Gorham Schools Curriculum
Four-Year Curriculum Renewal Cycle
The District's overall Four-year curriculum renewal cycle ensures the ongoing development, review, and assessment of all content areas. Members of the appropriate department(s), grade level teams, and grade span curriculum committees formally review several areas each year. The focus includes: (1) content, in terms of topics, concepts, or essential questions, (2) processes and skills taught, (3) alignment with district and external standards and benchmarks, (4) integration of technology and library media, (5) assessment of outcomes and performances, and (6) articulation, sequence, and congruence across the district.
The Renewal Cycle includes the following content areas:
English Language Arts
Modern and Classical Languages
Health and Physical Education
Science and Technology
Visual and Performing Arts
Technology and Library/Media are also integrated across the grade levels and content areas.
Each area progresses through four phases: revision (design and development), preparation (training and resources, implementation, and assessment (data analysis and prescription).
Subject Area Renewal Cycle:
2004 - 2005: Science and Technology; Social Studies
2005 - 2006: Mathematics and Health; Physical Education
2006 - 2007: English Language Arts
2007 - 2008: English Language Arts; Visual and Performing Arts; Modern and Classical Languages
English Language Arts is a very broad area with specific issues and issues that cross all areas of the curriculum. This area will have two years to complete their work.
Rationale and goals for curriculum development:
- To involve all stakeholders in curriculum development, implementation, and assessment
- To develop a solid foundation of common understandings across the district: philosophy, essential goals and frameworks that enable departments and grade levels to create comprehensive methodologies, units, and assessments which compliment the overall educational program and link the grade spans/schools.
- To assure that there is a focus across the curriculum on the affective domain and the cognitive domain.
- To coordinate professional development opportunities with teaching and learning across the district.
- To coordinate content area focus (renewal cycle) with the allocation of financial and other resources.
- To gather and disseminate information on recent curricular trends, standards, and research.
- To provide access to current resources, texts, and technologies.
- To assist classroom teachers, those in leadership positions, and administrators in aligning the written, taught, and assessed curricula.
- To maintain high expectations for curriculum design, implementation, assessment, accountability, resources, and in-service programs and opportunities.
- To advance communication and consensus building across the district.
- To encourage a commitment to renewal and change and to secure understanding and appreciation across the district that the best schools are organic, always a work-in-progress.
K-12 Curriculum Oversight Committee (total of 12 members)
This district level committee will provide guidelines, timelines, and resources for all content area curriculum work within the district. Drafts of work accomplished 'to date' will be submitted (written and oral presentation) to the district committee for review, discussion, and modification at designated dates/times throughout the 'renewal cycle' year. All written work will be done on computers and maintained for easy access and review and modification. During the 'off-cycle' years, each content area will engage in the appropriate assessment and data analysis.
Director of Assessment and Curriculum - chairs the district committee
1 Administrator (or designee) from each grade span (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Director of Special Services (or designee)
1 teacher from each grade span (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
1 at-large member appointed by the Committee Chair
K - 12 Content Area Curriculum Committees and Grade Span Teams
District level K -12 Curriculum Committees will have representation from each grade level, thus group representation from each grade span. This group will be responsible for the renewal cycle work each year. The members will share their work with their grade span teams between each meeting. This provides an opportunity for open communication throughout the system to help us achieve the coherence and congruence that will provide a seamless journey for our students.
Grade span teams will focus on the curriculum implementation at their levels and the K-12 committees will coordinate the linkage across the grade spans.
Time Lines/ Guidelines
An initial progress report is due to the Curriculum Oversight Committee by the second Monday in January.
A second progress report is due to the Curriculum Oversight Committee by the first Monday in April.
The third and final report is due to the Curriculum Oversight Committee by the third Monday in May.
A common template/format will be used for the final draft from the K-12 Curriculum Committee.
The appropriate school-based and district level administrative support staff will serve as resources for all curriculum committee work across the district.
Format for Curriculum, K - 12 (content area/grade level/grade span/school/district)
- Table of Contents
- Philosophy Statement
- Content Standards
- Course Descriptions
- Course Overviews
- Unit Planning Process Overview
- Unit Planning Template
- Essential Understandings
- Data Analysis
Adult and Continuing Education
As both an extension and an adjunct of the K - 12 educational program, Adult and Continuing Education will be incorporated in the renewal cycle(s) and will have a link with the high school through the Director