Cornerstones for Educators
What are Cornerstones?
Cornerstones are engaging, rigorous, in-depth lessons and tasks that are taught within – not in addition to or on top of – the DCPS curriculum. Students will begin experiencing Cornerstones in the 2017-18 school year. In this first year, Cornerstones will be taught across grade levels and content areas including ELA, math, science, and social studies, and will include cross-disciplinary connections to health, physical education, career and technical education, and the arts.Cornerstones advance research-based content-specific instructional models, such as close reading, inquiry-based math, Paideia seminars, novel study, and research projects, and will each lead to a variety of meaningful student work products such as, but not limited to, essays, oral presentations, musical pieces, or art products.
Why are we launching this initiative?
After looking at feedback on this year’s PD cycle and on our curriculum guides, we believe that organizing that body of work around high-quality lessons and tasks, and collaborating to elevate the rigorous, engaging work possible with our materials, will help us continuously improve our work for students and with each other. Our district has invested in high-quality curriculum materials and job-embedded supports for educators that are aligned to our vision for excellent instruction, but we are still facing varying levels of investment and implementation in our schools and community. As we take on our next level of work, we need a curriculum and professional learning strategy that supports rigorous content, academic ownership, and continuous improvement in every classroom – while also investing and inspiring teachers, parents and the community.