By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

For nearly two years, teachers and administration in the East Troy Community School District have been working on revising the curriculum in all the grade levels in an effort to align with the state standards in all subjects.

The district’s students have not done as well on the state’s Badger and Forward exams in the past couple of years, but district assessments, including the MAP assessment tend to show the students meeting growth targets. And while Kohnke said that wasn’t the reason for the revamp, it does play a factor.

The immense undertaking was a collaboration with all the teachers and building-level administration, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Daphne Kohnke told the School Board Jan. 22.

“The teachers have been working tirelessly to develop and essential understanding of the state standards, develop learning targets and now align the curriculum to the targets,” she said.

Kohnke told the board that while most school districts use a committee to develop curriculum, she felt it was important that all the teachers were involved with the process so everyone was on the same page and they all had ownership in the process.

“I wanted every teacher to know what their curriculum was,” she told the board.

The district sent home a letter to parents and guardians on Jan. 19 outlining the process and intent of the revised district standards. The new curriculum overviews are available on the district’s website at by clicking on “Course Overviews” under “Quick Links” at the right side of the page.

District Administrator Chris Hibner said the process allowed staff to get a handle on what the issues with the curriculum were.

“We identified a lot of gaps and overlaps, to be honest,” he told the board.

Hibner said the information on the website, while comprehensive, might get a little overwhelming at first glance and suggested parents begin with the learning targets listed for each class/grade.

“We really want our students to know those learning targets,” he said.

He also commended the district’s teachers, Kohnke and district Curriculum Coordinator Melissa Deutsch for their hard work and dedication to the overhaul.

Kohnke said the entire process kept the importance of having personalized learning environments at the forefront, because it is something the district is committed to as it empowers students.

In his district administrator’s update, Hibner touched on how the schools are promoting personalized learning to give the kids an “authentic” learning experience that involved the 5 C’s the district is also committed to – creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and content.

Hibner said teaching content was important, but that it had to come with teaching the kids the other C’s because with today’s constantly changing information, the kids needed to learn the skills of how to learn and problem solve.

Hibner acknowledged the district isn’t where they would like it to be with the personalized learning environments and standardized test scores, but they were making progress.



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