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Curriculum & Instruction

In Cave Creek Unified School District, we teach standards to students--all students. We also believe that curriculum, instructional resources, instructional strategies, and assessment are four distinctly different, but closely related components that make up a student's educational experience. By keeping these four components separate, we offer a different educational experience than other educational organizations because we keep students at the center of the learning process. While assessments and standards are fixed variables, our instructional resources, instructional strategies, and pacing guides are flexible based on the needs of each student.  

Curriculum: We teach the Arizona Learning Standards. CCUSD teachers meet each Wednesday in collaborative teams to identify how time should be spent on each of the standards based on the needs of each individual student. Because it would take more time than we have during a school year to teach all standards to the depth and rigor that they require, our collaborative teams evaluate standards based on specific criteria to determine the most essential standards. While we teach all standards, we have prioritized these few essential standards and guarantee that all students will meet those standards at a proficient level. Ultimately, our curriculum responds to four critical questions: What do we want students to learn? How will we know when students have met our standard? What will we do for students who have not learned the standard? What will do for students who demonstrate mastery of the standard?

Instructional Resources: Our teachers are professionals who have been trained in a variety of pedagogical methods. We offer them a variety of evidence-based instructional resources that will support student learning. All instructional resources have been selected by teachers, evaluated by educational specialists, and approved by our Governing Board. These resources are categorized as:

instructional resources   supplementary materials   library materials 

Instructional Strategies: All students learn differently. Therefore, we offer a variety of instructional strategies to support the needs of all our students. Such instructional strategies include direct instruction, cooperative learning, project-based learning, Kagan engagement strategies, workshop style instruction, and more.

Assessment: In order to guarantee that all students learn, we are constantly assessing our students using informal data collection tools as well as more formal common formative assessments. The data from our assessments helps teachers to make instructional decisions for the next 10 minutes of class, the next 10 days of class, or even for programmatic changes to their entire course content and delivery. We believe that the primary purpose of assessment is to provide students with immediate feedback so that they know where they are in relation to the intended learning standards. In that sense, we believe assessment should be used in the service of learning and should ultimately motivate students to take the next steps as learners.