Franklin Lakes School District

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Curriculum and Instruction Home

The Office of Curriculum and Instruction

Twitter: @FLPS_Curriculum


The Office of Curriculum and Instruction manages the instructional program and resources for the District in collaboration with administrators, teachers, and the Board of Education.  This work is ongoing and updates on progress are posted periodically.  For more specific information on the District's curriculum please click on Curriculum Content Areas on the righthand sidebar.


Department of Curriculum & Instruction Personnel

Ms. Liesel Steines, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Mrs. Steines has worked toward continuous improvement within the Franklin Lakes Public Schools since she began working as an Elementary Teacher at High Mountain Road School in 2004.  She draws from her understanding of pedagogy, child development, and adult learning to design curriculum with equity and excellence at the center.  She has additionally served as a Literacy Staff Developer and Reading Interventionist within our schools. Mrs. Steines has earned two M.A. degrees: from Teachers College, Columbia University (Childhood/ Elementary Education) and Ramapo College (Educational Leadership).  She holds certifications as a Principal, Supervisor, and Elementary Education K-6.  She earned her undergraduate B.A. from Rutgers College where she double-majored in American Studies and Communication.  Prior to her transition to education, she worked in the public relations industry in the area of corporate, legal and crisis communications.


Ms. Kathleen DeRosa, Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction

Mrs. Kate DeRosa began serving in her role as Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction during the summer of 2016. Prior to this administrative role, she served as a Literacy Staff Developer and Interventionist, as well as an English Language Arts teacher at FAMS, beginning in 2007. Her passion for literacy, education, and leadership has developed during her personal education journey, which includes a BA in English Literature from Rowan University, an MA in American Literature and Rhetoric from Rutgers University, coursework as a Reading Specialist from William Patterson, and most recently her School Leadership endorsement from the NJ EXCEL program. Mrs. DeRosa's educational philosophy stems from her belief that all children have the ability to succeed and achieve greatness. The education of the whole child, investigative inquiry, and an interdisciplinary approach to learning are all key components that she believes best serve children within public education. 


Ms. Francesca LoCascio, Mathematics Staff Developer

Mrs. LoCascio has been a teacher in the Franklin Lakes Public Schools since 2010. She has taught math, language arts and social studies in grades 4 and 5 at High Mountain Road and Woodside Avenue Schools, and is fully committed to the students and teachers of Franklin Lakes. As the district’s Math Staff Developer Mrs. LoCascio supports the implementation of a consistent, student-centered K-8 mathematics program with the ultimate purpose of encouraging students to think deeply about math, and apply it to the world around them.  She is passionate about quality math instruction for all learners, and served as a member of the Math Program Evaluation and Math Curriculum Revision Committees, in which she worked closely with colleagues to author the curriculum, in addition to researching and evaluating the enVision Math 2.0/2020 curricular resource.  Ms. LoCascio earned both her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from William Paterson University.  She holds certifications as a Principal and Supervisor, as well as instructional certifications in Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and K-12 Social Studies. 


The Department of Curriculum and Instruction Supports Professional Development


Image of the cover of Profesional Learning in The Learning Profession Status ReportResearch on Professional Development

Much research is done on the benefits of teacher professional development and the best practices for its implementation.  Click on the graphic to the left to see a recent study done by Stanford University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  It outlines the key findings on what effective professional development looks like and its effect on student learning.  We can be confident that, unlike many programs in the U.S., Franklin Lakes implements many of the best practices noted in this study.



FLPS Educators: Advancing Expertise

The Franklin Lakes Public Schools proudly celebrate our educators who give back to the profession in an effort to support student achievement and educator improvement and innovation beyond the walls of their own classrooms.   Our District's Advancing Expertise newsletter recognizes the contributions of our certified staff members who take on leadership roles in the area of professional development and learning.


Advancing Expertise 6.21.18

Advancing Expertise 2.28.17

Advancing Expertise 1.5.16

Advancing Expertise 6.22.16


K-8 Mathematics Programming Evaluation Report - May 2019

The K-8 Math Evaluation Programing Report is the product of over a year of collaborative work collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data across the District.  Moving forward, the findings, conclusions from this report will frame the development of short- and long- term plans for the next level of work in Mathematics, which will include recommendations for systemic improvements in support of deeper mathematics learning and understanding. 


Read the full report or review the slideshow.


Overview: Curriculum, Standards, Instruction, Assessment, & Professional Development


Curriculum describes (in writing) the most important outcomes of the schooling process; thus, the curriculum is a document in which resides the district’s “collected wisdom” about what is most important to teach … Curriculum is based on standards; as a result, curriculum and standards are linked. Curriculum specifies how standards are met. Standards are not curriculum. Rather, standards provide a vision of the appropriate content and processes (usually for a subject area, such as mathematics) of what students should know and be able to do across a range of grade levels.


…A curriculum is a plan that focuses and guides classroom instruction and assessment … Assessments answer the question of how much knowledge and skill are good enough to meet the standards aligned in a unit. Teachers use assessments to determine how good is good enough. Classroom assessment is inexorably linked to curriculum.

(Squires, D. 2004. Aligning and Balancing the Standards-Based Curriculum).


"Differentiating instruction is an approach to teaching that advocates active planning for and attention to student differences in classrooms, in the context of high quality curriculums." – Carol Tomlinson, Ed. D.


Differentiation of Instruction


Professional development is the link between the design and implementation of education reforms and the ultimate success of reform efforts in schools.

According to the research, high-quality professional learning opportunities for teachers contain the following five characteristics:

- Aligns with school goals, state and district standards and assessments, and other professional-learning activities
- Focuses on core content and modeling of teaching strategies for the content
- Includes opportunities for active learning of new teaching strategies
- Provides the chance for teachers to collaborate
- Includes follow-up and continuous feedback

(DeMonte, J. 2013. High Quality Professional Development for Teachers)