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    Seattle Public Schools is committed to ensuring high expectations and high quality schools for every student. As part of a system-wide effort to increase the number of Seattle Public School students who graduate from high school prepared for college and the 21st century workforce, Seattle Public Schools has committed to aligning curriculum in core academic subjects across all high schools. Our mission is to move from saying all students will experience a highly rigorous academic experience, to providing, through our aligned curriculum, that they do.


    What Curriculum Alignment is and is not

    An aligned curriculum is a coherent and consistent progression of content, instruction and assessment within and across a course of study. In an aligned system, common rigorous expectations for student learning in any one grade level are consistent across the district, grade level expectations build on the prior year’s work and feed into the next year, and teachers have the materials and training to teach the content to their students.

    Curriculum alignment guides teachers in what to teach but not how to teach. Indeed, curriculum alignment places a high value on teacher creativity and passion, and does encourage appropriate acceleration, differentiation and curriculum integration.


    Why is Curriculum Alignment Necessary?

    Presently, core academic high school courses with the same name do not adhere to the same content, standards or expectations, even in the same school building. One could argue that students currently are subjected to a lottery of sorts, in which the quality of their academic experience is, in part, attributed to the chance of scheduling. As a result, some students have the experience of learning the same content repeatedly in different courses that are designed to participate in a sequence. And some students complete courses with gaps in their learning.


    Alignment Among and Across Courses

    Each course in the SPS curriculum will be aligned horizontally with identified course outcomes so that courses with the same name across SPS high schools reach established goals and expectations. Content courses will be aligned vertically to ensure students possess the knowledge and skills to be successful in the next course in the sequence. Not only will the high school curriculum be aligned to the college-ready standards but also to the middle school curriculum that precedes the high school educational experience. Future alignment work will include backwards mapping down to Pre-K with the goal of a fully aligned Pre-K-12 school system.

    Contact Us

    Kathleen Vasquez
    kavasquez@seattleschools.org,
    Project Manager
    206-252-0234