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IGA-R - Curriculum (Course of Study) Planning and Review

Book: I

 Section: Instruction

Title: Curriculum (Course of Study) Planning and Review

Code: IGA-R

Status: Active

Curriculum (Course of Study) Planning and Review


In order to improve student achievement, maintain educational excellence, and to incorporate current research in the areas of curriculum and instruction the following procedure will be used.




“Course” means an individual academic course offering such as “Algebra 1.”


“Curriculum (Course of Study)” means a broad academic subject area and encompasses all the courses in a given subject area. For the purposes of these policies each of the “parameters for essential instruction” defined in 20-A M.R.S.A. § 6209(2) are understood to be distinct and individual courses of study.


Career and Technical Education; English Language Arts; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies; Visual and Performing Arts and World Languages and Cultures.


“Instructional Materials” means instructional materials as defined in policy IJJ – Selection of Instructional Materials. Instructional materials do not, in and of themselves, constitute curriculum (course of study) or a particular pedagogy.


Roles and Responsibilities


The Board of Public Education is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and approving curriculum proposals from the Superintendent.


The Curriculum and Educational Planning Committee shall review and provide input to the Superintendent’s recommendations and the Curriculum Review Team reports.


The Superintendent / Designee is responsible for monitoring and reporting on student achievement in approved courses of study and bringing final recommendations for curriculum and instructional materials to the Board. 


The Chief Academic Officer is responsible for the oversight of the curriculum review process including establishing committees, reviewing and approving proposals from committees, reporting to the Curriculum and Educational Planning Committee, developing a communications plan to support the curriculum review and implementation process, and developing budgets.


Curriculum Review Teams shall be formed with representation from district and building administration and educators representing grades pre-k through Adult Education and representing the diversity of our learners.  These teams are district work groups in the content area review process.  Teams will include:

            Minimum of two educators each from grades k-5, 6-8, and 9-12

            Minimum of one administrator each from grades k-5, 6-8, and 9-12

Minimum of one representative each from early childhood education and adult education

            Minimum of one district administrator


Curriculum Review Teams shall perform a curriculum evaluation study that, at a minimum, includes the following tasks:


  • Formulate the standards on which curricula and methodologies will be assessed (such standards must be approved by the Superintendent);
  • Research available curricula and methodologies; analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each; and compare proposed programs with current programs.
  • Assess the expected effectiveness of proposed programs for PPS’ diverse student population and needs.
  • Address how proposed curriculum will align sequentially from pre-K to grade 12.
  • Describe professional development needs associated with proposed curricula.
  • Assess the budget impact of proposed curricula and alignment with the multi-year budget process.
  • Develop an accountability and monitoring structure for measuring the effectiveness of the curriculum implementation.


At the discretion of the Board and / or the Superintendent a content area audit may be performed by an external organization


Once a Curriculum Review Team has completed its work, including review and input from the Curriculum Advisory Committee, it shall prepare a report and recommendations, which shall be presented to the Superintendent/Designee.    The Superintendent may request further information from the Review Team and/or conduct his/her own research if deemed necessary. The Superintendent shall then present the report to the Curriculum and Educational Planning Committee, together with his/her own recommendations. 


Curriculum Advisory Committees shall be appointed by the Board through the Appointments Committee process in collaboration with the Superintendent/Designee as needed for particular subject areas.  Such committees provide input and feedback to content area review teams and shall include representation from the Board, administrators, teachers and/or other professional staff appropriate to the subject area, parents, students and additional stakeholders such as content experts, post-secondary educators, and community members.  The Superintendent/Designee shall give each committee a list of specific tasks and objectives, deadlines and communication requirements.


The Portland Education Association shall be provided the opportunity to meet and consult concerning any proposed curriculum. After the Curriculum and Educational Planning Committee reviews the new curriculum proposal and provides feedback, the Superintendent (and others as he/she deems appropriate) shall present the proposed curriculum to the full Board for its approval. 


Curriculum Review 


The Board believes that all Portland Public Schools (PPS) curriculum should be reviewed on a regular cycle to ensure that it is meeting the educational needs of students and PPS goals.  The curriculum in each content area shall be reviewed on an alternating five-year cycle to be established by the Superintendent. The content areas shall include English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Languages and Cultures, Visual and Performing Arts, Health and Physical Education, and any additional content areas approved by the Board as a course of study.  Curriculum Review Teams shall review the curriculum.  At a minimum, the following will be considered in the review:


  • Student achievement data over the past five years, including for specific subgroups such as special education students, students who are English Language Learners and others as appropriate.
  • Results of surveys of parents and students (if appropriate) concerning perceived strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum.
  • Feedback from administrators, individual teachers, the Portland Education Association and other staff as appropriate concerning the effectiveness of the curriculum and associated educational materials, the effectiveness of professional development and any suggested changes.
  • Results of surveys of post-graduates concerning perceived strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum.
  • Assessment of curriculum alignment with state and federal requirements, including the Common Core State Standards, the PPS Comprehensive Plan and Learner Expectations.
  • Availability of new or updated curricula, methodologies, educational materials and/or technology for the subject area.


Once a curriculum review committee has completed its work, it shall prepare a report and recommendations, which shall be presented to the Superintendent and the Curriculum and Educational Planning Committee...  The report shall be in the following format:

  • Title Page
  • Proposal abstract / executive summary including rationale based in Comprehensive Plan Framework
  • Outline of curriculum across grade levels
  • Specific course objectives
  • Implementation timeline
  • Staffing and supervisory responsibilities
  • Instructional materials
  • Multiyear budget implications
  • Procedure for monitoring and evaluation


The Superintendent/Designee and the Curriculum and Educational Planning Committee shall make a presentation to the full Board seeking approval.


The Board may approve recommended curriculum revisions.


A proposed five-year cycle will be developed and revised annually by the Chief Academic Officer.  This cycle will be updated annually and posted on the District website.


IGA – R Curriculum (Course of Study) Planning and Review.pdf (23 KB)