Curriculum Design

Our curriculum was developed under three principles flexibility, clarity, and current best practices. The content is based off of the learning standards mentioned, the recommended textbook list, and input from current and past Saint Paul American school teachers and administrators. The curriculum serves as the backbone to ensure a quality standard for education at St. Paul American Schools. However, SPASS helps schools review the materials and make improvements and changes to truly make it their own and fit the needs of the school. Schools will be provided with a hard copy and electronic copy at the start of each new school year. Every year the content is updated and improved upon.

The different parts of the curriculum and its function is as follows:

Subject Overview (Elementary to High School)
This is a basic course description or overview. It contains the standards used, the summary of the standards, the summary of materials and textbooks used, a list of units, and a summary of activities, assessments, projects, and teaching philosophy. The purpose of the subject overview is to give a clear summary and introduction to the course to parents, teachers, and students.

Year Overview (Elementary)
The year overview gives a quick glance of the activities and topics for a given week over the course of a year in all subjects. It includes core classes throughout the year and the main topic for the given week. The purpose of the year overview is to help teachers with pacing and give a preview of the entire year. This is also shared with parents and students, so they know what is happening in the classroom.

Syllabus (Middle and High School)
A syllabus is a classroom contract between teachers, students, parents and administrators. It is an outline of what will be taught, it dictates grading weighting, and it prepares students for expected materials and behaviors.

Pacing Guides (Elementary to High School)
This gives school stakeholders an idea of the year ahead. It contains the name of the unit, the learning standards covered, the area in the textbook to be covered, a summary of learning goals, and the length of the unit. Any major changes to the pacing guide requires school stakeholders (teachers, parents, students, and administrators) to be notified.

Unit Plans (Elementary to High School)
Unit plans are used exclusively by teachers to help them plan and design better courses and classes. SPASS trains new schools and teachers in the effective use of unit plans.

Lesson Plans (Elementary to High School)
Lesson plans are for daily instruction and include one week of lessons. All lesson plans should include learning standards, daily and weekly learning targets, activities, and assessments. All lesson plans must be completed and submitted to a local curriculum coordinator. These are then reviewed by SPASS as necessary. This is to ensure that the teacher is prepared and is planning engaging and challenging content for their students.

Lesson plans for preschool to elementary are design to give the teacher as much support and flexibility as possible. These lesson plans give the teacher direction on what to do from the start of class to the end of class including a daily learning target, warm-up activity, main activity, textbook location, and a formative or summative assessment. In addition, the lesson plans provides links to additional activities that the teachers may do in class. These activities may be supplemental online or offline games, alternative lesson plans, videos, songs, worksheets, crafts, problem sets, textbooks, or professional development opportunities for the teacher. These can also be assigned to students for supplementary work at home or at school. By giving teachers a solid foundation for the lesson planning, they will be able to improve and refine the lesson to better support the students in the classroom.