We've had a very busy month in curriculum development at CMS.
MATH CURRICULUM REVIEW
The math department leadership team has met several times to review the new common core standards benchmarks and course designs. The sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grade math teachers have met with Carmen Fernandez, the department head for mathematics and the principals to examine the materials that we presently use, the units that we have designed this year based upon the common core math standards and benchmarks and to evaluate our use of map testing to determine strengths and weaknesses of students at every grade level 6th through 9th. We’ve had several webinars with the international math consultants working with the new common core standards and benchmarks, and we also had a recent half-day workshop with the newest, international Map facilitator covering Latin America. We learned about new versions of the MAP testing that are now developed and ready to be used. In several weeks we will have all of our math teachers themselves take both versions of the tests and have planned for some small pilots with students of spring testing to analyze the differences in student test scores. Our math leadership team from elementary through high school continues to meet and examine the newest materials from the three international publishing companies and to examine all of the online resources available with those materials.
We are also having a deep look at the changes that are coming in the Advanced Placement math courses and what impact those changes will have on a upper-level math sequence. Math teachers at the high school levels are also previewing new materials in every course.
We were excited about the dedication of our math curriculum review committee. They are carefully planning for a full implementation of new materials in mathematics as they become available to us and are reflective of the most up-to-date, Common Core standards and benchmarks.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULA REVIEWS
The Science Curriculum Review committee has been reviewing the latest set of common core science standards that were released last week. The second draft of the national common core science is about 300 pages of text surrounding new standards and benchmarks. This draft set of next-generation science standards represents some of the latest thinking in the United States and abroad on what constitutes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for the future. Our science teachers will be meeting in the middle of February as a full science committee in collaboration with the tech curriculum review so that we can look at the evolution of our standards and benchmarks across two disciplines to create a platform for new, future courses for the middle school and high school that will support some of the initiatives such as the robotics work underway right now.
We have completed the second training for our new staff. We have now trained all of our new teachers to Carol Morgan in 14 hours of Tribes activities. We have also offered parent training this year and on February 12 we will be offering a Tribes training to our cafeteria, afterschool activities, maintenance and business office personnel.
Our new Buffalo course on teacher supervision will begin on February 2 and we have 10 teachers that will be participating in the cutting-edge training of teacher supervision and evaluation. We are pleased to have a returning presenter Joan DellaValle back at Carol Morgan for that presentation.
WINTER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR STAFF
We are pleased to report that we have planned our entire professional development presentation agenda for February 12. We will be repeating many of the technology-based training classes that we offered in December at the request of our staff and in addition we will be offering several trainings on advanced features of Atlas Rubicon.
We have a large team of mathematics teachers going to attend the national mathematics conference in April and we are planning to review the applications for summer professional development from our teaching staff at the next principals meeting the first week of February.
We continue to evolve Atlas Rubicon and we continue to make great strides in the development of our curriculum. We have now completed 50% of the curriculum units in the middle school and high school and the target will be to finish the middle and high school units for one year of content in every course by the end of the school year. In the elementary school we have worked to map our technology education units all of our Second Steps training related to our health curriculum. We have plans to begin new unit designs in social studies and science.