The Woodland Hills School District is committed to ensuring that every student experiences a rigorous a relevant curriculum. As part of this mission, in March of 2018, the Curriculum Department formalized an additional budgeted materials review cycle devoted specifically to issues of cultural relevancy.
Though the Curriculum Department continually reviews materials, review cycles ensure both a clear and specific focus, as well as the budgetary resources neccessary to accomplish the task. At the conclusion of review cycles, materials are placed in front of th epublic for final comment and adopted by the School Board of Directors.
The focus of the 2018-2019 Curriculum Review for Cultural Relevancy is Social Studies/ History in Kindergarten through Fifth grades.
Below, you will find the Curriculum Department's Procedures for Culturally Relevancy Review Cycles.
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Culturally Relevant Curriculum Guide
- The Woodland Hills SD Curriculum Department defines culturally relevant curriculum as modern sequence and materials that reflect the District’s student body and community in the following ways:
- Representation of the student body/ community in both content and authorship in areas such as gender, race, ethnicity, etc. Examples of representation include: graphical depictions of students, professionals, and historical figures where appropriate; fiction and non-fiction narratives (in both authorship and content); narratives history and historical figures; and membership in professional fields.
Some clarifying illustrative examples include: classroom posters, depictions of students and professionals utilized as illustrations in all curriculum, fiction and non-fiction narratives read in ELA; historical events and historical figures within the civics/ social studies curriculum.
Goals and Considerations: proportionality will be a consideration in balancing the curriculum, with the understanding the curriculum should support a multi-cultural point of view, even if those cultures are not reflected in the student body. Materials selected should be of the highest quality, meet the requirements of the PA State Core Standards and the specific needs of each student for core instruction, enrichment, and remediation. Representation should occur throughout the year and not be segmented in particular units.
- Authenticity. Course content and skills should be presented in a manner that suggests authentic connections to the world and relevant applications. This includes strategies such as using mathematics in practical scenarios ( budgeting, measuring, engineering, etc); writing for a purpose; relating narratives of history to current events in the community, nation, and world; relating fiction narratives to personal experience and other texts, and the composition of personal essays.
Goals and Considerations: Authentic connections should be part of every unit of study.
- Choice and Exploration. Student interest and self-selected materials will be employed whenever appropriate. This would include student selection of projects for assessments, student designed assessments, choice of texts when appropriate, and independent explorations related to topics such as careers.
Goals and Considerations: Student selection of materials must occur in a manner consistent with the academic program (i.e. grade/age/skill level appropriate) and when there is leeway in the requirements of the curriculum to self-select.
- The Woodland Hills School District Curriculum Department will review materials to ensure cultural relevancy.
- During annual curriculum renewal cycle. When new curriculum or programs are purchased are content specific rubric will be generated which reflects Cultural Relevancy as defined in this document. The rubric will be presented and discussed in Curriculum Committee prior to formal review of materials by the Ad Hoc committee (informal review of materials by the curriculum director, instructional coaches, and other stakeholders may occur before).
- During audit of existing programs. At least one yearly audit of an existing program/ grade span (i.e. K-3 ELA) for the purposes of ensuring cultural relevancy with be part of the curriculum renewal cycle. This will be conducted in a similar fashion to normal curriculum review, with a small Ad Hoc committee which may include academic coaches, admin and teachers, and supported by a separate budget line for the purpose of purchase of additional/supplemental materials for the course(s). The topic of the annual audit will be discussed no later than the November Curriculum Committee Meeting, with the results presented no later than the April Curriculum Committee Meeting annually.
- As needed. When through informal reporting or review of specific courses, an immediate need or deficiency is identified that can be remediated without formal curriculum adoption or full course audit (i.e. small materials purchase), supplemental materials will be purchased to address the need.
- The Woodland Hills School District Curriculum Department will provide Professional Development in Authenticity and Choice/ Exploration.
- At least once annually, Instructional Coaches or the Director of Curriculum will provide at least one building level session on each of the topics during weekly meetings.
- At least one session for each concept will be presented annually at the district-wide EdCamp professional development
- These concepts will be explicitly covered in any Professional Development related to new materials.
- Additional PD will be administered “as-needed” based on reports or formal/informal review of teacher practice.