Curriculum guides, unlike well-defined programs, are written with the understanding that there is a responsibility for decision making on the part of the teachers. Curriculum guides provide a framework, not a daily plan for instruction. Since teachers are responsible for the scope of any curriculum content during a given school year, they must also be the final determiners of the sequence of content and skills, the use of instructional strategies, and the degree of content detail.
Given the nature of the actual classroom, certain factors will drive these choices: student need, student developmental level, and realistic time limitations. Teachers are encouraged to integrate curriculum in order to maximize instructional time and to facilitate the transfer of skills and understanding.
Curriculum guides are written in a spiraling framework articulated from the earliest grades through the high school. Learning builds upon previous knowledge and skills, which are repeated and reinforced to ensure mastery learning. As a result, it is impossible to expect that everything contained within any curriculum guide will be taught in the same sequence, style, and depth each year. Teachers need the flexibility to make choices to ensure that the student needs are met and that the scope of the curriculum is addressed.
This is a living document. It will change as needed to better meet the needs of St. Mary of the Hills Students, not in haphazard or capricious way, but based on suggestions from practitioners – teachers and principal – as well as from other experts in the field. Community and parental advice also will be valuable source for improvements. This is a curriculum printed on paper; however, the ultimate goal is this curriculum on-line, interactive, and accessible to all.
The St. Mary of the Hills School Curriculum Guidelines are accessible through these links:
History & Social Sciences
Fine Arts (music & art)