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Curriculum and Professional Development

Implementation Plan
for the
2009-2010 Academic School Year

Hoboken School District

Submitted by
Dr. Anthony Petrosino

Fall 2009

Table of Contents

1. Opening Day Agenda

2. First Day Activities
3. Curriculum Committee by School
4. Observation Forms
a. TB Teacher Observation Quicklist
b. Principal Checklist (2 sided)
5. Planned Professional Development Activities for 2009-2010
a. Tools of the Mind
b. LitLife
c. ASCD- Understanding by Design
d. NJTAP (tech training)
e. Para/Teacher/Parent PD

6. Unit Planners
a. Unit Plans 2009-20 10 (HHS/Dr. Cella form)
b. Unit Plan Template (HHS/Dr. Cella form)
c. Observable Indicators of Teaching for Understanding form
d. Unit Plan Memoir
e. MYP Unit Planner (blank)
f. MYP Unit Planner (with annotations)
7. FAQs

8. Supplements
a. 2007 Curriculum Audit (NJ DoE)
b. 2008 Science Curriculum and Instruction Audit (LSC)

Opening Day Agenda

Is change necessary to facilitate growth?
Welcome Remarks/Overview
Break to Individual Meeting Rooms
Individual Group
Map Overview: Look at the curriculum map and discuss what the map
represents/time frames/topics on the map (as an attempt to keep grade
levels/content material consistent among teachers and schools)/
importance of pacing/flexibility with testing schedules
UBD/Unit Planner Overview: Look at the sample provided and discuss
each section. Discuss MYP role of planner and the Areas of Interaction as
part of the unit.
Sample Planners: Distribute and discuss existing units in content areas.
Assessments: Distribute and discuss district assessments as well as
teacher assessments in the classroom.
FAQ: Have colleagues complete frequently asked question form and
collect. If time allows discuss. If time does not allow save discussion until
the next session.
10:3010:45 Break
10:45 11:15 Resume Group Meeting
Practical Use: Discuss FAQ if necessary. Have colleagues begin planning
their first couple days of school. How will they take the existing
curriculum/planners and make them their own?
11:15-11:30 Full group reconvenes to share questions or comments to be addressed at
future professional development.

First Day Activities

The following curriculum committee members will lead discussion on practical aspects
of implementing the new cuniculum. Members will help fellow teachers navigate the
resources that have been developed. These resources include curriculum mapping, the
Big Idea for each unit,

PYP planners, MYP planners, district assessments, and the


Grade Level/Discipline

Curriculum Committee

Room Number



Ms. Elise Granovsky



2 and Grade 3

Ms. Veronica Ramos



Ms. Kelly Sogluizzo



Mr. Kevin Metcalf


Social Studies/Holocaust

Ms. Tara Donnelly


Language Arts

Ms. Andrea Canonico and




Mr. Martin Shannon



Mr. Lou Taglieri and

Ms. Gabriella Garcia


Secondary/High School
World Languages

Ms. Bess Mitsakos


Ms. Geidy DelaRosa and

Ms. Tasha Leggard


Ms. Kate Kezmarsky



Mr. Howard McKenzie






Chris Munoz and




Social Studies


Mr. Damian DeBenedetto

Visual Arts (K-12)

Ms. Fran Cohn and Ms.

Lynn Fusco,


Health/Physical Education

Mr. Ryan Sorafine and Ms.

Melanie Kolmer


(K-i 2)

Ms. Robin Piccapietra


Music (K-12)

Ms. Stephanie Safko

Mr. Jared Ramos



Ms. Michele McGreivey


Attend session in your

Study Team (K-i 2)


grade area to get general

idea of curriculum
Special Education

Attend area of HQ status

Curriculum Committee by School

The following faculty should be considered curriculum resources at the individual school
level. Each of these faculty members spent considerable hours as part of the Hoboken
Curriculum Committee and are well versed in the scope and sequence of the curriculum
as well as details centering on state standards, Understanding by Design, and








Observation Forms
The following are a series of observation
forms that were developed by the
Curriculum Committee

lB Teacher Observation Quicklist

What to look for in an MYP classroom?
1. Is a unit question posted?
a. If yes, what is the unit question?


Is the teacher focusing on an Area of Interaction?

a. If yes, with which Area(s) is the teacher working (Approaches to
Learning, Health and Social Education, Community and Service, Human
Ingenuity, Environments)?

3. What pedagogical approaches is the teacher using to structure student learning


a. Independent Student Engagement with Text

Somewhat Evident

Very Evident


No Evidence

Small Group/Partner Project Work

Somewhat Evident

Very Evident

Little Evidence

Little Evidence

No Evidence

Little Evidence

No Evidence

Little Evidence

No Evidence

Little Evidence

No Evidence

c. Purposeful Talk
Somewhat Evident

Very Evident

d. Closure/Reflective Activity
Somewhat Evident

Very Evident

e. Teacher Lecture
Somewhat Evident

Very Evident

Very Evident

Teacher Lecture with Multimedia

Somewhat Evident

Little Evidence

No Evidence


Principal Checklist (2 sided-Side A)

3-5 minute informal observations



The Big Idea and unit questions were displayed so that the students could refer back to them
throughout the unit






The Area of Interaction was posted (grades 6-10)



The teacher and students were actively engaged in meaningful discussion (open-ended question)




The textbook is one resource among many (evidence of multi-medialvarious types of resources)




The learning activities helped the students experience key ideas and explore the issues (whereto)




The students had opportunities to generate relevant questions






(2 sided-Side B)







Professional Development
Following are the Professional Development Plans
in place for academic year 2009-2010 to assist in
curriculum implementation and State compliance.


Tools of Mind Kindergarten Implementation Plan (updated 8/5/09)

Summary: Tools of the Mind is a research-based early childhood program that builds
strong foundations for school success in preschool and kindergarten children by
promoting their intentional and self-regulated learning. In a series of rigorous
experimental trials, Tools of the Mind has been shown to have a significant impact on
self-regulation of preschool children. The study also found these gains in self-regulation
to be related to scores in child achievement in early literacy and mathematics. Early
Childhood Coordinator Jessica Peters and Dr. Petrosino brought Tools of the Mind to the
Hoboken School District during the 2008-09 school year for PreK grades only with the
plan that Tools would be extended to Kindergarten throughout the district starting in


a. Manuals and Tools of the Mind books have been ordered and will be distributed to
the correct staff once it is known who is teaching Kindergarten (Completed SPG 09)
b. Classroom materials and supplies will be ordered by building principals and Jessica:
do not need to order anymore consumable workbooks (Completed SPG 09)
Training Dates
a. June 22/23, 2009 teachers and assistants (we need to notify current Kindergarten
teachers that the last day of school is the 19
not the 23) (Completed)
b. Week of July 13 Administrators training (Completed)
c. August 26- Volunteer Classroom Set Up Visitation
d. August 31 teachers and assistants, administrators when possible
e. October 21 teachers, assistants, administrators
f. December 16- Full Day Training for Teachers and Administrators (Substitutes
g. January 27- (District has a 1:00 day, substitutes may be needed)
h. March 10- Full Day Training for Teachers and Administrators (Substitutes needed)
i. April 21 (we will need a full day and district has a 1:00 day)
Prep periods and Coach visits will attempt to have at least one common prep a week, as
many preps in the afternoon as possible and the coach visits will occur as often as we need




Summary: LitLife consultants work in schools to implement innovative structures for

teaching reading and writing. After a careful analysis of a schools environment and
history, they work with staff members to enrich teaching methods and curriculum in
reading and writing. They help teachers and administrators in realizing their goal: a
happy school in which children and adults alike thrive. During the 2008-09 school year
LitLife was contracted to work with teachers in Grades 1-3. For the 2009-2010 school
year the contract has been expanded to Grades 1-5. LitLife emphasizes reflection and self
regulation- consistent themes along the full PreK-12 arc of the curriculum revision
process. Principal Lorraine Cella was instrumental in bringing LitLife to the attention of
the district and NCLB Coordinator Jennifer Lopez and Dr. Petrosino have worked with
Ms. Patricia Reily and associates at LitLife to develop a comprehensive plan for
professional development in literacy for Grades 1-5. In addition, LitLife has assisted in
curricula review for Language Arts Grades 1-5.

Meeting with teachers grades 1, 2 & 3 either Sept.1 or Sept. 2, TBD at Aug., 09 Principals
Tentative training dates have been sent to each Elementary School for approval by building
adrn in
Need to develop dates for district grade level trainings and to determine if LitLife will be
asked to participate in the additional in-service activities Sept., Oct., & Jan. If so, LitLife
trainer availability must be confirmed with Patty Reilly
Following Dates are Planned
9/24 Full Day
10/21 In Service Trainers in the AM/PM workshop
1/27 In Service Trainers in the AM/PM workshop


ASCD- Understanding by Design (Tentative to RFO solicitation, if required by BA)

Summary: Understanding by Design, or UbD, is an increasingly popular tool for

educational planning focused on teaching for understanding. The emphasis of UbD is
on backward design, the practice of looking at the outcomes in order to design
curriculum units, performance assessments, and classroom instruction. The UbD
framework was designed by nationally recognized educators Grant Wiggins and Jay
McTighe, and published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development. According to Wiggins, The potential of UbD for curricular improvement
has struck a chord in American education. Over 250,000 educators own the book. Over
30,000 Handbooks are in use. More than 150 University education classes use the book
as a text and it has become the standard suggested format for curriculum design by the
State of New Jerseys Department of Education. UbD/ASCD was brought to the district
by Dr. Petrosino in November of 2007 and was greatly expanded with the help of
professional development funds and coordination with NCLB Coordinator Jennifer
Lopez. All principals have attended workshops on UbD and over 50 teachers in the
district (primarily on the Hoboken Curriculum Committee).

Sept. 24, 2009 4 ASCD trainers (staff groupings TBD)

Oct. 21* & 22 Elizabeth Rossini
Jan. 27* & 28 Elizabeth Rossini

6 additional dates TBD

PM scheduled district in-service day


Other Professional Development Planned or Pending for 2009-20 10 School Year


Tech training (as of 7/709 conversation wIE. Carvalho, details TBD)

Summary: School districts/Charter Schools are required to assess students technological

literacy from state (8.1 Computer and Information Standard) and federal (NCLB, Title lI
D) mandates. New Jersey Technology Assessment of Proficiency and Integration
(NJTAP-IN) is a combination of strategies, tools and resources so that teachers can assess
technological literacy (while doing what they already do) in the classroom using
technology. The information sessions that were conducted in early October 2006
provided detail on what that would look like. However, the NJDOE does not dictate
when or how assessments are to be done. There are several options, such as purchasing
an assessment tool, developing a district-made tool or adopting NJTAP-IN
recommendations. NJTAP-IN is the recommended option.

Training schedule/ hrs. required

Staff involved


Para/Teacher/Pa rent PD
Summary : Dr. Aniello has a proposal designed for After-School but specific sessions could be
incorporated into in-service days as well, especially for paraprofessionals, if administrators are
interested in coordinating w/PD programs. Dr. Aniellos proposal:

Para Professionals
Five (5) Sessions
September 2009 to June 2010
3:00 to 5:00

Identification of students with Special Needs

Laws/Regulations (IDEA/NCLB/504-ADA/FERPA)
Behavior Management
Para Professional! Parent Communication
Teacher! Para Professional Communication

Hoboken Professional Development For Teachers

All teacher sessions conducted will be geared to individual schools and staff at the various educational
During School (Professional Development Days)
After School ( Faculty Meetings)
Observation, consultation staff classroom follow up
1. Inclusion
2. Co-Teaching
3. Behavior Management
4. Assistive Technology
5. Intervention/Accommodations/Strategies
6. Bullying
7. Laws/Regulations (IDEA/NCLB/504-ADA/FERPA)
8. Identification of students with Special Needs
9. Teacher! Parent Communication
10. Teacher/ Para Professional Communication
Hoboken Parent Educational Program

Understanding your Child as a Student
a. Home Work
b. Classroom
c. Social interaction


Your Child and Special Needs




Effective Home/School Partnership

a. Communication
b. Cooperation
c. Responsibility (Parent/Child/Teacher)
Transition Stages in Education
a. Entering Kindergarten
b. Sixth (6) Grade
c. Junior High School
d. High School

These listed PD activities are district-wide SINI schools are required to spend mandated PD
reserves ($) to address their specific issues/concerns in not meeting AYP.


Unit Planners- Dr. Lorraine Celia


Unit Plans

Unit plans/lesson plans are due prior to implementation to your supervisor.

In addition, all general educators must provide copies of unit plans to their
special educator on the same day that plans are given to the supervisor. The
inclusion teacher, then, over the course of the unit, will modify lessons as
per IEPs. Those modifications (study guides, word charts, graphic
organizers, T-charts, mnemonics, KWL charts, etc.) should be submitted to
special education supervisor (principal) upon completion of the unit.
In theory, if you plan units for about 4 weeks, the following dates might
serve as due dates:
General Educators:
September 4
October 2
November 13
December 4
January 8
February 5
March 5
April 2
May 7
June 4
Plans should include

In-class Support Educators:

End of Sept/beginning of Oct.
End of Oct/beginning of Nov.
End of Nov/beginning of Dec.
You get the picture

tests, quizzes, rubrics, etc.

Midterms and finals are to be generated by course, so these exams need to be

common. I understand that the curriculum committee has written some
common assessments. These should be reviewed as soon as possible.
Teachers new to a subject should also see their supervisor for a suitable due
date schedule.
Teachers who plan units longer than 4 weeks, simply need to alert their


Side A

Unit Plan Template

Teachers name:

Co-teacher: (if applicable)


Unit Title:

Dates of unit delivery:

Stage One: Desired Results (should not be differentiated)

Essential Questions (and area of interaction for grades 9 and 10)

Knowledge (What do I want my students to know?)

Skills (What do I want my students to be able to do?)

Stage Two: Assessment Evidence: How do I know what my students

learned and can do? (Differentiation is likely)

Performance Tasks

Other Assessment Evidence


Side B

Stage Three: Learning Plan aka Lesson Plans

Daily work (should be





Observable Indicators of Teaching for Understanding

What does teaching for understanding look like? What would we expect to see in an
Understanding by Design classroom? The following list of observable indicators
includes items can be found on pages 268 and 269 in Understanding Design:
Professional Development Workbook by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins.
N/N not


5 Clear

3 Somewhat Clear

C Misguided/Misunderstood

The Unit and Course Design

Units and courses reflect a coherent design. Big ideas and Essential Questions
clearly guide the design of, and are aligned with assessments, teaching, and learning
In the design, clear distinctions are made between Big Ideas and Essential
Questions, and clear indication is given of knowledge and skills necessary for learning
the Big Ideas and answering the Essential Questions.
Multiple forms of assessment allow students to demonstrate their understanding
in various ways.
Instruction and assessment reflect the six facets of understanding. The design
provides opportunities for students to explain, interpret, apply, give perspective,
empathize, and examine their own self-knowledge.
Assessment of understanding is anchored by authentic performance tasks calling
for students to demonstrate their understanding and apply knowledge and skills.
Teacher, peer, and self-evaluations of student products and performances
include clear criteria and performance standards.
The unit or course design enables students to revisit and rethink important ideas
to deepen their understanding.
A variety of resources are suggested. The textbook is only one resource among
many (instead of the syllabus).


N/N not noticed

5 Clear

3 Somewhat Clear

0 Misguided/Misunderstood

The Teacher

Informs students of the Big Ideas and Essential Questions, performance

requirements, and evaluative criteria at the beginning of the unit or course.
Hooks and holds students interest while they examine and explore Big Ideas
and Essential Questions.
Uses a variety of strategies and interacts with students so as to promote deeper
of subject matter.
Facilitates students active construction of meaning (rather than simply
Promotes opportunities for students to unpack their thinking to explain,
interpret, apply, give perspective, empathize and examine self-knowledge (incorporates
the six facets of understanding).

Uses questioning, probing, and feedback to stimulate student refection and

Teaches basic knowledge and skills to help students uncover Big Ideas and
explore Essential Questions.
Uses information from ongoing assessments to provide feedback for guiding
rethinking and revising instruction.
Uses information from ongoing assessments to check for understanding and
misconceptions along the way.
Uses a variety of resources (more than text) to promote understanding.


N/N not noticed

5 Clear

3 Somewhat Clear

0 Misguided/Misunderstood

The Learners...

Can describe the goals (Big Ideas and Essential Questions) and performance
requirements of the unit or course.
Can explain what they are doing and why (i.e., how todays work relates to the
larger goals).
Are hooked at the beginning and engaged throughout the unit.
Can describe the criteria by which their work will be evaluated.
Are engaged in activities that help them to learn the Big Ideas and answer the
Essential Questions.
Are engaged in activities that promote explanation, interpretation, application,
perspective taking, empathy, and self-knowledge (the six facets).
Demonstrate that they are learning the background knowledge and skills that
support the Big Ideas and Essential Questions.
Have opportunities to generate relevant questions.
Are able to explain and justify their work and their answers.
Are involved in self-and peer assessment based upon established criteria and
performance standards.
Use the criteria and rubrics to guide and revise their work.
Set relevant goals based on feedback


Teachers name: XYZ (Memoir)


Co-teacher: (if applicable)

Course: English I
Dates of unit delivery: September

Unit Title: Writing Memoir

possibly into the first week of October

Stage One: Desired Results

This writing unit is based on the theory that if I want students to write in a particular
genre, they need to read and analyze that genre first. Therefore, we
will study memoirs that students can write like
will mentor authors, analyze writing structures/techniques employed by
will ultimately construct an original memoir of object, place, event or person
utilizing the stages of the writing process.
Essential Questions (Areas of Interaction: Approaches to Learning/Human
While reading and analyzing memoirs:
1. How can we read as writers do?
2. What are effective writing structures?
3. How do authors craft experiences into engaging memoir?
After several memoirs have been read:
4. What if any common themes emerged in our mentor memoirs?
As students craft their memoirs:
5. Which small moments in our lives can be developed into effective memoir?
6. What can we learn from writers to improve our own writing?
Knowledge (What do I want students to know?)
that small moments in our lives can be shaped into effective writing
that detail and word choice are critical elements of good writing
that good writing is unified and sticks together
that good writing takes time, is really hard work, and is not easy (for anyone)
that effective writing involves risk taking
that revision strategies are keys to successful writing pieces
Skills (What do I want students to be able to do?)
3.4 Reading:
1. use speaking, listening, viewing to assist with reading;
6. read literally, inferentially and critically;
8. read with comprehension;
9. use prior knowledge to extend reading ability and comprehension and to link
aspects of the text with experiences and people;


10. identify passages that support point of view;

11. distinguish person opinions and POV from those of the author;
12 .identify elements of memoir;
14. identify memoir as a literary form;
15. expand vocabulary using appropriate strategies;
18. begin to identify common aspects of human existence;
21. analyze text patterns of organization;
22. analyze text purpose, ideas, and style of author;
23. understand the role of characters, settings, and events;
24. understand the concepts of figurative language;
28. analyze how the works of a given period reflect historical events and social
31 .understand the effects of literary devices;
32. understand the range of literary forms (memoir) and content that elicit aesthetic
3.3 Writing:
1. use speaking, listening, viewing to assist with writing;
2. write from experiences, thoughts, and feelings;
3. use writing to extend experience;
4. write for a variety of purposes (memoir/personal narrative);
5. write on self-selected topics in a variety of literary forms (memoir);
6. write collaboratively and independently;
7. use a variety of strategies for developing ideas about which to write;
8. synthesize information from multiple memoirs;
9. use figurative language;
10. revise content, organization and other aspects of writing using self, peer and
teacher collaborative feedback;
11. edit writing for developmentally appropriate syntax, spelling, grammar, usage and
12. publish in a variety of formats (memoir);
13. establish and use criteria for self and group evaluation of written products;
14. develop a portfolio of writing
Listening, speaking, viewing are also ongoing parts of unit although not the focus.

Stage Two: Assessment Evidence or How will I know what students

learned and can now do?
Performance Tasks
Upon completion of this unit students will construct a memoir
applying/incorporating various techniques learned from our memoir study. (see
rubric attached)
Other Assessment Evidence
Annotated copies of mentor memoirs (housed in folder)


Notes on authors
Writers notebook of try its
Drafts and annotated drafts of original memoir
Process essay (meta-cognitive)

Stage Three: Daily work (include handouts, rubrics, quizzes, etc.)

Premise for daily work: Students must read a particular genre if we want them to write
in that genre. So the first two weeks are spent analyzing memoirs pieces. The last two
weeks are spent writing memoir. For the purpose of this sample, an brief outline is
anyone who wishes more detailed daily plans/information, see Lorraine

Day One:
Read aloud The Jacket.
Provide a photocopy and highlighter to each student.
Annotate and discuss based reading CPIs memoir of object.
Discuss the significance of the jacket to the writer and how it touches the readers life,

Day Two:
Read aloud Hunger from Black Boy memoir of event. Then provide photocopy to
each student and a highlighter.
Ask students to re-read, highlight and annotate according reading CPIs. Review as
necessary based on yesterdays discussion.

Day Three....
Differentiated Instruction: Arrange students into 4 groups with leveled memoir pieces,
etc. Students work in teacher determined groups on reading strategy: Visualization.
Challenging Pieces:
Homeward Bound (memoir of person)
The Long Tale of Madonna the Iguana (memoir of object)
Excerpts from But Ill Be Back Again (memoir of event)
Eleven (memoir of event/object)
Day Four: Jig Saw yesterdays work.
Day Five Ten Emphasis on What is the So What of the piece?
The Visit (memoir of person)
The Kitten (memoir of event)
Barbie Q (memoir of object)


Nintendo Saved Me (memoir of object)

Next two weeks is spent brainstorming, drafting, revising an original slice of life
memoir, using each piece studied as a mentor piece.
(For detailed daily plans, see L. Cella)


MYP Unit Planner- Blank




Unit Title
Subject and Grade Level
Time frame and Duration

Stage I: Integrate significant concept, area of interaction and unit

question, and ensure it can be assessed

Area of Interaction Focus

Significant Concept(s)

Which Aol will be your focus? Why have you

What are the big ideas? What do I want my

students to retain for years into the future?

chosen this?

MYP Unit Question

What task(s) will allow students the opportunity to respond to the unit question?
What will constitute acceptable evidence of understanding? How will students show what they have understood?

Which specific MYP objectives will be addressed during this unit?


Which MYP assessment criteria will be used?

Stage 2: Backward planning: from the assessment to the learning

activities through inquiry
What knowledge and/or skills (from my course overview) are going to be used to enable the student to respond to the
guiding question?
What (if any) state, provincial, district, or local standards/skills are to be addressed?

Approaches to Learning
How will this unit contribute to the overall development of subject-specific and general AtL skills?

Learning Experiences

Teaching Strategies

How will students know what is expected of them? Will

they see examples, rubrics, templates, etc.?

feedback during the unit?

How will students acquire the knowledge and practise

the skills required? How will they practise applying
Do the students have enough prior knowledge?

How will we use formative assessment to give students

What different teaching methodologies will we employ?
How are we differentiating teaching and learning for all? Have
we considered those learning in a language other than their
mother tongue? Have we considered those with special
educational needs?


What resources are available to us?
Ilow will our classroom environment, local environment and/or the community be used to facilitate students experiences
during the unit?

Ongoing reflections and evaluation

In keeping an ongoing record, consider the following questions. There are further
stimulus questions in the unit planning section of MYP: from principles into practice.
Students and Teachers
What did we find compelling? Was our disciplinary knowledge/skills challenged in any way?
What inquiries arose during the learning? What, if any, extension activities arose?
How did we reflect

both on the unit and on our own learning?

Were there any attributes of the learner profile that were encouraged through this unit? Were there any opportunities for

Possible connections
How successful was the collaboration with other teachers within my subject group and from other subject groups?
What interdisciplinary understandings were or could be forged through collaboration with other subjects?

Were students able to demonstrate their learning?
Did the assessment tasks allow students to demonstrate the learning objectives identified for this unit? Did I make sure
students were invited to achieve at all levels of the criteria descriptors?
Are we prepared for the next stage?

Data collection
How did I decide on the data to collect? Was it useful?


Unit Title

Theme of the Unit

Subject and Grade Level
Time frame and Duration

Stage I: Integrate significant concept, area of interaction and unit

question, and ensure it can be assessed

Area of Interaction Focus

Significant Concept(s)

Which Aol will be your focus? Why have you

chosen this?

What are the big ideas? What do I want my

students to retain for years into the future?

There are five Areas of Interactions:

Community and Service
Health and Social

Human Ingenuity

Understanding from Big

Idea sheet (UBD

.Approaches to Learning

Each unit should include Approaches to

Learning and one additional Area of

MYP Unit Question

Essential question

Each student should be able to answer the unit question at

the end of each unit. The unit question should summarize
the entire unit.

What task(s) will allow students the opportunity to respond to the unit question?
What will constitute acceptable evidence of understanding? How will students show what they have understood?

Summative tasks
Formative tasks

Which specific MYP objectives will be addressed during this unit?

Variable based on subject

Obtainable from subject guides available on N drive

Which MYP assessment criteria will be used?

MYP assessment criteria

Obtainable from subject guides available on N drive

Stage 2: Backward planning: from the assessment to the learning

activities through inquiry
What knowledge and/or skills (from my course overview) are going to be used to enable the student to respond to the
guiding question?
What (if any) state, provincial, district, or local standards/skills are to be addressed?

Established Goals from Big Idea sheet (UBD planner)


Approaches to Learning
How will this unit contribute to the overall development of subject-specific and general AtL skills?

Variable based on subject

Learning Experiences

Teaching Strategies

How will students know what is expected of them? Will

they see examples, rubrics, templates, etc.?

feedback during the unit?

How will students acquire the knowledge and practise

the skills required? How will they practise applying
Do the students have enough prior knowledge?

Vary based on teacher

How will we use formative assessment to give students

What different teaching methodologies will we employ?

How are we differentiating teaching and learning for all? Have
we considered those learning in a language other than their
mother tongue? Have we considered those with special
educational needs?

Vary based on teacher

What resources are available to us?
How will our classroom environment, local environment and/or the community be used to facilitate students experiences
during the unit?

Variable- examples may include:


Ongoing reflections and evaluation

In keeping an ongoing record, consider the following questions. There are further
stimulus questions in the unit planning section of MYP: from principles into practice.
Students and Teachers
What did we find compelling? Was our disciplinary knowledge/skills challenged in any way?
What inquiries arose during the learning? What, if any, extension activities arose?


How did we reflect

both on the unit and on our own learning?

Were there any attributes of the learner profile that were encouraged through this unit? Were there any opportunities for

Possible connections
How successful was the collaboration with other teachers within my subject group and from other subject groups?
What interdisciplinary understandings were or could be forged through collaboration with other subjects?

Were students able to demonstrate their learning?
Did the assessment tasks allow students to demonstrate the learning objectives identified for this unit? Did I make sure
students were invited to achieve at all levels of the criteria descriptors?
Are we prepared for the next stage?

Data collection
How did I decide on the data to collect? Was it useful?

Unit reflection based on students and teachers


FAQ- Curriculum Implementation

How am I supposed to implement this curriculum when I have not had any real

The curriculum was designed and created by Hoboken teachers for Hoboken teachers. As
licensed professionals. it is the expectation of the State and the District that you are able
to deliver standards based curriculum. There has been much time and effort placed in
trying to provide as many support materials as possible for you. In addition, there have
been and there will continue to be long term systemic professional development
opportunities for district teachers in such areas as Understanding by Design, Tools of
the Mind, LitLife and the International Baccalaureate program. Additionally, each
school has a number of curriculum committee members on staff and should be able to
provide some assistance and guidance during common planning period. And ultimately,
your building principal is the instructional leader of your school and has attended
workshops on numerous aspects of the curriculum. They should be considered another
resource to be utilized for curriculum implementation.
Where do textbooks fit into the implementation of the curriculum?

Textbooks are certainly a resource to be utilized for enacting curriculum but they are not
the only resource. There has not been a change in the textbooks the district uses nor has
there been any acceleration or deceleration for new textbooks. If the curriculum was
textbook dependent, we would need to revise the curriculum every time we adopted new
textbooks or changed textbook publishers. With the new curriculum we will be less
dependent on textbooks but they will still be a useful resource.
How will planning be different (or not) compared to previous years?

Preparing to teach will be more time consuming, if done correctly, but certainly more
interesting. More reading of supplemental materials, finding accessible texts to support
content, creation of formative and alternative assessments... .components of effective
instruction that research shows leads to engaged professional activity and positive student
outcomes. It is quite possible that some aspects of planning may be easier than in years
before since you will now have at your disposal a full curriculum mapping of all topics to
cover for the year, unit planners, essential question guides, and suggestions for
evaluations, assessments and additional resources. It was the hope of the committee that
this would facilitate planning.
How come the unit plans do not follow the textbook?

Most of these objectives have been completed by the curriculum committee over the past
18 months and also previously gone over in lB Workshops that many district teachers
participated in over the last 5 years. Again, the textbook is a resource but does not take
the place of the unit planner which helps the student link the curriculum to broader more
integrated topics.

The unit planner is meant as a tool:

Starts from an area of interaction context
Includes the MYP objectives in stage 1 of the planner
What Makes a Good Unit?
Is the unit driven by an open-ended, multifaceted unit question that engages
Are the significant concepts and unit question conceptually based?
Does it focus on one main area of interaction and potentially leads to
interdisciplinary learning?
Will the unit be guided and driven by the MYP unit question that integrates the
significant concept(s) of the subject matter with the context provided by the areas
of interaction?
Do the assessments distinguish students engagement with the MYP unit question
and learning objectives?
Do the assessments provide varied opportunities for the students to show their
knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes?
Have appropriate assessment criteria been selected and aligned with subject

When am I supposed to do all this new planning? I only have one prep period a

As professionals, teachers are expected to devote to their assignments the time necessary
to meet their responsibilities, but they shall not be required to clock in or clock out by
hours or minutes. While Moreover, all elementary teachers shall be granted one (1)
preparation period per day, the planning period is to help supplement the requirements
of a planning period and not to indicate that professionally speaking, all that is needed to
be done to prepare for a days worth of teaching can be professionally accomplished in a
40 minute period. The expectation is that you will do the needed preparation to deliver
effective instruction utilizing the revised curriculum.
How will the new curriculum address the needs of my bright or accelerated

It is the expectation that the district will continue to meet the needs of all its students by
basing instruction on the individual attributes, aptitudes, interests, and competencies of
each student in the district.


How will the curriculum help raise test scores?

Evidence from many studies supports the contention that accountability testing narrows
curricula to mostly English and mathematics, the subjects that count for No Child Left
Behind (NCLB). The extra time spent on the tested subjects detracts from many other
aspects of schooling. The impact is greatest in schools labeled in need of improvement
by NCLB, which tend to be those serving low-income and minority students. Studies find
that high-stakes testing damages all three aspects of the curriculum: subject matter
content, structure or form of content knowledge, and instructional practices. The
dominant trend is that testing narrows content to tested subjects. In the tested subjects,
knowledge tends to narrow and become fragmented into bits and pieces learned for the
sake of the tests themselves. Also, high-stakes testing often leads to more lecture-based,
teacher-centered ways of teaching, which other research has found fails to enhance
learning. In the end, raising test scores is probably more about pedagogy than curriculum
but, if enacted as intended, this curriculum and resulting pedagogy it supports should see
gains in student learning. How that translates to standardized testing will be based largely
on how much and to what degree people teach to the test as opposed to teaching to the
curriculum and to the standards.
Where can I get a copy of the new curriculum?

CDs will be provided to all faculty and administrators. In addition, it is the intention that
hard copies will be printed and will be available in each school and in the Hoboken Board
of Education located at 1115 Clinton Street.
Will all the schools be using the same curriculum and textbooks?

All the schools will be using the same curriculum. Textbooks (and other resources) will
be left largely to district and school administrators discretion.
How will this impact homework and testing?

Homework and testing will remain consistent with Board policy.


Curriculum Audit Report

Hoboken School District
February 26- March 1, 2007
Team Members:
Diane Pallitto
Ann Small
Stan Grajewski, Linda Gross, Barbara Sachs, Robert Kramer, John Moschella, Walter Rusak, Bill Demefroulakos,
James LermanAudit of District Curriculum Materials and Professional Development Contracts
February 26 and February 27, 2007 by Diane Pallitto and Ann Small
School Visitations and Dates:
Deniarest MS
Hoboken HS
Connors Primary #9
Wallace Primary #6


28 & Mar. 1
28 & Mar. 1

Focus and Questions:

The focus of this report is to document evidence pertaining to the following overarching questions:
1. Is there a Board approved curriculum that is aliaed to NJQSAC elements in existence for all of the subject
content areas?
2. To what degree is the Districts curriculum being implemented in the classrooms?
3. Is the academic program supported by staff development?
4. What staff development has the district had since September 2005 and what has it cost?

Curriculum Audit Report

Process Used in all School Districts
questions and not to
The charge for this project was to document the evidence in support of the above overarching
57 retired
evaluate the effectiveness of the instruction and / or curriculum resources. To achieve the aim,
selected to visit
superintendents, staff developers, principals and supervisors as well as university personnel
the districts and record evidence available to an observer.
in each content
At the beginning of the process, two members of the district team examined the written curriculum
presence or
area required by the state and listed the materials outlined in the district documents. They
absence of the following important curricular elements

The curriculum is clear about what is taught to children.

There are references of the NJCCCS to the curriculum.
The curriculum includes grade-level benchmarks and / or interim assessments.
The curriculum contains a pacing chart! scope and sequence.
The curriculum contains references to technology.
The curriculum identifies instructional resources.

visits to the
The information from the written curriculum review was given to school visitors who used it in their
classrooms in selected schools. (The schools in each district were selected by the process developed by
director of the QSAC research) The classroom observations served as
curriculum was being implemented. The observers looked for evidence that the teachers used the district
curriculum to make decisions about what to teach. They noted teachers expectations as expressed in their
in the
objectives, observed student work as displayed in the rooms and hallways and recorded what was happening
classroom during the ve minutes they were in the class. For this latter observation they used the protocols set
forth in the book, The Three-minute Classroom Walk-through by Carolyn Downey, Betty Steffy, Fenwick English,
Larry Frase and William Poston, JR.
The Districts professional development contracts and staff surveys serve as evidence that staff development
supports the instructional program and serves the needs of the system. While all staff development was examined,
only contracts near or above $100,000 are reported individually.
Finally, a short survey of teachers in each of the schools was distributed to the teachers and collected
anonymously. The results give some sense of whether the staff values the districts staff development efforts and
whether they report that they use the information in their practice.
All data collected for this project are called an Appendix and included in a file held in the Department of
Education office. In addition to the completed forms, sample forms that were used in the whole project are also
included in this appendix.

Hoboken, New Jersey

Curriculum Audit

As a small urban district, Hoboken faces challenges in the area of curriculum and instruction.
On one hand, Hoboken High School offers the International Baccalaureate Program (13) for grades 11 and 12. The
lB curriculum in all subjects is inclusive of scope and sequence, interdisciplinary studies, and correlation with the
NJCCCS. It is a challenging and proven program of studies that focuses on higher order thinlcing skills and has
clear assessment information and benchmarks for student success.
The International Bacca:laureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a challenging two-year curriculum, primarily aimed at students
aged 16 to 19. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the worlds leading universities.
The three core requirements are:
extended essay

theory of knowledge

creativity, action, service.

All Diploma Programme students must engage in these three activities.
Extended essay
The extended essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest,
and acquaints students with the independent research and writing sidils expected at university.
Theory of knowledge (TOK)
The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines,
encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
Creativity, action, service (CAS)
Participation in the schools CAS programme encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community
service work, thus fostering students awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.
At the end of the two-year programme, students are assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual
performance against stated objectives for each subject.
The grading system is criterion based (results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each students
position in the overall rank order); validity, reliability and fairness are the watchwords of the Diploma Programmes assessment
strategy. (from the lB website: http://www.ibo.org/diplorna/index.cfin)

The Demerest School is also adopting a version of the International Baccalaureate program for the middle school,
called MYP. Its goals and activities are similar to that described in the High School lB Programme, but it is
intended for younger students who plan to go on to the High School LB Programme. Again those curriculum
documents are complete and meet the QSAC standards. It is not clear how many students are enrolled in the MYP
program, however.
On the other hand, with the exception of the LB program documents, there is essentially no locally desigued written
curriculum in place or in use, as measured by todays QSAC standards. The documents examined included a
download of the NJCCCS Frameworks (downloaded 1//7/2007 or 2/12/07) and some older undated typed
documents that outline student outcomes in each subject and seem to be correlated loosely only to older NJ Core
Content Standards. There is no sequence or scope, technology references, interdisciplinary activities, benchmark
or assessment information.
One key to student success in the achievement of the NJCCCS is the existence and everyday use of curriculum
documents that guide teachers in the scope and sequence of the subject matter. The curriculum should show direct
and detailed correlation to the NJCCCS, include interdisciplinary activities and references, and contain technology

references that help guide teachers to appropriate technology learning and use across all content areas, and
assessment information with benchmarks for student success.

This does not currently appear to be the case in Hoboken; however there is a timeline in place for curriculum
revision taking in all subjects through 2009. The district has no central office administration dedicated to
curriculum and instruction.
However, teachers in the schools seem to have done a good job of using the NJCCCS, Curriculum Frameworks,
texts, and old. undated course outlines to implement a program that helps students achieve the NJCCCS. They
need the direction of well constructed curricula that meet NJQSAC standards to help student achieve their full


Is there a written curriculum in all content areas that include all elements cited in NJQSAC?

grades. This curriculum is
and 12
Hoboken High School offers the International Baccalaureate program in
designed to be challenging for students and focuses on interdisciplinary activities and higher order thinlciiig skills.
The written curriculum is clear with scope and sequence, material, assessments and benchmarks and correlation to
the NJ Core Content Standards. It is not clear how many students are enrolled in the LB program, but it is not all

The district also has the curriculum in place for a middle level LB program called MYB, which meets NJQSAC
standards. It is not clear how many students are in this program.
But other curricula at the high school, middle, and elementary grades are not where they need to be but the district
has a plan to address that over the next three years. The documents that were read at the district level included
dewnloads of the NJCCCS and Curriculum Frameworks, dated 1/7/2007. Other documents on file were described
by the readers in this manner;
There are only two types of documents, both State Curriculum Guides with Hoboken Public Schools cover
no date.
1. Looks like early 1980s (typewritten)
2. NJCCCS Curriculum Frameworks download 1/7/07 or 2/12/07 HS.

The Curriculum Office has no scope and sequence or pacing charts for any content areas. No documents
connecting the content areas to the NJCCCS.
There really isnt a true curriculum office.
1 Superintendent is also HS Principal
2 There is an administrative assistant who is alone in the Curriculum Office.
3 Bi lingual coordinator
4 The technology coordinator is also a vice-principal.


the school visits were much more positive.

2. Is the curriculum being used in the classroom to manage iii structi
High School

Observers visited 37 classes at the high school.

curriculum document available in
Seven classes visited were lB classes. In these classes, the teachers all had the
was seen as intense and the cognitive
the rooms, and correlated their daily objectives to the NJCCCS. Instruction
le, an 18 World Literature Class,
levels being addressed were mostly that of analysis and synthesis. For examp in
to have a valid thesis
students were directed to Complete and essay test on Death ofa Salesman. Be certain
y class, the objective was,
statement and be sure to expand all points with textual support. In an lB Biolog
species, and habitat and explain how
Students will be able to define ecology, ecosystems, population, community,
materials were up-to-date and
the biosphere consists of interdependent and interrelated ecosystems. Texts and
use in others.
students were seen using technology in two of the classes and had it available for
classes were up to date and
Visitors also observed 6 Honors level classes in various subjects. Texts used in the
present in the classrooms.
appropriate for the subjects observed. Teachers had the undated curriculum docum
. There was no computer
Higher order thinldng skills of analysis and synthesis were seen in most of these classes
ts arid teachers seemed
use seen. Two of the observed classes had objectives correlated with the NJCCC
to be highly engaged in the activities observed.
d curriculum documents in the
In the other classes visited, regardless of subj ect area, observers found the undate
classes were preparing to take
room or NJCCCS on CD ROM. Textbooks in all subjects were up-to-date. Many
either in their plan books,
the HSPA and were reviewing key concepts. All teachers had objectives clearly written
activities, i.e. do a practice
on the board, or both. Many of the objectives were merely statements of the days
an Algebra I class, the objective
test, but quite a few were focused on measurable student outcome behaviors. In
Little computer use was
was, students will be able to determine the slope of a line from a graph or 2 points.
seen, the exception being two students using computers in a Social Studies class.
several teachers had
Cognitive levels addressed in classes observed ranged from comprehension to analys While
left to the undated
written the correlate NJCCCS in their plans, it was found that in most classes, this was
curriculum document.
School. Many classes
Students and teachers were seen as engaged in the learning process at Hobok High
The texts being used
including 13, Honors, Regular, and Remedial classes addressed higher order thinldn skills.
are up-to-date and appropriate for the classes.
lum documents and that may
The lack of use of technology is not surprising since it is not included in the curricu
s. The teachers seem to
help some students achieve. The same can be said for interdisciplinary studies and project
ent a program of study that
have done a good job of using the NJCCCS and Curriculum Frameworks to implem
g QSAC standards
leads students toward achievement. However, a strong living curriculum document, meetin
S and even greater
would be a great assistance for them to guide their students to full achievement of the NJCCC

either MY?
Visitors observed 25 classes at the A. 3. Demerest School, grades 7-12. No LB classes were found in
al in nature.
or lB High School program at Demerest. All classes observed were general or remedi
Textbooks in all
Observers found the undated curriculum documents in the classrooms or NJCCCS on CD ROM.
subjects were up-to-date.

on the board, or both.. Many of the objectives

All teachers had objectives clearly written either in their plan books,
PPT (powerpoint) projects for Black
were merely statements of the days activities, i.e. continue to complete
grade math class
ors. In an
History Month,
ular prisms and cylinders. In a
the objective was, students will be able to identify the formula of rectang
the effects of the Industrial Revolution on
social studies class the objective was, students will be able to explain
the US.
many addressed cognitive levels of
Even though the observed classes were general or remedial in nature and
and synthesis were seen in a significant
comprehension and knowledge, higher order thiriidng skills of analysis
ed class.
number of observations. Students were seen using a computer in one observ
using the NJCCCS and Curriculum
As in the High School, the teachers seem to have done a good job of
achievement. However, a strong living
Frameworks to implement a program of study that leads students toward
nce for them to guide their students to full
curriculum document, meeting QSAC standards would be a great assista
achievement of the NJCCCS and ev&n greater learning.
Wallace Primary School
middle grades, the same documents
Observers visited 17 classes in this K-6 school. As in the high schools and
were presented as curriculum, either the NJCCCS or Curriculum Frame
were available for most class reviews,
Classes were found to be active and traditional in approach. Objectives
two classes. Objectives found ranged from
either on the board or in plan books. There were no objectives found in
e statements such as, students
general statements of activities, i.e. picture prompts to specific student outcom
will name and detail issues facing the indigenous people of Guatemala..
d lessons focusing on lower order
Texts and materials were up-to-date. The large majority of observations showe
computers in only one class and
thinking skills of knowledge and comprehension. Students were observed using
the teacher was using a computer to display picture prompts in anothe
help guide teachers in sequence and
As in other schools mentioned there needs to be a strong, living curriculum to
students achieve the NJCCCS and
scope, integrate technology, deliver interdisciplinary instruction, and help
higher levels of success.
Connors Primary School
g but observers found it to be neat,
Observers visited 28 classes in this K-6 school. This is an old school buildin
ts were observed working on them in 7
clean, and newly painted. Computers were found in all classrooms. Studen
were presented as curriculum. In about
The NJCCCS were available in all classrooms, or curriculum frameworks
S and made note of that in their plans.
60% of the observed classes, teachers correlated the lesson with the NJCCC
All teachers had plan books on desk.
t outcome statements. Cognitive
Objectives found ranged from general statements of activities to specifi studen
h the former was much more
levels ranged from knowledge and comprehension to analysis and synthesis, althoug
r-made, copied handout as the learning
predominant. The majority of classes observed used some type of teache
tool. Texts were up-to-date.
grade, an interdisciplinary theme
In 6
from this project in all classes.

THE SEA was observed on display. There was worked freely displayed

in sequence and scope of instruction. A

Again, there needs to be a strong, living curriculum to help guide teachers
even more interdisciplinary
good curriculum would assist them to effectively integrate technology, deliver
benchmarks for student success
instruction and address higher order thinking skills. Assessment criteria and
would help students achieve the NJCCCS and higher levels of achievement

Professional Development Findings: Hoboken

activities conducted from September
Hoboken arlministra.tors submitted a list of 221 professional development
no cost to the district and six at costs
2005 to June 2006 and forms describing 13 activities, seven of them at
ted additional documentation about two
ranging from $480 to $70,000 (total costs = $123,480). The district submit
r. The 11-page contract, which
activities, a letter of agreement with one provider and a contract with anothe
ing expected outcomes or evaluation.
appears to have been prepared by the provider, contains no provisions regard
evidence that professional development
District staff differed in the quality of their responses to requests for best
ement. In some cases, respondents presented
activities resuited in improved instructional practice or student achiev
c, recorded changes in instructional practice
cogent arguments that professional development had resulted in specifi
responses appear to reflect hopes rather
or improved test scores among relevant groups of students. In other cases,
than outcomes.
t that activities in the period under review
The few professional development forms submitted by the district sugges
iven instruction, classroom assessment
satisfied QSAC requirements that professional development address data-dr
nce for students who fall behind
practices, how to use assessments to adjust instruction and how to seek assista
of the NJCCCS and support the
(QSAC Cid); address bow staff can contribute to student achievement
Cle); address culturally responsive
intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of all students (QSAC
e support and follow-up (QSAC C2);
teaching and ways to address needs of diverse learners (QSAC Cig); includ
in areas of need (QSAC C3b).
and address student subgroup performance and improving student achievement
e that:
Teacher Professional Development Survey results (see Appendix) indicat
pment that relates to improving
respondents tend to agree that they receive high-quality profess
school to school (ranging from 3.00
student performance (QSAC Cib), but differ somewhat in this regard from
to 3.56 on a scale of ito 5);
es follow-up training, such as coaching
respondents are equivocal about whether their district or school provid
but differ somewhat in this
or classroom visitations, after professional development activities (QSAC C2),
regard from school to school (ranging from 2.47 to 3.12 on a scale of ito 5);
about quality or results of
82.6% of respondents report that their district or school sought their input
differ in this regard from school
professional development at least once in the past two years (QSAC Clh), but
to school (range = 61.1% to 90.2%);
ional development about how to
75.0% of respondents report that their district or school provided profess
(QSAC C3b), but differ in this
improve achievement of student subgroups at least once in the past two
regard from school to school (range = 61.1% to 84.6%); and
e as a result of recent professional
67.7% of respondents report that they have modified their classroom practic
to 79.6%). However, only
development activity, but differ in this regard from school to school (range = 42.1%
3 9.7% of respondents provided a meaningful example of such modification,
need to conduct its own periodic
Variations in survey responses from school to school suggest that the district may
outcomes, and devote efforts to
professional development surveys, including items about follow-up trainin and
ional development as defined by QSAC.
ensure that teachers in all schools have equal access to high quality profess

Teacher Professional Development Survey Results: Roboken

1. My district or school provides me with high-quality professional development activities that relate to my
needs in relation to improving student performance. [1 = Strongly Disagree; 5 = Strongly Agree]


Hoboken High







2. After professional development activities, my district or school provides follow-up training, such as
coaching or classroom visitations. [1 = Strongly Disagree; 5 = Strongly Agree]

Hoboken High








3. In the past two years, my district or school has sought my input about the quality or the results of the
professional development I have received.


Hoboken High


4. In the past two years, my district or school has provided professional development about how to improve
achievement of student subgroups.
Hoboken High


5. I have modified my classroom practice as a direct or indirect result of professional development activity in
the period September 2005 to December 2006. If yes, describe how your practice has changed.
Hoboken High

% Providing

% Yes

Response Rate

% Faculty

Consultants Report to Hoboken School District
Re: Science Curriculum and Instruction
IntroductionlContext of the Schools and District
This report is the result of a collaborative agreement wherein the Hoboken Board of
Education contracted with Liberty Science Center for a consultation study of its K- 12
science program. This resulted from the districts recognition that, although there were
many indicators of good student performance including good scores on state tests, the
district lacked a science curriculum with vertical and horizontal alignment. Furthermore,
the district questioned if methods were consistent with current trends in the
methodologies employed in science instruction. The consultation was conducted by Mr.
Edward Barry, Director, Teacher Development at Liberty Science Center who has prior
experience as a science supervisor, assistant principal for instruction, high school
principal, consultant and school evaluator. The report is based on first hand observations,
data and information gained during visits to all six of the schools, and interactions with
science instructors and administrators in all of the buildings visited. These interactions
consisted of classroom observations and/or individual meetings with staff members as
well as attendance at leadership and curriculum committee meetings. Brandt School was
visited on 2/14 and 3/17, Calabro School on 1/3 1, Connors School on 3/18, Demarest
Alternative School on 3/10, Hohoken High School on 1/23, 2/7, 4/10, and 4/15 and
Wallace School on 3/28. It is hoped that the findings and recommendations contained
herein can provide direction to the district in its subsequent in-service and summer
curriculum work. The objective of that work is to develop an updated K-12 curriculum
with a built-in process for on-going review and revision.
The Hohoken district has approximately I 850 students in six schools. At this time there
is a high school, an alternative school, a grade eight facility and three elementary schools.
A transition plan is in place which will convert the three elementary schools and the
grade eight school into three schools with a consistent K-8 configuration and the current
eighth grade facility will house a pre-school program.

Responsibility for curriculum currently rests with the interim assistant to the
superintendent and the principals. In addition, the job descriptions for the high school
department chairpersons include responsibility for curriculum development. However,
these staff members do not serve in a supervisory capacity, hence cannot directly observe
if the approved curriculum will be implemented.
Initial impressions of the consultant were very positive. Although some facilities are
showing their age, the buildings are safe and well run. The administration and staff are
committed professionals who daily face the challenges of educating students in an urban
school setting. It is clear that the students feel safe and well cared for and they treat each
other and the staff in a respectful manner. The tone one senses within all of the buildings
is more typical of a suburban rather than that of an urban district.
The district and all the schools are to be commended for their excellent co-operation
during the study. Dr. Raslowsky and Dr. Petrosino invited the consultant to a principals
meeting to become familiar with the key staff members and explain the purpose of the
study. All requested materials were provided in a timely manner and easy access was
provided to the schools and classrooms. Administrative and teaching staff members were
courteous and helpful. Dr. Petrosino gave willingly of his time and good counsel which
is much appreciated as he has undertaken a challenging and time-consuming assignment.

Compliance with Core Curriculum Content standards

One of the factors which brought about this study was the districts New Jersey Quality
Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) report from the New Jersey Department of
Education. This report indicated that the Hoboken district lacked a cohesive curriculum
aligned to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. This was supported by
the consultants review of the courses of study for the high school which referenced the
Core Curriculum Content Standards, hut were not specifically mapped to them. However,
the result of the QSAC report is an increased consciousness of the standards by the
school staff. It was very apparent in the curriculum committee meeting attended by the
consultant on April 10, that Dr. Petrosino is designing the districts new curriculum
around the standards. When completed this curriculum should further enhance the
districts test scores since NJASK and 1-ISPA tests are based on the standards, the lone
exception being the new end of course test in biology. Attached to this report is a sample
unit of study which is mapped to the core curriculum content standards. Although it is
specific to the subject of physics, it could serve as a template for the district as the staff
moves toward finalizing the curriculum documents. See Addendum

Curricular materials
Grades K-5
The textbook series in place for grades I -5 is Scott Foresman Science 2003 printing.
which utilizes a spiral approach to the teaching of science. All areas of science are
covered in all grades with each general area (i.e. life science, physical science, earth

science and human body) enriched and expanded in subsequent years. The series is
readable and includes many hands-on activities which can he conducted without
incurring a major investment in specialized science kits. In classes observed where these
activities were conducted, students were engaged and able to carry out the activities
well as understand the significance of the projects.
Teachers indicate that financial resources are in place to support the program but that
schedule does not allow sufficient time to cover all of the topics and activities for each
Grades 6-8
The middle grades utilize the Prentice-Flail series with Physical Science in grade
Life Science in grade 7 and Earth Science in grade 8. The series incorporates many
meaningful activities which involve inexpensive materials. However, teachers of the
sixth grade program indicate that the reading level of the Physical Science text is very
difficult for students at that age.
Again, time concerns are a problem, particularly in grade 8 at Brandt school which
schedules science for the equivalent of only three days per week while grades 6 and 7
classes in other schools meet 5 or 6 times per week. With the incorporation of grade
into the other elementary schools in 2008-2009. it should be possible to schedule grade
7 and 8 for the same amount of contact time each week.
The texts in the series for the grade 6 physical science and grade 7 life science progra
are 2001 printings and should be replaced soon with updated editions. The grade 8 earth
science series dates from 2005 and is still usable for a few years. Considering teachers
expressed concerns about the reading level of the grade 6 text, the selection committee
should review the latest edition to see if it is more readable or consider a different text.
It is not essential that all text books in the middle grades belong to the same series.
Grades 9-12
The Prentice-Hall Series continues, in part. into the high school program with Physical
Science-Concepts in Action, and Biology-Exploring Life. It is noted that these texts
do not appear to he significantly more challenging than the middle school versions in the
series. However, the high school versions reflect a slight shift from a factual to
conceptual emphasis. The biology text is adequate for a basic college preparatory
program hut is not challenging enough for an honors program. These two texts are 2004
printings and consideration should be given to using a more challenging program in
next textbook cycle.
Prentice-Hall Chernistry-2005 printing-is used thr both Chemistry A and Honors
Chemistry. This text is traditionally utilized for regular college preparatory courses
would need to he supplemented with a rigorous laboratory program and more empha
on chemical thermodynamics and quantum mechanics in order to prepare students for
challenges of the SAT II test in chemistry. which is typically taken by students in honors

classes. A more rigoroLts text should be considered for the honors chemistry class.
Due to the phase in of a new course sequence, no course in academic physics is offered
this year. The science department took the forward looking step of making physics the
first course in the high school sequence for honors level students. Unfortunately, the
department found that their ninth graders could not handle the concepts, largely because
they did not have a sufficient background in mathematics. Some schools have had great
success with Physics First programs while others have tried the approach and had to
revert to the more traditional sequence of biology-chemistry-physics. The last group of
ninth grade physics students is currently sophomores in chemistry. An academic physics
program will he re-instated in 08-09 when this group enters the junior year.
Addison-Wesleys Conceptual Physics-1997 printing-is used for the current eleventh
grade non-college preparatory physics program. This text utilizes a largely non
mathematical treatment in its approach to physics concepts and is often utilized as a text
in non-college preparatory physics courses in those high schools which require physics
for all students. Now past 10 years old the text is due for updating. Students in this
program are also involved in First Robotics through a grant with Stevens Institute of
The 2004 printing of Prentice-Halls Criminalistics-An Introduction to Forensic
Science is utilized in the elective course in Forensics and is appropriate. Based on
observation of the course, the textbook is also supplemented with a variety of appropriate
hands-on activities.

Grades K-7
With the exception of Calabro School which was built in 1975, the elementary buildings
are nearly 100 years old but are well maintained. Although there are some rooms with
running water, there are no science laboratories with work stations, water and gas.
Despite this, teachers manage to conduct hands on activities. Classes were observed in
grades 6, 4, 2 and kindergarten and teachers demonstrated excellent flexibility in
performing hands-on activities in limited facilities. At Wallace school, students were
observed researching science topics in the computer lab.
Grades 8
Brandt school is also an aging facility with many classrooms converted to offices and
some not utilized at all. Starting in 08-09 it will flO longer he an eighth grade facility as
grade 8 will he integrated into the other elementary schools and the facility will house a
pre-school program.

Grades 9-12
The high school was built in 1962 for a student population of nearly 2000 students hut is
under-utilized with an enrollment of just over 500 students. Although the district has lost
population from its peak years, there is an unjustified perception on the part of some
parents that they need to abandon the district after elementary school and enroll their
children in charter or private schools.
The science department at Hoboken High School has the rare luxury of space. There is at
least one room which is unscheduled for the entire day, allowing for special or long term
projects to he developed and left undisturbed. However, running water, gas and safety
showers are not working in one of the laboratories which are scheduled for renovation.
Laboratories have separate preparation/storage areas and operate in a safe manner.

Methods of Instruction
Grades K-7
Classes were observed in kindergarten, grade 4, grade 6 and grade 7. A variety of
methods were utilized by the teachers including both teacher and student centered
approaches which involved student reading. laboratory activities and computer laboratory
work. There was good evidence of an inquiry based approach which utilized the adopted
textbook series as one of many resources. Some of the elementary teachers are involved
with the Partnership to Improve Student Achievement (PISA) project through Stevens
Institute of Technology. Liberty Science Center is a partner in this program and trained
several of the E-[ohoken teachers who participate in the program
Grade 8
A significant concern is that none of the teachers of eighth grade science is a specialist.
Science is taught by teachers with elementary certification who achieved highly
qualified status under the matrix plan. Quality of the instruction is further undermined
by the fact that eighth grade science is taught on a rotating cycle with social studies,
resulting in an average of only three forty minute periods of science instruction per week.
These circumstances put students at a disadvantage when facing the challenges of high
school science which is taught by specialists for 200 minutes per week.
Grades 9-12
Since the high school represents the end result of a K-I 2 sequence, all programs and all
but one science teacher were observed at Hohoken High in both regular classroom and
laboratory sessions Laboratory experiments were appropriate to the instruction and
conducted in a safe and competent manner by the instructors. However, much of the
classroom instruction was entirely teacher centered with students listening, taking notes
and answering questions. In most cases the focus was on vocabulary and basic
information with little or no emphasis Ofl inquiry. analysis or evaluation. It was also

apparent that many of the teachers were not trained in questioning techniques. Often
teachers would accept answers from any student rather than call on specific individuals in
a random fashion to ensure attention from all in the class. Furthermore, questions
focused on recall of specific facts or terms rather than probing for predictions or
explanations of concepts. Overall, contemporary methodologies were not in evidence.
Although some teachers used Power Point presentations in their classes, no use of
technology by students was apparent with the sole exception of participation in the First
Robotics competition by the physics classes. Based on students overall attention and
co-operation, they could have handled more hands-on and challenging activities.

Overall Stren2ths of the district

The quality of the Hohoken School district may well be one of the better kept secrets in
Hudson County. The learning environment in all six schools reflects concern for students
by the school leadership and the staff. Students are well behaved, polite and reflect a
sense that they know they are cared for in their respective buildings. None of the
impediments to learning which one might expect in an urban setting such as violence,
gang influence or disruptive behavior was in evidence. The district has the distinction of
having been accepted into the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Although the
program is small, it is nonetheless an irrefutable index of a quality school.
The new leadership of the district is moving forward to identify and address instructional
concerns on both immediate and long term bases and to maximize the potential of the
positive learning environment which exists in all of the schools. Although somewhat
outside the purview of this report, it is suggested that the district mount an aggressive
campaign to get parents into the schools while they are in operation. This may help
particularly at the high school level where it is acknowledged that the district is losing
students to charter and private schools.
Overall Strengths of the Science Program


With some modifications as suggested above, the existing series of textbooks is

Science classes observed reflect the overall positive environment for learning
which is evident in all of the schools.
Based on classes observed, class size in the district is excellent.
Teachers flexibility, particularly at the elementary levels, in providing
meaningful hands-on activities despite limited physical facilities.
Participation by science teachers Ofl the Curriculum Committee which ensures
that science will he appropriately represented in the districts current curriculum
Based on the conversations with many staff members, it is apparent that they
recognize the new leadership in the district and acknowledge that it is time to
update and upgrade some long standing traditions.

7. Genuine desire to improve the science program as expressed by the staff.

8. Emphasis on a hands-on approach for students at the elementary level, in
evidence even at the kindergarten level.

Overall Areas of RecommendationlSuggestions for Improvement

Science Instruction in the Hoboken district can he significantly enhanced with attention
to the following recommendations which are offered from the perspective of a critical
I. Upgrade methods of science instruction by training teachers, particularly at the
high school level, in contemporary methodologies including co-operative learning,
questioning techniques, inquiry-based science, multiple intelligences and use of
technology in the science classroom. This can be achieved either through in-house
programs or by sending teachers to conferences or summer institutes. As an
Abbott district, students and teachers in the Hoboken schools are entitled to an
array of free programs at Liberty Science Center. These include field trips to the
Center, classroom workshops, family nights and teacher development programs.
Although the district has utilized its allotment of field trips to the Center, until
recently none of the staff development allocation has been utilized. Many of the
recommendations listed above can he addressed by utilizing these professional
development resources and the district is strongly encouraged to use its full
compliment of available staff development programs at Liberty Science Center.
Teachers may come to the Center or staff from the Teacher Programs Department
can present programs in the district either after school or at in-service days.
A significant impediment to comprehensive staff development in the Hoboken
district is the very limited amount of time built into the district calendar for inservice programs. At this time only three half-days are in the calendar for inservice training. The consultant has worked with schools having as high as five
full days of staff development time in the regular school calendar. This concern
has implications for the teachers contract but, as negotiations are scheduled for
this year, this is an opportune time to address this limiting factor.
2. Involve science teachers from all grade levels in the design of a K-12 science
sequence which results in comprehensive courses of study for each grade
level or specific course title. The courses of swdy should include the following
A) Topical scope and sequence, each of which is referenced to specific New
Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in Science
B) Specific methods/activities by which the content will he presented
C) Specific student performance objectives
D) Methods of assessment
E) Instructional resources utilized
F) Safety precautions for demonstrations and laboratory work
G) Supplemental activities to challenge students able to go above and beyond the
regular curriculum.


The spiral nature of the K-5 curriculum requires organization and oversight.
Since all topics are covered each year, but time constrains make it impossible to
cover all of the content, it is apparent that inconsistencies in the amount of time
spent on specific topics will vary from teacher to teacher and school to school. It
is recommended that one of three approaches he utilized in developing the K-5
A) Adjust the scheduled time allotted to teaching of science so that all topics can
he adequately covered.
B) Teach specific areas in alternate years. For example an overview in
kindergarten, physical and life science in grades 2 and 4, earth/space and
environmental science in grades 1 and 3 with a comprehensive review and
expansion of all topics in grade 5.
C) Recognizing that the NJ ASK 4 test covers all topics and assuming that the
time devoted to science cannot be expanded, another approach would be to
cover all topics each year but emphasize specific areas on alternate ones.
For example the emphasis of grades 2 and 4 could be physical and life science
hut with some time still devoted to the other areas. Likewise, earth/space and
environmental science would be emphasized in grades 1 and 3 but all topics
still covered.

4. Review schedules in all K-8 schools to ensure that science meets at least several
days a week for all students at the K-5 level and daily for a minimum of 40
minutes in grades 6, 7 and 8.
5. Ensure that the standards and curricular materials utilized at Demarest Alternative
School are consistent with those utilized in the regular programs for students at
the same grade level/subject.
6. Develop a cycle of scheduled curriculum review so that content, scope and
sequence, and methods of delivery are reviewed no less frequently than once
every five years for each discipline. A standardized reporting format should be
developed so that there is consistency in the breadth and depth of research as well
as development of recommendations for revision across disciplines and grade
7. Adjust staffing so that science in grades 7 & 8 is taught by fully certified science
8. Review the need for use of technology at the high school. Although technology
based science lessons were in evidence at the elementary level. use of technology
at the high school was limited to teachers use of Power Point presentations in
their classes.

9. Develop a long-range facilities plan which provides for science laboratories for all
science classes grades 7-12.
10. At the present time, classroom observations/evaluations are conducted by
principals and central office administrators, all of whom by the nature of their
positions must function as generalists. The department chair people at the high
school do not serve in a supervisory capacity. The curriculum which will emerge
from the current thrust of the district will require oversight. It is recommended
that positions for certified subject supervisors be developed to ensure that the new
curriculum is being implemented by teachers, monitored and reviewedlupdated in
a regularly scheduled manner. One possible configuration would be three
supervisors, on each for math/science, language arts/foreign languages, and
11. Consider adding Advanced Placement (AP) courses to the high school curriculum.
Although the school is to be commended for the distinction of being an
International Baccalaureate (MI) high school, the Advanced Placement program is
more widely known. Furthermore, only a very small percentage of students
continue with the program long enough to earn an lB diploma. Advanced
Placement courses can also qualify as part of an MI curriculum. Considering the
upscale population which has recently migrated to 1-loboken, addition of AP
courses may serve to stem the exodus of students from the district after
elementary school.

The science program in the Hoboken district has the potential for excellence. There are
many positive indicators already in place. These recommendations are made in a good
faith effort to help the district bring science education to its full potential. Liberty
Science Center stands as a willing partner to help in this endeavor.

Submitted by,

)4 //

Edward J. Barry
Director, Teacher l)evelopment
Liberty Science Center
Liberty State Park
222 Jersey City Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07305



Addendum to Consultants Report to Hoboken School District

Sample for a Unit of Study within a comprehensive Course of Study

Unit: Rectilinear motion

Time Frame: Three Weeks

By the conclusion of this unit of study. students will be able to perform as follows:
I. State the definitions for each of Newtons three laws of motion and inertia.
CPI 5.7A-l, 5.7A-2
2. Recognize and state the distinction between mass and weight. CPI 5.7A-3
3. State the definitions for coefficient of friction as well as the distinction
between static and sliding friction. CPI5.7A-1 & 3
4. Utilize the relationships within Newtons laws to accurately compute force.
mass, weight or acceleration given other information. CPI5.7A-l
5. State the distinctions between scalar and vector quantities. CPL 5.7A-l
6. Solve problems in vector analysis, utilizing graphical, geometric or
trigonometric methods for resolving vector components into a resolution or
breaking a vector quantity into its components. CPI 5.7A-l and 5.7C-1
7. Utilize knowledge of vectors, friction and Newtons laws to accurately solve
traditional problems involving stationary and moving masses on inclined
planes. CII 5.7A-l, 5.7A-3,5.7C-1 & 5.7C-3
8. Incorporate prior knowledge of linear motion and current knowledge of
Newtons laws and vectors to accurately solve problems involving projectile
motion. CPI 5.7A- I ,5.7A-2,5.7A-3, &5.7C-3
Classroom activities
A. Feather and Farthing apparatus. CPI 5.7A-3
B. Second Law Apparatus-drop and project steel ball simultaneously CII 5.7A-3
C. Exploding collision carts and balloon to illustrate third law of motion CPI
5 .7A-2
D. Linear air track to demonstrate inertia of moving objects CIP 5.7A- 1


Laboratory experiments
A. Exploratory lab utilizing spring gauges and variable masses on roller blades.
CPI 5.7 A-I, 5.4A-I. & 5.7C-3.
B. Force table tbr vector resolution CPI 5.7C-I,5.7C-3
C. Block and inclined plane to determine coefficients of static and sliding friction
D. Second law confirmation utilizing Smart Pulley or traditional tick timer CPI
5.4 A-I, 5.4 B-1,2 75.7 A-I
Computer Lab simulations
A. One dimensional spring in gravitational field:
B. Atwoods Machine and Newtons Second Law
http://www.hazelwood.k 1 2.mo.us/grichertlsciweb/atwood.htm
Classroom presentations will he utilized to present and reinforce new material, review
homework, and assess student performance. Techniques utilized will include, but not be
limited to:
A. Utilizing contemporary questioning techniques whereby teachers question all
students in a random pattern, requiring them to reflect upon questions posed at
a variety of levels (i.e. knowledge, understanding, application, analysis,
synthesis and evaluation)
B. Presenting ideas utilizing as many of the currently accepted multiple
intelligences as possible
C. Utilize co-operative learning groups to reinforce concepts, correct homework
and analyze results of laboratory work.
D. Utilize technology for class work as well as laboratory work whenever
E. Assess students regularly by evaluating laboratory work, homework,
classroom participation, and performance on demanding quizzes and tests.