Curriculum Development and Renewal
Curriculum development in Hinsdale District 86 is an ongoing process driven by district goals, each school's mission statement and goals, and the goals and objectives of the individual departments. The development of new courses that provide interesting, relevant, rigorous and innovative curriculum is encouraged.
In District 86, there is a three year process from the time a new course is proposed to the time when it is first taught. Year 1 of the process takes place two years prior to course being taught and starts with an “Exploration Phase.” From September to February, the new course idea is explored with the department that is proposing it, the Curriculum Leadership Team (CLT), the Assistant Principal for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (APCIA), and the Department Chair of the other school. Consensus on the part of the CLT is needed before the proposal formally leaves the building to be considered from a district perspective. From March to May of Year 1, one and a half years prior to course being taught, the proposal is vetted by the Academic Cabinet, comprised of the Assistant Superintendent for Academics and the two APCIAs. If approved, it is brought for the first administrative review before the Executive Cabinet, which includes the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, and other district administrators. During the summer between Year 1 and Year 2, one full year prior to course being taught, a final draft of course proposal prepared and submitted to Executive Cabinet.
From September through October, Year 2, approximately eleven months prior to the course being taught, Executive Cabinet reviews final proposal and gives its approval or disapproval. If the course is approved, the final proposal is returned to the building for the CLT and Principal to consider and give approval or disapproval from October through November, Year 2, approximately nine months prior to the course being taught. The final step is Board of Education review. By early November, the Board considers final proposal and approves or disapproves it. If approved, the course description published in Program of Studies book in November so students can enroll in the new course in January and February. In Year 3, the course will run for the first time.
Summer Curriculum Projects
Each year, district money is budgeted for faculty to develop new curricula. In Hinsdale District 86, we are extremely fortunate to have faculty willing to spend time in the summer to improve our instructional program, usually resulting in more project requests than allotted money to support them. Therefore, projects that target identified district and school initiatives will be given priority during the funding decision-making process. Approval for a summer curriculum project also stems from a need to develop curriculum for a new course, to redefine and revise exiting curriculum as suggested by the department, administration, or the School Improvement Committee, or to develop curriculum for a special project that has been approved by the building administration. This vibrant, creative curriculum renewal process is what keeps the academic program in District 86 among the best among high schools across the nation.