Curriculum Development

Curriculum is the common body of knowledge that is the basis for the instructional program in our district using several professional resources at the state and national levels.

The Cedarburg School District is always working to develop curriculum that exceeds the State of Wisconsin adopted Academic Standards. Using the latest research from multiple professional sources throughout the educational field, Cedarburg School District develops Standards that align with our district’s mission in providing a world class education for our students.

Cedarburg Academic Standards and Curriculum

When discussing Standards and Curriculum, there is a need to draw a distinction.  Standards are statements that define what is to be learned by the end of a school year.  Curriculum is the detailed plan for day to day teaching that include many resources: activities; lessons; units; assessments. Two analogies that may help to explain the difference between Standards and Curriculum are:  

  • If you've ever used Google maps, you know Google gives you a choice of different routes to get to your destination. The destination is the Standard and the route is the curriculum.
  • In football, the Standard is the game rule that you need ten yards to gain a first down. Curriculum encompasses all of the options available to the team on offense to achieve that goal.

With these examples in mind, the Standards are set by the State, Federal Government or local School District, while the curriculum is implemented by the district with teachers and administrators providing instruction and guidance, respectively. The State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has adopted the Mathematics and English Language Arts Common Core State Standards; Cedarburg School District has chosen to exceed these State adopted Standards. We believe the State Standards to be the floor and not the ceiling. As curricula are developed, expectations are set that exceed the State Standards.  Using resources from around the country and the world, the latest research is considered along with practices and expectations to develop a common understanding, benchmarks, Standards and curriculum that far exceed that of the State of Wisconsin Standards and expectations.

Listed on this page are many of the resources used in developing curriculum. Below are links for more information on the Wisconsin State Standards and on the right side bar, are the professional resources used in Standards and curriculum development by teachers. There are sections that are currently being updated, but for the most part the essence of how curriculum is developed can be captured from reading through the information. 

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is a source of information on the Common Core State Standards. There is also contact information at the bottom of most pages to follow up accordingly with questions and/or concerns. In the Cedarburg School District, knowledge is power and working with the facts will provide the best perspective when making decisions that impact our students.

Additional Resources on the Common Core State Standards

Department of Public Instruction homepage on the State of Wisconsin adopted Common Core Standards:

http://commoncore.dpi.wi.gov/

English and Languages Arts Standards: 

http://commoncore.dpi.wi.gov/english-language-arts-standards

Mathematics Standards: 

http://commoncore.dpi.wi.gov/mathematics-standards-page

Common Core homepage:

http://www.corestandards.org/

This link addresses some of the Myths about the Common Core that may be helpful in understanding the issue of local control. The link was provided by the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM).

http://www.thecommoncore.com/myths


Curriculum Development Process

In Cedarburg, high quality curriculum and instruction is clearly focused on the understandings and skills of the discipline that a professional would value and is mentally and affectively engaging to the learner.  Our curriculum development is based on the Understanding by Design (UbD) research based framework for improving student achievement.  Curricular team processes emphasize the teacher's critical role as a designer of student learning. We design standards-based curriculum to help teachers clarify learning goals, devise assessments that evaluate levels of student understanding, and craft effective and engaging learning activities.   

Our Curriculum Council is made up of teachers who work with the Director of Curriculum & Instruction to provide curriculum development leadership. Teachers play a critical role in the design of curricular plans that provide clear learning targets and common assessments upon which to base daily instruction.

The Cedarburg curriculum is developed according to the Cedarburg 7-Year Curriculum Development Cycle. Curriculum is published online using a software program called BYOC (BuildYourOwnCurriculum). Curriculum development teams can revise and update curriculum using this tool and parents and community members can easily see what we want students to know and be able to do at each level.

The Cedarburg K-12 Curriculum is standards-based, rigorous, age appropriate and relevant to the learning needs of students in the 21st century. Our curriculum development process focuses on establishing Enduring Understandings, Essential Questions, Learning Targets and Common Assessments.

Last Updated: 4/1/14