The answer is it depends.
One of the defining features of our current educational system is that districts have local control. Part of this local control is the ability to select and adopt curriculum, provided that the choices meet state standards. The Mississippi Department of Education does not mandate the materials a school uses to educate their students. The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) does, however, provide support for school districts by identifying materials that are standards aligned. The MDE also creates rubrics (with educator feedback) for school districts and teachers to use to evaluate materials for quality.
This website is designed to help teachers understand how materials selection and adoption might be happening at your school and provide teachers the tools to help their schools select high-quality instructional materials (HQIM).
What CAN the selection and adoption process look like?
We adapted a plan and timeline created by the Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative. The timeline is specific for Math. However, you can use a similar timeline and process for all subject areas.
What is YOUR district’s process?
The timeline for when schools adopt materials is different from district to district. Also, some schools spread out the process over multiple years or they dedicate certain years to specific subject areas. Buying new materials can be expensive (note: we have some FREE Math HQIM TBD!), and this can dictate a district’s timeline.
Teachers can reach out to school leadership and ask the following questions:
- What is the timeline for curriculum adoption? How often does the district select and purchase new materials?
- Are teachers part of the evaluation process? What role do teachers play in the process?
- Does the district use the MDE rubric to evaluate materials?
We know that for some school districts the launch of this new site might not align exactly with their timeline for selection and adoption, but we are hopeful that when your district is ready to review materials they will look to you, the teacher, for expertise. You can then point them to this website as a one-stop-shop for selecting and adopting HQIM in Math, ELA, and Social Studies.