- Orange County School District
Curriculum Mapping Helps Every Teacher and Student
Over 100 Orange County Schools teachers, support staff, and district leaders K-12 came together in June 2022 to revise and enhance curriculum maps to ensure the knowledge, skills and dispositions students acquire each day are standards-aligned. The work began with three days of professional development with inspiring remarks from North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Eugenia Floyd!
“Understanding by Design” is a research-based planning process that roots this work in the belief that OCS will create a culturally-responsive learning environment. Curriculum maps were completed for the first units of instruction, OCS provided all teachers time to dig deeper into the maps during pre-service teacher workdays in August.
Dr. Chris Gammon, Executive Director of Curriculum said, "We are investing in our teachers and support staff through the curriculum-mapping process and building collective teacher efficacy, because we believe the answer to improving learning outcomes for all students in OCS rests in the hearts and minds of our educators and students working as a collective."
A cross representation of teachers and support staff offered their feedback on why curriculum mapping is important, and how it supports the instructional process for every teacher and student.
Thank you to all our educators who collaborated on this important work, and to those who shared some thoughts for the community!
Stacy Long - Literacy Coach - Orange Middle School
Curriculum mapping is all about student growth and engagement. Everything we do revolves around creating more access and opportunities for students. The district gifted us with dedicated time to immerse ourselves in thoughts of what our students need, and to design learning opportunities with "the art of teaching" as a backdrop to student success.
It was wonderful to calibrate with other teachers and learn through their points of view. Only good comes from hearing various sides and angles for helping students learn new skills.
The time we spend together as partners is crucial to design curriculum and learning opportunities that challenge our students to be critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and creators.
It was wonderful to be able to design learning to promote skills that students can take with them to be successful and prepared for anything that comes next.
It feels like this is a foundational building block that will push Orange County educators to greater heights through collaborative discussions and analysis of how well our plans may work in the classroom. Moving forward, we are on track to be of one mind and one voice about our instructional goals. It may take us some time to get there, but we have started the work.
Jessica Norris - Math Coach - Grady A. Brown Elementary
I felt that the curriculum work offered important reminders about equity in mathematics instruction. Seeing math through an equity lens can help to make it more accessible to all our students in OCS.
Claire Capps - Math 8 and Math 1 (HS) - AL Stanback Middle School
Curriculum mapping work is critical for both teachers and students. Not only does it give teachers a map, but the teachers who work on the maps learn their standards better and have meaningful conversations with colleagues about the standards and how to best teach them. Students benefit from the curriculum maps because they get the best lessons and resources compiled from strong teachers in their district. I have been privileged to work on curriculum maps for many years, and I am always grateful for the experience.
Audrey Vinson - English Language Development Specialist - New Hope Elementary
As an English Language Development specialist, the opportunity to provide resources for differentiation and language support within the curriculum maps over the summer was critical, as it is providing an opportunity for all classes to start the school year off prepared to support all of our students' needs.