DISTRICT | June 17, 2021
The district is officially launching Skyline, our first-ever standards-aligned, culturally responsive curriculum that will be freely available to all schools and for students from pre-k through 12th grade. As part of the district’s Curriculum Equity Initiative, Skyline ensures that students in every neighborhood can benefit from high-quality curricular resources that are tailored to their unique needs. Here’s what you need to know about this monumental leap toward becoming a more equitable and student-centered district:
1. As a digital curriculum, Skyline’s comprehensive resources will be easy to access and use.
All Skyline content will be centralized within a set of integrated digital platforms that will be easily accessible for both teachers and students. Skyline content in English language arts, mathematics, science, social science, and two world languages—Spanish and French—will be available starting July 31, 2021. Each course was developed to provide a fully-articulated suite of resources, including scopes and sequences, unit plans, lesson-level teacher facilitation guides, student-facing resources, and formative and summative assessments. The resources are built within platforms that allow teachers to modify and customize Skyline resources in order to make them their own.
2. Skyline’s lessons have been tailored to reflect our district’s diversity and the lived experiences of our students.
When building out the Skyline curriculum, CPS worked with publishers and teachers to design the content to be more culturally responsive to our student population. For example, English language arts courses were built around contemporary texts, uniquely selected for CPS students. Math lessons incorporate Chicago-based events, organizations, and traditions. Science lessons were created to be highly interactive, using digital simulations about subjects that students will be excited to learn about. Social science lessons engage with students’ identity and an inquiry-based approach to real-world issues. And world language lessons highlight authentic resources from Latin America and francophone countries around the world.
3. Skyline was built to support English learners and diverse learners.
Educators are provided with unit-level and lesson-level instructions on how to support English learners and diverse learners, and student-facing mini-lessons allow for differentiated instruction. Additionally, teachers can make a copy of Skyline lessons in order to modify the materials to further meet the needs of individual students.
4. Hundreds of CPS educators played an active role in shaping the Skyline curriculum.
CPS teachers helped build the Skyline curriculum. Through the Curriculum Collaborative, more than 300 CPS teachers used rubrics developed in partnership with EdReports to review draft Skyline units and provide feedback that significantly guided the development process.
5. CPS will provide a range of supports to help schools implement the Skyline curriculum.
The district will oversee a robust system of professional learning opportunities that will help educators become more comfortable with Skyline’s digital platforms and learn best instructional practices to implement the curriculum in their classrooms. As part of CPS’ commitment to equity, schools that need further support will also receive additional instructional coaching and professional learning.
To officially introduce Skyline, the district held an event with CEO Jackson and CEdO McDade as well as a panel of national education experts and a roundtable of CPS stakeholders to discuss how the curriculum will benefit schools across Chicago and serve as a model for school districts across the country. If you weren’t able to watch the event live, you can view it below.