The Curriculum and Instruction Advisory Committee advises the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction on issues relevant to educators. The committee has met 4 times since February and has its last meeting for this school year scheduled for June 6. To date, we have discussed curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional learning, and contributed to the development of a vision statement for the Office of Curriculum and Instruction. We have discussed issues of communication and processes/outcomes of curriculum development and professional learning. The issues are complex, the work is slow, but the long range goal is to ensure that structures are aligned with the vision of the office.
The committee members are meant to represent voices of the constituencies they represent, not just their own voices. Towards that end, you should [may?] be hearing from them as they gather information about existing processes and structures, and recommendations for change. You can also reach out to them if you would like to learn more and share your perspective. The members are listed below.
In addition, the Instructional Council (all department coordinators) has been working on clarifying the purposes of assessments to help make clear decisions about which assessments are being used for which purposes. This assessment work is looking at assessments within each content area as well as the developing a common vision across all areas.
Conversations about professional learning and how to align the needs of individual teachers, grade levels, departments, and schools have been very informative for the planning of professional development for next year. The Office of Curriculum & Instruction is working with the Office of Student Services and with building principals to find ways to bring educators together to support their expressed desire for collaborative learning across schools and between general and special education.
The plan is to have a vision statement that aligns with the district planning process that the Superintendent is leading, as well as a . The work will continue into next year as we align our processes and structures to the vision.
History and Composition:
This advisory group is part of Dr. Adams’ entry plan and is the outcome of work CEA members have done over the last two years to address concerns about assessment and curriculum design and implementation.
A couple of years ago, a group of Cambridge teachers formed a group called Less Testing, More Learning. LTML presented a petition with over 200 signatures to the School Committee calling for a review of the many district-mandated assessments. With the support of the Curriculum and Assessment School Committee Subcommittee (members Fred Fantini and Kathleen Kelly) and CPS administrators Maryann MacDonald and Lori Likis, LTML, supported by the CEA, organized two educator forums and conducted a district-wide survey gather feedback on the use of assessments in CPSD.
This year, the CEA created its own committee to continue this work with many of the same members as the LTML Steering Committee. They met twice with Fred Fantini, Kathleen Kelly, Marianne MacDonald and Dr. Adams to review the outcomes of the forums and survey and recommend short term and long term actions. There was a reduction in some district mandated assessments in the short term, and an agreement to create a longer term advisory group. An advisory group was also proposed by the Unit A/B bargaining team and is included in the tentative agreement that was just ratified by CEA members.
In late February, a call to join this committee was sent to all members and applications were submitted. The composition of the team was decided by Dr. Adams and Dan Monahan, CEA President (in alignment with the guidelines included in the tentative agreement.)
The Committee Members are:
Christina Astrove, 1/2 teacher, Graham and Parks
Katie Bruno 3/4 teacher, Cambridgeport
Anthea Lavergne, Special Educator, Graham and Parks
Aimee Kerr, Visual Arts Teacher, Morse
Amy Gonzalez 7th grade ELA teacher, Rindge Ave Upper School
Ashley Endicott, Special Educator, Cambridge Street Upper School
Dacey Sartor, ??? SLA Teacher, Amigos School
Biz LaRose, ELL Teacher, Vassal Lane Upper School
Liz Scott, Biology Teacher, CRLS
Rachel Parrish, Special Educator, HSEP and CRLS
(No applications from: Special Subjects at the High School Level)
Matt Dunkel, Math Instructional Coach, Vassal Lane Upper School