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RPSA November Blog: Curriculum Reviews

A comment we often hear from grantees is that they are in need of quality curriculums, but there are so many out there that they don’t know where to start. The Department of Human Services has created a list of Best & Promising Practices, but even this valuable resource can be challenging for providers to navigate. Not only does it take time to go review for your specific needs, but to ensure that resources are responsive to the community that you serve. 

Based on this feedback, Andrew Hitzhusen, a Afterchool Resource and Support Specialist for ACT Now, has begun to write reviews of curricula he has come across from the field. Each review will have two components, a scored Rubric and a bullet pointed Review. The Rubric assesses each curriculum in seven areas: Content, Viability, Timing, Explicit Goals, Student Input, Facilitator Supports, and Reflection. Each area has a number of criteria expected for a Recommended curriculum. If the curriculum does not meet all the expected criteria, it might be labeled as Developing toward Recommended, or Cannot Recommend. If a curriculum meets all the criteria for Recommended, it is then eligible for Highly Recommended if it meets a few extended criteria. The Review includes tags that capture, at a high level, the content of a curriculum, a rating based on the Rubric, availability, and a Curriculum at a Glance Guide, which highlights what is covered in the curriculum, as well as some pros and cons to the curriculum. The Review then assesses the curriculum in 6 areas: Curriculum Design and Structure, Teaching Methods and Resources, Engagement and Student Participation,Differentiation and Inclusion, Assessment and Progress Tracking and Teacher Support and Professional Development. Between the Rubric and the Review, we hope that providers will be able to determine whether a curriculum will be right for them. 

This month, we have three curriculums reviewed:


By Momentous Institute

TAGS: SEL, PreK3, K-5, Elementary School, The Brain, Breath, Feelings, The Body, Impulse Control, Gratitude, Optimism, Grit, Resilience, Perspective Taking, Empathy, Kindness, Compassion, Hope



Resources to Inspire

By Casey Family Programs

TAGS: Life Skills, Middle School, High School, daily living skills, self-care skills, relationship and communication skills, housing and money management, work and study skills, 



A Life Skills Curriculum

By Christine A. Helfrich, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

TAGS: Life Skills, High School, Young Adult, Food & Nutrition Management, Home & Selfcare, Money Management, Safe Community



Be on the lookout for more curriculum reviews in the coming months.