Curriculum and Instruction encompass the heart of education-our students! As such, the North Branford Public Schools’ Office of Curriculum and Instruction provides leadership and guidance to support a strong teaching and professional staff, who work diligently to provide North Branford’s students with a comprehensive, rigorous and relevant standards-aligned K-12 curriculum. Using the standards as our guide, we employ research-based practices to implement our challenging, integrated core curriculum that meets the differentiated needs of our students and is evaluated by a comprehensive assessment plan. On-going professional development enables our teachers to refine their practice, creating classroom experiences and learning environments that foster deeper thinking, problem-solving skills, active participation and life-long learning.
Across the state, implementation of the Connecticut Core Standards is currently underway. The State Board of Education has also recently adopted the Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies Frameworks as well as Next Generation Science Standards.
All of our teachers and students have begun experiencing the rigor of these relatively new expectations. Although the standards have been defined by the State, there is much more work to be done by the district. The Standards are not the curriculum. In developing a standards-aligned curriculum, the challenge, as well as the opportunity, is to develop, implement and evaluate curricula that meets the interests and learning needs of our students and prepares them for college, career and life. The need for a relevant, cohesive, and comprehensive curriculum that intentionally connects standards, instructional materials, and assessment has never been more needed than today!
To support the statewide implementation and to guarantee our students are prepared accordingly, the Office of Curriculum and Instruction is working with the Connecticut State Department of Education, our Regional Educational Service Center, district administrators, our two new literacy and mathematics coaches, teams of district teachers, experts in the field of education and other districts to ensure our district is prepared to meet the changes and challenges of these new standards and related assessments.
This past year, over 100 Landscape Maps were completed representing every grade and nearly all major content areas. These maps are vehicles to ensure our curriculum, instruction and assessment align with the Connecticut Core Standards, are consistent within each grade level, and provide the foundation needed to improve student learning throughout the K-12 continuum and beyond. The maps serve as the foundation for the revision of unit and lesson plans. They facilitate increased collaboration between teachers teaching the same content and across grades and buildings. Maps for various grades and content areas will be published on the district’s website in early 2016.