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What Does it Mean to Build Curriculum In-House?

We like to tell all of our incoming and inquiries families that the beauty of cyber school lies in its adaptability. But what does that really mean? At 21CCCS, it means that we are incredibly flexible in ways that help our students to be successful. Our schedule is flexible. Pacing is dependent on each and every student. Instruction is individualized. Assignments and assessments can be modified with a few clicks of a mouse.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 9.52.51 AMHow can we modify and adapt so much to the needs of our students? Let’s consider adaptability in terms of curriculum.

Cyber school curriculum is transparent. Every piece of information a student will learn is posted on web pages within a learning management system. At 21CCCS, we use Moodle to serve this purpose. Within Moodle exists every class a student will take here. Science, math, English, social studies, health and physical education, art, music, languages, and other electives all live in what we call “Moodle shells.” This means we sort courses into easy-to-navigate folders and files.

The content to be studied, the assignments, resources, assessments, and links for additional understanding all appear in this space. When we write curriculum, it means that we decide everything a student will see and do in each of his or her classes. Every lesson is mapped, aligned to Common Core and PA Standards, and organized in ways that will make sense to students. Once everything has been hand selected, it is embedded into Moodle. This process is vetted over time with the help of members of our Curriculum Committee, Instructional Systems Design Team, and highly qualified, certified teachers.

This process provides the tools for flexible student learning, as well as a huge level of accountability on our school. Because all of our information is written in black and white and available 24/7, we like feeling certain that we’re providing great stuff for our students. Developing materials in house means taking ownership of the content we deliver and maintaining the ability to modify it as needed.

Another significant component of building our own curriculum deals directly with our learning model. We advocate for a “mastery” learning model, which means students are encouraged to work at concepts and assignments until achieving a mastery level of comprehension. This means that students may require more than one attempt at an assignment or assessment before attaining such a level. Because we are able to adapt and modify curriculum, we can work to help students achieve mastery, ensuring that they not only understand concepts from a cursory glance. We ensure that students full comprehend information so they may synthesize, analyze, and create based on that knowledge.

If you ever have questions about our curriculum, or want to learn more about our school, contact our enrollment counselor today! CLICK HERE for more info.