Essential Curriculum

Updates: December 2015 and January 2016

December: Secondary Task Force Meetings

The focus of the December 2nd meeting was the development of overarching Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions aligned to the discipline Transfer Goals and priority standards. On December 16, the teams began the work of developing cornerstone tasks. This article and informational resource were shared to build common understanding. Each team is using the "Process for Designing Performance Tasks," as described on page 10 in the resource, to develop the cornerstone tasks. To learn more, talk with your Task Force representative and view these presentations: Social Studies/English, Math, or Science.

December: Elementary "Phase 2" Task Force Meetings

On November 30th, we welcomed members who represent each of the 27 elementary schools to the Phase 2 Elementary Task Force. A general overview of the goals and expectations were shared. We met again on December 14th to dive into the alignment of the transfer goals. Grade level teams examined each transfer goal, as currently listed on the K-5 Cornerstone Tasks, and made note of any alignment to the discipline specific preK-12 Transfer Goals. Each member received a copy of Jay McTighe's new book, Leading Modern Learning: Blueprint for Vision-Driven Schools. Talk with your school's representative to check out this book and learn more!

January 19: Secondary Supervisor Led Professional Development Day

Secondary teachers across the county engaged in a full day of professional learning. Teams of teachers had the opportunity to plan units of instruction aligned to the transfer goals and priority standards. Teachers participated in content specific sessions focused on teaching and learning with the goal of improving overall student achievement.

January: Secondary Task Force Meetings

Content specific groups engaged in one day workshops dedicated to building background knowledge of performance tasks and developing Cornerstone Tasks. Teams shared drafts of tasks and peer reviewed the work using established criteria. All discipline teams met on January 6 and January 20 to continue this work, as we build a WCPS Cornerstone Map aligned to transfer goals.

January: Elementary "Phase 2" Task Force Meeting

The phase 2 team met on January 11th to align discipline transfer goals to the current Cornerstone Tasks. Teachers read sections of chapter four in the Leading Modern Learning book to gain a deeper understanding of Cornerstone Tasks and the purpose of a Cornerstone Task Map. We will continue to develop a clear map to strategically gather evidence of student growth towards the transfer goals across the years in prekindergarten through twelfth grade.

Looking Ahead...


  • Secondary: Finalize Cornerstone Tasks
  • Elementary: Finalize Cornerstone Task Map
  • Consultation with Jay McTighe on February 3