REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS 2009 Union 61 and Tantasqua Regional School Districts
Staff K-12 have been assiduously working and making great strides on curriculum development throughout the year. The K-6 English Language Arts Curriculum Committee has been meeting regularly since September to establish a K-6 writing curriculum which draws on the most recent understanding of best practice in teaching writing. Teacher leaders on this committee are nearly finished with their work which will provide every K-6 teacher in the districts with a concrete curriculum map which identifies the qualities of writing that are expected at each grade level, identifies expectations for the content and amount of writing instruction at each grade level, and provides rubrics for assessing writing across six traits of writing. Drawing on resources from the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory, the curriculum guide draws on the 6+1 Traits of Writing toolkit. This toolkit, and additional resources, are being packaged for every K-6 teacher in the districts with an expected rollout by the end of this school year.
The K-12 Social Studies Curriculum Team has been meeting since September and has made progress in a few key areas. The K-6 teachers have identified all focus standards for each grade level and are currently working to identify resources and assessments to support the teaching of these standards. Focus standards are those key standards which should be taught to mastery at a particular grade level.
The Social Studies curriculum team members from grades 7-12 worked diligently and thoughtfully for several months in order to design a curriculum which would eliminate some identified curriculum redundancies. The result of their realignment of the curriculum standards will mean that the high school will be able to deliver a more streamlined World History course for grade nine students.
In addition to working to establish grade level standards, curriculum maps and pacing guides, the team is also working to identify how social studies instruction will look in two particular areas, use of primary sources and writing in this content area. We anticipate that our final curriculum document will identify key primary sources which are to be used during instruction at every grade level. Included in the document will be guiding principles for helping students in the development of historical thinking through active inquiry using primary sources and writing as a vehicle for processing historical thinking.
The K-12 Technology Curriculum Team has held a few meetings this fall to establish a set of standards which will be taught to mastery at each grade level. Working from a lengthy list of standards that are provided by the state, the team narrowed the list to a manageable and achievable set of standards for each grade level. One of the main purposes of this process is to provide all teachers of students K-12 with some guidance about what technology skills they can expect that all students in their class will have mastered. Teachers in grades K-12 can then use this information to plan for the integrated