Curriculum and Instruction

  • Columbia Public School Curriculum and Instruction team will develop a culturally inclusive, rigorous, and relevant curriculum and programming to support the development of a portrait of a graduate.

    The purpose of the Curriculum and Instruction Department in Columbia Public Schools is to build capacity to improve student performance as defined by district goals.  

    Building capacity through:

    • Equity of access to the curriculum
    • Commitment to consistent district – wide learner expectations
    • Clarity of expectations for Instruction
    • Empowerment of teachers to differentiate instruction
    • Integration between content areas as appropriate
    • Dissemination of research-based instructional strategies
    • District-wide assessments that inform instruction and curriculum
    • Professional development

     To learn more about the district’s curriculum offerings and other educational programs, please visit the links listed to the right.

    Standards Referenced Learning in CPS 
    Columbia Public Schools has been engaged in systemic, K-12 implementation of standards-based learning and grading since 2016-2017. We commonly call it Standards-Referenced Grading, or SRG. The work began with a review of revealing district data, moved toward setting a vision, mission, purpose, and goals toward full implementation, and then began in earnest through investigation, reading, studying, discussing, planning, and professional learning. 

    SRG is distinctly different from more traditional methods of learning and grading. Older, more traditional methods included teaching through a single textbook, grading everything from homework to quizzes and tests to coming prepared to class to participation. It involved giving points to all these disparate items and then creating a percent from those points. Students were graded compared to other students. These older types of methods had no research base; they had just been in place for decades., despite distinctly unfair aspects for students.

    SRG practices involve assessing students against state or national standards of learning. Student learning is measured using 4-level scales, where Level 3 is the level of meeting the grade-level standard(s) through aligned learning targets. Only academic achievement is ultimately assessed, as behaviors blended in can distort this. Since the 2000s, there has been a growing research base supporting standards-based learning and grading. Teaching in SRG classrooms draws students into partnerships with teachers, encourages them to keep track of their own learning and progress via feedback and  use of proficiency scales, and helps them think about their learning and what they need to do next to improve. 

     Standards Referenced Learning Resources

    Elementary Resources

    Secondary Resources

    • 2021-2022 Secondary Bridge Handbook
    • Middle School Success Ready scales 
    • Listen to our middle school educators discuss how SRG works to transform their classrooms
      • Teacher Testimonial: Amy Duncan, Smithton Middle School
      • Video Link : Mathematics Teachers panelists: Melissa Fike (OMS), Danielle Ryan (GMS), Erin Thompson (SMS) facilitated by Lisa Nieder, Secondary Mathematics Coordinator

    top