Franklin Lakes School District

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Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

Franklin Lakes Public Schools gear up for curricular and instructional changes designed with 21st century learners at the center


By Liesel Steines

Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction, & Professional Development

Image of 4 C'sof 21st Century

While our students were enjoying long summers of rest, relaxation, and adventure, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction was busy planning, designing, and preparing for the implementation of new and improved 21st century skills-aligned curriculum across many disciplines, Pre K-8!  Intended to prepare learners for successful futures, while also meeting a variety of needs, the purpose of any curriculum is to "describe (in writing) the most important outcomes of the schooling process" (Squires, D. 2004). 

Since June of 2016, a total of 66 educators  have contributed their collective wisdom to design and develop 10 revised, standards-aligned curricula with an emphasis on 21st century skills development with emphasis on the 4C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity  across content areas, which are increasingly important in a global and automated economy!  For more, see graphic:  Where Do American Jobs Fall on the Skill Spectrum? (The New York Times, July 27, 2017).    

Crafted with the Understanding By Design framework (Wiggins & McTighe), which aims to capitalize on student inquiry and engage students in critical thinking yielding deeper levels of learning and transfer, Franklin Lakes students can look forward to refreshed and refined curricula and learning designed with students at the center!  Meanwhile, teachers can expect to work with thoughtful curricula that clarifies the Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings that promotes the active learning of skills and content, and provides clear guidance for the orchestratation of resources and time for doing so.  

The FLPS Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction is thrilled to have collaborated with so many educators in curriculum design and development process to date, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue doing so, as it is a dynamic, ongoing process.   As such, we extend our sincere gratitude to all of the educators who have applied their 21st century skills to this important work!

Click below to read FLPS Curriculum Connections!

The Office of Curriculum and Instruction

Twitter: @FLPS_Curriculum


Dr. Gayle Strauss, Interim Superintendent of Schools

Ms. Liesel Steines, Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction, & Professional Development

Ms. Kathleen DeRosa, Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction

Ms. Kristen Emmel, Mathematics Staff Developer


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 see individual links to each curriculum content area on the righthand sidebar.

FLPS Educators: Advancing Expertise

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

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)