Stage #1: Reflection and Planning
A subject area committee of teachers, parents, and administrators from throughout the district with representation from each school and grade level, is selected via an application process. Organization of the committee and committee meetings are coordinated and facilitated by a District Office curriculum representative. The committee reflects on the current curriculum maps in order to recognize gaps and redundancies across grade levels. The needs of our district curriculum are identified and addressed through this process. Current textbook materials are requested from various publishers that meet the board criteria (e.g. research based, aligned with state standards). The committee develops a plan that includes a timeline, textbook criteria, and identification of accountability measures.
Stage #2: Review Materials and Make Recommendations
Materials from each publisher are reviewed using the textbook criteria developed from the state standards and other measures established by the Board of Education and the committee. The textbooks that meet these criteria are then examined more thoroughly utilizing the Illinois State Standards and Assessment Frameworks. This ensures that the text aligns with the state standards and that the standards are thoroughly addressed. These findings are then recorded and analyzed by the committee. The Curriculum Office researches the effectiveness of the options in districts similar to ours, and the cost to fully implement the change including textbooks, teacher resources, assessments, technology and professional development. Based on this research and its findings, the committee makes a recommendation for adoption. The Curriculum Coordinating Council member, whom is also a member of the subject area committee, makes a formal presentation to the Board of Education with other volunteers from the committee. Upon Board approval, materials are purchased. If the proposal is not approved, the district moves to Stage #4 to continue to monitor and reflect.
Stage #3: Staff Development and Implementation
Once the Board of Education has approved the recommendation from the committee, the staff is trained to implement the new textbook series and any other changes to the curriculum. During Stage #3, the curriculum maps for the subject area are updated through a process of vertical and horizontal articulation with teachers. The updates are entered into the curriculum maps by the curriculum mapping core team.
Stage #4: Monitor and Reflect
The textbook adoption is continuously monitored and reflected upon. Vertical articulation from grade level to grade level and horizontal articulation across a single grade level continues in order to update the skills that are introduced, practiced, and mastered at each grade level. Articulation and standardized test scores are analyzed in order to identify gaps. If gaps are identified, supplemental materials are examined. Professional development is continuously provided to the staff to ensure best practices in education are followed. A curriculum update is presented to the Board each October.
Stage #5: Collect Data and/or Feedback
Stage #5 identifies whether or not there is a need to adopt new textbooks in a curricular area. The Curriculum Office administers a survey to teachers in order to identify strengths and concerns regarding the existing textbook series. In areas where standardized tests are administered, the question is asked: “Have our students’ scores changed over time?” Rather than simply relying on time elapsed since the existing textbook was adopted, these steps identify whether or not there is a need to adopt and purchase new textbooks. If there is a need then the cycle begins again with Stage #1. If there is not a need at this time the district returns to Stage #4 and continues to monitor and reflect. The decision of whether or not to begin the cycle is presented to the Board.