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Governance & Leadership

Leaders Hungry for Details of Systemic Change

In this month’s E-hint, we present a list of questions to initiate and open a dialogue regarding district-wide academic processes among stakeholders within a district.  These challenging questions could help an administrative team affirm or evaluate their current curriculum structures and processes.  The questions are posed from a first-person perspective from within a district.Read More

Changes in Professional Development Due to ESSA Requirements and Title Funding

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recently completed a year of full implementation.  While the law is authorized to continue programs from the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act until 2020, there is speculation that funding amounts could change or even be eliminated due to priorities in the annual budget.  Even though educators must play the waiting game in order to plan, it is still important to know the features of …Read More

Build-A-House: An Educational Analogy

The processes of curriculum, instruction, and assessment schools should use to assure student learning might be compared to the steps of building a house. Let’s look at those steps and compare them to best practices in education… from what is established at the district-level, through all the stages of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, to what is mandated of schools by the state or other accrediting agencies.Read More

Following the Trends: A Job for Your Curriculum Coordinating Council

Are you having trouble keeping your district leaders informed on what is going on in the world of education?  The CLI Model has the expectation for leaders to continuously review externally mandated assessment and accreditation requirements. Finding time to do this can be a factor, so one solution is to have your Curriculum Coordinating Council (CCC) schedule 15 minutes or more each meeting for regular updates.Read More

Curriculum: A Catalyst for Change (Part Four)

In the current accountability age in education and looking down the road to compliance with the new ESSA requirements, it is clear that standards-aligned curriculum and assessments will play a key role.  With four years of work behind them, Sheridan County School District #1 (SCSD#1), Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School District #307 (BBCHS#307), and other CLI client districts may be ahead of the curve in terms of being able to demonstrate such alignment, which also puts them on track to be able to meet other provisions of the act.  As the work in these districts continues according to their long range plans, all subject areas will go through the new processes, celebrating the incredible accomplishments and persevering through the bumps and detours in the road.Read More

Curriculum: A Catalyst for Change (Part Three)

Most teachers do not see themselves as curriculum developers, nor believe they have been adequately trained to write valid assessments. Serving on a curriculum committee may seem like a lot of unnecessary work to a teacher initially; however, once they go through the process, they realize that thoroughly studying, clarifying, and organizing standards into units of learning targets and then creating aligned assessments helps them to identify what students need to know and do and how learning will be measured.  Clearly defined learning targets direct teachers’ instruction and student learning. Read More

Curriculum: A Catalyst for Change (Part Two)

Since all district leaders were involved in creating the new vision for the district, they all needed a thorough understanding of the curriculum process and how to implement change. A number of the district leaders were selected to lead subject area committees through their curriculum and assessment work; thereby ensuring a common language and a common way of completing the work. Although facilitators can help districts, there is always much to be done between those visits. Building principals and curriculum staff were needed to provide the necessary on-the-spot feedback and support to keep the process moving forward.Read More

Curriculum: A Catalyst for Change (Part One)

t’s been said that change is the only constant.  This seems especially true in education.  There is always a new initiative, textbook, program, policy, or new personnel coming and going within school districts.   Sometimes it is difficult to preserve continuity in the midst of these types of random and frequent changes, no matter how well intentioned they are.  It’s no secret that the trend in education is to do more with less, which leaves everyone asking the same questions…how and when?Read More

Starting the Year Off Right

As we approach the start of another school year, there are many staff members who play a role in the success of the school. A CLI Model district has designated leadership teams with specific roles.  The Curriculum Coordinating Council (CCC) is responsible for making academic recommendations for the district, while Subject Area Committees (SACs) are grade level and/or course representatives designing curriculum, instructional plans, and assessments for a content area. …Read More

The End of the School Year is in Sight

Yes, the end of the school year is in sight. Teachers are worried about finishing the curriculum, checking in books, taking down the posters from the walls, entering grades, and all of their other year-end tasks. Administrators are ticking items off of their own lists and sending out reminders and final instructions for the last days of school even as they contemplate their summer worklists. Everyone is anticipating liberation from this school year. This is a typical ending for many schools across the country. There is just a seemingly abrupt ending followed by a collective sigh.

But, what if it was different?Read More