CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Nearly 300 teachers from all six of Chappaqua’s schools have been working this summer developing 47 new curriculum projects that will be rolled out when schools open on Sept. 5.
According to Assistant Superintendent Eric Byrne, much of the changes revolve around a focus on literacy skills. During the summer workshops, English language arts teachers have been working with science and math teachers on persuasive-argument writing that students in those classes will now have to do.
“It’s been exhausting, but rewarding because of the product,” said Byrne, who began developing the project last summer. “It’s great work that the teachers have done; a magnificent job coming together across buildings, across levels.”
Schools Superintendent Lyn McKay said the projects involve aligning the curriculum with common core state standards as part of the new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR).
“This is a requirement of the new assessments that are going to come from the state within the next year or two,” McKay said. “So we’re going to be a year ahead on that one.”
Board of Education President Victoria Tipp was impressed with the dedication of the teachers and administrators in using the APPR to further its curriculum, rather than make it a point of contention like in other districts.
“I think it’s so notable that the evaluation standards and requirements that have brought such acrimony in other districts in such negativity, has really been such a vehicle for improvement in our district,” Tipp said.
McKay said the district will have conversations over coffee and will host knowledge cafes throughout the year to answer questions parents might have about the new curriculum.