Curriculum Standards Background Information
The Manchester Township School District Curriculum is based upon the following Standards Background Information from the NJ Dept. of Education:
The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) were first adopted by the State Board of Education in 1996. The standards are not curriculum, which is decided at the local level. Rather, the standards describe what students should know and be able to do upon completion of a thirteen-year public school education. The standards are also designed to help teachers prepare students to be college- and career-ready.
Revised every five years, the standards provide local school districts with clear and specific benchmarks for student achievement in nine content areas. Developed by panels of teachers, administrators, parents, students, and representatives from higher education, business, and the community, the standards are influenced by national standards, research-based practice, and student need. The standards define a "Thorough and Efficient Education" as guaranteed in 1875 by the New Jersey Constitution. The most recent review and revision of the standards occurred in 2014 for seven areas. The standards in language arts literacy and math are undergoing a revision process through December 2015.
The New Jersey Department of Education's Division of Teaching and Learning has developed new curricular frameworks for English language arts and mathematics for kindergarten through grade twelve. The frameworks are aligned with the newly adopted New Jersey Student Learning Standards for English language arts and mathematics and will replace the model curricula for those subjects.
The purpose of the frameworks is to provide educators with a tool to guide conversations around curriculum and instruction that should be taking place in schools/districts around the state. The frameworks focus on the standards and skills in order to provide a logical sequence of instruction with the goal of mastering the standards at each grade level. It is not intended to remove teacher autonomy; rather, it is the hope that the frameworks will provide a logical, rigorous, yet flexible path through which to meet instructional goals for all students.
In each grade-level framework, there is an overview page provided at the beginning of the document. This will act as a roadmap on how to cluster the New Jersey Student Learning Standards over the course of the school year. At the end of each unit, tables are purposefully left blank for schools/districts to include their own curricular information.
As educators work with the frameworks, there are no separate boxes for interdisciplinary connections or integration of 21st century themes and skills nor are there modifications for special education, English language learners, students at risk of school failure or gifted students. This is intentional as the interdisciplinary connections of themes and skills are to be integrated throughout the frameworks. Educators should be mindful of these as they build out the frameworks and code them appropriately. Districts may choose to include additional boxes to suit their instructional needs.
The Department of Education would like to acknowledge all of the educators who dedicated so much time and energy to this project. It is important to note that the writers comprised educators from across the state of New Jersey and included teachers, supervisors, and administrators with a vast array of experience and expertise. Although the frameworks are focused on English language arts and mathematics, the committee of writers included those with other content area expertise, such as ELL and special education. In addition, the writers represented districts that included priority, focus, and reward schools from numerous counties and regions with representation from early childhood to secondary schools. This variety of experience contributed to a comprehensive collaboration where all had a voice in the process and product.
After reviewing the frameworks and understanding how the standards and skills are organized, schools/districts should download the frameworks and rename them as their own. Districts should continue collaborative conversations around curriculum and instruction that includes discussing assessment. By framing the conversations in this way will tightly align evidence to student learning. Additionally, educators will find support materials including details on how a district or school might begin this work, a PowerPoint slide deck on the background, as well as guided professional learning.
- Curricular Framework Guidance Document and Supports English Language Arts
- Curricular Framework Guidance Document and Supports Mathematics
The following links are useful:
Common Core State Standards http://www.corestandards.org/
District Literacy Site https://sites.google.com/site/manchesterliteracy/
Educator Resources Aligned with the CCSS http://njcore.org/resources
Examples of Literacy Strategies http://www.adlit.org/strategy library/
Teacher Resources http://www.adlit.org/for teachers/