Despite rancorous rhetoric surrounding the Common Core Learning Standards, curriculum and the specific content of lessons remains very much in the hands of school districts, their instructional leaders and classroom teachers. CASDA’s Curriculum and Instruction Functional Service Team is comprised of deeply knowledgeable, experienced teachers and administrators whose expertise can guide districts as they develop rich, focused curricular practices.
The Curriculum and Instruction team consults with school districts to identify specific programming needs and goals and then develops a comprehensive, customizable strategy promoting sustainable progress in professional practices, instructional growth and curriculum development. Faculty members conduct interviews with teachers and principals, observe classroom practices and thoroughly examine teacher and student performance data to recognize strengths and target areas for improvement.
CASDA’s Professional Practices training is a particularly effective means of generating improved student outcomes. Faculty consultants will identify and reinforce strong pedagogical approaches while introducing research supported methods to equip instructors with the essential tools to meet the needs of all students. Training sessions can be presented as seminars on staff development days in specific areas such as classroom design and management and co-teaching. Often, however a more thorough, customized approach over a period of weeks is taken. Developing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) is a representative example of this type of engagement. The fundamental concepts of PLCs are presented to all stakeholders; then a strategy to ensure their successful implementation is initiated. CASDA faculty often begins implementation with comprehensive grade level training for teachers. This occurs over a period of time and can include classroom observation, follow-up training and support. Mentoring for teacher leaders and administrators usually follows. This persistent, customized approach to training ensures that districts experience sustainable progress in the professional practices of their instructors.
The Curriculum and Instruction Team works extensively in Instructional Growth and Curriculum Development. These fields focus on leveraging resources and developing lesson strategies to maximize student engagement and skill development. This can take many forms. Data is effectively utilized in the creation of district-specific data-driven instruction programs and in the very successful NYKids/COMPASS project. Literacy and Mathematics experts can work with department heads and classroom instructors to develop engaging lesson content targeting the development of essential critical thinking skills. CASDA also possesses the necessary expertise to conduct in-depth curriculum audits, mapping and Common Core alignments to ensure that districts are developing and delivering cutting edge content to students that will prepare them for the challenges of the future.
CASDA’s Curriculum and Instruction Team strives to ensure that teachers are given the necessary knowledge, resources and support to help their students reach their full potential. Their dedication, attention to detail and comprehensive knowledge can assist schools in transforming their Curriculum and Instruction practices.