Weehawken Township School District is a collection of three schools: an elementary, middle, and high school, in New Jersey, US. The school district serves just under 1,500 students across Pre-K to Grade 12.
- Curriculum Mapping
- Sharing Public Curriculum Site
- Virtual Coaching & PD
A House for it All
Before they began using Atlas, the teachers at Weehawken Township did not have a central source of information about expectations for curriculum in their classrooms. “There was no curriculum. People just did whatever they wanted,” says Francesca. The balance between teacher autonomy and a comprehensive, viable curriculum for students was off, resulting in valuable institutional knowledge loss every time a teacher moved on from a school and new teachers joining the faculty without knowing where to begin. The district sought out Atlas as just a part, a house, for a larger system of curricular goals to target this imbalance. “We were hoping to create an online community where we can house the important resources we use. Curriculum is more than just the standards. It’s so many other things. It’s putting all of it together and we wanted a house for it, a home.”
Eight years after their first year with Atlas, Weehawken Township School District now has over 250 courses on their site, representing PreK to Grade 12, across core subjects and electives, including English as a Second Language. They share this curriculum with their school community via their Atlas Public Site, along with a brief explanation of key components of the curriculum, including the NJ State Learning Standards, essential questions, and student learning objectives.
Empowering and Supporting Teachers
Francesca is quick to highlight the importance of supporting teachers throughout the curriculum mapping process. At Weehawken Township, the teachers work collaboratively in their content area and grade level teams to develop, review, and maintain curriculum in Atlas. The Atlas PD Team works with these small groups of teachers in virtual coaching sessions, providing unstructured and differentiated guidance during the school day, during which their classes have been covered.
Since beginning work with virtual coaching sessions in the 2021 school year, Weehawken Township saw a 96% increase in curriculum updates across the district.
QSAC Accreditation Solution
To address the Instruction & Program component of New Jersey’s QSAC accreditation cycle, Weehawken Township chose Atlas to document their curriculum and track their compliance. They leverage the different standard features to keep their content, career readiness and computer science and design thinking standards up to date and aligned. They also use their custom unit template to document compliance with New Jersey curriculum mandates such as integrating concepts of global warming and climate change, contributes of the LGBTQ+ community, and Holocaust education. Teachers and curriculum leaders use the reporting features within Atlas to track these alignments for quality and completion.
In addition to the system’s capabilities to support Weehawken Township as part of the QSAC cycle, the team at Atlas offers QSAC-specific support. Weehawken Township’s Atlas Account Manager specializes in working with New Jersey schools and is prepared to help schools develop their unique Atlas sites and curriculum processes to create and sustain a successful QSAC cycle.