SUHSD Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development

May 2015

Wrapping up 2014-15! Preparing for summer and 2015-16.

Needs assessment generates input from nearly 700 teachers!

See all responses to these questions:

  1. When thinking about next year, what kinds of support do you envision needing at the DISTRICT level?
  2. When thinking about next year, what kinds of support do you envision needing at the SITE level?
  3. When thinking about next year, what kinds of support do you envision needing at the PLC level?
  4. When thinking about next year, what kinds of support do you envision needing at the CLASSROOM level?

Curriculum & Professional Development Goals for 2015-16


Define and document SUHSD commitment to equity reflecting a negotiated balance between centralized and localized decision-making about expectations for all students.


Empower functional Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to serve as the locus of control for site decision-making regarding curriculum, instruction & assessment while holding teachers accountable for student learning.


Purposefully align written, taught and tested elements of curriculum via implementation of District Language (Structured Social Interaction, Daily Learning Targets, Academic Language Development, Checking for Understanding).

Professional Development Calendar for 2015-16

Next year's calendar is under development and will be published via Google Calendar (see link here) by June 1, 2015. Please contact Cynthia Acuna with any questions regarding our process for adding events to this calendar.

SUHSD Curriculum Policy/Guides

District-level Professional Development Through Summer, 2015

While the last Cohort and zone workshops for 2014-15 ended last quarter, planning for a variety of district-level professional development is under way.

Here is a partial list. Please contact members of the District-level Curriculum Specialist Team (emails below) with questions or to obtain more information.

  • Computer Science Principles (CSP) and Exploring Computer Science (ECS) - June/July 2015
  • Literacy TA (for ELA Site Specialists and ELA PLC Leaders) - May 11, 2015
  • Reading Apprenticeship for Selected Science Teachers - May 12-14, 2015
  • College-Preparatory Math (CPM) Workshops - May 4-7 or May 11-14; June 8-11, 2015
  • C-STEM Integrated Math with Computing/Robotics - June 29-July 3, 2015
  • AP Statistics - May 18, AP Calculus - May 22, AP Economics - May 21, AP US History - May 22
  • Positive Prevention Training for GS1 Teachers - May 7, 2015
  • World Geography Training - May 19-20, 2015
  • SDCOE Social Science Leadership Conference - May 26, 2015
  • SPARK Summer Institute for PE Teachers - July 2015
  • SDCOE Common Core Training for PE Teachers - July 2015
  • Content-area Workshops for Teachers of Fundamentals Classes: ELA - 5/5; math - 5/7; H/SS - 5/11; science - 5/18, 2015
  • Spanish for Spanish Speakers Workshop - May 14, 2015
  • Spanish Language Curriculum Planning Day - May 19, 2015
  • Mariachi Workshop - June, 2015
  • Site Curriculum Specialists Leadership Workshop - July 17, 2015

Professional Development Essential Questions:

1. What role does the teacher play in implementing the Common Core Standards?

  • Teachers must make informed decisions that are responsive to demonstrated student needs. They are empowered to creatively select and use resources they need to help students succeed.
  • Teachers are collaborators: with peers, administrators and content experts. Cohort, zone and PLC experiences are based on this principle.
  • Academic literacy and productive collaboration are fundamental considerations when planning instruction. Site PD plans focus on these goals.

2. How do challenging tasks affect teacher expectations, practice and student learning?

  • SUHSD Internal Assessments (final exams and performance tasks) and PLC common formative assessments require students to demonstrate mastery of complex skills.
  • Tasks are embedded in ongoing instruction and inform teacher decision-making by generating a variety of formative data.
  • Teachers are transforming existing tasks to better align with CCSS and NGSS.

3. How is subject matter embedded in a larger context? How can we explore complexity and depth of understanding?

  • Application of knowledge across content areas supports content integration.
  • Complex skills (labs, writing, inquiry, research) are valued by colleges and employers. Instructional guides emphasize these outcomes.
  • Relationships among SUHSD teachers, administrators and regional experts (UCSD, SDCOE, feeder school districts, Qualcomm, others) support collaborative planning.

Tested Curriculum:

Performance Tasks Anchor Papers Now Posted to Canvas R&E Course!

Click here to access the SUHSD R&E Canvas Course and find Performance Tasks, related documents, and Anchor Papers.

Plan now to maximize the value of Semester One Performance Tasks!

Teachers should meet in course-alike teams to study and respond to student work. See this recent history/social science application of Steps for Calibrated Scoring.

See this nine-minute video to learn about steps to calibrated scoring:

Calibration Steps for District Performance Tasks

  1. District Curriculum Specialists review student work in partnership with site colleagues and select "anchor papers" representing each score point on the rubric.
  2. PLC Leader/Site Curriculum Specialist selects "blind papers"
  3. PLC Leader/Site Curriculum Specialist assembles reference packets including prompt, rubric, anchor and blind papers.
  4. PLC meets to review prompt and rubric. Content group facilitator walks teachers through directions and clarifies understanding of key vocabulary and terms.
  5. PLC reviews each anchor paper, justifying score with language from the rubric.
  6. Pairs of teachers review each blind paper and assign score. For each paper, content groups reach consensus on score, justifying with language from the rubric.
  7. Content groups discuss issues and realizations. Facilitator works to build consensus.
  8. Teachers exchange papers with each other.
  9. Teachers review and score each paper for each criterion on the rubric. They also assign a holistic score to each paper and attach the completed rubric to the student response.
  10. Teachers return papers to colleagues.
  11. Each teacher submits her/his score recording sheet to the content group facilitator and enters them into Data Director.
  12. Content group facilitator assembles all score recording sheets into Excel spreadsheet, calculates average scores by criterion and overall, and generates descriptive charts to describe relative student strengths and weaknesses. Facilitator leads a dialogue based on quantitative data and qualitative comments from colleagues. Participants discuss next steps as they relate to instruction.

Updated May 2015 by K. Czajkowski

SUHSD Final Exam window opens earlier this year.

Hard copies of all internally-generated district-wide Semester 2 Finals will be at sites by 5/22/15 to allow schools expanded windows of time for Final Exam administration, scoring and recording. Seniors take regular course-level finals (where provided).

Learn more about the relationship between internal and external assessments ("tested curriculum") here.

Written Curriculum

SUHSD Summer School 2015-16

District-level Curriculum Specialists are working with classroom colleagues to develop written curriculum guiding instruction this summer. See guidelines for this work below.
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Regular Credit Recovery Summer School will take place at CPH, ELH, MOH and SUHi.

One engineering-focused "New Works" (enrichment, for-credit) Integrated Math Course 1 class will be offered at SUHi for incoming ninth-graders. Targeted students are being personally invited to attend; final roster should be available by 5/20. Contact K. Czajkowski for more information.

2015 SUHSD credit recovery courses listed below

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Semester 2 Instructional Guides drive planning by PLCs

Visit the SUHSD Curriculum and Professional Development Course to access Semester 2 Instructional Guides for all core content-area courses.
Here's the self-enroll link for the SUHSD Curriculum & PD course if you're not yet enrolled.

Taught Curriculum

Qualcomm's Thinkabit Lab Welcomes SUHSD Middle Schoolers!

Thanks to Sandy Hodge (SUHSD) and Ed Hidalgo (Qualcomm), seven SUHSD middle schools sent groups of students to participate in a day-long program at the Thinkabit Lab. Students explore careers in STEM/STEAM and participate in programming and building robots which they present upon completion.

Learn more about Thinkabit here.

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Voice Your Language: A Public Forum on Multilingual Education in California

Donaldo Macedo and Antonia Darder visited SDSU on May 1 thanks to the students in the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education.

See previous issues of Colloquium below.

Explore Content-area Monthly Newsletters!

SUHSD Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development

Roman Del Rosario, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Katrine Czajkowski, Lead Curriculum Specialist

Daniel Cohen & Mimi Williams, Math Curriculum Specialists

Gina Vattuone & Rhea Faeldonea-Walker, ELA Curriculum Specialists

Ana Garcia & Melanie Brown, Science Curriculum Specialists

Kelly Leon & Olga Loya-Estrada, History/Social Science Curriculum Specialists