A Message from Dr. Navarro: Provide Input on New K–8 Curriculum
Be sure to read the following message from Chief Academic Officer Maria Navarro. It was emailed to staff on Friday, May 11.
Dear Fellow Educators,
Thank you for the great work you are doing every day on behalf of our students. As Dr. Smith mentioned in his video about the new curriculum, in the coming weeks, I will be sending you a series of emails to provide updates and opportunities for you to provide input on our new K–8 Mathematics and English Language Arts Curriculum selection and implementation.
How did we get here?
In August of 2017, we commissioned Johns Hopkins University to perform an in-depth review of Curriculum 2.0 for K–8 Mathematics and English Language Arts. The review spanned the written, taught and learned curriculum, and included a teacher survey, classroom observations, focus groups with school staff, and student work samples. Based on the findings presented at the Board of Education meeting on March 22, 2018, MCPS decided to adopt a new curriculum.
Where are we now?
In April of this year, we issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Curricular and Instructional Materials. All responses to the RFP are due today and we have identified a group of approximately 60 staff members to participate in every aspect of the proposal review and curriculum selection process. The Evaluation Core Team includes classroom teachers, paraeducators, school based administrators and central services staff who will be responsible for:
- Reading and evaluating written proposals,
- Reviewing technical requirements,
- Evaluating vendor finalists’ demonstrations, and
- Recommending curriculum vendors to MCPS leadership for a final selection.
This team will begin evaluating the proposals next week and will make vendor finalist recommendations the following week. Soon thereafter, the finalist will present to a broad audience of more than 200 teachers, principals, paraeducators, parents, students, central services staff and community partners.
In early June, the Evaluation Core Team and MCPS leadership team will review the feedback from the proposal reviews, vendor presentations and the public survey. I urge you to participate and complete the public survey before the May 18 deadline. The group will make the final curricular and instructional materials recommendations to Dr. Smith and me. We will then present them to the Board of Education in June 2018.
In addition to the RFP process, we are identifying schools that will begin rolling out the curriculum next year. As you may know, schools have participated in a voluntary process to form the initial cohort. We received 47 elementary schools for math, 43 elementary schools for ELA and 24 middle schools for math and ELA. We are currently working in collaboration with members of the employee associations (MCEA, SEIU, MCAAP/MCBOA) to select schools to participate in the Year 1 cohort. On May 18, 2018, we will announce the schools identified to implement the new curriculum in the 2018-2019 school year. All school-based staff will receive the curriculum materials next year regardless of their school implementation timeline. This will allow staff members to become familiar with the materials. It is also important to note that although there might be changes in which assessments we administer, there will not be an increase in the number of required district assessments.
Where are we going?
Schools will be implementing the new K–8 curriculum over the next three years; however, every school will receive the instructional materials next year. This will allow each of you to become familiar with and provide feedback on the materials as well as make recommendations for professional learning. It is our goal to build your capacity based on your needs.
Over the next few weeks, I will be providing more details on the curriculum rollout and professional development. I encourage you to visit the Curriculum Review webpage on a regular basis for information and updates.
Again, thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students and I look forward to our continued collaboration.
Maria V. Navarro, Ed.D.
Chief Academic Officer
Montgomery County Public Schools