HS Curriculum Frameworks Approved

March 3, 2003
The Board of Education gave final approval to the High School Curriculum Frameworks in Algebra 1; Biology; English 9; Geometry; and National, State and Local Government (NSL) as the written curriculum for these courses at its February 24 meeting.

The approval came after more than an eight-month period in which input was solicited from parents and community members, following conditional approval by the Board last June.

The High School Curriculum Frameworks are designed to ensure that the curriculum guides developed by MCPS are aligned with the Maryland Content Standards, which provide the foundation for the High School Assessments (HSA). The frameworks describe what MCPS students need to know and be able to do in each course, while the instructional guides describe how they will learn and master the material. The frameworks will be used to guide the development of instructional guides and assessments.

Parents, teachers, principals, students, representatives of colleges and universities, and the business community reviewed the frameworks and provided feedback and input, along with a curriculum advisory committee and other stakeholder groups.

Achieve, Inc., benchmarked the curriculum frameworks in English and mathematics and offered suggestions for formatting of documents and sequencing of indicators that will be incorporated in the frameworks and curriculum guides.

In reviewing the frameworks, many parents and community groups wanted to know how the frameworks would look in classroom practice and how they would prepare students to pass the HSA. Starting in 2007, students must pass the end-of-the-course HSA in these five "Phase I" subjects to graduate. As a result, MCPS created a brochure on HSA that was mailed to parents and created a new high school assessment website that provides updates, explains details of the HSA program, and links to state and other websites.

Much of the feedback received (for example, the suggestion of more web support in NSL government), relates to the development of instructional guides. Suggestions will be considered as instructional guides are developed.

Staff will continue to solicit stakeholder input and make appropriate revisions to the curriculum frameworks. Any significant changes will be brought before the Board for approval.

Similar to the process of curriculum revision previously undertaken for Grades K-8, the high school framework revision is being followed by curriculum guide development. Professional development will be provided throughout the coming year for teachers. Staff development teachers, resource teachers and local school leadership teams will receive training to provide ongoing support to teachers.

The revised curriculum in all of the five Phase I high school courses will be fully implemented during FY 2004.

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