600 Series - Education Program

602.1 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

Curriculum development is an ongoing process in the school district and consists of both research and design.  Research is the studious inquiry and critical investigation of the various content areas for the purpose of revising and improving curriculum and instruction based on relevant information pertaining to the discipline.  This study is conducted both internally (what and how we are currently doing at the local level) and externally (what national standards, professional organizations, recognized experts, current research, etc. tell us relative to the content area).  Design is the deliberate process of planning and selecting the standards and instructional strategies that will improve the learning experiences for all students.
 
A systematic approach to curriculum development (careful research, design, and articulation of the curriculum) serves several purposes:

  • Focuses attention on the content standards of each discipline and ensure the identified learnings are rigorous, challenging, and represent the most important learning for our students.
  • Increases the probability that students will acquire the desired knowledge, skills and dispositions and that our schools will be successful in providing appropriate learning experiences.
  • Facilitates communication and coordination.
  • Improves classroom instruction.

 
The superintendent is responsible for curriculum development and for determining the most effective method of conducting research and design activities.  A curriculum review process will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed in researching, designing, and articulating each curriculum area.  This process will at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures for the following curriculum development activities to:
 

  • Study the latest thinking, trends research and expert advice regarding the content/discipline;
  • Study the current status of the content/discipline (what and how well students are currently learning);
  • Identify content standards, benchmarks, and grade level expectations for the content/discipline;
  • Describe the desired learning behaviors, teaching and learning environment related to the content/discipline;
  • Identify differences in the desired and present program and develop a plan for addressing the differences;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding the content area;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum development decisions;
  • Verify integration of local, state, and/or federal mandates (MCNS, school-to-work, etc);
  • Verify how the standards and benchmarks of the content/discipline support each of the broader student learning goals and provide a K-12 continuum that builds on the prior learning of each level.

 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of necessary curriculum revisions, progress or each content area related to curriculum development activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum development including recommendations to the board.
 
 
 
Date of Adoption:        8/23/11
 
Legal Reference:         
20 U.S.C. § 1232h (2006).
34 C.F.R. Pt. 98 (2006).
Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 256.7, 279.8; 280.3 (2009).
281 I.A.C. 12.5, .8.

602.2 CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION

Without careful and continuing attention to implementation, planned changes in curriculum and instruction rarely succeed as intended.  How change is put into practice, to a large extent, determines how well it fares.
 
Implementation refers to what actually happens in practice as compared to what was supposed to happen.  Curriculum implementation includes the provision of organized assistance to staff in order to ensure that the newly developed curriculum and the most powerful instructional strategies are actually delivered at the classroom level.  There are two components of any implementation effort that must be present to guarantee the planned changes in curriculum and instruction succeed as intended:
 

  • Understanding the conceptual framework of the content/discipline being implemented; and,
  • Organized assistance to understand the theory, observe exemplary demonstrations, have opportunities to practice, and receive coaching and feedback focused on the most powerful instructional strategies to deliver the content at the classroom level.

 
The superintendent is responsible for curriculum implementation and for determining the most effective way of providing organized assistance and monitoring the level of implementation.  A curriculum framework will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed to assist all staff in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully implement the developed curriculum in each content area.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures for the following curriculum implementation activities to:
 

  • Study and identify the best instructional practices and materials to deliver the content;
  • Describe procedures for the purchase of instructional materials and resources (See Policy ____.  Boards should insert the policy number to cross reference their policy on Instructional Materials Selection);
  • Identify/develop exemplars that demonstrate the learning behaviors, teaching, and learning environment to deliver the content;
  • Study the current status of instruction in the content area  (how teachers are teaching);
  • Compare the desired and present delivery system, identify differences (gap analysis), and develop a plan for addressing the differences;
  • Organize staff into collaborative study teams to support their learning and implementation efforts (address the gaps);
  • Provide ongoing professional development related to instructional strategies and materials that focuses on theory, demonstration, practice and feedback;
  • Regularly monitor and assess the level of implementation;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding curriculum implementation;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum implementation decisions.

 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum implementation activities, progress of each content area related to curriculum implementation activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum implementation including recommendations to the board.
 
Date of Adoption:        8/28/11
 
Legal Reference:         
20 U.S.C. § 1232h (2006).
34 C.F.R. pt. 98 (2006).
Iowa Code §§ 216.9, 256.7, 279.8, 280.3 (2009).
281 I.A.C.  12.8.

602.3 CURRICULUM EVALUATION

Regular evaluation of the total curriculum is necessary to ensure that the written and delivered curriculum is having the desired effect for students.
 
Curriculum evaluation refers to an ongoing process of collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, and interpreting information to aid in understanding what students know and can do.  It refers to the full range of information gathered in the school district to evaluate (make judgments about) student learning and program effectiveness in each content area.
 
Curriculum evaluation must be based on information gathered from a comprehensive assessment system that is designed for accountability and committed to the concept that all students will achieve at high levels, is standards-based, and informs decisions which impact significant and sustainable improvements in teaching and student learning.
 
The superintendent is responsible for curriculum evaluation and for determining the most effective way of ensuring that assessment activities are integrated into instructional practices as part of school improvement with a particular focus on improving teaching and learning.  A curriculum framework will describe the procedures that will be followed to establish an evaluation process that can efficiently and effectively evaluate the total curriculum.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the procedures for the following curriculum evaluation activities:
 

  • Identify specific purposes for assessing student learning;
  • Develop a comprehensive assessment plan;
  • Select/develop assessment tools and scoring procedures that are valid and reliable;
  • Identify procedures for collecting assessment data;
  • Identify procedures for analyzing and interpreting information and drawing conclusions based on the data (including analysis of the performance of various sub-groups of students);
  • Identify procedures for establishing at least three levels of performance (specific to the content standard and the assessment tool when appropriate) to assist in determining whether students have achieved at a satisfactory level (at least two levels describe performance that is proficient or advanced and at least one level describes students who are not yet performing at the proficient level);
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information to determine long-range and annual improvement goals;
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information in making decisions focused on improving teaching and learning (data based decision making);
  • Provide support to staff in using data to make instructional decisions;
  • Define procedures for regular and clear communication about assessment results to the various internal and external publics (mandatory for communication about students receiving special education services);
  • Define data reporting procedures;
  • Verify that assessment tools are fair for all students and are consistent with all state and federal mandates;
  • Verify that assessment tools measure the curriculum that is written and delivered;
  • Identify procedures for deciding when multiple assessment measures are necessary for making good decisions and drawing appropriate conclusions about student learning;
  • Identify roles and responsibilities of key groups;
  • ​Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum evaluation;
  • Ensure participation of eligible students receiving special education services in district-wide assessments.

 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum evaluation activities, the progress of each content area related to curriculum evaluation activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum evaluation including recommendations to the board.
 
Date of Adoption:        8/23/11
 
 
Legal Reference:         
20 U.S.C. § 1232h (2006).
34 C.F.R. pt. 98 (2006).
Iowa Code §§ 216.9, 256.7, 279.8, 280.3 (2009).
281 I.A.C.  12.8.
 

603.3 SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

The Iowa City Community School District recognizes that some students have different educational needs than other students.  The district shall provide a free appropriate educational program and related services to students identified in need of special education.  The special education services will be provided from birth until the appropriate education is completed or age twenty-one, in accordance with Iowa Code 281.8.  The district shall provide an appropriate education for a student in need of special education.  Children requiring special education shall attend general education classes, participate in extracurricular activities, and receive services in a general education setting to the maximum extent possible.  The appropriate education for each student shall be written in the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).
 
Special education services are provided through the student needs driven model which is outlined in the Special Education Instructional Services Delivery Plan developed through the curriculum review process.  The model supports students in the least restrictive environment, increases expectations for students in special education programs through more involvement in the general education curriculum and district wide assessment and increases collaboration between general and special educators.
 
The general education curriculum is the foundation for students who require expanded curriculum because of identified learning needs.  The reference point will be the use of the district’s standards and benchmarks as performance goals and indicators.
 
Special education students shall be required to meet the requirements stated in Board Policy for graduation or in their IEP's.  Prior to the student's graduation the IEP team shall determine that the requirements have been met.
 
It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent and the area education agency Director of Special Education to provide or make provision for appropriate special education programs.  While the superintendent shall be custodian of school records, the building principal shall be responsible for maintaining the records of the children identified as in need of special education.  These records may be viewed by authorized school personnel and in accordance with the requirements of Board Policy.  Policies and procedures shall be filed at the area education agency.
 
 
 
 
Date of Adoption:  12/20/83          
                                        
Revised:                 
4/11/89                                                    
3/10/92                                                     
5/25/93                                                     
 5/23/95                                                     
8/28/01                                                     
12/10/02                                                    
3/11/08
8/23/11                                                    
 
Legal Reference:
Board of Education  v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982)
Springdale School District #50 v. Grace, 693 F. 2d 41 (8th Cr. 1982) 20 U.S.C. Chapter 33 (1992) 34 C.F.R. Pt. 300, Subpart C (1991). §§256.11(7); 273.l; 273.2; 273.5; 273.9(2); 273.9(3); 280.8; and Chapter 281 Iowa Code (1991)

603.4 MULTICULTURAL/GENDER FAIR EDUCATION

 
Students will have an equal opportunity for a quality education without discrimination, regardless of their race, religion, creed, socioeconomic status, color, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
 
The education program is free of discrimination and provides equal opportunity for the students.  The education program will foster knowledge of and respect and appreciation for the historical and contemporary contributions of diverse cultural groups, as well as men and women, to society.  Special emphasis is placed on Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and persons with disabilities.  It will also reflect the wide variety of roles open to both men and women and provide equal opportunity to both sexes.
 
 
 Date of Adoption:    10/10/89

Revised:                        
3/10/92
3/28/95
8/28/01
12/10/02
8/23/11
 
Legal Reference:         
Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 256.11 (2009).

281 I.A.C. 12.5(8).
 

605.1 INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS SELECTION

 
The Board recognizes that the selection of instructional materials is a vital component of the school district’s curriculum.
 
The board delegates its authority to determine which instructional materials will be utilized and purchased by the school district to the Superintendent and other licensed employees of the school system.
 
For the purpose of this rule the term “instructional materials” includes printed and multimedia materials (not equipment), whether considered text materials or library materials.
 
 Date of Adoption:    8/23/11

  
Legal Reference:         
Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (2009).
281 I.A.C. 12.3(12).
 

605.3 INSPECTION AND RECONSIDERATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

 
Parents and other members of the school district community may view the instructional materials used by the students.  All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes or other supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any federally funded programs must be available for inspection by parents. 
 
The instructional materials must be viewed on school district premises. 
 
Members of the school district community may object to the instructional materials utilized in the school district and ask for their use to be reconsidered.
 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to develop administrative regulations for the inspection and reconsideration of instructional materials.
 
Date of Adoption:        8/23/11
 
Reference:                  
Goals 2000:  Educate America Act, Pub. L. No. 103-227, 108 Stat. 125 (1994).
Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (2009).
281 I.A.C. 12.3(12).
IASB Nos. 605.2 and 605.3 (2011)
 

605.4 TECHNOLOGY AND INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

The board supports the use of innovative methods and the use of technology in the delivery of the education program.  The board encourages employees to investigate economical ways to utilize multi-media, computers, and other technologies as a part of the curriculum.

 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop a plan for the use of technology in the curriculum and to evaluate it annually.  The superintendent will report the results of the evaluation and make a recommendation to the board annually regarding the use of technology in the curriculum.
  
 Date of Adoption:  8/23/11

 
Legal Reference:         
Iowa Code § 279.8 (2009).

281 I.A.C. 12.3(12), 12.5(10), .5(22).

605.5 SCHOOL LIBRARY

 
The school district will maintain a school library in each building for use by employees and by students during the school day.
 
Materials for the libraries will be acquired according to board policy, "Instructional Materials Selection."
 
It is the responsibility of the principal of the building in which the school library is located to oversee the use of materials in the library.
 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop procedures for the selection and replacement of both library and instructional materials, for the acceptance of gifts, for the weeding of library and instructional materials, and for the handling of challenges to either library or classroom materials.
 
 
Date of Adoption:        8/23/11

 
Legal Reference:         
Iowa Code §§ 256.7(24); 279.8; 280.14; 301 (2009).
281 I.A.C. 12.3(11), (12).