From the Office of Curriculum
Greetings! I am delighted to introduce myself to you as the new director of curriculum. I began this position on November 13, 2012 and am very happy to be part of the Holland Central School district team. Historically, Holland has demonstrated great success in academics, and our district takes great pride in the accomplishments of our students and faculty members. I intend to help the district continue to achieve excellence. I will do this by facilitating collaboration among faculty members and providing the necessary time, training, and resources teachers need to align curriculum and assessments with the new Common Core State Standards. I will also be communicating with families and community members about the changes being made to the New York state assessments and what we are doing as a district to prepare our students to succeed.
In just a few short months, I have been impressed by the work ethic and dedication to teaching exhibited by our faculty. They have spent countless hours writing and revising student learning objectives and assessments to meet the requirements of the new Annual Professional Performance Review plan. They have come together as a team to learn more about the Common Core Learning Standards and analyze curriculum to look for gaps. They have started many work days early and ended them late to discuss the characteristics of highly effective teaching, as defined by Charlotte Danielson. On January 28th they spent a full day attending training sessions and writing Common Core aligned lessons. More professional development is also coming in February and March (see the professional development calendar on this website for details). Teachers will continue to learn how to teach students to read texts closely and develop evidence-based claims. We will have a committee explore texts and resources available to help us continue to align our elementary English Language Arts curriculum with the Common Core standards, including the New York State Common Core Curriculum Modules.
One of my favorite quotes is by William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” In other words, teaching is not about relaying information to another person, it is about igniting a passionate desire to learn. One of the reasons I chose to become a teacher and eventually a director of curriculum is that I enjoy learning and I want to share that excitement about learning with others. By requiring us to shift our thinking about instruction, the Common Core Learning Standards provide educators with an exciting opportunity to learn. As we teach to these standards, I believe that we will ignite that desire for deeper learning in our students more than ever before. I would encourage you, as parents and community members, to join us in this journey. The New York State Department of Education provides some great resources about the Common Core Learning Standards and assessments for families at http://www.engageny.org/parent-and-family-resources. We will also continue to keep you informed of what is happening and provide more opportunities for you to learn more about our district and state initiatives. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I would be happy to speak with you.