• The Glen Ridge School District operates a 5-Year curriculum renewal cycle.

    The Glen Ridge Public Schools maintains and implements approximately 230 curricula in 13 content areas. By statute, all districts are required to evaluate and, if necessary, revise all district curricula every 5 years. Glen Ridge meets and exceeds this standard. Additionally, changes in state and national standards, state and national assessment practices, available curriculum materials, district leadership, and trends in the field can cause more frequent modifications to district programs.
    It is absolutely critical that teachers are provided the support, training, instructional resources and positive educational climate to successfully implement district programs in all content areas. This is why we have a systematic process in place to evaluate, develop, and implement all curricula in a manner that allocates district resources wisely and effectively. The Glen Ridge Public School 5-Year Curriculum Renewal Cycle is a systematic process.

    Curriculum renewal is a 4-step cyclical process by which all district curricula is analyzed and designed in a systematic and collaborative manner. The process provides for a comprehensive evaluation of each district program content, an inclusive development process, a thoughtful and careful implementation, revision based on experience, and time for program effectiveness to be realized.

    This model will assure that only one major content area is revised or developed in a given year. This has several benefits. The model will facilitate effective and fiscally responsible use of district resources. Budget allocations for supplies and materials, textbooks and staff development can be focused on the successful implementation of the revisions or new program. Additionally, this phased approach to curriculum renewal will facilitate teachers’ focus in implementing new programs by allowing them to concentrate on one major content area at a time rather than attempting to manage multiple initiatives. This model will be phased in according to the following table.

    The 5-Year Curriculum Renewal Cycle includes five stages:


    1. Review and Research - This is the process of comparing the actual district program to ideal programs that may exist in other districts or the new program desired in our district. The ideal program will be determined by conducting a comprehensive review of research and recommendations of best practice, reviewing state and national standards in the given field and conducting a complete scope and sequence of the standards. A variety of data is gathered and reviewed in determining what the actual, new program may look like. This data might include but would not be limited to:

    · Review of current curriculum documents

    · Results of curriculum mapping/scope and sequence exercises

    · Curriculum audits of materials

    · Assessment of staff development

    · Feedback from staff, parents and students

    · Review of standardized assessment data

    · Review of district assessment data

    · Analysis of the interrelationship between the area and other content areas

    The evaluation is the systematic comparison of the ideal program that has been identified through research and the actual program that has been described and assessed by collecting data. The evaluation reveals areas of strength in the current program as well as the deficiencies that need to be addressed during the curriculum development.

    Budget Focus: During this phase, resources are budgeted for curriculum development during the following year. Thus, we work on the curriculum the year prior to program and material purchase and implementation of the new curriculum that September.

    Curriculum Development:

    This process begins with establishing a shared vision for the program content, mission statements that will lead to the fulfillment of the vision and a completed scope and sequence/curriculum map. The vision/goal of the program describes the shared values the school community holds regarding the program as well as those areas our students need to know to be successful upon completion of their education in Glen Ridge. The mission statements describe what needs to be accomplished on the path to fulfilling the vision/goal. While the vision/goal is simple, enduring and never fully attained, the mission statements provide a focal point of every effort, are clear and compelling, and provide more of a short-term focus.

    During the curriculum development process, all program options are considered and investigated. Pilots may take place to determine the effectiveness of options. When pilots are used they are carefully evaluated and research-based decisions are made regarding content, scope, and sequence.

    This is the stage in which actual curriculum is written. Involvement of staff and administration is absolutely critical at this stage. We have developed a curriculum format that details the components and requirements of curriculum documents. A major benefit of the model we use over the previous model is that curriculum will be written during the last week of June prior to implementation September. This provides teachers with an opportunity to study the curriculum and plan for teaching over the summer.

    This is also the time we plan for the program evaluation. The foundations of program evaluation should be established during this stage. Benchmarks for program success and student success indicators have to be established during the scope and sequence portion of this process and assist us in determining if the program is working.

    The actual writing of the curriculum is completed during the last week of June. A Curriculum Writing Committee under the direction of the Superintendent and administrators from each level of education are responsible for completing this task. The following timeline describes the process to be used for curriculum writing.


    Curriculum Review and Development Timeline:

    Curriculum Review and Development Committee Established (May/June, the spring prior to in-depth curriculum review) – The committee is formed by the Superintendent of Schools. The composition and scope of the committee will be at the discretion of the Superintendent.

    The Curriculum Committees may be composed as follows:

    · Superintendent and Administrator(s), Committee Chairs

    · Teacher(s) from target grade/subject levels

    · Technology Director, as needed

    · Director of Student Services, as needed

    · Other Director(s) – as needed to promote curriculum integration

    · Student services representative(s), as needed

    Major tasks of the Curriculum Review and Development Committee

    a) Establishes vision and missions of program (May/June)

    b) Completes vision and missions of program (September/October)

    c) Reviews evaluation data and conclusions (October/November)

    d) Establishes guidelines for writing of curriculum (October/January)

    Scope and Sequence

    Identifies content to be taught

    Identifies units

    e) Researches instructional materials/programs (January/February)

    f) Identifies, pilots and selects instructional materials/programs (February)

    g) Recommends implementation budget to the Principal (February)

    h) Proposes and presents new course(s) to Board when necessary (February/March)

    i) Reviews curriculum writing products (March/April)

    · Reviews/revises curriculum

    · Coordinates sequence of material

    · Assures coverage of skills across curriculum and grades

    · Establishes benchmarks for program evaluation

    j) Assigns curriculum writing tasks (May/June)

    · By units, themes

    · Identifies, pilots, and recommends materials to support units/curricula

    · Teams of teachers write units when appropriate

    h) Presents curriculum to staff (June/August)

    A plan for dissemination of the curriculum is critical to successful implementation. This includes training for the program. The actual initial training is part of the next stage (Initial Implementation). Systems for proper materials purchasing, distribution and support are established prior to implementation.

    Budget Focus: Prior to the final budget being established by the Board of Education, materials acquisition and staff development is planned for program implementation. Early in this stage, planning and budgeting of resources is done for program implementation the following year.


    3. Initial Curriculum and Program Implementation: This is the stage when the curriculum is put into practice in classrooms.

    Staff development is the major focus during this stage. Workshops are planned during the school year and/or summer to support the implementation. District staff development time, grade level meetings and/or department meetings will be used to provide staff training for successful implementation. Other support systems for teachers are put in place. These might include, but are not limited to, email support, a mentor system, a buddy system, or other innovative strategies. Time is allocated from department/team level meetings to articulate about the new curriculum and share strategies that work.

    Checkpoints are established to gather feedback from teachers. Adjustments in implementation and staff development are made along the way. Program observations are conducted during this year. Observation of teacher performance in implementing the new curriculum is emphasized since teachers are teaching brand new material. Emphasis in observation is placed on the program by looking for correct implementation and interpretation of the curriculum, continuity in delivery, and other important aspects of implementation. Lesson plans and unit plans are assessed to obtain understanding of program implementation. This information is used to impact the staff development program to provide continued support.

    4. Curriculum revisions: Based on input gathered during the school year and feedback from teachers and administrators some revisions to the curriculum may be necessary.

    Budget Focus: Continued support of the successful program. Budgeting for replenishment of materials and purchase of materials to accommodate enrollment growth and new staff.

    5. Full implementation – At this point, the program is fully operational in all the target classrooms. Teachers are implementing curriculum and instruction in direct alignment with the newly established program. This full implementation continues throughout the curriculum evaluation and development years. This is a stage to continue to collect data for comprehensive program evaluation the following year. Staff development could be done in needed areas. Observation of teacher performance is appropriate during this stage.

    Budget Focus: Continued support of the successful program. Budgeting for replenishment of materials and purchase of materials to accommodate enrollment growth and new staff.