South Orange–Maplewood schools make curriculum available online

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange–Maplewood School District’s curriculum and instruction department announced Aug. 10 that the district’s entire K-12 curriculum will now be available online at https://bit.ly/SOMSDAtlas. The district has partnered with Rubicon Atlas to build out a digital public-facing platform for the K-12 curriculum, which is now open to SOMSD families and the broader community. 

The district’s partnership with Rubicon Atlas brings to fruition a two-year quest to provide the community with transparency and access to the curriculum across all grade levels. Rubicon Atlas is a leading online planning, assessment and reporting platform for independent and international schools worldwide. By providing schools with one unified system on a consistent, modern and mobile-ready interface, Rubicon Atlas — via its platform AtlasNext — offers a seamless and integrated experience for school leaders, teachers, students and parents, according to the school district.

In the past, the district’s curriculum has been scattered across multiple portals for documentation and lacked a centralized location to document curriculum; it also lacked a common language or focus. It has been a goal of the district for a couple of years to coordinate the curriculum process through comprehensive documentation and review. To do this, the district needed to establish a centralized place for curriculum documentation, as well as ensure that teachers/parents are able to view how the curriculum is aligned and referenced from Common Core NJSLA standards.

“We are excited to finally bring to fruition this district goal,” Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Matthew Friedman said. “The process of transferring our curriculum to an online platform allowed us to find the crucial gaps and overlaps in our current curriculum, where similar aspects of curriculum were being repeated year to year, while across grades, there was a lack of consistency in curriculum. In transferring curriculum to Rubicon Atlas, we sought to achieve a more cohesive and standard sequence across curricula.”

Providing access to the district’s curriculum via a user-friendly site not only provides transparency and allows parents to view what their children will learn at their grade level, but it is also beneficial to teachers, allowing them to view mapped curriculum by subject area, grade-levels and standard alignments on one site and in one location. In addition, users will easily be able to apply filters by grade, subject or course.

“We are so excited to add this high-quality tool to our district. During my tenure, I have heard concerns from stakeholders regarding the need to anticipate what students will be learning next or questions regarding the pacing of instruction or even questions about curricular compliance with state mandates,” Superintendent of Schools Ronald G. Taylor said. “Rubicon Atlas is a proven platform that offers a user-friendly transparent solution addressing those previously stated concerns, while also significantly increasing the access of instructional resources to our educators. Kudos to our curriculum and instruction team, led by Dr. Friedman and Director Ann Bodnar, who worked many hours with our academic content supervisors to bring this much discussed need to reality.” 

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