Hamden Public Schools District Policies

6141 - Curriculum Design/Development/Revision

Curriculum Design 

The curriculum shall be understood to be the planned sequence of educational experiences. Instruction in each grade and at each level shall be planned, integrated and coordinated to provide for the continuous development of the student. 

The evaluation and development of the curriculum as a whole shall be under the general direction of the Superintendent of Schools. He/she shall be assisted in this process by principals, department heads, teachers and other members of the professional staff, selected in such a way as to give broad representation to subject areas, grade levels and special services. No major change in the elementary subjects shall be made or courses in the middle or senior high school added or dropped permanently without approval of the Board of Education.  Activities to improve the curriculum shall be encouraged at all levels. 

1.    Professional Role

Fundamental characteristics of the professional role are responsibility and accountability for performance. Therefore, to the extent practicable, the faculty shall be involved in such areas of curriculum development as the following:

a.    The design of program goals and objectives

b.    Instructional strategies to be employed in the instructional program

c.    Staff accountability for the achievement of stated goals and objectives

d.    Evaluation of the instructional program

To accomplish the involvement of staff in the above areas, the administration shall provide, to the extent practicable, opportunities for the staff to participate in departmental meetings, curriculum and staff improvement seminars and workshops, building faculty meetings, collaborative leadership councils, and any other curriculum development programs involving teachers, principals and/or central office instructional personnel.  

2. Pilot Programs and Research Projects

Recognizing that research projects often furnish a sound basis for substantiating and/or improving the instructional program, it is the policy of the Board of Education to encourage the development and operation of soundly designed research projects and pilot programs by its professional staff and other professionals outside of the school district.

A pilot program is one which has specific objectives, a means of evaluation, and specifies length of time. A pilot program is one whose intent is to discover whether the results have implications for system-wide implementation.

Before the implementation of any major research project or pilot program within the school system, the approval of the Board of Education shall be required. The Board of Education delegates authority for approval of minor research projects and pilot programs, those which do not affect the total educational program to the Superintendent of Schools or designee, however the Curriculum Committee should be apprised of these projects.

A report of all research projects and pilot programs being carried on within the school system shall be provided to the Board of Education or the Curriculum Committee at least once each year.

Curriculum Development 

The Board of Education will encourage and support the professional staff in its efforts to investigate new curricular ideas, develop and improve programs, and evaluate results. 

The Board of Education recognizes that ultimate authority and decision on matters of curriculum are responsibilities of the Board. It encourages total community involvement by inviting curricular suggestions from parents, student, community agencies, teachers and administrators. 

The Superintendent of Schools or designee will coordinate curriculum development for the school system. Working with the Superintendent will be various administrative and professional staffs. The Superintendent will report to the Board on the need for and beginning of a particular curriculum committee. An interim report will be given to the Curriculum Committee of the Board; and the final report will be submitted to the full Board of Education. 

Proposals for curriculum change and modification shall be presented to the Board in a common format specified by the Superintendent for that purpose and outlining the reasons for the change, the scope and substance of the change, its financial impact, its effect on staffing, its impact on other courses and programs, and methods for evaluating the effect of the change. 

Changes and improvements in curriculum matters may be suggested and implemented administratively, as deemed necessary and educationally sound by the Superintendent of Schools, but shall be reported to the Board. However, new courses and dropped courses should be approved by the Board of Education. Courses may be dropped during one year because of few enrollees in the course, but re-offered and reinstated the following year by administrative action. 

To inform the Board of the ongoing program, the Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for scheduling periodic curriculum reports which will cover all programs and subject areas over a period of time. 

Legal Reference:

Connecticut General Statutes 

10-16b  Prescribed courses of study.

10-16c et seq. re family life education.

10-17 English language to be medium of instruction.

10-17 et seq. re Bilingual instruction.

10-18 Courses in United States history, government and duties and responsibilities of citizenship.

10-18a Contents of textbooks and other general instructional materials.

10-18b et seq. re Firearms safety programs.

10-19  Effect of alcohol, nicotine or tobacco and drugs to be taught. Training of personnel.  Evaluation of programs by alcohol and drug abuse commission and department of education.

10-19a et seq.  re Substance abuse prevention team.

10-24  Course in motor vehicle operation and highway safety.

10-21 et seq. re Vocational education and cooperation with business


Policy adopted:  October 8, 2002

Hamden Public Schools     Hamden, Connecticut