BHS English Department Curriculum Update Overview
Over the past three months, members of the English Department have worked to update the curriculum maps for our core classes to integrate BHS’s 21st Century Learning Expectations, Core Values, and Schoolwide Essential Questions. While that integration was our primary objective, we also emphasized the need to clarify what skills we are teaching and how each skill fits into the four year continuum. Students will have a more consistent experience in their classes, no matter the instructor, while also benefitting from our department members’ creativity and individual instruction strategies.
As our student population and the world around us changes, so do our students’ needs. In revising our curricula we began to add content that better reflects the diversity and cultural differences in our school, and strives to ensure that BHS students can see themselves reflected in the literature we read and the concepts we discuss. This summer’s curricular update is just a start in this very important process; we will continue to add relevant and rigorous content to help our students explore the world in which they exist.
Our core class curriculum maps are divided into two sections: skills and content. Because teachers will choose different texts to use as vehicles for skills-development, timelines for texts are not mandated. In reading our curriculum maps, please note that the literary units are outlined after the skills-based units.
Departmental Curriculum Review Process
During the 2018-2019 school year, the English Department will be piloting our most recent curricular updates and developing skills-based instruction driven by cognitive objectives. Teachers will spend time during common planning sessions to collaborate on common assessments designed to evaluate student mastery of essential skills. At monthly meetings, we will review student work to identify the strengths and needs of our curricula and make revisions as necessary. Discussing the implementation of our new curriculum maps, centering on helping each other navigate successes and challenges, will be a substantial focus for our learning community this year. Because teacher growth leads to student growth, providing time and opportunity for teachers to learn from one another and work together is a priority in this process.