September 1, 2010
The Regional Office of Curriculum and Instruction was established in July 2000 to promote and support articulation among the quad-districts (Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Northern Highlands, and Upper Saddle River). These four districts equally fund my position as K-12 Regional Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, thereby creating a fiscally prudent shared service. I report to the Superintendents of the quad-districts, and I maintain an office at Northern Highlands. I am responsible, in part, for producing curricula in which the content and student knowledge/skills are aligned in all three sending districts.
The quad-districts use the Atlas curriculum mapping software, obtained in July 2007, to map the curricula from September to June. At this time, teams of teachers have developed regional K-8 curriculum maps for Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Language Arts, Math, and Physical Education. The maps are web-based and are therefore paperless, which fits our commitment to being good global citizens. You can access the maps through the link to my webpage on your district's website or through this address - http://northernhighlands-public.rubiconatlas.org/c/pi/v.php/Atlas/Public/View/Default. Click on the Browse button on the top left of the screen, and then set the filters on the left hand side for the curricula you wish to review. This school year, we are working on regional curriculum maps for Music, Art, Technology, and Health. I will post them on the webpage once Board approval has been obtained in June 2011.
Curricula are developed at regional curriculum articulation meetings by regional grade level representatives and at meetings in each district. Special attention is paid to key transition points between schools, especially the middle schools and the high school. It is important to note the curriculum maps are “living documents” that are open to modifications, as seen fit.
There are many benefits to this type of collaboration, yet increased student achievement is probably the most important to note. By collaborating with one another and researching model programs, we are able to produce progressive curricula that reflect national best practices. Moreover, the fact that 9th graders come to Northern Highlands with a common background eliminates the need for a review period at the beginning of that grade in order to even out differences in preparation. This mutual effort involves the cooperation of four Boards of Education, four Superintendents, seven principals, and more than 400 teachers. We are all working together to provide the best possible education for the children of Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, and Upper Saddle River.
Jill MortimerClick here to be connected to the Regional Curriculum Coordinator's web page and curriculum maps.