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9.6.P.1 Curriculum Guides and Course Outlines

Section 9.6 - Policy


The curriculum of the District will be reviewed on a regular basis.  The District will adopt a submit/review model to address ongoing needs.

Curriculum Review and Evaluation

The curriculum review will be coordinated by the Curriculum Department and will include the following five phases.  Each phase will take place as part of a five year cycle so that all curriculum is cycled through these phases every five years:

Phase I: Review and Evaluate the Current Curriculum
  • Review and evaluation completed, by the Curriculum Development Team comprised of District, school and teacher leadership, including state mandates, Arizona Standards, and New Century Learner Skills related to curriculum.
  • Compare the goals, content and skills of the current curriculum to the Arizona Standards and New Century Learner Skills. Identify changes needed to improve the alignment of the Dysart curriculum, as prescribed in iPLAN with adopted state standards, Arizona Standards, and New Century Learner Skills mandates.
  • Conduct a needs assessment and gap analysis based on the evaluation of student academic performance on state and District assessments.
  • Identify recommendations for improvements in the curriculum, instruction and assessments to increase the rigor and content expectations and identify those areas requiring updated resources.
  • Identify cross-curricular connections to the New Century Learner Skills and Arizona Standards.

Phase II: Write the Revised Curriculum, Develop Assessments

A curriculum guide is written and contains the following items as found on iPLAN and iASSESS:
  • Curriculum (What students should know, be able to do, and understand.) including but not limited to:
    • Arizona Standards, New Century Learner Skills mandates
    • Aligned Content and skill objectives, with big ideas and essential questions
    • Sequencing
    • Task analysis of the skills and content
    • Pacing guide
    • Alignment of District-adopted resources
    • Academic vocabulary
  • Benchmarks, performance assessments and exemplars with scoring rubrics for measurement of student growth by grade level and content areas. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Assessment materials
    • Assessment processes and procedures
  • Cross-curricular connections which require students to demonstrate the New Century Learner Skills and Arizona Standards expectations.
Phase III. Review and Select Materials
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Instructional Materials Adoption and Committee Selection Process and Curriculum Development Teams.  This includes both core and supplemental materials for adoption.
  • Implement Board Adoption Procedures
Phase IV. Implementation, Refinement, Special Projects
  • Provide orientation and on-going professional development for the implementation of curriculum and materials.
  • Update curricular planning documents and resources available on iPLAN,
  • Field test assessments, pilot programs or special projects as necessary before full implementation.
  • Revise and modify projects and pilots based upon data from field tests to ensure a continual improvement process that meets student needs.

Phase V. Evaluation
  • Review data on the student performance, program data, and observational data to determine areas of District concerns with implementation of standards and equity of academic programs across the District.
  • Examine new guidelines from Arizona Department of Education.
  • Based upon the collected data, the Curriculum Development Team determines the extent and nature of revisions to be made and returns to Phase I of Curriculum Review and Development Cycle.

Curriculum Committees (Cadres) for Comprehensive Curriculum Development / Design 

The following cadres are committees of parents, teachers, and community members that have integral roles in the successful implementation of the Comprehensive Curriculum Development/Revision Process. The cadres allow for participants from all stakeholder groups to have input into the curriculum development/revision process.

Curriculum Advisory Committee (CAC)

This District-level Curriculum Advisory Committee will be composed of appointed community stakeholders and District leadership. The CAC will act in an advisory capacity to the District. They will meet at least once annually and be asked to:
  • Foster communication by meeting with individuals and community groups concerned about curriculum.
  • Confer with the Curriculum Development Team to convey community beliefs and opinions about curricular issues.

The CAC will not have direct involvement in the curriculum development or evaluation processes.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

The Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment will provide the leadership to coordinate the curriculum process. The curriculum director will provide the in-depth knowledge of the District’s curriculum needs, expertise in curriculum planning, knowledge of research-based curriculum practices, and credibility with colleagues. The director will collaborate with the Educational Services Department who will provide the appropriate expertise in specialized areas in the curriculum development process; i.e., Primary Literacy, Instructional Technology, 21st Century Specialists and Professional Development Coordinator. The director will develop and coordinate the curriculum evaluation and monitor the pace of the Curriculum Development Team as the curriculum is being developed.

The Assistant Superintendent for Education will oversee and monitor all aspects of the curriculum process.

The Curriculum Development Team

The District-level Curriculum Development Team members will be selected based upon their expertise and experience in the process and content for specific curriculum projects. The team will include principals/assistant principals, teachers, and District level personnel. Criteria on which members would be selected include:
  • Knowledge of the Arizona Standards.
  • Knowledge of the District’s curriculum process and standards-based curriculum.
  • Understanding that a standards-based curriculum is vital to the academic success of District students.
  • Understanding of the importance of the alignment of standards to assessment.
  • Successfully implemented standards-based instruction in their classroom and;

Proven leadership skills and shown collaboration skills in team settings.

The curriculum director is responsible for pacing, monitoring and providing leadership to the Curriculum Development Team in the development of all curriculum projects.

Leadership Cadres – Campus Level

The leadership cadres are campus level teams composed of such members as PLC leads and department chairs that will assist principals/assistant principals in establishing their campus plans. In the curriculum process, the cadres will work with campus administrators in collecting input from the faculty at various stages of the curriculum development.

Curriculum Guides

Written curriculum guides will be revised or developed for each curricular area reviewed. Guides will be developed by the staff members and teachers who are to use them.  If participation of the entire staff is not feasible, representatives of the staff and/or departments concerned shall be appointed to committees for study, creation, and revision of any particular guide.   Curriculum guides will identify program outcomes, course sequences, critical content and skills, and student performance standards.  The guides may include additional support for effective implementation by teachers and administrators.  The guides will be aligned with District adopted instructional materials and student assessment practices.  Curriculum guides will be available online (iPAL) for review by parents, community members and other interested parties.  Building administrators are responsible for ensuring the effective review of District-adopted curriculum by all instructional staff. Curriculum guides are to serve as a framework from which a teacher will develop units of study, individual lesson plans, and approaches to instruction that will serve the students' particular needs at a particular time. The guides shall be available to parents on the District website for use in registration and orientation.  The guides shall be used to map the logical sequence of instruction. Building administrators, department heads, or other supervisors shall see that optimum use is made of available curriculum guides. Building administrators will be responsible for the dissemination and use of the guides.  Teachers will utilize and adhere to the guides.