Q & As before Lubbock ISD Implemented CSCOPE in August, 2010
Note that Lubbock ISD purchased CSCOPE to provide the district with a a comprehensive curriculum. With CSCOPE students will have access to a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum that is guaranteed.
With CSCOPE it will not matter what LISD campus the students attends, or who the teacher is. What a student learns in each class/grade will be guaranteed at the district level. This is because every class/grade follows the same scope and sequence.
1. Why is CSCOPE better “Kilgo,” which is what are now using?
Frankly, we do not have a comprehensive district curriculum in place. We have separate content-area curriculum pieces and programs, but nothing that ties together into a vertically and horizontally aligned system. In addition, CSCOPE provides information about specificity of the instructional focus that is extremely important. In addition, the technology utilized to house the system makes managing a systemic curriculum possible.
It is important that we be honest about the level of achievement our current system has produced. There is little consistency across campuses and this leads to significant learning gaps. Our achievement has not been at the level our students deserve. Our students must have access to a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum that is guaranteed – it shouldn’t matter what campus the students attends, or who the teacher is. What a student learns in each class/grade should be guaranteed at the district level.
2. How much time is used in “making” materials for the lesson?
This is going to vary by grade/content/unit/lesson. As with all lessons, there will be some preparation. Some of the materials (for example, math manipulatives ) are probably already available on campuses.
3. How can this be expanded for the Pre-AP?
Pre-AP is a set of high quality instructional strategies. We will assist Pre-AP teachers in differentiating the CSCOPE lessons with strategies from resources like Laying the Foundation (AP Strategies). This training will be available to all Pre-AP teachers.
4. How substitute friendly is the material?
This is a real strength of CSCOPE exemplar lessons. A substitute should be able to follow the lesson fairly easily as the specific implementation guidelines are very clear.
5. The model scope and sequence seems tight, how much leeway is built in for reteaching SE’s?
Or is the reteaching done at the expense of new material?
Most units have some “wiggle room;” for example a unit for a 6 week time period may include 25 recommended days of lessons. The additional time is available for reteaching, enrichment, or additional reinforcement of content.
In addition, teachers are encouraged to implement interventions for struggling students, both in the classroom and in external, focused settings.
6. Will this replace Kilgo?Does this mean we finally move forward from the Kilgo day? But I thought Margaret Kilgo was our new scope and sequence – I am confused. Is it the same as Kilgo, just electronic?
Yes. We utilized Kilgo this year as CSCOPE was not available to us until the ESC -17 joined the statewide consortium this fall. However, the Kilgo process of deeply examining the SE’s for specificity of wording, content, and context, is a very valuable skill that will still be useful as we implement CSCOPE.
CSCOPE is more comprehensive than Kilgo’s materials. While the scope and sequence is not the same, the Kilgo process is still applicable and valuable.
7. How does this follow the Kilgo advice with spiraling?
The CSCOPE curriculum is vertically aligned in a way that is specific and relevant to students.
The bundling of learning objectives is based on solid research and rationale, which is included in the Instructional Focus Documents.
Critical objectives are often bundled into more that one instructional unit.
The TAKS verification documents in CSCOPE show the spiraling that is built in.
8. Do we still need to do our own CFAs? (Common Formative Assessments: Periodic or interim assessments collaboratively designed by grade-level or course teams)
Will the assessments included be used as CFAs or will we still be writing our own?
CSCOPE includes unit assessments at the end of each unit that can be used as summative assessments for each instructional unit.
These assessments are non-negotiable.
Teachers are encouraged to examine these assessments and teach with the end in mind.
(TEACH TO THE TEST INSTEAD OF TESTING WHAT HAS BEEN TAUGHT.)
There are also performance assessments built into every unit. Depending on the length of the unit, teachers might need to chunk the material and assess within the unit by developing CFAs. CFAs are encouraged but are not required by the district.
9. How developed is the 4th grade writing curriculum?
The ELA curriculum is currently being revised to fully reflect the new ELA TEKS. Note that there is no separate writing curriculum – ELA is integrated reading and writing together.
10. Will some of the current curriculum (i.e. AIMS in elementary science) be implemented into this?
Existing resources can be used as supplements to the exemplar lessons, as additional activities for reteaching, enrichment, or reinforcement. In some instances, lessons using these resources can be substituted for the exemplar lessons if there is evidence that they meet the specificity and rigor required for the SEs being taught. Our district curriculum coordinators will assist teachers in identifying effective district resources.
11. If it takes several years to get to full speed, what is done until then?
It will take us a few years for the students to gain the prerequisite skills for the level or rigor within CSCOPE.
For the first few years, this will be a challenge for teachers to scaffold content in order for students to bridge previous learning gaps.
Campuses are encouraged to build intervention time into the school day for those students who struggle with the rigor of the CSCOPE curriculum.
12. Will teachers get to do their own lessons or just use what is given? Will exemplar lessons be “have to?”
This will be a decision made at the campus level in most cases. We encourage all teachers to teach the exemplar lessons but this is negotiable. We believe that teachers will benefit from using the lessons the first year and then making modifications from there. An analogy is using a recipe for the first time – after that first time, you can modify it “to taste.” There may be some instances where a principal may decide that a teacher or department will teach the lessons with fidelity.
13. Are districts using CSCOPE successful? Does data show improvement?
The early data from CSCOPE is promising but there has not been a comprehensive research study conducted in which variables are properly controlled. Levelland ISD has been using this the longest in this region (this is their 2nd year) and they have seen significant gains.
There is a great deal of variation in how districts are implementing it; therefore, it has been challenging for the ” state consortium” to conduct a controlled study.
14. What will happen to Core Knowledge? How will if fit with CSCOPE?
We will continue to integrate CK resources with state standards on those identified campuses.
This will involve work on the CK campuses to incorporate CK into the CSCOPE framework.
15. On what kind of calendar is the “duration” set up on? Does it take into account days when instruction does not happen in the classroom? Will we feel confident when TAKS comes that we have covered everything? Does the timeline allow for reteach, class interruptions, assessments, labs, and activities?
The duration refers to the suggested days for implementation and is based on actual instructional days of 45-50 minutes each.
If you teach on a block you would expect to teach two “days” in one. One of the strengths of CSCOPE is the depth to which the TEKS objectives are taught, so that it goes far deeper than coverage of the topics.
Most of the units in CSCOPE are set up for 25 days in a 6-week period, which leaves approximately 5 days of flexibility.
16. Is the amount of time that the new calendar provides sufficient for the training that will be required to implement? Will the transition be organized and planned out?
We have structured a comprehensive professional development plan and an implementation plan that we believe will provide the necessary time for training and preparation. Prior to the beginning of school, each grade/content cohort will meet together to plan the first six weeks. These cohort groups will use scheduled half-days to meet each six weeks and plan the next six weeks together.
17. If we commit, how long of a commitment will it be? Let’s say that 4 years into it, it hasn’t worked to full capacity, what then?
As with all instructional initiatives, this will require monitoring and adjusting. In the event that we implement the curriculum with fidelity and find that it is not beneficial to our students, we will make decisions accordingly. However, we are very confident that having a comprehensive curriculum in place, and implementing it in a systemic manner, will significantly improve student achievement.
18. Who will be in charge of seeing that each teacher is following the plan? Not all people want to implement it – who will ensure the implementation?
Monitoring will be a critical component.
Principals will be trained to monitor the curriculum implementation in an effective manner.
The Associate Superintendents for Teaching and Learning will work closely with the principals to ensure that effective monitoring takes place.
19. What about special education that needs to move at a slower pace?
As with any curriculum, teachers may (and should) differentiate lessons for the needs of some students.
The curriculum has suggestions for doing so.————[CSCOPE NEVER HAD THESE SUGGESTIONS.JVC]
Access to the general curriculum will be very helpful for special education teachers so that they can:
better target the grade level objectives for their students
[Is the objective of special education to help students reach grade level objectives? This sounds like all children have the same IQ and some get behind but with help can catch up? JVC]
20. How is CSCOPE going to align with the current SPED curriculum – Language and Read Well? Will the former supplant the latter?
We will need to evaluate our existing resources; however, we will still have a need for quality supplemental resources for Tier II and Tier III intervention purposes. CSCOPE is our Tier I core curriculum.
21. Will SPED have access to higher and lower vertical alignment in order to create IEPs?
Yes, this is one of the strengths of the program.
However, it is important that we target grade level objectives for all but a very small number of our students.
22. How does this change our idea on how to address TAKS classes?
We are eliminating the practice of TAKS classes across the district, independent of CSCOPE implementation.
Instead, we encourage scheduling students into content-rich courses and providing a structure of appropriate, shorter-term, targeted, fluid interventions for struggling students.
What does this mean? JVC
23. How quickly/slowly will it be integrated into the classrooms?
We plan to begin implementation in all core classrooms in August 2010.
24. Will we still be able to continue to choose from secondary book lists for curriculum?
Yes. There will still be district and campus decisions concerning resources used.
25. What about our current math curriculum? What will happen to teachers who continue to use Envision as their main guide? Will CSCOPE take the place of Marilyn Burns?
CSCOPE will replace our current math curriculum and the use of Marilyn Burns materials as a curriculum.
All teachers will be expected to utilize the curriculum itself – the VADs, the YAGs and the IFDs. These are non-negotiable.
The exemplar lessons may be negotiable, depending on individual campus/departmental decisions. Teachers are strongly encouraged to utilize the exemplar lessons as well.
CSCOPE is not textbook-based but existing textbooks will be valuable resources.
The difference is they are not a curriculum – they are an instructional resource.
The same is true for Marilyn Burns. The district curriculum staff will work closely with teachers to identify effective supplemental resources.
26. Will the extra resources needed for lessons be paid for by campuses? Will we receive all the resources (literature) to go along with this?
We will work with campuses to ensure they have the necessary resources.
27. Is RTI progress monitoring included?
CSCOPE is the Tier I core curriculum that we will expect our students to master.
Struggling students will still require an RTI process that includes diagnosis and progress monitoring.
28. What is the cost of CSCOPE compared to the District written curriculum? How much is it? Where is the money coming from?
CSCOPE is $7 per student. It is difficult to determine an exact cost for writing curriculum, but it would be substantial. Training teams of teachers in effective curriculum development practices and providing them the time and stipends to write curriculum is costly.
Also, the changes at the state level with both curriculum standards and state assessments would require that this process be ongoing. We will use district-level curriculum funds to get started, and federal Title II Part A funds for professional development support.
29. Where would the campus CSCOPE leaders come from? Would they be former classroom teachers?
The campus leaders will be the principals, assistant principals, and current department chairs and curriculum liaisons. Our elementary curriculum liaisons will continue to play a key role in the implementation of the curriculum. We will depend on these leaders to share questions, triumphs, concerns, etc. Principals will be strongly encouraged to interact with campus curriculum leaders, as well as with PLC teams, to monitor implementation and discuss data.
30. Let’s target teachers who need help focusing instruction.
Principals may decide that individual teachers or departments are going to be required to directly implement the exemplar lessons. At the district level, the use of these lessons is negotiable with data. This means that if a teacher is producing results by using lessons that target the same level of rigor and conceptual understanding, and the assessment data supports this, then that teacher is welcome to use his/her own lessons.
31. Who will write all of our lessons in the 5E format?
The lessons in CSCOPE are in the 5E format already for math, science, and social studies. ELAR lessons are not in 5E format; instead, they use a balanced literacy approach.
32. Will we still have dual credit classes?
33. Will the technology department be involved in setting up courses not merely as electronic worksheets?
The technology department is already looking at ways to house the system, integrate district technology resources, and support teachers instructionally.
34. If the kids don’t understand in the days provided – then what?
As before, we will provide additional supplemental instructional opportunities in Tier II and Tier III settings. It will be important that each campus builds time in the school day for interventions.
35. How regimented will this be if we get a bunch of students that are far behind? Will we be allowed to spend time catching them up?
At the beginning, we expect this to be our greatest challenge. We will have to work and plan carefully to scaffold instruction in meaningful ways for students. We need to stay with the curriculum (VADs, YAGs and IFDs) and provide needed support for students who are struggling with weaker prerequisite skills. Over time, as the curriculum is fully implemented across the system, these skills will be strengthened.
36. If middle school is debating 7 or 8 period days, which is better to have for CSCOPE?
It is generally best to maximize instructional time in the core content areas wherever possible.
37. Are teachers going to be written up because they weren’t on day #55 lesson because they were out 2 days last week?
There will not be this level of monitoring. Administrators will monitor pacing and content focus. Administrators and PLCs will analyze and discuss assessment data. It is important to note that the lessons in CSCOPE are specific enough that a substitute can be, and should be, expected to teach them.
38. How many minutes per day is each lesson based on?
Approximately 45-50 minutes per day. If you are on a block schedule, one period would be approximately two “days.” The lessons are not divided into “day” slots – one lesson will usually take multiple days (even weeks in some cases), so you have flexibility in how you break it up.
39. Where is the “innovative” technology?
The innovative technology is primarily in the management system itself. You will see, once you have full access, how you can customize your portfolio, join list serves of teachers who teach the same content, link to enrichment activities, manage special ed modifications, etc.
40. How can you test them on different curriculum if you are not teaching the exemplar lessons?
Remember that CSCOPE tells us WHAT we will teach (the TEKS objectives), not necessarily HOW. The exemplar lessons are not mandated at the district level. The assessments will still be assessing whether the TEKS objectives for the unit were mastered. If you choose to use your own lessons, you will still be expected to focus on those critical TEKS objectives.
41. Do we need to go back to departments?
This is a campus decision. However, we do strongly urge all campuses to give each core subject the time it needs. For example, rotating science and social studies every 3 weeks will not work with CSCOPE. It is very difficult to meet the required rigor of the TEKS and TAKS/STAAR without departmentalizing.
42. Is everything now available (translated) in Spanish?
The content of the lessons through Grade 5 will be translated into Spanish by clicking on the “Switch to Spanish” button. Student activities are in Spanish. Spanish translations of the assessments are available.
43. What about Voyager? Will we still use it?
No. CSCOPE, along with the new ELA adoption as our primary resource, replace Voyager.
44. Who makes up the enrichment material? Where does it come from? Is it for AP? Or GT focused?
CSCOPE has some enrichment activities embedded in the lessons. In addition, our district curriculum staff will assist by identifying enrichment resources. CSCOPE does not have AP courses as AP curriculum is defined clearly by the College Board.
45. How can we implement CSCOPE in the alternative education program?
Since you get students back and forth from different grades/campuses, CSCOPE will assist you by identifying where student are in the general ed curriculum.
We would encourage you to review that information, and then select a lesson that would address a big idea for that range of grade levels.
46. Are there any lessons for ESL – non-Spanish speakers?
The lessons in CSCOPE use a lot of hands-on strategies that are good for ESL students. An ESL teacher may need to supplement with ESL strategies of his/her own. Each unit also has links to ELPS (English Language Proficiency Standards) that will give suggestions about strategies for English Language Learners.
47. If you teach math resource (TransMath) will you only teach the intervention program or CSCOPE?
You will probably be using TransMath exclusively in a Tier III intervention setting. CSCOPE is the Tier I core curriculum.
48. Will teaching assistants and librarians have access to CSCOPE?
Yes. All district instructional staff with a district email address will have access to the entire system.
49. Why are we spending money on new reading books if we’re using CSCOPE lessons now?
The state provides instructional materials at no charge to districts. The new ELAR adoption will be valuable resources as we implement CSCOPE. Our district ELAR curriculum staff will work to integrate these resources into CSCOPE.
50. How do elective teachers fit in when it comes to using CSCOPE?
While elective teachers have their own TEKS to teach, they can also integrate core learning objectives into their courses. This is extremely helpful to support student learning. All instructional staff will have access to CSCOPE, so you can see what your students are learning in their core classes.