Curriculum in School District 197 is reviewed using a six-year cycle of continuous improvement. This process was adopted in the spring of the 2012-13 school year and includes professional development for teachers that is focused on the creation of digital curriculum and the adoption of innovative instructional practices. In years 1-3, participating curriculum areas are considered to be in "formal review".
In year one a content area team of teachers conducts an in-depth study of the current program to determine its overall effectiveness. Community and staff input is gathered and the team of teachers examines current best practice in curriculum and instruction. Based on the results of the study the team, with assistance from the Curriculum Advisory Committee (CAC), identifies strengths and needs of the existing program, creates a vision for future programming and develops Outcomes that Matter to All and Core Beliefs.
During year two content area teams review the current scope and sequence of the curriculum for grades K-12 and assess how it aligns to state and/or national standards and benchmarks. They then create a district curriculum framework/map that identifies the knowledge, skills, and learning targets that students need to know, be able to do, and act upon. Content area teams also select the materials (paper and electronic) needed to implement the revised curriculum and work to ensure the new curriculum and materials are culturally sensitive and non-discriminatory. If applicable or needed, in year two teams will develop digital curriculum for their content area. Teams also plan professional development activities to ensure proper training and support are provided relative to the new curriculum.
During year three each curriculum area moves to the implementation phase where teachers look at the curriculum as taught, identify holes, design common assessments and begin to review at data. The content area team also recommends grouping strategies, identifies how to accelerate or remediate students, and addresses issues relating to students with special needs (ELL and special education). Additionally, in the spring of year three, the content area team will meet to determine if the intended scope and sequence is achievable and identify areas for additional professional development.
Year four of the curriculum review cycle focuses on measurement and ensuring curriculum is being implemented as intended. Staff will pay careful attention to how well students are responding to the new curriculum and ensure that teachers' and parents' questions are answered. Common assessments continue to be reviewed and refined.
During year five, the revising phase, teams adjust implementation procedures and implement changes as needed. The curriculum is evaluated in terms of how well it is working and where modifications need to be made. Common assessments continue to be reviewed and refined. In the refining phase, year six, teams continue to refine the curriculum. They determine if adjustments are needed and implement them accordingly. Common assessments continue to be reviewed and refined.