Citing ‘Transparency’ and ‘Access,’ SOMSD Launches User-Friendly Online Curriculum Platform

by The Village Green
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From the South Orange and Maplewood School District:

The South Orange & Maplewood School District’s Curriculum & Instruction Department is proud to announce that the District’s K-12 curriculum will now be available online.  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 District 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 & integrated experience for school leaders, teachers, students, and parents.

In the past, the District’s curriculum has been scattered across multiple portals for documentation and lacked a centralized location to document curriculum in addition to a common language or focus.  It has been a goal of the District for a couple of years to coordinate the curriculum process with a fresh start of curriculum 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 curricula are aligned and referenced from Common Core NJSLA standards.

Dr. Matthew Friedman, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction, says “We are excited to finally bring to fruition this District goal.” He continued, “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 child(ren’s) will learn at their grade level, but it also beneficial to teachers, allowing them to view mapped curricula by subject area, grade-levels and standard alignments on one site and in one-location.  Within Rubicon Atlas, school and District-wide curriculum is one click away for all teachers, spanning all subjects and grade levels.  In addition, teachers will easily be able to apply filters by grade, subject, or course.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ronald G. Taylor shared, “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.”  Taylor continued, “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.”

More information and access to the SOMSD Atlas site can be found here:

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