional planning.
Teachers will conduct frequent assessment of students on the curriculum objectives. Teacher-made tests as well as criterion-referenced tests shall be used to determine patterns of student achievement. Teachers and supervisors shall use test results to assess programs, to assess the status of individual student achievement, to continuously regroup students for instruction, to identify general achievement trends of various groups of students, and to modify curriculum and/or instruction as warranted by assessment results.
Principals shall review tests to help teachers ensure that tests are congruent with the written curriculum and with what is being taught.
The curriculum components shall consist of the following:
Electronic Curriculum - The District's software on which instruction for subjects and courses is based. The curriculum shall include learning objectives based on the TEKS and District essential learning, sequence of objectives, and resources such as textbooks and materials. The electronic curriculum shall be available for review on each campus and in the department of instruction.
Lesson plans - Teacher's instructional outlines that are consistent with District and campus policies.
Grade records - Evidence of student performance used for decisions regarding mastery, promotion, and retention.
Personnel will have opportunities to make professional contributions to curriculum development through a curriculum development process developed by the Superintendent or designee. Administrators are expected to assist teachers in skillful implementation of the District curriculum. Teachers are expected to deliver the District curriculum developed for their teaching assignments.
Curriculum Development Process
The Superintendent or designee shall develop a plan for the development and review of the District curriculum and shall report to the Board annually on curriculum development. The curriculum development process shall include teachers, administrators, and other appropriate resources. To achieve a coordinated prekindergarten through grade 12 curriculum, vertical teams of teachers and administrators from elementary and secondary schools shall work jointly in the development of curriculum.
Evaluation of District Curriculum
The Superintendent or designee shall develop an assessment framework from evaluating and reporting annually to the Board on the effectiveness of the District curriculum and all instructional programs. The assessment framework shall focus on the extent to which students are achieving and maintaining their mastery of the District curriculum. The assessment framework shall include performance standards, assessment strategies, and assessment guidelines that shall include, but are not limited to, the design and alignment of assessment instruments with the District written and taught curriculum and the use of assessment results.
The Superintendent or designee shall provide written curriculum frameworks for all program/subject areas that identify District expectations of what students are to know (knowledge) and be able to do (skills) at the end of each course/grade level. These expectations shall include, but are not limited to, the expected knowledge and skills students are to attain by exit-level/graduation, by the end of a program/subject area, and by the end of each course/grade level. All expectations, prekindergarten through grade 12, shall be articulated vertically and coordinated laterally to promote continuity and the cumulative acquisition of knowledge and skills. The electronic curriculum, curriculum units, instructional activities, and lesson plans shall be developed on campus(es) with the guidance of the principal and/or curriculum designee(s).
Roles and Responsibilities
Board of Trustees
The Board shall adopt policy that provides:
The framework for governing the design and implementation of curriculum in the school system.
The expectation for alignment of the written, taught, and tested curriculum.
Authorization for the Board to approve curriculum and adopt instructional resources for the District within the constraints of state laws and state Board rules.
Staff development to improve the instructional programs and assess increased student achievement.
Direction that classroom instruction be tied to the beliefs, mission, and goals of the District.
Direct attention to building commitment to overcome learning deficits.
Superintendent and District Staff
The Superintendent shall implement the policy and annually report to the Board concerning implementation. Appropriate District staff members shall serve as technical advisers during the implementation, assisting principals in development and implementation processes related to curriculum and instruction. The curriculum administrator shall ensure that a master long-range plan is in place for District curriculum development/revisions, program assessment, and student assessment.
The building principal is the key to monitoring and implementation of the curriculum. Principals must translate the importance of effective curriculum and instruction practices on a regular basis. Principals shall observe classes, monitor lessons, and evaluate assessment materials utilized on their campus. The principals shall use, as a minimum, the following basic strategies to monitor curriculum:
Conduct full-period observations;
Conduct walk-through observations;
Conduct or review minutes of curriculum planning meetings; and
Conduct periodic review of curriculum documents.
Part of the principal's evaluation will be a review of records of classroom monitoring of instruction.
Teachers shall participate in curriculum development/revision activities and teach the District curriculum. Teachers shall frequently assess and document student mastery of curriculum objectives and modify instruction to ensure student success.
All District instructional publications developed locally or obtained from state agencies or other publishers in the name of the District shall be the property of the District and shall not belong to an individual teacher or administrator. Such publications shall remain in the District upon termination of employment of any employee to whom publications have been assigned.
Appropriate professional development training regarding the implementation of the District curriculum shall be provided in both the development and revision process and in the actual effective use and delivery of the District curriculum.
The administration shall ensure that the District's budget becomes a document that reflects funding decisions based on the organization's educational goals and priorities — a program-driven budget. The budget development process will ensure that goals and priorities are considered in the preparation of budget proposals and that any decisions related to reduction or increase in funding levels will be addressed in those terms.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop a plan for the development and review of several curriculum areas each year and shall report to the Board annually on curriculum development. Major subject area reviews shall coincide with textbook selection cycles. The curriculum development process shall include teachers and administrators.