The Haddonfield board of education has heard from district content area supervisors Katy Roussos and Matt DiDonato about the work they did over the summer to revise curriculum maps and move them from the OnCourse program to Google Drives.
“Our goal was to create maps that would be comprehensive, controlled by Haddonfield, and owned by Haddonfield, so we created maps that are in a shared Google Drive that will then be accessible for all teachers and the individual documents will in fact be able to be shared via the website directly from those documents,” Roussos explained at the board’s Sept. 28 meeting.
The curriculum maps incorporate all state department of education requirements and meet New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) standards. DiDonato and Roussos have also worked with teachers to ensure that the new maps are user and teacher friendly.
“When a new teacher comes to the district, or teaches a new course, they can look at a course and actually know what it is they’re going to be teaching,” Roussos pointed out. “And if a parent looks at a curriculum map, they’re going to know exactly what their child is going to be learning in that course.”
While there were a number of differences between the old and new methods, one that received honorable mentions by the board was the way the new maps connect and explain how the course material meets legislative requirements. For instance, while the old map had the standards required by the law, the new and revised maps take that a step farther and explain in detail how the content is chosen.
“It specifies exactly what materials are being used and how they relate to the legislative mandate,” Roussos said.
Board Vice President Linda Hochgertl praised her and DiDonato for their work.
“This is more than just checking the box,” she observed. “It’s obvious you guys dove deep into this much more thoughtful approach on how to integrate required, important content into the curriculum in a meaningful way.”
DiDonato explained next steps for the maps include submitting them for review and revising them to include revisions made by grade level/content teams. He and Roussos will also share the maps with the board and later submit them for board approval and upload to the district website.
In the 2024-’25 school year, the two content area supervisors will revise the maps to incorporate new standards for English, language arts and math curriculums and will continue to translate maps from OnCourse to the new template.
“Matt and Katy started July 1 … and the question was, ‘Where do we begin? What is the priority?'” said Assistant Superintendent Gino Priolo. “And you know you have exceptional people doing work when you’re able to set a priority and the work that gets done far exceeds what you anticipated.
“At the end of the day, we want to make sure the curriculum that is forward facing and public is reflective of what’s happening in our classrooms, it’s easily understood and it’s not a document that just sits to check off a box of compliance or pipeline.”
In other news, the board also recognized Henry Cowan for receiving the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship earlier this summer, when he stayed with a host family for seven weeks in Kyrgyzstan to learn Russian.
There will be a Meet the Candidates event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at Kings Road Brewery Company for the upcoming board of education election.
The next board of ed meeting is Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m.