Curriculum at Kinnelon
Ensuring district curricula align with the most recent iterations of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (formerly the CCSS, NGSS and NJCCCS) is an ongoing process. In addition to adhering to the standards, the faculty and administration review the current research and employment trends and seek to create courses and curricula that are of the highest value to our students in their lives after they graduate from the Kinnelon Public School District. It is our goal to ensure every student has the opportunity to access world-class curricula taught by outstanding teachers using cutting edge methodologies and tools.
Purpose of the Curriculum
Curriculum is a set of documents that help guide teachers in their instructional decisions. The documents themselves are static, however, we believe that curriculum is a living and dynamic concept that explains what knowledge is of most worth to the community. As the world changes, so too must what we teach our children.
Kinnelon has two different types of curriculum documents, the Scope and Sequence and the Understanding by Design unit plan.
- Scopes and Sequences are documents that spell out the full content of a particular curriculum (scope) and the order in which the teacher should present material (sequence).
- UbD Unit Plans are a more in-depth guide produced using the "backward design" planning model developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. These plans are structured around Essential Questions (i.e., open-ended questions that spark inquiry in students) and Enduring Understandings (i.e., what knowledge will be retained for future use). UbD planing is called backward design because it starts with the assessment (the end) in mind, then works forward from there.
We are proud of the extraordinary work that our curriculum supervisors and teaching staff have done in creating documents that reflect both the NJSLS, and the Kinnelon academic standards that drive our educational system. As such, we want to share that work with the public. These documents are a continual work in progress, and as more curriculum documents are devised, developed and implemented, they will be added. Feel free to contact the Curriculum Department if you have any questions.
The Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department
"We envision instruction that provides differentiated opportunities to enhance the growth and talent of each student."
-Kinnelon Public School District Administrators
The goals of the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department are to:
Promote staff development by:
- creating a culture of continual professional growth.
- supporting staff as they obtain and refine skills and knowledge to improve their instructional or administrative practice.
Provide curricular leadership by:
- developing leadership among teaching staff.
- supporting school principals in their roles as instructional leaders.
- engaging in a continual cycle to design, develop, implement, evaluate and refine curriculum.
- modeling research-based, student-centered instructional practices.
The Curriculum Department coordinates district programs and supplements the work done in individual schools in Kinnelon. The Curriculum staff works with teachers and administrators to update curriculum based on student needs, the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, and post-secondary expecations.
Additionally, the department creates district professional learning opportunities that improve instructional and assessment practices. Professional learning for teachers is offered across the grades and disciplines focusing on content, differentiation of instructional strategies, interdisciplinary transference, and the integration of technology. Kinnelon teachers have participated in local and state workshops, after-school programs, summer institutes, and graduate courses, as well as summer curriculum development projects.
In maintaining the Kinnelon mission of providing quality instruction for all students, district offerings round out our programs. The Child Study Team provides services to students with Individual Education Plans so their needs are met in a least restrictive environment. English as a Second Language addresses the needs of students who are their proficiency with the English language with courses that concentrate first on basic English language acquisition, and then on fluency necessary for academic success. The district continues to monitor and develop support programs and learning opportunities that meet the needs of our students, preparing them to be productive citizens and lifelong learners.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment