“Curriculum study and writing is a continuous improvement process, and subject-area curriculum teams can, and should, drive curriculum development.”
The mission at Concept Schools has always been to find the tools/content/ideas and then turn them over to teachers to further create and design units/lessons that fit their personal style. It is only when we help teachers reach their capacity that we really improve student performance.
It is critical for Concept English to obtain feedback from our teachers in order to keep our curriculum alive and challenging. Last month, we asked for teacher volunteers to participate as members on the new Concept English Advisory Board for 2016/2017.
Maria Gilmour, Noble Academy Cleveland – 6th grade
Ashley Legler, Milwaukee Math and Science, 7th grade
Gracie Golden-Cole, HSA Columbus Middle School, 8th grade
Megan Alexander, HSA Lorain, English I- Reading & Writing Workshop
Joseph Schmith, HSA McKinley Park, English II – Journalism & Speech
Colin Poulsin, HSA Columbus High School, English III
Shannon Mulroy, HSA Columbus High School, English IV
Amy Strohsack, Instructional Coordiantor, HSA Lorain
Lea Hammond, Instructional Coordinator, Noble Academy Cleveland
The Advisory Board’s mission is to create a structure for participating in an ongoing process discussions about the best way to merge theory and practice effectively in our English curriculum.
Guiding Question: How can we improve our SIS Master Curriculum units by amending them to reflect the teaching that occurred in the 2015/2016 school year and further reach all students throughout the Concept network next year?
The work of the Concept English Advisory Board took place in three phases:
Phase 1 – Data collection. Each board member will complete a self-reflection survey about a Master Unit she/he has taught. Then he/she will interview at least one other colleague, preferably at another grade level. Surveys were submitted April 22nd.
Phase 2 – Director of English traveled to schools of the advisory board members, videotaped a best practice lesson and interviewed teachers on film about how they plan and develop their lessons. Completed May 27th. To see the videotaped interviews go to http://english.conceptschools.org/curriculum-2/
Phase 3 – Director synthesizes all information, videos, and interviews to arrive at specific changes that can be made to SIS Master curriculum. This may include an additional Webinar to recap and clarify information. Director provided summary of data June 17th. Revised curriculum units by July 22nd.
From this process it became clearer what types of Professional Development sessions will be needed during orientation and throughout 2016/2017 school year.
In addition, we hope schools will develop school teams to study the grade level transitions to address matriculation. We are talking about English but representatives from other departments, such as library media, gifted and talented education, special education, ESL, Title I, and administrators from each elementary, middle, and high school should be included so that there is a unified vision and agreement on the content, skills, and standards that students are expected to learn by year’s end in all Concept English classes.
This is a huge challenge in all school districts, but even more so in our diverse and spread out network. Hopefully, administrators will encourage as much collaboration as possible and schedule teachers for common planning time.
We are thinking ahead to a year of dynamic and evolving teaching and learning.