Summary of Diocesan Curriculum
- The K-12 Diocesan Curriculum was developed in multiple stages by Grade K-12 teachers, diocesan administrators, and initially led by ACE Collaborative Staff from the University of Notre Dame.
- The curriculum was developed using the knowledge of research based classroom practices, the needs of the Diocese of Charleston students, the expertise of Diocese of Charleston teachers, and referenced standards from other sources.
- The Curriculum focuses both on content (what the students should know) and on practices and skills (what the students should be able to do). Therefore, a broad range of research based instructional strategies should be used when designing units and lesson to help students achieve the outcomes.
- The emphasis of the Curriculum is on depth of understanding and using knowledge in a meaningful way, not breadth of coverage. Students are expected to thoroughly know and be able to use the concepts, practices, and skills across multiple context.
- The Diocesan Curriculum is intended to set guidelines for the baseline, or “floor” for what all students should know and be able to do. Individual teachers are encouraged to use their expertise and professional judgement to determine the level to go beyond these expectations in response to the learning needs and capabilities of their students.
- The Diocesan Curriculum is designed to work best when teachers work collaboratively and use a unit-planning approach to plan their instruction for the year.
- The Diocesan Curriculum development is a cyclical process. In order to accommodate the changing needs of our current and future students, each curriculum will be reviewed and modified every five years. The content areas of Math, Social Studies and Science have been reviewed and are complete. The new ELA curriculum is in progress and will be ready for the 2018-2019 school year. The current cycle order includes; English Language Arts (2017), Special Content Areas (2018), Math (2019), Social Studies (2020), Science (2021). Religion content will be reviewed with each cycle of the core content areas.
- This document contains the curriculum that has been reviewed and modified under the ACE Collaborative guidelines. Other curriculum that has not yet been modified may be found on the Diocesan website under the appropriate categories.
Diocese of Charleston Approach to Curriculum
“Go into the whole world and spread the good news. Go therefore, and make disciples of all peoples. Baptize them and teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you.” (Mk. 16:15)
“Catholic schools afford the fullest and best opportunity to realize the fourfold purpose of Christian education, namely to provide an atmosphere in which the Gospel message is proclaimed, community in Christ is experienced, service to our sisters and brothers is the norm, and thanksgiving and worship of our God is cultivated.” (US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005)
Definition of Curriculum
Curriculum has many definitions in education. For the purposes of this document, curriculum is the most basically defined as “what we teach.” More specifically for this document, it is the concepts and skills that students are expected to understand and demonstrate in each grade level.
Teachers are responsible for developing the classroom curriculum that their students will experience each day. The Classroom Curriculum includes specific activities, experiments, simulations, readings, and other content from which students will learn the concepts and skills in the Diocesan Curriculum. It also includes the instructional strategies that teachers use to teach the concepts and skills, as well as the assessment strategies used to guide instruction and evaluate student growth. Each teacher’s Classroom Curriculum should be developed under the leadership of the Principal and attend to the needs of his or her own students, the expectations and priorities of the parents, the teacher’s judgement about what is in the best interest of his or her students, and the traditions and charisms of the school.
Each unit of instruction should be documented by use of a Unit Cover Page. The Unit Cover Page should provide a summary of the unit rationale, the scope and sequence of the daily lesson plans, and a snapshot of the key instructional strategies used during instruction. The Diocese of Charleston focuses on the following key instructional strategies; providing opportunities for extending and refinement of knowledge based on student ability, application of knowledge to real-world situations in which students will understand how to use the knowledge in a meaningful way, and alternative forms of assessment such as performance assessments that measure the student’s ability by other methods than a pencil-paper or multiple-choice test.