P. O. BOX 2120
March 26, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Sample Quality K-8 Curricula Aligned with the Standards of Learning in English, Science, and Mathematics
  By June 1, 1999, the Department of Education will
  distribute to school divisions a CD-ROM containing needed
  sample curricula as a resource designed to support the
  curriculum development/alignment process.  We are aware
  that many of you have spent considerable time and
  resources on curriculum development and alignment since
  June 1995.  In order to provide a variety of quality
  sample curricula to all divisions, we would like to offer
  you the opportunity to share one or more of your quality
  K-8 curricula in English, science, and/or mathematics
  with the Department to be included on the CD-ROM.  To
  determine whether you should submit your curricula,
  please use the attached criteria to ensure that your
  curricula matches the sample prototypes that we plan to
  disseminate. Your contributions to this project will be
  greatly appreciated.  These samples are intended to serve
  as a beginning point for local curricula development, and
  are not intended to be adopted without modification nor
  regarded as guaranteeing success on the Standards of
  Learning tests.  

  We are announcing the future distribution of the sample
  curricula at this time so that you may have the option of
  planning local workshops to utilize this resource as you
  create or realign your own curricula for English,
  mathematics, and/or science. To the extent possible, the
  sample curricula will be in an electronic format which
  will allow local divisions to download, modify, and
  supplement the samples as a means of facilitating the
  development of local curricula aligned to the Standards.

  At a later date an additional CD-ROM will be distributed
  containing the history and social science Standards of
  Learning implementation resource documents, as referenced 
  in Superintendents Memo #43. This CD will contain
  amplifications of the history standards, sample
  curricula, and the historical documents referenced in section
  22.1-201 of the Code of Virginia. (The Declaration of American
  Independence, the general principles of the Constitution of the
  United States, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, the
  charters of April 10, 1606, May 23, 1609, and March 12,
  1612, of The Virginia Company, and the Virginia
  Declaration of Rights.) 

  For additional information, please contact Dr. James
  Heywood, Director, Office of Elementary and Middle School
  Instructional Services, at (804) 225-2865.


  Attachment:  A hard copy of this memo and its attach-
               ment will be sent to the superintendent's

  Criteria for Sample SOL Curriculum in English, Science
                     and Mathematics

  The following criteria will be incorporated into a scoring
  rubric used to qualify locally developed sample curricula
  which "unpack" the Virginia Standards of Learning into
  objectives. From curricula submitted by local school
  divisions, the Virginia Department of Education will select
  several, which meet the criteria noted below, and produce
  a CD-ROM containing these samples for distribution to all
  school divisions in Virginia. The purpose of the CD-ROM is
  to serve as a resource for school divisions who are working
  on aligning curricula in these subject areas. 

  Curricula submitted for consideration will be evaluated on
  the following:

  1.   The school division has a student pass rate of
       70% or better, averaged at the division level, in
       at least two of the three grades; 3,5 or 8 in the
       disciplines of English, mathematics or science.
       A division may submit curricula in one or more of
       these disciplines.

  2.   The curriculum objectives are correlated to the
       SOL such that the standard is clearly identified.

  3.   The school division is willing to allow other
       Virginia school divisions to copy and modify the
       sample curriculum for use in their divisions.

  4.   The curriculum includes some sample instructional
       activities illustrating the objectives. 

  5.   The SOLs  are "unpacked" or further delineated as

  6.   Quality indicators include:

       a. The SOLs are unpacked into clear, measurable
          objectives that elaborate upon the standards
          and are not a simple restatement of the SOL.
       b. The objectives are explicit and provide
          greater detail than the SOL in terms of
          content and skill expectations.
       c. The objectives reflect multiple levels of
          Bloom's taxonomy.
       d. The objectives set an expectation for the
          achievement of skills as well as content

   7.  Desirable or optional enhancements include:

       a.   Provisions for differentiation.
       b.   Examples of appropriate assessment items, 
            tools or suggestions.
       c.   Sample lessons or instructional strategies.
       d.   Integration of instructional technology.
       e.   Illustrations of interdisciplinary
       f.   Sample resources

   8.  The curriculum must be received by the Department
       by April 15 in order to be considered for
       inclusion on the CD-ROM.