Curriculum is What We Teach and Learn
At Sidney Public Schools, we prioritize the development and value of our local curriculum for all students. The curriculum promotes our mission to Develop Confident and Powerful Learners. The Nebraska College and Career Ready (CCR) content standards as the basis of our local standards based curriculum.
In order to develop a curriculum that meets our students’ needs in a timely manner, we align our Sidney Public Schools Curriculum Cycle with the Nebraska Department of Education Standards Revision Timeline for All Content Areas. Following our formal Curriculum Review Cycle, we have teams of educators that work together to review, revise, write local curriculum, and select curriculum materials and best practices to be used in each area. This is done every 7 years or more frequently depending on the needs of each area of study. Each Sidney Public School teacher and administrator is part of a specific Sidney Public Schools Curriculum Alignment Team. Once the curriculum has been approved by the Sidney Public Schools Board of Education and materials have been determined, teachers work to implement the new curriculum, make adjustments as needed, and monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum through student achievement results. In addition, we follow the Sidney Public Schools Curriculum Development Process.
*The Curriculum Learning Guide and Year at a Glance documents are the foundational and critical local curriculum tools used in our district to communicate the Priority Standards that are taught in each course, the alignment with state and national standards, and the collaboration of all Sidney staff in implementing a guaranteed and viable local curriculum for ALL students to experience. These curriculum documents can be accessed from the Teaching and Learning tab.
Effective Classroom Instruction is How We Teach
Effective Classroom Instruction is the vehicle to implement our foundational standards based curriculum. We use The Sidney Instructional Model as the base of effective instruction in all courses and grades. It provides each teacher with an evidence based framework to develop an effective learning environment and the intentional plan for learning in every classroom across the district.
At Sidney Public Schools we focus on a strong teacher reflection model of professional growth and evaluation that allows our teachers to design their lessons and learning activities using the most effective strategies, to reflect on student performance through performance task formative assessments, and to refine the teaching and learning process. Visible Learning and the work of John Hattie is the focus of our Professional Learning opportunities. Teachers are encouraged to reflect on their professional performance by using their formative assessment data as well as both self and peer observations to make data based decisions for student learning.
Assessment is How We Know Students are Learning
Confident and Powerful Learners are the focus of Teaching and Learning at Sidney Public Schools. The purpose of Sidney Public Schools Assessment Program is to gather information about student learning, and to adjust our teaching and learning opportunities to help each student grow and meet these rigorous learning standards. Students play an active role in the learning process by using their assessment results to set and reach personal learning goals.
In addition, we use the information to communicate with and inform the public about the achievement of our students, relative to Sidney’s academic content standards. Assessments serve different purposes and can provide information about a student’s strengths and areas of continued growth. We also believe that assessment scores do not tell the complete story of any student, school, or district and should be used as one of the many pieces that help us provide learning opportunities that empower students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to become productive citizens. Other important measures include school processes and programs, demographics, and perceptions and values. All of these measures must be considered together to help us know whether we are reaching every student.