HPS Secondary Curriculum Updates

Fall 2022

2022-2023 Curriculum Initiatives

The HPS Strategic Plan outlines several areas of focus related to curriculum and instruction, in support of our district's mission to cultivate innovative, equitable, and inclusive learning environments. The following newsletter highlights strategic progress towards initiatives at HMS and HHS, as we continue to evolve and strengthen our academic program through aligned, high-quality PK-12+ curriculum, innovative research-based practices, and data-informed instruction.

New HMS Science Units

This fall, HMS science students have been actively exploring scientific phenomena during classroom pilots of the OpenSciEd curriculum. OpenSciEd is an innovative, research-based, high-quality curriculum that is aligned with the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. The lessons actively engage students in science talks, the collection and analysis of scientific data, and design of solutions to real-life problems. This cohesive and spiraling curriculum will lay a strong foundation for future scientific endeavors.

Democratic Knowledge Project

The social studies department continues to update its curriculum according to the revised Massachusetts History & Social Science Framework, which places a greater emphasis on civic education from K-12. To support this focus on civics, the HPS social studies department, in conjunction with the South Shore Social Studies Supervisors group, hosted a regional professional development workshop with the Democratic Knowledge Project at the HMS Distance Learning Theater. Thirty-five educators, including five from Hingham Public Schools, took part in the workshop, which was funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education that was awarded to the HPS this summer.

ELA Literature Circles

The ELA department continues to integrate new titles into the secondary curriculum, including some recent selections for use in literature circles. During literature circles, students choose from a selection of titles and then take part in a small group exploration of the text. This literacy strategy is a highly effective way to encourage independent reading as well as an enthusiasm for sharing ideas and interpretations of books with peers. Check out the attached photo for a sampling of titles from recent Grade 11 American Literature circles.

HMS Math Pilots

Grade 6 math students are currently piloting iReady Diagnostic assessments and the MyPath personalized digital instruction tool, with iReady also being used for targeted supports in Grades 7 and 8. Additional curriculum pilots are on-going in select Grade 7 and 8 classes, including pilot of the DESMOS curriculum. DESMOS is an engaging technology based curriculum that is UDL designed and built off of the Illustrative Math model. Additionally, Gr. 6-12 math teachers are participating in professional development centered in the standards for mathematical practice.

World Language

In mid-November, eighteen Hingham educators attended the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) national conference in Boston. Participants will share new approaches, activities, and materials gathered from the conference with their colleagues. This work supports the efforts by the World Language department to review and update curricula to align with the new Massachusetts Frameworks for World Language. These updated curriculum frameworks include a focus on social justice and social emotional learning, which will allow us to better meet the needs of all students.

Fine Arts--Music Notes

Our HHS music team is piloting three new non-performing electives this year, including Intro to Piano, Songwriting and Music Appreciation: Learning to Listen. Through these elective offerings, we hope to offer students a variety of ways to engage with music beyond the traditional large ensemble program experience.


This year, all Grade 6-8 students will participate in the Second Step program, an SEL curriculum that focuses on managing thoughts, emotions & decisions, navigating relationships and social conflict, and preventing incidents of bullying and harrassment. Many thanks to our HMS guidance staff for their role in facilitating the Second Step lessons.


Several district committees are actively working to strengthen focus areas of our educational programming. The HPS Technology Task Force is working to gather data to generate a multi-year technology plan, with community surveys and focus groups forthcoming. The Equity Task Force is working with the Culturally Responsive Practices Leadership Academy and staff of TEP (The Equity Project) to examine HPS curriculum, policies and practices with an eye toward a more equitable and inclusive learning experience. The Professional Development committee is currently working to develop a multi-year professional development plan to provide impactful and supportive PD offerings for educators and staff.

Interested in learning more about elementary curriculum curriculum initiatives? Please click the link above.

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Kathryn (Katie) Roberts

Interim Assistant Superintendent

Hingham Public Schools