Thoughts from the Deputy Superintendent...
In this era of increasing State mandates, the role of the Department of Educational Programs has deepened. We are steadfast in our belief that curriculum is a local endeavor. While the State Education Department promotes a State developed curriculum, the Deputy Superintendent must exercise vigilance in critically analyzing options for professional development. It is often the case that opportunities for professional development, offered by organizations other than the New Paltz Central School District, are undergirded by State curricular principles. At times, these options more overtly promote State curricula as they “unpack” State developed curriculum modules. In this way, school districts are “forced” to adopt the modules instead of creating a local curriculum aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards.
When finding meaningful options for professional development beyond our District became increasingly difficult, an in-District initiative was undertaken whereby the Deputy Superintendent and teachers designed and facilitated professional development which was aligned to the New Paltz Central School District Mission and Vision Statements. As a result, our internal capacity to provide meaningful learning experiences for teachers has increased. Teachers have become teacher leaders, designing new curriculum and offering targeted professional development.