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At first, the class was like any other at Georgia’s Quitman County School District. Kids sat at desks while an adult lectured. Despite appearances, this was no ordinary lecture. Schneider Electric organized STEM activities for the kids in this Quitman County high school class. These activities are part of Quitman County’s energy performance contract with Schneider Electric and are designed to engage students in a STEM-inspired engineering shadowing program focused on energy conservation.

How PD enables K12 educators to create an inclusive environment that allows all learners to thrive.

Why is personalized learning so important?

Marcy: It leverages a student’s interests, their strengths, then tailors instruction to their specific needs and goals.

Rich: It gets into predictive analytics. Traditionally the analytics type of reporting is a look at what has been happening. Personalized learning is looking at what is going to happen.

Teachers in the Susquehanna Township School District are finding success with their new curriculum mapping program using Chalk. With it, they can easily locate and align state standards with lesson plans, and if they have any questions, they can get live technical assistance through “Mr. Chalk,” an online chat feature operated by company employees.

Mr. Chalk used to be available only Monday to Friday, but not on weekends when many teachers were finishing lesson plans for submission to principals Sunday evenings. So Superintendent Dr. Tamara Willis made a call.

From left to right: Debra Walker Smith and the Hoover City Title I Team, Director of Federal Programs and Testing, Hoover City Schools (Ala.); Mitchelle Kelley, National Consultant, Istation

Holistic intervention strategies for Title I schools that coordinate efforts between all educators and stakeholders are crucial to improving achievement. Through focused professional development, incorporating research-based approaches and utilizing technology, intervention efforts at Title I schools can be the most effective.

In 2015, Raytown High School in Missouri created a much-needed class for its student leadership organization, Jay Crew, but the course still required a concrete curriculum. So the school adopted the Lead2Feed initiative, a free program of leadership lessons that students explore through activism in local or global communities in need.

For their first project, Jay Crew students led a food drive at a local grocery store for the Raytown Emergency Assistance Program, a local nonprofit. They raised $1,000 and collected 5,000 nonperishable food items.

Where should schools start when it comes to implementing technology?

K12 district leaders are collaborating with entire communities and using new curricula to help combat the opioid crisis sweeping the nation.

Sorting through online resources can be a challenge for districts seeking free comprehensive curriculum or teachers simply searching for supplemental lesson material.

When Tullahoma City Schools administrators started shopping for new social studies textbooks in 2013, they found only a few options aligned to new Tennessee state standards. Rather than wait for newer textbooks to be released, the district embarked on the ambitious project of creating its own.

When four South Carolina districts joined forces in 2013 to compete for a federal Race to the Top grant, their shared educational vision was clear: Teach students to be creative innovators and independent learners. The challenge was finding a model to encompass all the sweeping changes they wanted to implement.

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