Archdiocese of Baltimore Standards and Curriculum
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore provide a Christ-centered education that is academically excellent and empowers students to reach their full potential. Our Catholic school curriculum has always been rigorous and college preparatory. As part of our commitment to academic excellence and continuous improvement, the Archdiocese of Baltimore regularly reviews and updates curricula. This review includes an assessment of the latest subject-specific national and state guidelines and standards to inform the development of the curriculum for Catholic schools.
Our curriculum is revised by subject area expert teachers from our Archdiocese in collaboration with a team of administrators and the Department of Catholic Schools. While an ongoing process, the current curriculum revision began in 2011/2012 with a new Religion curriculum for elementary schools, “Bringing the Good News.” The standards, based on the Six Tasks of Catechesis from the General Directory of Catechesis, informed the development of this curriculum.
Our next subject area for revision was mathematics. While the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were not adopted, as with any curriculum revision, the most current national and/or state standards are utilized to ensure that our curriculum meets or exceeds these standards. Only those elements deemed to add value and increase rigor to Catholic schools’ already-rigorous curriculum are adapted for inclusion. The Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Mathematics revised curriculum was released for the2014-2015 school year.
English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum revision began last year and is expected to be released for the 2015-2016 school year and will ensure a commitment to the tradition of academic excellence in reading/literature, writing, grammar and spelling that have been a hallmark of Catholic education.
Social Studies and Science are scheduled for revision in subsequent years. As we revise curricula, the Archdiocese of Baltimore remains true to our mission and ensures that our Catholic identity is infused in our curriculum and instruction. Local control is maintained in our schools for textbook selection and enhancement of instruction and advanced courses to meet our students’ needs.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore is not required and does not participate in the PARCC assessment, student data sharing, or the “Race to the Top Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness Grant.” The curriculum revision process is designed to raise academic standards and to ensure our students remain competitive, instruction remains engaging and effective and the learning environment supports and develops 21st century skills so that our students will be more effective citizens and will move forward in life with a Christian vision and purpose.