Curriculum Matters!

...but not nearly as much as good teaching!

-July of 2019-

Why Curriculum Matters

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY 1 & 2)

Curriculum is a framework for the experiences and expectations of student learning. It matters since it directly impacts student growth. Good teaching matters more, and we know that even the very best curriculum design is only as good as its implementation and delivery. At South Vermillion, we trust our highly-qualified teachers to meet the diverse needs of our students. We support them through regular and relevant professional growth opportunities, a comprehensive, standards-aligned curriculum, and ongoing, personalized support for every teacher. Because we know that the single most important factor in improving student learning is the teacher, we view curriculum as one valuable tool in our pursuit of student success.

"A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything."

Within the South Vermillion Community Schools,

...it is our mission to provide academic and social experiences that nurture the potential of all students to be productive, creative, and moral citizens.

The First 10 Days

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY 1, 2, & 3)

I feel excited and blessed to join the South Vermillion Community Schools as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment. In my first ten days on the job, I have met new colleagues, learned the MacBook (okay, so it was a big deal to ME!), introduced myself via email and phone to many points-of-contact for SV programs, curriculum resource companies, and vendors, and made more to-do lists than I can count. To further familiarize myself with the demands of this position, I have attended and scheduled webinars, phone conferences, and in-person meetings. I have carefully reviewed the Strategic Plan, and I am optimistic about the goals that have been set in each of the 5 pillars.

As I reflect on my first 2 weeks in this role, I feel grateful for the support I have received from near and far. Our path toward success is clearly defined, and I am eager to play a role in that important mission. Our students are counting on us to remain focused and enthusiastic. Let's get started!

The Next 10 Days

(SVCS STRATEGIC PLAN PRIORITY #1, 2, 3, & 4)

Looking ahead, I will be meeting with principals to review 2019 ILEARN and ISTEP+ data along with plans for our rescore/retesting measures, and together we will be reviewing their individual school improvement plans. We will also discuss the new Computer Science Standards and plans for their implementation starting in grades 3, 4, and 5 for the 2019-2020 school year as we prepare for full K-12 implementation by June 30, 2021 for IDOE compliance. Most importantly, I will be scheduling a listening tour in each school building in order to conduct a needs assessment and establish an open line of communication based on trust, transparency, and responsive action.

On August 1st and 2nd, twenty-six SV teachers will participate in curriculum training from EL Education, our new K-5 reading curriculum. While my preliminary research on student achievement within this program is promising, we know our success lies in effective implementation, fidelity, and comprehensive reflection based on teacher feedback, student achievement, and assessment data. It is an immediate goal of mine to provide extensive support for teachers in this first, and most critical, year of implementation.

Another immediate goal of mine is to work with the Director of Technology to begin updating the flagship of our corporation, the website. Having a website for your brand is not new, but keeping it relevant, user-friendly, and welcoming is what will continue to set us apart. While many of us play an important role in branding and promoting South Vermillion via the corporation website, my focus will be on the content related to curriculum, assessment, school improvement, professional development, and related features. Every webpage and link therein should continuously reflect the tireless efforts of our teachers and the progress of our students in the many ways we believe, achieve, and succeed in the South Vermillion Community Schools. Again, I am happy to be a part of your team.

Big picture

Melanie S. Beaver, Ph.D. Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment

The 2019-2020 school year marks the beginning of my role as Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for South Vermillion Schools. It is not, however, my first look at South Vermillion. In 2011, I conducted my dissertation research at the middle school observing the effective literacy strategies science teachers utilize in their daily instructional design. It was affirming to learn the various ways content area teachers embed reading, writing, speaking, and listening across the curriculum.

My research interests lie in the recruitment and retention of good teachers, effective teaching strategies that promote high levels of student engagement, and the importance of placing relationships before rigor. I enjoy working closely with teachers to identify ways multiple points of data can effectively inform (not drive) instruction. I have presented at the local, state, and national levels on these topics, and those experiences have given me a broader look at the lived experiences of teachers near and far.

My certifications include Indiana licensure for teaching at the elementary and middle school levels with cognates in middle school English/language arts and K-12 Gifted and Talented. I also hold a district-level administrator's license. I have taught education majors at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in an adjunct instructor capacity since 2012. With 25 years of classroom teaching experience at the elementary and middle levels, I am excited to serve in this new role with South Vermillion in ways that support teachers and the work they do to ensure the success of our students.