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Coordinated Curriculum

Coordinated curriculum is one core feature of the State Board of Education’s Rule Series 2000 - Education Quality Standards (EQS), which were established to ensure all public school children will be afforded educational opportunities which are substantially equal in quality. As required in 16 V.S.A. §261a(a)(1), the board of each supervisory union shall ensure that each school implements the supervisory union's written and delivered curriculum, which shall be a) aligned with the standards approved by the State Board of Education; b) coordinated across all grades to prepare students for graduation; c) coordinated across the supervisory union, including sending high schools and technical centers; d) informed by ongoing review of new research, changing learning opportunities, and updates to the standards approved by the State Board of Education; e) designed to enable all students to achieve the graduation requirements; and f) integrated with technology across all disciplines.

The AOE has identified coordinated curriculum as one of the four systems levers for implementation of Act 173, further supporting the provisions of EQS that emphasize research-based instruction, personalized learning and PLPs, flexible pathways, and proficiency-based learning. A coordinated approach to curriculum in Vermont requires a focus on Proficiency-based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs), learning targets, and performance indicators, all of which stem from the Portrait of a Graduate as a foundational component.  A coordinated  curriculum supports effective instruction and  informs professional learning needs. With the goals of quality, equity and efficiency in mind, a coordinated curriculum will enhance the effectiveness, availability and equity of services provided to all students who require additional support.

Coordinated Curriculum in School District Systems: Act 173 Technical Guidance

Coordinated Curriculum in School District Systems: Act 173 Technical Guidance is designed to provide additional technical assistance and guidance around curriculum coordination. It provides clarity about how coordinated curriculum is situated in the current regulatory and practice context, describes why coordinated curriculum is a major systems lever for the successful implementation of Act 173, and describes how to implement the focus area in the context of a school district system.

The Quality Criteria Single Point Rubric can be used as a self-assessment to identify areas of strength as well as those that require additional work.

Attributes of a Coordinated Curriculum

When done well, a strong standards-based coordinated curriculum has the following six attributes: vertical and horizontal alignment, backward design, high-quality instruction and assessment, personalized learning, flexible pathways, and integration and transfer.

Additional Resources

Vertical and Horizontal Alignment

Curriculum Mapping, by Rebecca Crawford Burns, is a chapter of the book Curriculum Handbook from ASCD and includes the sections: overview, definition, evolution of curriculum mapping, context and purpose, aligning curricula to standards and assessments, building staff capacity, developing relationships and communicating with stakeholders, using resources effectively, and a conclusion.

What Is a Curriculum Map (And How Do You Make One)?, by Chris Zook, is a blog post for Applied Educational Systems that defines curriculum mapping and walks through the process in a step by step manner.

Backward Design

The Role of Learning Progressions in Competency-Based Pathways is a publication from Achieve that introduces the idea of learning progressions and presents research around how they support competency-based education.

Understanding by Design is a collection of ASCD resources, including articles, books and publications, webinars, online learning, videos, ways to connect to experts, and more.

The Role of Learning Progressions in Competency-Based Pathways Achieve convened a set of state leaders, researchers and practitioners to identify promising efforts around the potential of learning progressions research to transform instructional practice.

High Quality OER Curriculum and Resources Information about high-quality instructional materials pulled from CCSSO’s work with eight states around the country.

High-Quality Instruction and Assessment

Assessment: The Bridge between Teaching and Learning, from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), is an article by Dylan Wiliam that talks about the importance of formative assessment.

About Universal Design for Learning, from CAST, introduces the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and guidelines designed to help educators improve teaching and learning for all, based on scientific research about how humans learn.

What Are the Core Competence Areas and Where are they Promoted? outlines and describes CASEL’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) framework, which promotes the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes across five areas of competence and four key settings.


Center for Collaborative Education: Building for Equity Toolkit gives educators a guide to implementing equity-focused practices in their schools and the tools with which to do so.

Learning for Justice provides free resources to educators – teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners – who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators can use their materials to supplement the curriculum, inform their practices, and create inclusive school communities where children and youth are respected, valued, and welcome participants. The organization formerly known as Teaching Tolerance has developed a Framework for Anti-Bias Education which includes Social Justice Standards: The Teaching Tolerance Anti-Bias Framework and a Learning Plan Builder.

Designing Equitable and Culturally Responsive Learning Spaces, by Karla Vigil and Emily Abedon, is an article about how educators can explore their own identities in order to connect more authentically with their students and teach in a more culturally responsive way.

Flexible Pathways

Flexible Pathways Implementation Kit 

A set of resources developed for schools, supervisory unions, and school districts to use with students, colleagues, families, and community to support the development, expansion, and implementation of flexible pathway opportunities.

Facilitation Guide: Developing Flexible Pathway Profiles at the Local Level

VT Flexible Pathways Profile: A Tool to Evaluate Flexible Pathways at the Local Level

Facilitation Guide: Considerations for Student Participation in a Flexible Pathway

VT Flexible Pathways Tool: Considerations for Student Participation in a Flexible Pathway

Research Review of Flexible Pathway Opportunities

Equity Lens Tool

Flexible Pathways to Graduation: Six Vermont High School Students, from Students at the Center Hub, is a video created by UP for Learning that features six Vermont high school students talking about the different graduation pathways they used in order to personalize and direct their own learning.

Integration and Transfer

Early STEM Exposure through Career Focused Project-Based Learning, from Defined Learning, describes ways teachers can expose students to STEM concepts and careers starting in the early grades.

PBL Works is the website for Project-Based Learning and includes an abundance of resources.