Updated: Nov 17, 2021
Before you dive into a curriculum review process, it's helpful to create a roadmap to think about who is involved, what the timeline is, and what the milestones are along the way. A thoughtfully designed process sets you up for a smoother, more fair review process. Although every roadmap looks different, in general, we see schools and districts considering the major factors below when they create their roadmaps.
Identify Key Personnel
To be able to create a roadmap, you need to know who will be involved in the process. Involving the right stakeholders at the right time will ensure you evaluate curriculum from multiple perspectives. It will also promote buy-in once a final decision is made. Be sure to list everyone involved, at every step of the way. Consider the following questions:
Will any teachers be part of the review? If so, how will those teachers be selected?
Will other administrators be involved in the process?
Does your district have a procurement team? How will they be involved?
If you are looking for a curriculum with digital resources, will you involve a technology expert?
Will your community be involved in the review process?
Will chosen materials be reviewed by your school board?
Develop a Timeline and Determine Milestones
Once you've identified who is involved, it's time to create a timeline. The timeline will look different for every school and district, but here is an overview of milestones that might help you create a timeline specific to your district:
Identify a teacher committee
Build capacity of teacher committee with PD
Research available options
Reach out to vendors for sample materials
Determine priorities and communicate them to all stakeholders
Develop a rubric to evaluate instructional materials
Ask vendors to present on their curriculum
Decide on instructional materials to review
Pilot instructional materials
Get feedback on the pilot
Decide on which materials to present to the school board
Share with the community
Present to the school board
Allocate Time and Resources
As you think about milestones, be sure to allocate enough time for each step. For example, piloting and evaluating multiple curricula can take significant time, but it's an important step to making an informed decision.
With each milestone, make sure to note any details and set a deadline for when you hope to complete the milestone. It also helps to get clear on the scope of the process early on. Reviewing materials is time-intensive (and piloting materials is even more time-intensive!), so it's helpful to narrow down your choices so that you aren't reviewing or piloting too many materials at once.