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Curriculum Planning and Development for the Success of All Learners

Curriculum Planning and Development Philosophy Statement
        At the heart of my philosophy regarding curriculum planning and development is the Response to Intervention (RtI) model.  This three-tiered system is designed to meet the needs of all students.  It takes a close look at curriculum planning, implementation, and evaluation.  In addition to viewing curriculum through an RtI lens, educational leaders need to be knowledgeable about state curricula standards, as well as any local district standards that may exist.  Overall, administrators should take on a leadership role in enhancing teaching and learning through curriculum assessment and strategic planning for all learners.
        In order for the RtI model to be effectively implemented, a careful analysis of the core curriculum must be conducted.  In an RtI system, the core curriculum needs to be a high quality, research-based curriculum designed to meet the needs of at least 80% of the student population based on academic progress monitoring data.   The Colorado Department of Education (2009) suggests using the following questions for curriculum planning and development within an RtI system:

  • Is curriculum evidence-based and sufficient?
  • How do we document evidence and what constitutes evidence (both quantitative and qualitative)?
  • Is the curriculum aligned to the standards?
  • How will the Core curriculum identify needs and how will they be addressed?
  • How will the effectiveness of the Core curriculum be monitored and adapted over time?
  • For which students is the Core curriculum sufficient and not sufficient and why?
  • What specific supplemental and intensive curricula are needed (does the Core curriculum need to be changed)?

As an educational leader, I plan to ask these questions of the curriculum in my building and/or district to ensure that all students have access to a curriculum (whether it be core, supplemental, or intensive) to meet their unique learning needs.
        State policy almost always determines minimum achievement standards that should ultimately shape curriculum planning and development (Essex, 2008).  Schmoker (2006) suggests that educational leaders have "teachers carefully review state and district documents and then carefully select and teach only the most essential standards" (p. 125).  Schmoker also advises teachers to build and use formative assessments tied to these selected standards to assess student learning.  The results of these formative assessments will provide valuable data regarding both teaching and learning, allowing me as an educational leader to step in and make adjustments to the curriculum or instruction when necessary.  I plan to utilize these curriculum-related strategies with my staff to help ensure the curriculum is practical and focused on state standards.
        In conclusion, as an educational leader I plan to be actively involved in curriculum planning and development to ensure that the unique learning needs of all students in my building or organization are being addressed.  The RtI model of curriculum planning and development, which includes core, supplemental, and intensive curricula options, is ideal for supporting this goal.  In addition, I plan to work with staff on aligning curriculum to state standards and using formative assessments to monitor student learning related to the selected standards.

Essex, N.L. (2008). School law and the public schools: A practical guide for educational leaders (4th ed.).  United States: Pearson Education, Inc.

Schmoker, M. (2006).  Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented improvements in teaching and learning.  Alexandria, VA:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  

The Colorado Department of Education (2009). 6 components of RtI - Curriculum and instruction.  Retrieved February 21, 2010, from:

H.     Curriculum Planning and Development for the Success of All Learners: Core Competency

  1. demonstrate the ability to enhance teaching and learning through curriculum assessment and strategic planning for all learners, including pre-K, elementary, middle, junior high school,  high school, special education and adult levels;
  2. demonstrate the ability to provide planning and methods to anticipate trends and educational implications;
  3. demonstrate the ability to develop, implement, and monitor procedures to align, sequence, and articulate  curriculum and validate curricular procedures;
  4. demonstrate the ability to identify instructional objectives and use valid and reliable performance indicators and evaluative procedures to measure performance outcomes;
  5. appropriately use learning technologies;
  6. demonstrate an understanding of alternative instructional designs, curriculum, behavior management, and assessment accommodations and modifications;
  7. demonstrate an understanding of the urgency of global competitiveness.


The following artifacts demonstrate my competency in the area of curriculum planning and development for the success of all learners:

This artifact demonstrates my ability to enhance teaching and learning through curriculum assessment and strategic planning for all learners, including pre-K, elementary, middle, junior high school, high school, special education and adult levels (H1).  By participating in a curriculum directors meeting, I was able to witness firsthand some of the curriculum selection, planning, and assessment decisions made by curriculum directors and other St. Croix River Education District staff.  I gained a new understanding of the curriculum materials available for different academic areas, grade levels, and types of students. 

This artifact demonstrates my ability to appropriately use learning technologies (H5).  There was a need within my building to provide our at-risk 9th grade pre-algebra students with more math instruction prior to Algebra I.  With the support of administration, we were able to add a pre-algebra math lab opposite of the pre-algebra class.  I was asked to assist in the development of this class from a curriculum and instruction standpoint.  The class primarily uses Compass Learning, an online curriculum program two accomplish two main goals: provide students with additional practice to ensure mastery of pre-algebra skills and provide exposure to the types of problems students will encounter on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments-II math exam.  The attached document outlines the overall structure of the math lab class.

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