Washington school district standardizes high quality curriculum

Bellevue School District (BSD) of Bellevue, Washington has an ambitious statement of purpose clearly displayed on its Internet homepage: Our mission is to provide every student with a top of the line college preparatory education so that they can enter and succeed in the college or university of their choice. Not surprisingly, perhaps, its International School ranked 10th in US News and World Report's 2009 annual list of best high schools in America, and two other BSD schools made the top 100. That's impressive for a district with a modest enrollment of 17,200.

"We have a foundational belief that all students deserve a quality education," said Kathee Terry, director of curriculum for Bellevue School District. Terry explained that a key factor's in Bellevue's quality is a standardized curriculum, which ensures educators district-wide have access to the same units and lessons, and students have similar learning experiences regardless of which school they attend.

Using Pinnacle Instruction from GlobalScholar, BSD is able to offer the same high-quality education to every school in the district by providing educators, administrators and parents with access to district curriculum. The online platform allows the district's curriculum development team to manage thousands of units and lesson plans across all grade levels and subject areas.

As a central hub of information for all curriculum resources, the program offers a standards-aligned content repository, making it easier for curriculum development teams and educators to organize and manage all aspects of instruction. For example, elementary educators in Bellevue School District are using the assessment wizard and objectives manager for math instruction. This allows them to generate assessments and scan answers into the computer, automatically populating the gradebook, which saves data entry time.

"Defining and maintaining the depth and breadth of district curriculum we have is an ongoing process that requires the combination of robust technology and a dedicated team of educators and administrators," said Nancy Larson, manager of facilities, information technology and maintenance for Bellevue School District. "With Pinnacle Instruction, and through working with GlobalScholar, we have the technology needed to deliver the consistent, high-quality curriculum we have created throughout the district."

Bellevue School District also uses Pinnacle Grade, Pinnacle Insight and Pinnacle Internet Viewer. Each product is connected to Pinnacle Instruction, so that educators, administrators and parents can access one solution instead of a variety of platforms or tools to find the information they need.

Pinnacle Instruction is a component of the Pinnacle Suite, an integrated platform that provides a standards-based gradebook; student information system; performance-based scheduler; integrated curriculum and assessments; data analytics; tutoring; supplemental education services; and professional development programming.