Mr. Darren Schwartz, Interim Deputy Superintendent
The Waterbury Public Schools is focused on continuous improvement of teaching and learning to meet the district’s mission and goals and the needs of teachers and students. A critical component of a continuous improvement model is a comprehensive, standards-based curriculum. A Curriculum Management Plan supports the organization in developing a coordinated and focused program for student learning. The plan also serves to focus instruction and facilitate the curriculum's design, delivery, and assessment.
The mission of the Waterbury Public Schools Academic Office is to lead curricular coherence and advance instructional efficacy. We hold collective accountability to continuously improve our professional practice and the effectiveness of our colleagues within the system. The Academic Office creates this learning environment for adult and student learners to answer the essential questions of the Portrait of a Graduate:
- What do I need to know and have the ability to do to lead a productive and satisfying life?
- What qualities of mind and character empower me to pursue a productive and satisfying life?
Philosophy of Curriculum and Instruction
A guaranteed and viable curriculum ensures equal opportunity for learning for all students. The written curriculum, the taught or implemented curriculum, and assessments must be aligned. The curriculum is viable when adequate time is given to teach all essential content. Essential content is the knowledge and skills that students need to know, understand, and be able to do to succeed in school and beyond. Content is determined by state and local grade-level content standards based upon the Connecticut Core State Standards, Connecticut Frameworks, and National Standards.
The goal of the Curriculum Management Cycle is to create rigorous, viable curriculum maps that provide opportunities for all students to engage in cognitively complex tasks. This process includes identifying and sequencing critical content and skills, big ideas or enduring understandings, essential questions, and learning experiences aligned to performance-based assessments. The delivery of the curriculum is critical to its effectiveness. Therefore, appropriate instructional materials, professional learning and support systems, and a robust monitoring plan with a well-established feedback loop must be in place for teachers to implement the adopted curriculum.
The Waterbury Public Schools written curriculum is designed to achieve ambitious, rigorous outcomes. It is deliberately designed to remain flexible, adaptable to the community's diversity, and continuously changing to meet all students' learning needs. The curricula will keep students at the center of its design by identifying vertically and horizontally aligned big ideas, essential questions, concepts, skills, and domain-specific vocabulary that all students need in order to become fully functioning, well-educated citizens. The curriculum provides administrators, teachers, students, parents, and the community with a clear understanding of what students should know and be able to do upon their graduation and at key stages at each grade level and in each content area. A curriculum is a “living” document that is renewed yearly based on teacher and administrator feedback to support the needs of the students.