Over the past 8 years I've served in the capacity of Curriculum Director for the Earlham Community School District. It has been a busy, constantly changing, sometimes frustrating task, but I have to say I am happy with what we've accomplished during my tenure. An organized cycle of curriculum review and evaluation has been established and implemented. Communication with teachers about their standards and benchmarks and how they are developed is a part of this process, so teachers have had to become more connected to the written curriculum of the district. The Iowa Core was developed and studied by the staff, and in many cases embraced. However, many challenges lie ahead.
Our district is a very anecdotal district, we like to pass ideas, plans, units on by word of mouth rather than by documentation. While this is a human friendly process, it doesn't always accomplish what we need it to. If a teacher leaves the district, many times they take their materials, plans, and sometimes even units with them. How can the new teacher take over and try to provide any type of consistency? They can't! We need a written history, so that is where the curriculum mapping process and the use of the Curriculum Manager comes in. This program, provided to the district at a very low cost provides a means to track curriculum work, review units, compare benchmark coverage, and show how units link to the Iowa Core. But to do all this teachers need to use it! Hopefully going forward we will be able to continue this process.
Final assessment results for the year are in, and our students overall did well on our standardized assessments. The Annual Yearly Progress report will reflect that we met 1 of our 3 community reported goals, but an overall look shows a more complete picture. For the MAP assessment the elementary set grade level goals, and for Reading, 2 of the 4 grade (3rd - 6th) levels met their goal of having 85% of the class at or above the target RIT. All 4 grade levels had more than 80% of their class that were at or above the target RIT. For math, 3 of the 4 grade levels met their goal of having 85% of the class at or above the target RIT. All 4 grades had more than 80% of their class that were at or above the target RIT.
As we look to the future we will continue to refine and evaluate our goals and targets for student achievement.