Written by Kelby Zenor, Faria Education Group
Schools and districts spend hours upon hours of time on their curriculum every year. Analyzing, reflecting on current student needs, adjusting to meet the unexpected moments that pop up – all in an effort to move student learning and understanding forward. Curriculum maps and unit plans become a running manuscript of a learning roadmap. They are messy at times with notes in the margins but there is always a final version that reflects the learning that happened in the classroom.
In the early stages of curriculum development, many schools opt to keep this running curriculum record only available to their internal school community of educators. As time goes on and the units get tighter the school curriculum is reviewed and refined to also include district initiatives. In the spirit of transparency and collaboration, we are starting to see more and more schools choose to share their curriculum with the broader community, including incoming families, current students and families, accrediting agencies, boards, and prospective educators.
Opening up the curriculum on an Atlas Public Site doesn’t mean you have to pull back the curtain and share everything. Choose the components that make the most sense to share – maybe it is the units at a high level – standards, content and skills. Maybe you want to share a little more and include the resources students will be using to support their learning.
A major benefit of sharing the curriculum on an Atlas site is that it is a separate site from the internal Atlas site used by school educators, allowing the choice of what parts of Atlas get shared along with the parts of the unit template.
We asked a few schools to share why they opted to make their curriculum visible.
Patrick Leary at Upper Freehold Regional School District shared that the purpose of having a public site was to “allow parents to search for curriculum.” Check out their public site and how they welcome their community to explore their curriculum. The team did a great job outlining the purpose of their curriculum, making it clear as to the importance of the work.
At Ringwood Public Schools, Dr. Nicholas Bernice purpose for a public site: “It is open and available to anyone who has questions or curiosities about any of our curricular documents.”
Morris School District says, “The curriculum in Morris School District does not remain static and as a result our curriculum mapping is ongoing, evolving and based on students’ instructional needs which are aligned with the NJ Student Learning Standards and core content standards.”
Morris School District’s opening page of their curriculum site helps provide an overview of the curriculum and its purpose. Brian Young explained that they made their public site available by posting it directly on the district website for convenient access.
Interested in adding a Public Site?
Email [email protected] and we will be able to walk through the next steps!
Kelby Zenor is the Vice President of Professional Development at Faria Education Group. She guides the coordination, development, and facilitation of the different professional development programs across FEG. Kelby has been involved in education for more than 20 years from early years to adult education in a variety of roles. One of her great passions is bringing diverse groups together to facilitate deep conversations around meaningful curriculum reform. Kelby received her degree from the St. Mary’s College in California.
Connect with Kelby on Twitter! @kzenor