AAS-Sofia has worked to build the foundation for a curriculum that makes sense for our mobile population of students and teachers.

In particular, we have anchored our teaching in the internationally-recognized Common Core standards, which connects nicely to the IB Diploma Program in the Upper School, as well as those from Washington State in areas not yet covered by the Common Core such as science, social studies and the arts. Everything our teachers do now is connected to these mutually agreed-upon standards.

Teachers have also been trained to teach complex ideas and deep concepts in ways that make sense for our students, using the Understanding By Design framework. And they're documenting key standards and concepts using our new Atlas Rubicon curriculum mapping system.

In addition to these systemic changes, we have worked to ensure that teachers have basic textbooks, workbooks or other supporting materials for their courses.

We're now at the point where veteran teachers know what's expected of them and new teachers have a roadmap. We're all on the same page.

During the 2013-14 school year, we will focus on making our work more transparent and public for all of our constituencies, especially parents. Beginning August 2013, teachers will post an overview of the broad topics and concepts being taught in every course and grade level, so a parent can find out — with just a few clicks — what their child will be studying. As the year goes on, we will continue our work in Atlas Rubicion, providing a way for people to drill down and learn more about the key standards and sample unit plans for each course.

Teaming across our school will also be a priority and teachers at each level will collaborate and plan together.

All of this work is very much in line with what top international schools around the world, including those in Central and Eastern Europe, are doing. It has taken awhile to get to this point, but our goal continues to be creating a living curriculum, not a shelf document. So now, when we put that curriculum online, we'll truly be able to say: this is what we do at AAS.


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