Category : Academics
The Role of Curriculum Specialists in Education
Thursday , September 26 , 2019
Lynn Hoppes, Janice Mak, Jamie Caldwell, Dr. Dan Courson, and Kaylen Miller
Have you ever wondered about the role curriculum specialists play in education?
At the core of all school districts is the curriculum that is infused into the teaching and learning process. To help bridge the communication between district departments, administrators, and teachers, curriculum specialists support instruction by ensuring that instructional resources are aligned to the state standards. They collaborate with teams to develop the vision for the implementation of standards-aligned instruction, as well as plan and implement professional development for staff.
At PVSchools, we are fortunate to have teachers on assignment who serve as curriculum specialists for specific content areas such as English Language Arts, Social Studies/Language Immersion/World Language, Math, and Science.
“We help build consistency across the district for instructional strategies with adopted materials, Guaranteed, Viable, Curriculum (GVC) Maps, and by facilitating Instructional division leader meetings, reading specialist meetings, and frequent principal meetings. This communication is the key to helping our students on their Journey of Excellence to ensure they are successful and prepared for college and careers,” said Jamie Caldwell, English Language Arts curriculum specialist.
PVSchools has the autonomy to select curriculum programs from vendors that are aligned to Arizona State Standards and specific criteria recommended by the adoption committee. Content area adoptions provide teachers with resources for implementing current best practices. Furthermore, these adoptions support PVSchools’ GVC, which ensures students are being instructed with the same curricular content.
New curriculum adoptions are funded through District Additional Assistance (DAA) overrides. In the Spring of 2018, PVSchools adopted both K-8 Math and 7-12 Science curriculum resources. Looking toward the future, PVSchools is exploring primary and supplemental resources for K-8 Social Studies and Mandarin Immersion.
Professional development for teachers and staff is integral in the implementation of curriculum adoptions. Professional development helps teachers learn about the curriculum and improve instruction. To support teachers throughout the school year, curriculum specialists provide professional development to build capacity in teaching and learning across subject areas.
“This professional development could include site visits to provide customized training, meeting one-on-one with teachers to provide individualized support or provide guidance regarding curriculum, instructional planning, or assessment. They also maintain district-wide resources to support instruction such as a website with links to key documents, including GVC documents, informative videos, and online resources,” said Janice Mak, Science curriculum specialist.
Since student achievement is tied directly to effective teaching and learning, our curriculum specialists provide support by partnering with other departments such as Assessment, Professional Development, Title I, Special Education, and Gifted.
“Through collaborative efforts with teachers and administration, we facilitate site visits, provide individualized and staff training to help our teachers implement curriculum and assessments to ensure student achievement,” said Kaylen Miller, Math curriculum specialist.
PVSchools incorporates state-of-the-art digital technology into a robust curriculum and provides an array of educational choices that include something for every student from preschool through high school. A wide variety of classes, electives, resources, extracurricular, and premier programs provide our students with the opportunity to grow and prepare for college and careers.
“Throughout each student’s journey through PVSchools, every employee is working to ensure they are supported with instruction and learning. One example is our Volunteer In Paradise program, which supports our teachers by providing elementary school students with extra academic support in reading and math with the goal of supporting student achievement. We provide the VIP tutors with training so that they are knowledgeable about the curriculum,” said Lynn Hoppes, Social Studies/Language Immersion/World Languages curriculum specialist.
An important factor in student achievement is parent involvement. PVSchools encourages parents to be actively involved in their child’s education at the school level. Parents have opportunities to participate in parent-teacher conferences, participate in classroom activities, attend parent support organizational meetings, district meetings, and district level committees.