One of the best parts of working with amazing school districts across the country is being able to highlight their awesome ideas for promoting positive changes in teaching and learning. Sweetwater County School District 1 in Rock Springs, Wyoming, identified a need to better communicate their district-wide expectations for teaching and learning. In a large district like theirs, they realized that not all teachers understood the system for curriculum, instruction, and assessment and therefore were not following it. To better communicate these processes with all teachers, they created the following graphic:
In this graphic, you’ll note that at the center of all curriculum work is the question of, “What’s best for students?” Sweetwater CSD1 is a PLC district and have aligned the four PLC questions to each phase of their system. The foundation for teaching and learning is curriculum (they call curriculum maps). This clarifies the curricular targets for teachers and students. Teachers are then able to create aligned instructional plans (IPRs), including short-cycle, formative assessments. Following their initial instruction, PLCs meet to go over data and determine ways to prepare students for common assessments. This may include re-teaching or further differentiation strategies. Then, they give their district-created common assessments. Again, PLCs meet to analyze local data gathered from their common assessments and determine if re-teaching and reassessment are necessary. Lastly, they revisit their IPRs to update them or make notes on what worked and what didn’t. The intent behind all of these steps, of course, is to improve teaching and learning for their students.
Your district may not implement the exact steps represented in their graphic. But, if you’re using the CLI Model, your process should include curriculum, instruction and the use of pacing guides and Instructional Planning Resources (although you may call them something else), common assessments, and analysis of data. A more generic version of this graphic might look like this, created for Sublette County School District 1 in Pinedale, Wyoming:
In this graphic, the district added pacing guides to plan out roughly when the curriculum is going to be taught and to ensure that teachers stay on track. The analysis of data is maintained, as well as re-teaching and reassessment.
Although the graphic for your district might look slightly different, an illustration of your teaching and learning process both appeals to visual learners and can easily be distributed and posted in all schools, classrooms, teachers’ lounges, etc. in your district. It will help to close the gap between teachers who understand district-wide expectations and those that don’t.