Curriculum

Gateway Regional School District Curriculum Vision

Every student has access to a safe and supportive school environment that cultivates academic curiosity, personal responsibility and confidence. Students have equitable access to an excellent education provided by highly qualified teaching staff. Students read meaningful texts across content areas, work on complex real-world problems, actively participate in the arts, and share their ideas through speaking and writing using evidence, all in an effort to understand the world and their personal identities.

Gateway Regional School District bases all curriculum on the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.  These frameworks provide teachers, students and families with clear and shared expectations for what all students should know and be able to do at the end of each year. They represent a promise of equitable, rigorous education for all students. They formalize the expectation that all students have access to the same academic content, regardless of their background or abilities.  Families can access the frameworks, as well as family-friendly grade level guides on the Massachusetts Department of Education’s website.

To support standards-based learning, we believe that every student should engage:

  • with grade-appropriate text every day

  • with meaningful real-world problems every day

  • in scientific conversations using data every week

… in a school environment that supports social-emotional learning, health, and safety

 

* Much of the language from this vision comes from the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Academic Vision, retrieved on December 19, 2019.


Coordination of Curriculum, Planning and Assessment

The state, district and school, classroom, and home all play important roles in supporting young people during their school years.  A series of pyramids summarize state, district and school, classroom, and home responsibilities for curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Gateway.   Curriculum-related responsibilities are:

 

STATE

  1. Develop curriculum frameworks that define standards in which each student is expected to be proficient.

  2. Establish graduation requirements

  3. Provide funding to local districts

 

DISTRICT AND SCHOOL

  1. Develop a high-quality curriculum that establishes specific, challenging achievement goals.

  2. Align the district curricula with state standards

  3. Define the written, taught, and tested curriculum for each subject

  4. Provide staff development programs

  5. Monitor the implementation of the curriculum

 

CLASSROOM

  1. Develop long-term planning calendars to implement the curriculum.

  2. Implement the curriculum, helping all students achieve mastery

  3. Develop units of study and lesson plans

  4. Individualize the curriculum

  5. Modify the curriculum implementation based on assessment of student learning.

 

HOME

  1. Use resources such as Program of Studies, teacher websites, and curriculum documents to be informed about expectations for proficiency of students.

  2. Send students to school ready to learn

  3. Communicate high expectations

  4. Ensure students complete homework.

  5. Gauge student progress through report cards, parent-teacher conferences, or other means

 


Curriculum Review Process

Gateway Regional School District’s curriculum review process provides a logical sequence of activities for revising and updating curricula while assuring a consistent, scheduled examination of all areas.  Curriculum review allows for controlled budgeting, limiting large adoptions to different years and thoughtfully facilitating a PK-12 perspective.Gateway Regional School District’s curriculum review process allows professional development to interface with the implementation of new curricula to support both staff and students.  The curriculum review process in on a seven year cycle outlined below.

Year 1: Year of awareness/ research focuses on diving deeper into the MA adopted curriculum, researching best practices, review of existing programs, and examination of new materials.

Year 2: Year of Development looks specifically at developing existing curricular units and piloting new resources/programs/materials.  This is the trial stage where feedback is crucial to success.

Year 3: Year of Implementation/ revision:  This step focuses on formally integrating the selected program into the targeted grades/areas.

Years 4-7: Years of Implementation where the program/curriculum continues to be fully implemented with continued focus on student performances, best practices, state standards and common assessments.

Gateway Regional School District’s Curriculum Review Cycle summarizes the schedule and processes for ensuring that district curriculum stays current.  We are in the process of creating new curriculum documents connected to the new Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Our goal is to align with the state’s curriculum revision process in order to maintain a predictable cycle for all stakeholders.

The Common Core State Standards were published in June 2010 and Commissioner Chester outlined DESE's process for incorporating the national standards and Massachusetts frameworks. Gateway Regional revived its plan to establish a curriculum review cycle that paralleled the state’s schedule/process for releasing revised frameworks.  

In April of 2016, The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework to align with the Next Generation Science Standards at the national level.  This revision continued Massachusetts’ trend of aligning more closely with national standards while maintaining the high levels of academic rigor that are consistently expected in the commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education continued to revise curriculum frameworks in 2017, specifically revising Mathematics and English Language Arts standards.  In this revision, Massachusetts DESE created a more interactive document for educators including exemplars.  Educators from Gateway Regional School District attended professional development sessions offered by DESE to prepare for necessary curriculum revision.

In 2018, the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Frameworks were revised.  This revision included a shift in focus to civics and a reordering of when certain aspects of history are taught.  Implementation of the civics curriculum is expected during the 2019-20 school year, and is part of the curriculum work currently occurring at Gateway Regional School District.

 

Curriculum Documents