As Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, I lead a team of 18 curriculum leaders across all three schools supporting both principals and faculty to develop and deliver a curriculum that is engaging, rigorous, aligned to New York State standards, and tailored to meet the needs of individual learners.
Our curriculum leaders are all master teachers in their areas of expertise. Together, we work with faculty in classrooms and alongside students to help teachers further develop their craft and to ensure that, as a K-12 system, we are constantly assessing our work and improving our practice.
The instructional core of our programs is very strong. Our overall approach supports a developmental progression of student learning, moving students from where they are in their individual abilities toward greater levels of complexity, success and independence. We will continue to follow the philosophy and practice of offering children a breadth of opportunities to read, write, and research across all subject areas and in all grades.
As a district, we value professional development and are fortunate to have a talented staff that embraces opportunities to reflect on and to grow their craft. We also value collaboration and have placed structures in all three buildings that enable teachers to work together and share best practices. This is part of an already established cycle of continuous improvement , where we systematically examine our work and associated data to measure achievement. To learn more about How Ardsley Uses Data to Inform Instruction, click here.
If you have any questions about curriculum or instruction, know that you can reach out at any time. You can also follow this link.
Our Three Core Principles
While Ardsley can point to a deep and rich history of strong instruction combined with a rigorous student-centered curriculum, the disruptions to schooling caused by the COVID-19 crisis over the past few years provided us with the opportunity to deepen and strengthen our core values. We can summarize these values with three principles. In Ardsley, we strive to have classrooms that are responsive, inclusive and connected. Our collective efforts around curriculum development, the selection of materials and the focus on professional learning all strive to help us optimize these principles:
Responsive classrooms are learning environments in which teachers meet students where they are and help them achieve success by setting rigorous goals for all students, assessing student progress and by empowering students to be agents in their own learning. At the heart of our responsive approach is our district's focus on Multi-Tiered Support Systems (MTSS). The MTSS approach recognizes that students do not all start in the same place or learn at the same rate. By intervening early and often, the MTSS approach ensures that small gaps do not become insurmountable and that gaps and moments of struggle are supported fully. At all ages and levels of ability, our teachers employ high-quality instruction that ensures students have access to small group instruction during lessons and at other points throughout the day, such as intervention blocks at CRS, study skills, after-school help at AMS, as well as period 9 at AMS and AHS.
In our ongoing work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we believe that classrooms must be a “welcoming and affirming place” for all students, not just in terms of how students are treated and how they treat each other, but also in ways that students see themselves in the curriculum itself. Every student’s background, culture, abilities and identities are seen as assets to the learning process. Inclusion also means that we make every effort for all students to be and to feel fully connected to all aspects of our learning community both inside and outside the classroom. This work includes helping students to learn from and to value the perspectives and experiences of others so that they can play an active role in building an inclusive Ardsley for all.
Connectedness is a part of responsive and inclusive learning. But we also see that technology plays an important role in helping students learn and access each other as we prepare them to live in an increasingly interconnected world. Over the past 3 years, we have embraced the idea of 1:1 devices for all students in grades 3-12. But technology on its own is not a solution. Connectedness cannot be measured solely by the number of devices or the amount of technology. As part of our three-year technology plan, we work to develop practices and curricula that ensure our students learn about the power of technology as well as its risks and limitations.If you have any questions about curriculum or instruction, know that you can reach out at any time. You can also follow this link.
Dr. Duncan Wilson
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction