Course Approval Process - Curriculum


Introduction

Encore Junior & Senior High School for the Arts has an extensive offering of courses in both academic and arts instruction. This guide will summarize the process for new courses being approved and current course adoption processes. This guide will break down the different types of courses offered and the different requirements for each course.

It is important to note throughout the course approval process, the availability of a certified teacher to teach the course is also a consideration for the implementation of the course.


Junior High Academic Courses

In junior high, the academic courses chosen for the regular curriculum meet the 8th grade promotion requirements set forth by Encore. The goal for all junior high academic courses is to properly prepare students completing the coursework for both grades 7 and 8 to enter Encore’s rigorous high school academic program. The courses follow California’s State Standards and include measures to prepare students for annual state testing.

Junior High Academic Courses and their curriculum are adopted every seven (7) years unless:

  • There are changes to state standards that require changes before the seven-year deadline.

  • The teaching team at Encore feels an update to the course/curriculum is necessary due to student need and student achievement.

  • There are indicators in the data analysis that dictate a necessary change to course/curriculum to improve student achievement.

  • There are state, federal, or global changes that warrant changes in course offerings or course curriculum.

Step One: Need for the course

The California State Standards drive the need for relevant and required courses for Encore approval. If the state standards require an academic course for grades seven (7) and eight (8), this designates that course as needed.


Step Two: Curriculum

Encore shall have the Academic Director work with all certified academic teaching staff in junior high within a subject matter to research and choose curriculum that is relevant to a course. The curriculum is accepted as California state approved curriculum resources and shall align with California State Standards regarding the specific subject matter for the grade level.

  1. 1. Curriculum Committee – The Academic Director builds a curriculum committee that comprises of all teachers that teach the subject. This committee meets regularly up to two years before the new curriculum adoption will take place.

  2. The committee chooses three separate resource curricula to research.

  3. The Academic Director gets pricing quotes for implementation of all three resource curricula.

  4. The committee will separately research and compare all three resource curricula over a period of one to three months.

  5. At the completion of the research phase of the course curricula, the committee reconvenes to choose a curriculum that they wish the board adopt.

  6. The committee creates a report, and the committee presents the report in a regular public board meeting to request adoption of the curricula. In the report:

  7. Overview of all curricula researched before the decision was made.

  8. Cost of the implementation of curricula including professional development.

  9. How the curricula will improve student achievement.

  10. Evidence of target student achievement to be addressed using benchmarks, classroom assessments, and state testing data.

  11. Curriculum Mapping

  12. Professional Development and Onboard Training Plan for the implementation of the new curriculum.

  13. Board Adoption of Curriculum – Once the committee has presented their request to adopt curriculum, the Encore School Board votes to adopt the curriculum in a regular public meeting. If the curriculum is not adopted, the committee and the Academic Director will reconvene for next steps based on the Board outcome.

  14. Implementation of Curriculum – Once the curriculum has been formally adopted by Encore’s School Board, the committee plan will be put into place and the Academic Director will be responsible for presenting timelines for implementation including professional development.

Step Three: Implementation of Course –

Once the course has been identified, the curriculum has been adopted, and the implementation calendar has been set; the course can follow the committee plan for implementation of the junior high academic course.


Step Four: Updates and Revisions to the Course –

Annually, Encore’s teaching team reviews the course and submits updates to the Academic Director. These updates include:

  • Any resource materials that need to be updated based on student need (stemming from student achievement data)

  • Updates to curriculum mapping


High School Academic Courses

In high school, the academic courses chosen for the regular curriculum meet Encore’s traditional graduation standards. Encore’s traditional graduation standards meet the California State College Board “A-G” admissions qualifications for application to UC and CSU universities. The goal for all high school academic courses is to properly prepare students completing the coursework for “A-G” with a letter grade of “C” or better to help them succeed in a four-year university after high school. The courses follow California’s State Standards, are approved as “A-G” courses through UC Doorways, and include measures to prepare students for annual state testing.


High School Academic Courses and their curriculum are adopted every seven (7) years unless:

  • There are changes to state standards that require changes before the seven-year deadline.

  • The teaching team at Encore feels an update to the course/curriculum is necessary due to student need and student achievement.

  • There are indicators in the data analysis that dictate a necessary change to course/curriculum to improve student achievement.

  • There are state, federal, or global changes that warrant changes in course offerings or course curriculum.

Step One: Need for the course

The “A-G” Graduation Requirements and college/career readiness drive the need for relevant and required courses for Encore approval. Courses that are relevant to college/career readiness AND are an “A-G” graduation requirement are considered as high school academic courses for adoption and approval.


Step Two: Curriculum

Encore shall have the Academic Director work with all certified academic teaching staff within a subject matter to research and choose curriculum that is relevant to a course. The curriculum is accepted as a California state approved curriculum resource and shall align with California State Standards regarding the specific subject matter for the course.


  1. Curriculum Committee – The Academic Director builds a curriculum committee that comprises of all teachers that teach the subject. This committee meets regularly up to two years before the new curriculum adoption will take place.

  2. The committee chooses three separate resource curricula to research.

  3. The Academic Director gets pricing quotes for implementation of all three resource curricula.

  4. The committee will separately research and compare all three resource curricula over a period of one to three months.

  5. At the completion of the research phase of the course curricula, the committee reconvenes to choose a curriculum that they wish the board adopt.

  6. The committee creates a report, and the committee presents the report in a regular public board meeting to request adoption of the curricula. In the report:

  7. Overview of all curricula researched before the decision was made.

  8. Cost of the implementation of curricula including professional development.

  9. How the curricula will improve student achievement.

  10. Evidence of target student achievement to be addressed using benchmarks, classroom assessments, and state testing data.

  11. Curriculum Mapping

  12. Professional Development and Onboard Training Plan for the implementation of the new curriculum.

  13. Board Adoption of Curriculum – Once the committee has presented their request to adopt curriculum, the Encore School Board votes to adopt the curriculum in a regular public meeting. If the curriculum is not adopted, the committee and the Academic Director will reconvene for next steps based on the Board outcome.

  14. Implementation of Curriculum – Once the curriculum has been formally adopted by Encore’s School Board, the committee plan will be put into place and the Academic Director will be responsible for presenting timelines for implementation including professional development.

Step Three: Implementation of Course –

Once the course has been identified, the curriculum has been adopted, and the implementation calendar has been set; the course can follow the committee plan for implementation of the academic course.


Step Four: Updates and Revisions to the Course –

Annually, Encore’s teaching team reviews the course and submits updates to the Academic Director. These updates include:

  • Any resource materials that need to be updated based on student need (stemming from student achievement data)

  • Updates to curriculum mapping


Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

For all grade levels, there is a need to implement a variety of Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses to ensure the academic rigor for course curricula with advanced students. The goal for all Honors and Advanced Placement Courses is to provide a comprehensive advanced course of study where students that excel academically will be challenged with advanced growth and can be competitive with students applying for four-year universities around the world.


For every core academic program, there will be a course of study that offers and advanced student an opportunity to have tailored rigor to complete their promotion and graduation requirements. The course of study will include a path that includes both Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Honors and AP courses are “A-G” approved.

For grades seven (7) and eight (8), Honors courses will be offered in English, History, Math, and Science.


Honors and Advanced Placement courses and their curriculum are adopted every seven (7) years unless:

  • There are changes to state standards that require changes before the seven-year deadline.

  • The teaching team at Encore feels an update to the course/curriculum is necessary due to student need and student achievement.

  • There are indicators in the data analysis that dictate a necessary change to course/curriculum to improve student achievement.

  • There are state, federal, or global changes that warrant changes in course offerings or course curriculum.

Step One: Need for the course

Student enrollment drives the need for Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Advanced Placement courses are offered to grades eleven (11) and twelve (12). Encore will offer Honors courses for most subjects. Advanced Placement courses are offered when ten (10) or more students have signed a survey that states they wish to take the course.


Step Two: Curriculum

For all Honors courses, teachers will use the same curriculum materials that are used in the traditional or general education courses. The Honors classes will have a separate curriculum mapping from the traditional course and the grading percentages are different. The Honors curriculum mapping is also Board adopted.

For all AP courses, teachers undergo certificated training from the College Board and follow the curriculum as outlined by College Board.


Step Three: Implementation of Course –

Once the course has been identified, the curriculum has been adopted, and the implementation calendar has been set; the course can follow the committee plan for implementation of the course.


Step Four: Updates and Revisions to the Course –

Annually, Encore’s teaching team reviews the course and submits updates to the Academic Director. These updates include:

  • Any resource materials that need to be updated based on student need (stemming from student achievement data)

  • Updates to curriculum mapping


Student Support Courses (Special Education, EL, and Remediation)

In all grade levels, support service courses are an integral part of student achievement. Based on data from state testing, benchmarks, individual education plans (IEPs), and classroom assessments; additional support courses on top of Encore’s push in/pull out remediation may be necessary. The goal for all student support courses is to bridge achievement gaps of students to help them succeed academically. The courses use a variety or resources and include measures to prepare students for annual state testing.

Student Support Courses and their curriculum are adopted every seven (7) years unless:

  • There are changes to state standards that require changes before the seven-year deadline.

  • The teaching team at Encore feels an update to the course/curriculum is necessary due to student need and student achievement.

  • There are indicators in the data analysis that dictate a necessary change to course/curriculum to improve student achievement.

  • There are state, federal, or global changes that warrant changes in course offerings or course curriculum.

Step One: Need for the course

  • Special Education – Courses specific to special education are based on need designated by IEPs, data analysis for special education subgroups, conference with special education resource specialists, advice and suggestion from SELPA.

  • English Learners – Courses specific to English learners are based on results from ELPAC testing, Caseload and specific need within the caseload, data from benchmarks and state testing.

  • Remediation – Courses specific to remediation are based on benchmark, state, and classroom testing data and stakeholder conference/survey.

Step Two: Curriculum

Encore shall have the Academic Director work with all certified academic teaching staff within a subject matter to research and choose curriculum that is relevant to a course.


Curriculum Committee – The Academic Director builds a curriculum committee that comprises of all teachers that teach the remediation and at least one teacher from the general education subject that is being set for remediation. This committee meets regularly up to two years before the new curriculum adoption will take place.

  1. The committee chooses three separate resource curricula to research.

  2. The Academic Director gets pricing quotes for implementation of all three resource curricula.

  3. The committee will separately research and compare all three resource curricula over the course of one to three months.

  4. At the completion of the research phase of the course curricula, the committee reconvenes to choose a resource program that they wish to have the board adopt.

  5. The committee creates a report, and the committee presents the report in a regular public board meeting to request adoption of the curricula. In the report:

  6. Overview of all curricula researched before the decision was made.

  7. Cost of the implementation of curricula.

  8. How the curricula will improve student achievement.

  9. Evidence of target student achievement to be addressed using benchmarks, classroom assessments, and state testing data.

  10. Curriculum Mapping

  11. Professional Development and Onboard Training Plan for the implementation of the new curriculum.

Board Adoption of Curriculum – Once the committee has presented their request to adopt curriculum, the Encore School Board votes to adopt the curriculum in a regular public meeting. If the curriculum is not adopted, the committee and the Academic Director will reconvene for next steps based on the Board outcome.


Implementation of Curriculum – Once the curriculum has been formally adopted by Encore’s School Board, the committee plan will be put into place and the Academic Director will be responsible for presenting timelines for implementation including professional development.

Step Three: Implementation of Course –

Once the course has been identified, the curriculum has been adopted, and the implementation calendar has been set; the course can follow the committee plan for implementation of the course.


Step Four: Updates and Revisions to the Course –

Annually, Encore’s teaching team reviews the course and submits updates to the Academic Director. These updates include:

  • Any resource materials that need to be updated based on student need (stemming from student achievement data)

  • Updates to curriculum mapping


Career Technical Education Courses

As an arts career centered high school, Encore is focused on offering a wide variety of courses and programs to help students realize their goals of completing an arts career pathway by graduation. The arts career courses are critical to Encore’s enrollment and overall student engagement in school. Encore’s Career Technical Education Courses follow the California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards. Most of the courses also follow the California State Visual and Performing Arts Standards.


The courses are (or will be by 2025) taught by certified teachers. (There is a grace period for teachers that were teaching at Encore prior to June of 2020 to complete certification by June 2025.)


Career Technical Education Courses and their curriculum are adopted every seven (7) years unless:

  • There are changes to state standards that require changes before the seven-year deadline.

  • The teaching team at Encore feels an update to the course/curriculum is necessary due to student need and student achievement.

  • There are indicators in the data analysis that dictate a necessary change to course/curriculum to improve student achievement.

  • There are indicators in enrollment dictating changes to Encore’s specialized programs.

  • There are state, federal, or global changes that warrant changes in course offerings or course curriculum.

Step One: Need for the course

Encore’s need for a career technical education course is outlined by:

  • Student desire to enroll in a course.

  • Encore’s ability to hire a qualified teacher for the course.

  • The course’s ability to improve college/career readiness graduation rates for Encore.

  • Relevance within Encore’s CTE programs.

  • Relevance within community need and/or interest in the program.

Step Two: Curriculum & Course Needs

Encore shall have the Academic Director work with all certified teaching staff within a subject matter to research and build curriculum that is relevant to a course.


  1. Curriculum Committee – The Academic Director builds a curriculum committee that comprises of all teachers that teach the subject. This committee meets regularly up to two years before the new curriculum adoption will take place.

  2. The committee creates a list of all classroom, resource, and curriculum needs for the course.

  3. The committee gets pricing quotes for implementation of the course and maintenance of the course.

  4. At the completion of the research phase of the course, the committee reconvenes to create a program that they wish to have the board adopt.

  5. The committee creates a report, and the committee presents the report in a regular public board meeting to request adoption of the curricula. In the report:

  6. Overview of course.

  7. Cost of materials for the implementation of course.

  8. How the course will improve:

  9. Student engagement

  10. Student population numbers

  11. Overall CTE program

  12. Evidence of target student and family data to be addressed using surveys.

  13. Curriculum Mapping

  14. Professional Development and Onboard Training Plan for the implementation of the new course.

  15. Board Adoption of Course – Once the committee has presented their request to adopt the course, the Encore School Board votes to adopt the course in a regular public meeting. If the course is not adopted, the committee and the Academic Director will reconvene for next steps based on the Board outcome.

  16. Implementation of Course – Once the course has been formally adopted by Encore’s School Board, the committee plan will be put into place and the Academic Director will be responsible for presenting timelines for implementation including professional development.

Step Three: Implementation of Course –

Once the course has been identified, the curriculum has been adopted, and the implementation calendar has been set; the course can follow the committee plan for implementation.


Step Four: Updates and Revisions to the Course –

Annually, Encore’s teaching team reviews the course and submits updates to the Academic Director. These updates include:

  • Any resource materials that need to be updated based on student need (stemming from student achievement data)

  • Updates to curriculum mapping


Annual A-G Review of Courses

For all courses (except remedial courses) that are offered to high school students (grades 9-12), it is a requirement that the course be “A-G” approved for college admissions considerations. Encore reviews “A-G” course submissions annually in conjunction with UC Doorways submission windows.


  1. In December of each school year, all teachers that have enrollment of grades 9 – 12 in any of their classes are required to review the “A-G” Basic Course Information on the reference list for the “University of California A-G Course Management Portal.”

  2. Beginning in February, teachers are required to update their courses if there are any changes to the Basic Course Information.

  3. Any updates to the courses that are within the scope of this procedure guide must be Board approved before submission can occur.

  4. Any courses that will be newly offered in the following school year are submitted to the Course Management Portal during this window.

  5. As updates are made and approved for each course, the Basic Course description is added to the parent portal in Aeries so parents can understand the scope of each course their student is enrolled in.




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