As we aspire to be the leader in innovative education offering unlimited options and opportunities it is imperative that we start with the curriculum that is being used. In the Cambridge-Isanti Schools we believe that a high quality, standards based curriculum implemented with effective research based instructional strategies will produce high levels of learning in all students. The Cambridge-Isanti Curriculum Process begins with the Cambridge-Isanti Curriculum Forecast. The goal of the Cambridge-Isanti District Curriculum Committee is to ensure the development of a guaranteed and viable curriculum.
“Guaranteed” means that every student is provided the opportunity to learn a core curriculum which provides them with the probability of success in school. Marzano considers this “The single most important initiative a school or district can engage in to raise student achievement… ”
“Viable” means schools make sure that the necessary time is available and protected so students will be able to learn the guaranteed curriculum. This is why benchmarks are prioritized so that some are taught to mastery while others are not.
“Curriculum” refers to the specific learning standards, lessons, assignments, and materials used to organize and teach a particular course.
“Curricular Resources” refer to the digital or print versions of units and lessons; the assignments and projects given to students; the books, materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course; assessments and other methods used to evaluate student learning.
Cambridge-Isanti Schools curriculum and assessment practices align with the Minnesota Department of Education Academic Standards and requirements. Professional development efforts align with Minnesota State Statutes and industry standards. Intentional alignment and a focus on results drive the work of teacher collaboration to increase student learning.
There are two processes of the curriculum review and development:
- Continuous Improvement Process
- Formal Study
The Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) is led by the Department of Teaching & Learning - Curriculum Office and is supported by the District Curriculum Committee (DCC) and Content Area Teams (CATs) at each level and discipline, as referenced in the Teaching & Learning Structure and Flow Chart. Using the continuous improvement process, Content Area Teams identify curriculum, assessment, and/or professional development needs on an annual basis. CATs use the following questions to determine curriculum needs:
- Where are we now?
- What do we want to accomplish?
What is our next action?
- How do we make that happen successfully?
The Formal Study is initiated by the Department of Teaching & Learning - Curriculum Office and is carried out by Content Area Teams (CATs). The need for a Formal Study arises from a significant change in standards or when data indicates that the continuous improvement process is not working. A Formal Study requires significant human and financial resources because data needs to be reviewed, research needs to be conducted, and other districts need to be studied to analyze their practices. If it is found that a Formal Studyis needed, the district has identified a process which is detailed in this document.
District standards will be reviewed and updated when MDE adopts or revises new standards. The goal is that all district subject areas will review and modify instructional resources and practices on a yearly basis even when standards are not newly updated.