During the 2013-14 school year, the District began the current six-year curriculum cycle. The cycle focuses on revising and developing curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards. English language arts and mathematics underwent the most immediate revision of content specific standards while other curricular areas will work on reading and writing literacy within their specific content area. The next curriculum cycle will focus on providing professional development on unit design to maximize the teaching and learning of the written curricula.
What is curriculum?
Curriculum is defined as the set of courses that a school offers however, it really involves much more than that. Curriculum documents spell out to teachers what should be taught in the classroom. Included in these documents are the things that students should know and be able to do when they complete the course. They indicate which skills should be mastered by the time students move to the next grade or course of study. In addition, a course map is included that tells teachers the approximate amount of time they should spend on each concept. This ensures that those skills which are most important for students to learn receive the most attention.
What is the FHSD curriculum cycle?
The FHSD offers over 270 courses K-12. Our goal is to actively monitor each of the courses every year. The district has developed a cycle to strategically and systematically support all of the courses each year.
What resources are used to develop and revise curriculum?
Curriculum development is informed by national and state standards. Historically, our District has utilized the Missouri State Show-Me Standards. This set of standards created by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education explains what students should know and be able to do by the time they graduate from Missouri’s public school system. In addition, the Grade Level Expectations (elementary and middle school) and Course Level Expectations (high school) were developed for each curricular guide curricula revisions. However, in preparation for the 14-15 school year, the district will begin to reference the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English, Math and Content Literacy. Also, there are other content-based standards (e.g. science and social studies) that have revisions that are more closely aligned to CCSS. Furthermore, our district will work to embed national technology standards to all curriculum resources. Finally, a variety of resources that relate to student achievement such as ACT data, standardized test scores, current educational research, and best practices are all considered during the revision process.
How does the curriculum development process work?
The curriculum development and revision process involves many people in the FHSD community. It starts with classroom teachers who volunteer to participate in the curriculum development project teams. The team begins their work by looking at the Missouri State Show-Me Standards, Common Core State Standards, Grade Level Expectations (GLEs), and/or Course Level Expectations (CLEs) to determine what students need to know and be able to do. These become the building blocks for the curriculum document. Next, activities and assessments are designed that meet the appropriate level of rigor and relevance. Once those steps have been completed, the curriculum proceeds to the Curriculum Advisory Council. This committee of parents, patrons, teachers and administrators examine each curriculum and offer feedback. Once revisions are made, the curriculum moves on to the Academic Strategic Planning Committee for further review. After that committee reviews, offers feedback and approves it, it goes to the Board of Education for approval.
What happens once a curriculum is approved by the Board of Education?
Professional development on the curriculum is conducted for teachers. In addition, further trainings and on-going support is available throughout the first year a curriculum is adopted. At the end of the first year, teachers meet to determine what, if any, revisions need to be made.
How can I get involved in the curriculum development process?
The FHSD Curriculum Advisory Council (CAC) is always looking for new members. Please contact Chris Greiner if you are interested.
Curriculum Advisory Council Meetings
Click here to view more about the Curriculum Advisory Council and meeting dates. All meetings are held in the Board Room at the Administrative Building, 4545 Central School Road, St. Charles, MO 63304 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.