Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Our Vision for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
We believe in "Inspiring and Challenging Our Students" through a curriculum that actively engages students to think, create, collaborate, ask questions and solve problems. In our classrooms, we provide students with explicit instruction in all curricular areas and create opportunities for students to have choice and voice in their learning. We are committed to promoting collaboration, active learning, and critical thinking. Through our curriculum and instruction, we create rigorous, challenging, and meaningful learning opportunities so that our students become well-rounded global citizens.
This Curriculum office is responsible for the K-12 instructional program and for the coordination of professional development to provide continuous education and instructional support to the district’s professional staff. Examples of the work of this office include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Development and implementation of a curriculum review cycle for all academic disciplines, including periodic program review and evaluation, curriculum revision, and program selection.
- Articulation of the elementary, middle, and high school instructional programs and coordination of instructional and curricular support to administrative staff and classroom teachers.
- Preparation and analysis of the annual Student Performance Report, along with ongoing curriculum-based assessments, to inform decision making.
- Management of state and federal grants, coordination of all program improvement projects and professional development activities including conference attendance and consultancies.
- Administration and analysis of national, state, and district assessments.
- Planning and coordination of a variety of innovative programs to accelerate and maximize student learning during and beyond the school day and year.
- Coordination of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process for staff, including goal setting, supervision, evaluation, and professional learning cycle that promotes continuous improvement across the district.
What is Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment?
Curriculum: What we teach
Instruction: How we teach it
Assessment: How we know what students have learned
Our curriculum in BCSD is based on the New York State Learning Standards. The State establishes student learning expectations (standards) for what students should know and be able to do. The District then develops the "written" curriculum [units, lessons, scope & sequence] in order to 1) align with the District's vision, mission and core values, 2) support the NYS Learning Standards, and 3) match the needs of our students. The "taught" curriculum is closely aligned to the written curriculum and represents the explicit instruction teachers provide in the classroom. Both formal and informal assessments are used throughout the school year to assess student understanding and inform instructional practices. You can find a link to our Curriculum Portal, which provides links to our curriculum maps in each subject area, on the left side of this page.
Our "taught" curriculum, or instruction, is closely aligned to the written curriculum. Instructional practices are based on research, best practices in the field, and collaborative expertise of our professional staff. We strive to create an active learning environment where students have voice and choice in their learning experience. Teachers provide students with explicit instruction in all subject areas through whole class, small group, and one-on-one settings. Teachers provide instruction through modeling and demonstration, inquiry, and through examples of the content or skills being taught. Students are given opportunities to ask questions, problem solve, collaborate, create, and use critical thinking skills.
The purpose of assessment is to give students opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of content, concepts and skills and to provide feedback to students in order to improve their learning. We regularly monitor and assess our students' learning through a variety of formal and informal assessments. In grades K-8, students engage in nationally-normed literacy and math assessments three times per year. In addition, teachers utilize other diagnostic assessment tools to assess students' skills and knowledge. At the high school level, students are assessed regularly through quizzes, tests, and final exams, including AP and Regents exams. Pre-assessments are often given to assess students' knowledge prior to instruction. Post-assessments are given to assess students' understanding of the content taught. Informal assessments, such as observations, student work, and student participation, are used on a daily basis to inform instructional decisions and assess students' learning needs.
Learning, Equity and Access
- We continue to implement a robust AVID program in grades 7-12 in Bedford Central School District. The Advancement through Individual Determination (AVID) program targets capable but under-performing students and supports them with skills, strategies and supports to access the highest levels of coursework and begins the college planning process early. Each grade level AVID cohort works closely with dedicated advisors, faculty, and staff to develop the necessary skills to be college-ready.
- Our District has been implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) since 2008. We continue to refine and deepen our understanding of individual student learners and the RTI process in order to best support every child within our classrooms. RTI teams at each building review student data regularly to ensure students are meeting grade level benchmarks. RTI teams analyze formal and informal assessment data in order to develop targeted interventions when necessary, and monitor student progress.
- In partnership with the Special Education Department, the Bedford Central School District has been on a journey of continual improvement to ensure we are implementing inclusive practices throughout our classroom settings. Teachers receive ongoing coaching from our Universal Design for Learning (UDL) coordinator, who helps our teachers look for ways to adapt our instructional practices in order to provide equitable access points for all learners. We continue to partner with Inclusive Schooling to support our efforts to give every student an opportunity to be an active member of the learning community. In partnership with Inclusive Schooling, we are providing professional development for our teacher aides in understanding the social-emotional, behavioral, and academic needs of our students.
Dual Language Bilingual Education Program (DLBE)
We continue to implement a dual language bilingual education program (DLBE) at Mount Kisco Elementary School. This two-way language program engages students enrolled to learn in English and Spanish in each of their core academic subjects with the goals of high academic achievement, biliteracy, and biculturalism. To learn more about our DLBE program, please visit our ESOL/DLBE webpage.
Professional Learning and Practice
The Bedford Central School District continues to partner with the Tri-States Consortium, a collaborative network of public school districts in our region. The Tri-States Consortium is committed to systems thinking and collaborative inquiry, through a critical friends model, in order to support continual improvement. Administrators, teachers, and colleagues from neighboring school districts visits BCSD every two to three years to provide support and critical feedback on the goals and priorities of our District.
We are excited to continue to develop and deepen our Professional Development School relationship with Manhattanville College. With six schools involved--Fox Lane Middle School, Bedford Village, Mount Kisco, Bedford Hills, Pound Ridge, and West Patent elementary schools, we aim to leverage our commitment to deepen our commitment to the goals of the PDS, which are to improve student learning, prepare pre-service teachers for the profession, provide professional learning for our current teachers, and engage in research and inquiry in order to improve practice.
Amy Fishkin, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
Stacy Ferraro, Curriculum & Instruction Assistant
English Language Arts Coordinator
Social Studies & Business Coordinator
Science and Technology Coordinator
Performing Arts Coordinator
Curriculum Coordinator for Health and Physical Education
Visual Arts Coordinator
World Languages Coordinator