A key responsibility of the Teaching and Learning department is to facilitate the review and implementation of curriculum within the District. The school district regularly reviews and adopts new curriculum to meet standards, set benchmarks, and achieve objectives. Teachers, administrators, and facilitators work collaboratively to review curriculum for all content areas.
No two students are alike and therefore, our curriculum offers a variety of learning supports to fulfill the needs of all students. Enhanced learning supports are available for English language learners, students with special needs, and talented and gifted students to develop the skills needed to be successful now and in the future.
Definition of Curriculum
Iowa Code [AC Ch 12, p.1 281—12.2 (256)] defines curriculum as “a plan that outlines what students shall be taught.” Ames Community School District further recognizes that curriculum encompasses what students experience, learn, and retain from both the intentional curriculum and the hidden curriculum.
Intentional curriculum consists of the plans teachers write, the materials and resources selected for students to encounter, how students experience these resources, and what students are asked to demonstrate on assessments.
Hidden curriculum consists of all other aspects of students’ experiences that produce changes in values, perceptions, and behaviors.
Ames CSD Is a Professional Learning Community
The Ames Community School District is a professional learning community (PLC). A PLC is an ongoing collaborative process of inquiry and action research to achieve better results for students. As a PLC, collaborative teams within each of our schools address four essential questions to drive our instruction:
- What do we expect all students to learn?
- How will we know our students have learned it?
- How will we respond if they do not learn it?
- How will we respond if they already know it?
This collaborative work as a PLC is at the root of our efforts for improved teaching and learning and professional development.
Our classroom instruction is driven by the standards of the Iowa Core Curriculum. Each collaborative team in our District has developed essential standards, assessment, and instruction for each grade level and course based upon the Iowa Core.