Teaching and learning in the DeKalb County School District will be enhanced through a new curriculum that emphasizes both rigor and individual student needs.

The Curriculum and Instruction team presented the new curriculum plan on March 20 to the Board of Education. It is the product of nearly one year of development involving 228 teachers across the district and textbook provider Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. DeKalb Schools will begin implementing the curriculum for the 2017-2018 school year.

The curriculum writing project is a vital part of the district’s growth, as noted in the recommendation by AdvancED to extend the district’s accreditation for five years.

The ultimate objective, according to Superintendent R. Stephen Green, is to develop a pathway that sets a learning pace for students. It will support deep understanding, while providing students with opportunities to receive additional assistance if needed. He labeled it “a curriculum for us, and by us.”

“It is essential, now more than ever, that today’s curriculum invites and encourages all students to engage in rigorous learning in various ways,” said Dr. R. Stephen Green, Superintendent. “To this end, our curriculum will engage the child’s learning experience as a whole, with both analytic and creative pathways to learning. Our students are diverse and unique; therefore, our teachers have developed a curriculum that acknowledges and complements this diversity. I am very proud of their work.”

The scope of the curriculum is wide-ranging, with the phase I development efforts covering 564 curricular units of instruction. A particular benefit to students will be an emphasis on engaging performance scenarios. These activities will replace the traditional “sage on a stage” approach with a learning experience that engages students by:

  • Providing a dynamic blend of customary learning activities and authentic and engaging learning experiences.
  • Aiming to produce personal insights that are deeper and longer lasting than rote explanations.
  • Affording a purpose for learning and doing by using a context specifically designed to motivate them.
  • Providing motivational and relevant opportunities through a full range of critical thinking skills.

According to the presentation by Dr. Lisa Martin, Chief Academic and Accountability Officer, and her team, the next step is to develop specialized guides for our students in grades kindergarten through 12. In order to support phases 2 and 3 of the curriculum writing project, a group of 20 content and Career Technical Agricultural Education (CTAE) coordinators will be certified in the Rigorous Curriculum Design Process in April.

Leaders from the school district will also host several community meetings, as they are vital in ensuring community engagement and input with this process.

You can view the board’s presentation about the new curriculum writing plan below.