The Kirkwood School District believes students deserve a preK-12 spiraled experience which builds intellectual coherence. In order to best serve our students in these endeavors, teachers and principals deserve a long-range plan that allows them to anticipate work and professional learning.
Beliefs About Curriculum
- Curriculum should be learner-centered, fostering the “whole child” development of students.
- Key priorities of the district (i.e. equity, critical/creative thinking, relevance, future-ready skills) should be embedded in all curricular areas and be easily identifiable to those on the outside looking in.
- Curricular and programmatic evaluation should reflect an emphasis on student growth, analyzed across the system and through a lens of equitable success for all subgroups of our population.
- Curriculum should align with standards, encourage the intentional use of high-impact instructional strategies, and value both the art and science of our practice.
- Curriculum should include cornerstone assessments, with multiple avenues for students to demonstrate transfer of learning and receive ongoing feedback about growth toward goals.
- Curricula reflects Tier I instruction within our multi-tiered support system (MTSS) framework and thus should meet the needs of at least 80% of all students and subgroups of students.
Beliefs About Our Process
- Because empathy is essential to curriculum design, we must seek input and feedback from students, parents, teachers, alumni, and our community.
- Intentional time and energy should be devoted to all phases of the curriculum process, with a belief that research, and assessment should enhance the writing and implementation phases of our work.
- The writing process must extend beyond agreement about “what will be learned,” providing clarity about how learning will occur (shared experiences) and be measured. This process will likely continue past Board adoption and through Year 1 of implementation.
- While all stakeholders should be involved in the curriculum process, with regular feedback opportunities throughout, not all teachers need to actively engage in the writing phase of work. Time and funds should be allocated to engage additional staff in other phases of work and professional learning.
- Engaging teachers from multiple grade spans and disciplines adds value to the writing/feedback process and supports system-wide articulation and collaboration.
- Curricula must be readily accessible and user-friendly, so teachers can be expected to use them often and well.