Curriculum

  • Thank you for visiting the Chester School District Curriculum Page.  All of our administrators and teachers have been very busy over the last few months updating our many district curricula according to the new State of New Jersey’s 2009 Core Curriculum Standards in Visual and Performing Arts, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Technology and 21st Century Life and Careers and the 2010 Common Core Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects and Mathematics.

     

    The following thorough, clear and concise description of the state standards can be found on the State of New Jersey’s Department of Education page on World Class Standards at https://www13.state.nj.us/NJCCCS/Worldclassstandards.aspx.

     

    New Jersey’s 2009 Core Curriculum Content Standards address two critical educational priorities.  The revised standards align with the knowledge and skills needed by all students for post-secondary opportunities, which may encompass: four-year college, community college, technical training, military service, direct entry into the workplace, and an array of future careers – including some that are just being envisioned and others that are currently unforeseen.  In addition, the standards by necessity reflect a framework for teaching and learning that responds to the needs of 21st century digital learners by incorporating the ‘new literacies’ required in an innovation economy:  the ability to effectively access, evaluate and synthesize vast amounts of information; to apply knowledge and skills to personal, workplace, and global challenges; to work collaboratively in cross-cultural settings; to solve problems creatively; and to act ethically as citizens of the world community.

     

    These 21st century student outcomes require a deeper understanding of academic content at much higher levels than ever before.  The revised standards facilitate this in-depth learning in all content areas through that systematic and transparent integration of 21st century knowledge, skills, and themes; global perspectives; cross content connections; and technology.  Consequently, successful implementation of the revised standards requires rethinking of traditional curricular and assessment approaches, as well as the creation of 21st century learning environments in which teachers and students work across and beyond traditional disciplines and boundaries as engaged co-learners, critical and creative thinkers, and problem solvers (NJDOE, 2011.)

     

    The Common Core Standards reflect a more recent adoption by the State of New Jersey in accordance with forty-six states across the country.  These standards are an outgrowth of the many states that have been working for decades to produce strong and measurable standards to educate the students in a variety of areas.  Focusing on English Language Arts and Mathematics as most applicable to all learners, these Standards were adopted by New Jersey State Board of Education in June of 2010. 

     

    The following is a thorough, clear and concise description of the process the Common Core State Standards Initiative Consortium undertook in researching, writing, and adopting these standards.  Much more detailed information can be found on the web site of the Common Core State Standards Initiative – Preparing America’s Students for College and Career at http://www.corestandards.org/in-the-states. 

     

    The present work, led by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA), builds on the foundation laid by states in their decades-long work on crafting high-quality education standards.  The Standards also draw on the most important international models as well as research and input from numerous sources, including state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, professional organizations, educators from kindergarten through college, and parents, students, and other members of the public.  In their design and content, refined through successive drafts and numerous rounds of feedback, the Standards represent a synthesis of the best elements of standards-related work to date and an important advance over previous work.

     

    As specified by CCSSA and NGA, the Standards are (1) research and evidence based, (2) aligned with college and work expectations, (3) rigorous, and (4) internationally benchmarked.  A particular standard was included in the document only when the best available evidence indicated that its mastery was essential for college and career readiness in a twenty-first century, globally competitive society.  The Standards are intended to be a living work: as new and better evidence emerges, the Standards will be revised accordingly (CCSSI, 2011.)

     

    The administrators and teachers of the Chester School District are committed to writing, researching, and producing curricula in all subject areas that are aligned with both the 2009 State of New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards and the Common Core State Standards.  Curriculum is designed to be a living document – added to, edited, and enhanced at any time.  Standing committees of teachers and administrators meet on a routine basis to monitor the effectiveness of our curriculum.  The process used by the educators of the Chester School District is rigorous and reflective in examining all facets of the foundational documents, upon which our curricula is based, to ensure for this alignment.  New curriculum documents are written around any disconnect found between the two. 

     

    In all curriculum writing, particular emphasis is given to employing the most current, research based instructional and assessment strategies available at the time.  These strategies are continually updated and refined as new knowledge and pedagogy becomes widely accepted and proven successful in the field of education.

    For a more thorough description of the process and procedures for writing curriculum in the Chester School District, please see the Power Point Chester School District Curriculum and Program Plan found on the tool bar to the left.  The Process of Curriculum Planning, Renewal, and Evaluation is as follows:

     

    The Process of Curriculum Renewal and Evaluation is a five step process that encompasses best practices in educational research, state or federal directives and standards, a review of current and available materials, and consideration of a fiscally responsible allocation of district resources.

     

    Year 1:  Program Review, Research, and Assessment

    Year 2:  Curriculum Revisions and Writing

    Year 3:  Full Implementation of Curricula

    Year 4:  Monitor

    Year 5:  Evaluation

     

    The current timeline for Curriculum Review and Implementation is in keeping with the State of New Jersey’s Department of Education as follows:

     

    SEPTEMBER 2011:  Math K – 2, Science

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

    SEPTEMBER 2012: English Language Arts, Math 3 - 5, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Technology, 21st Century Life and Careers, and World Languages

     

    SEPTEMBER 2013:  Math 6 – 8

     

    Please check our Department of Curriculum and Instruction Page on a periodic basis.  Information will be updated routinely and new curriculum documents will be added as written and approved.  For any questions, please contact Dr. Christina Van Woert, Superintendent of Schools/Director of Curriculum at (908)879-7373 or christina.vanwoert@chester-nj.org. 

     

    Thank you for your continued interest in the Chester School District.