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    Curriculum Development And Evaluation


    The district's Curriculum Cycle is a tool to:

    1. Ensure that all courses are reviewed on a regular basis and updated as appropriate.
    2. Ensure an equitable distribution of instructional materials, curriculum development and staff development funds across the curriculum
    3. Ensure that all students have access to new instructional materials
    4. Guide priorities for instructional materials when requests exceed resources

    The stages of the cycle are described below. There is no "checklist" for what is to be done in each stage and decisions must be made based upon what is the identified need for revision or staff development. As such, courses of study may not be revised extensively each time the course cycles into stage 1 and instructional materials may not be replaced each time a course reaches stage 2. Department Facilitators, working with department members, need to assess what, if any, work needs to be done on a given course and include it in the Action Plan.

    1. ACTIVE: Review and Revise (What changes, if any, are needed in the course of study?)

    This stage is the opportunity to review changes in external curriculum guidelines. Course content and process must be reviewed in relationship to the relevant California State Content Standards and Frameworks (if they exist) and should be reviewed in relationship to other national subject matter curriculum guidelines. Course effectiveness should be analyzed using available student performance data to determine what changes may be needed. If a course is outdated or no longer needed, this is the time to make the change or delete it.

    Once the course of study is revised, the second task is to select instructional materials to pilot in stage 2.

    Some questions to ask during this stage:

    • What student needs does this course address (Does this course support the district's student learning outcomes?)
    • What new frameworks and guidelines are there?
    • What does the current professional literature and research suggest about directions for this course?
    • What are other exemplary schools doing?
    • What are potential employers' expectations (consult as appropriate)?
    • What needs are being expressed by feeder schools (hold articulation meetings with middle schools, esp. for entry level courses)?

    Some steps to take during this stage:

    • Examine our own assessment data
    • Bring in outside people to look at the program with fresh eyes (Subject Matter Projects)
    • Review university/college expectations (consult with higher education colleagues)
    • Write/revise course of study
    • Develop student and course assessment tools
    • Select instructional materials to pilot:
    • Match existing materials and texts to new curriculum
    • Identify strengths/weaknesses/gaps
    • Identify needed materials
    • Review available materials using the course of study as criteria
    • Narrow choices to two or three to pilot.

    2. ACTIVE: Pilot and Development

    The purposes of this stage are to a) pilot new instructional materials, b) select/develop materials needed to support the course of study and b) identify necessary staff development to prepare teachers for the revised curriculum and delivery.

    • Pilot texts/materials
    • Develop curriculum materials (study guides, etc.)
    • Assess staff development needs (inc. retraining)
    • Select and purchase core materials
    • Review alternative delivery systems
    • Develop/Share course materials and curriculum
    • Explore resources (local, county, state) available to assist with implementation

    3-5: IMPLEMENTATION: Training, Practice, and Reflection

    In this stage, support for teacher implementation is the focus. This might include intensive staff development to prepare for implementation, periodic meetings to share experiences, plan together, or continue timely staff development, and begin to collect assessment data.

    By years four and five, intensive work is completed, so this stage requires much less department-wide focus except for conducting on-going assessment, providing support for new teachers to the course, and monitoring process.

    • Provide staff development or retraining as needed
    • Use materials in classrooms and share insights
    • Hold periodic meetings to check progress (delivery, content, strategies, materials, support)
    • Begin collecting assessment data
    • Visit each other's classrooms
    • Provide classroom instructional support
    • Share newly developed materials (collect in resource books)
    • Reflect on teacher practice and the impact of the course on student achievement
    • Continue implementation

    District Resources (to support specific stages of the cycle)

    Instructional Supervision: Each year, Department Facilitators are asked to update the Curriculum Cycle which is approved by Instructional Council by June for the following year. The Curriculum Cycle is then supported by Department Facilitator Action Plans which describe the tasks to be done and budget needed to support those activities. Upon approval, these budgets provide the basic resources for the following:

    1. Curriculum Development including development and revision of courses of study, UC course submission documents, selection/piloting of instructional materials as outlined in Stages 1-2 of this Cycle.
    2. Staff Development related to implementation of the new or revised courses of study. (Stage 3-5)

    Retraining supports specific staff development required for teachers to teach new courses or programs outside their areas of preparation and is accessed by principal recommendation. (3-5)

    Instructional Materials Fund supports districtwide adoptions of new texts/materials (2-3). The remaining Instructional Materials monies are allocated to schools to maintain programs once they are in place. The Instructional Council approves the budget in June for the following year.

    Program Evaluation provides resources for on-going program assessment activities (1, 3, 4). These funds are accessed through the Office of Instruction.

    Testing provides support for student assessment activities (1, 3-5). These funds are accessed through the Office of Instruction.

    District Instructional Improvement may be used in stages 2-5 for additional staff development or development of supplemental instructional materials. May be used in stage 1 to enable staff to explore alternative delivery or content. The decision about use of Instructional Improvement is based upon how the curriculum work connects to the district Objectives and Tasks for the year. Funds are allocated by the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.

    Curriculum Proposal: Concept Paper

    Check One:

    ____ This proposal has districtwide impact (new courses of study for something offered at more than one school, change in graduation requirements, change in course sequence, etc.).

    ____ This proposal is site-specific (course of study for an elective which may not be offered at other schools, integration of existing courses of study requiring changes in grade level, reading lists, or instructional materials).

    I. Description of Proposal

    Describe your proposal in general terms.

    II. Need for this Proposal

    What instructional need does this proposal address? How was that need established? Specifically, what student learning outcomes, Tam Twenty-first Century goals, or site three-year plan goals does this proposal address?

    III. Intended Audience

    Describe the students for whom this proposal is intended.

    IV. Programmatic Impact

    Describe the impact of this proposal on other courses/programs. With whom has the impact been discussed?

    V. Estimated Implementation Costs

    Give a "best estimate" of the implementation costs/activities.



    Estimated Cost

    Curriculum Development

    Staff Development

    New materials/supplies




    If this proposal has districtwide impact, attach a statement from the department facilitator indicating level of support and issues/questions which should be addressed before development continues. Department Facilitators need to be prepared to present the proposal to Instructional Council.

    This proposal has been reviewed by the __________ Department. Based upon that review, I

    ( ) Fully endorse further development.

    ( ) Have the following reservations, but will support further development:

    Explain your reservations, identify issues to be addressed, concerns, questions.

    ( ) Do not support further development because:

    Explain why you do not support this proposal.

    Department Facilitator Signature: _________________________Date:


    All proposals must have the principal's endorsement. If this is a site-specific proposal, the principal needs to be prepared to present it to Instructional Council.

    I have reviewed this proposal and support further development.

    Principal Signature:_________________________________ Date:___________

    Proposal Submitted by:______________________________ Date:___________

    version: 2009 Larkspur, California


    E(2) 6141


    Course of Study


    Insert narrative description of course (length, subject area, intended audience, overview of purpose, how it articulates with other courses in the curriculum. What are the overall goals of the course?

    This course addresses the following Tamalpais 21st Century goals:

    * Insert specific goals from Tamalpais 21st Century. How does this course help students attain these goals?

    This course addresses the following Student Learning Outcomes:

    * Insert the specific Student Learning Outcomes #1-14 which are addressed.

    This course is designed to help students attain the state subject Content Standards (if appropriate).


    A. Students will:

    Insert the specific course learning outcomes. These are to be written in outcome indicator format (what students will actually do). Number sequentially. These learning outcomes should provide the basis for student assessment and course evaluation.

    B. Students will cover the following state subject Content Standards:

    * List the specific content standards to be taught in this class. If possible, reference the student learning outcomes (A above) to the Content Standards by number.

    C. Students will cover the following content as included on the state Standards Tests and/or High School Exit Exam.

    * List the specific content standards to be taught in this class. If possible, reference the student learning outcomes (A above) to the Content Standards by number.


    A. Major Units of Instruction

    Identify the major units of instruction for the course. These units should allow for flexibility in delivery but, at the same time, provide guidance to teachers and students to frame the major understandings of the course.

    B. Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions

    Refers to 'Big Ideas,' core concepts, overarching principles, organizing theories, underlying assumptions, focusing themes, processes, etc. that should serve as the focal point of curricula, instruction, and assessment of the course and each unit. By definition, these are important and enduring. Essential questions are questions that are at the heart of a subject or curriculum, and promotes inquiry and "uncoverage" of a subject.

    C. Knowledge and Skills

    Describe the knowledge and skills that are required for students to be able to achieve understanding.

    D. Student Assessment

    Describe exactly how students will be assessed. What measures will be used? If rubrics are used, these should match the student learning outcomes. Identify the range of assessments that will be used including: Diagnostic Tools, Formative Assessments, Summative Assessments, Performance Assessments and their related Rubrics. Examples of assessments and/or rubrics should be attached as appendices.


    A. Methods

    Describe the instructional methods which will be used in this course to help students attain the course outcomes? Describe some ways in which differentiation will be used in the course (differentiate the assessments, content, homework, etc.) Provide a tentative sequence of instruction and activities.

    B. Materials

    Describe the instructional materials (texts, primary source documents, media, etc.) which will be used. This course uses the Board-approved textbook and supplementary books (See the district's Approved Textbook List): Include resources such as websites, primary source materials, and district resource guides which might be used by the teacher and/or students.

    C. Technology

    Describe what types of technology will be utilized in this course.

    D. School to Career Goals

    Describe how school to career experiences are incorporated into this course. This might include guest speakers, job shadowing, internship, use of adult mentors, and/or other activities which engage students with the world of work.

    E. Suggested Instructional Time Allocation

    Include recommended allocation of instructional time. If a textbook is used, indicate approximate benchmarks for what is to be completed each grading period or semester. If the course is organized around large units, indicate approximate time for each unit (e.g. two weeks). If the course includes a combination of activities such as lab work, computer work, group projects indicate suggested percentages of time allocated to each type of instruction.


    Describe the 'cornerstone assessments' that support student attainment of the enduring understandings. Also, students will be given the grading criteria and course expectations, preferably in writing, at the beginning of the course.


    Describe the potential issues that could arise over the course of the year. Specifically, identify areas that would help a teacher who for the first time was teaching this course.


    Describe how the course will be assessed (as required every five years by the Curriculum Cycle). This may include qualitative and quantitative measures. External and internal assessments should be included, as appropriate. Course assessment should be group-based rather than individual-based.


    ____________________ is a ______ credit course open to

    If this is an Honors/AP course, indicate whether or not it carries a weighted grade.

    A. Prerequisites

    Describe the course prerequisites. If this is an AP/Honors course, you must include the criteria for admission. If teacher recommendations are to be used, attach a copy of the form as an appendix.

    B. Requirements Met

    This course may be used in partial fulfillment of the _________ graduation requirement.


    This course may be used as elective credit towards graduation but does not meet any specific graduation requirement.

    This course is accepted towards the "__" requirement for UC admissions. It is also accepted for the CSU ________ requirement. Note: When course of study is drafted we need to say here "UC/CSU approval pending, date."

    version: 2009 Larkspur, California


    E(3) 6141



    I. Tamalpais 21st Century Mission, Beliefs and Goals:

    District Mission

    “Mission”- defines our purpose or reason for being, or why do we exist?

    The mission of the Tamalpais Union High School District is to challenge students to broaden and deepen their learning experiences, to aspire to the passionate pursuit of excellence, and to develop as thinking and caring individuals who will leave our schools with the skills to be life-long learners and to succeed in their personal, academic and professional lives.

    To achieve this, we will create a learning environment where each student will have opportunities to:

    • Acquire, manage and use knowledge and skills
    • Think critically and creatively
    • Practice self-directed learning, decision making and problem solving
    • Pursue individual goals and aspirations
    • Develop skills needed for effective teamwork
    • Develop and demonstrate high standards of personal behavior and integrity
    • Develop strategies to successfully respond to change
    • Develop respect and understanding for the diversity of our community
    • Understand individual and cultural differences
    • Take responsibility for self and community
    • Participate in the democratic process
    • Prepare for participation in a rapidly changing global community
    • Gain skills for success in the work place, and
    • Understand the relevance of the high school experience to his/her life

    District Philosophy

    “Philosophy”- How we need to operate in order to achieve the mission?

    To achieve its mission, the district, working with students, staff, parents and the community will:

    • Provide a comprehensive educational program with systems to support student achievement
    • Maintain high academic standards
    • Support the emotional and physical well-being of all students and staff
    • Encourage student creativity
    • Provide an environment of mutual respect, caring and acceptance of diversity
    • Provide equity of opportunity for all students
    • Provide programs for high achieving students
    • Provide a broad range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
    • Provide access to alternative educational opportunities
    • Extend learning beyond the classroom
    • Use collaborative processes for decision making where appropriate
    • Base decisions on district core beliefs and the review of relevant information
    • Model and maintain high standards of behavior and personal integrity
    • Monitor and assess student achievement for instructional planning and decision making
    • Monitor and assess the educational program for relevance and the need for change
    • Recruit, hire and support the very best staff possible
    • Maintain facilities which are safe and meet the needs of the district's instructional program
    • Provide an environment where students will be treated with respect
    • Use resources in a fiscally responsible manner
    • Monitor and assess implementation of the district mission

    District Beliefs

    Beliefs - are our underlying and guiding thoughts about how learning occurs, or what do we believe about teaching and learning?

    We believe:

    • Education is a shared responsibility requiring the partnership of staff, students, parents and community
    • Teaching and learning involve educating the whole student: academically, socially, emotionally and physically
    • There's a body of knowledge and skills that our students should and can master
    • Creativity should be encouraged and nurtured throughout the curriculum
    • Environmental awareness is an essential component of student learning
    • Students need to master essential skills to succeed in our global community
    • Everyone benefits from high attainable expectations, varied opportunities and encouragement to grow and excel
    • Students should have opportunities to pursue their individual goals and aspirations
    • Challenge, exploration, risk-taking, initiative, hard work, success and failure, and joy and enthusiasm are all part of the learning experience
    • Adults and students must take responsibility for themselves and be respectful of self and others
    • Flexibility and choice enhance learning, as do structure, stability and self-discipline
    • Change provides opportunities for growth
    • Both the quality of the experience and the outcome have value
    • Everyone benefits from validation and acknowledgment for meaningful accomplishments
    • Successful relationships require honesty, mutual respect and open communication
    • Caring for students, enthusiasm, energy and competence are important qualities for all staff
    • As professionals, all staff members should be treated with respect
    • Teamwork as well as individual initiative and accomplishments are essential to learning and teaching
    • Acquisition of technological skills is essential to success
    • Effective administration supports staff and enhances student learning

    District Long Term Goals

    Long Term Goal - a statement of broad direction or intent that, if accomplished, will help the district move closer to fulfilling its mission. These goals provide the framework for the district's annual Objective setting process, with Objectives moving the district forward in its efforts to achieve the district's Mission and Long Term Goals. District Objectives will be listed under the Long Term Goal headings.

    1. Instruction: To provide a program which prepares students for graduation and provides opportunities for student growth, development and post-secondary options.
    2. Students: To provide an environment which supports academic, social and emotional growth and success and opportunities for student choice.
    3. Governance: to provide the vision, leadership, direction, management and support needed to achieve the district's Mission.
    4. Staff: to provide and support a talented, motivated and creative staff who will promote the highest standards of educational excellence.
    5. Facilities: to provide safe, functional and aesthetically pleasing facilities which meet the needs of the district's instructional program.

    II. Student Learning Outcomes:

    1. Communicate articulately, effectively, and persuasively when speaking and writing.
    2. Read and analyze material in a variety of disciplines.
    3. Use technology as a tool to access information, analyze and solve problems, and communicate ideas.
    4. Demonstrate knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of the individual in a democratic society.
    5. Apply mathematical knowledge and skills to analyze and solve problems.
    6. Demonstrate scientific literacy.
    7. Demonstrate knowledge of the global environment and its resources.
    8. Communicate in a second language.
    9. Apply the principles of economics.
    10. Analyze and propose solutions to contemporary issues using a variety of perspectives.
    11. Interpret, experience, create, and/or perform artistic work.
    12. Demonstrate school-to-work/post-secondary transition skills and knowledge.
    13. Participate in community, social, civic, or cultural service.
    14. Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and self-discipline necessary to achieve and maintain physical and emotional well being.

    III. UC Entrance Requirements (a-g categories)
    a- History
    b- English
    c- Mathematics
    d- Laboratory Science
    e- Foreign Language
    f- Fine Arts
    g- Elective

    version: October 3, 1994 Larkspur, California
    revised: August 8, 2002
    revised: November 11, 2003
    revised: August 26, 2008