Karen Sandberg of Harcourt starts the 2013 – 2014 school year at Greene County School District with a new title. She has been named the new director of curriculum for the entire district, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
“I’ve been doing curriculum work, but not full time,” she says. Sandberg calls the new position “the big role,” and says there are a lot of little things included in the new job.
One of her responsibilities is to support teachers in delivering core curriculum so all students are learning the material they need to progress to the next level.
“We want to be sure teachers are teaching the right stuff,” she says. “The curriculum has to align not only with each grade level, but also in each classroom so everyone is at the level they need to be.”
Core curriculum includes subjects such as English, language, computer skills, reading, math and much more.
The Iowa Department of Education lists core objectives on the department’s website as a system that helps teachers “take learning to a deeper level by focusing on a well-researched set of standards in literacy and mathematics and essential concepts and skills in science, social studies and 21st century learning,” which means civic, financial, technology and health literacy and employability skills. “The Iowa Core is not course-based, but rather is a student-based approach that supports high expectations for all students.”
Sandberg has been meeting with teachers in small groups to create curriculum that supports the district’s core goals. The groups are looking at what standards teachers need to meet, strategies being used by teachers and how to measure growth in the core learning throughout the school year, as well at the end.
Before being named curriculum director, Sandberg worked in the East Greene school district in Rippey and Grand Junction where she mostly taught fifth and sixth grade science.
She graduated from Buena Vista University with a degree in elementary education with an emphasis in science. She later attended Morningside College to obtain her master’s in education and an administrative endorsement in 2009.