Schoharie CSD and five partner districts create model for curriculum development

Schoharie CSD is one of six area schools who are providing a model of collaboration for the implementation of the state’s Next Generation English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards.

Schoharie, joined by Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Cobleskill-Richmondville, Duanesburg, Middleburgh and Sharon Springs, began conducting shared regional professional development days at the start of the 2018-19 school year with the assistance of Capital Region BOCES. The effort was intended to ensure these districts, with more limited resources than larger districts, would be able to effectively implement the standards. Five of the six schools, including Schoharie, have an enrollment of less than 1,000 students.

“We want to come out of this with new curriculum that matches the standards in ELA and math to start and in all content areas at the end,” said Superintendent David Blanchard. “Through this collaborative approach, our goal is to have teachers develop teaching points and curriculum units to match each standard. Our sense was that if we worked together through BOCES, this work would get done correctly.”

By collaborating on the intensive work to plan and prepare for regional professional development days, the districts were able to ensure their faculty were getting the most they could out of them. The conference days allowed teachers to work together to study the standards and develop strategies to eventually build standards-based curriculum units.

“Getting teachers to see the big picture and understand why we are doing this and why approaching it from a K-12 perspective is important,” Blanchard said. “Writing curriculum is time consuming and labor-intensive, but it is vital work. If we are not having an approach that shows continuity across every grade level then we are putting our students at a disadvantage.”

The collaboration between Schoharie and the other schools inspired a similar initiative underway in the HFM BOCES region.

For more information, please see this article on the State Education Department website.