(a) There shall be established at each school in the state a school curriculum team composed of the school principal, the counselor designated to serve that school and no fewer than three teachers representative of the grades taught at the school and chosen by the faculty senate: In instances where the counselor is assigned to an elementary school or a combination elementary and middle school on less than a one-half time basis, a school curriculum team established at that school may meet on days when the counselor is not at the school and the principal shall consult with the counselor on the issues relevant to the meeting agenda.
(b) The purposes of this section are to implement the following goals:
(1) Provide professional opportunities for teachers, administrators and other school personnel that allow them to have a direct voice in the operation of their schools and to create a culture of shared decision-making focused on the ultimate goal of raising student achievement;
(2) Encourage the use of different, high-quality models of teaching, scheduling and other aspects of educational delivery that meet a variety of student needs;
(3) Increase high-quality educational opportunities for all students that close achievement gaps between high-performing and low-performing groups of public school students; and
(4) Provide public schools with increased school-level freedom and flexibility to achieve these purposes when they have achieved exceptional levels of results-driven accountability.
(c) Powers and duties of the school curriculum team. --
(1) Establish for use at the school the programs and methods to be used to implement a curriculum based on state-approved content standards that meet the needs of students at the individual school.
(A) The curriculum shall focus on reading, composition, mathematics, science and technology.
(B) The curriculum thus established shall be submitted to the county board which may approve for implementation at the school or may return to the curriculum team for reconsideration.
(2) Review the list of other, non-required testing and assessment instruments provided by the state board through the statewide assessment program as provided in section five, article two-e of this chapter. The curriculum team may select one or more tests or assessment instruments that are applicable to the grade levels at the school for use at the school to improve student learning.
(3) Establish for use at the school the assessments, instructional strategies and programs that it determines are best suited to promote student achievement and to achieve content standards for courses required by the state board. The curriculum team shall submit the established assessments, instructional strategies and programs to the county board which shall approve the recommendations for implementation at the school or shall return them to the curriculum team for reconsideration.
(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, the school curriculum team established at a school that has achieved adequate yearly progress or has achieved an accreditation status of distinction or exemplary in accordance with section five, article two-e of this chapter, may use the assessments and implement the instructional strategies and programs consistent with the approved curriculum that it determines are best suited to promote student achievement at the school.
(1) The school may not be required to assess students using any specific assessment except the state summative assessment known as the WESTEST2 or any successor tests, the Alternative Performance Task Assessment, the Online Writing Assessment, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); and
(2) The school may not be required to employ any specific instructional strategy or program to achieve content standards for courses required by the state board, except as approved by the school curriculum team.
(e) If a school fails to achieve adequate yearly progress or if it receives any school approval level other than distinction or exemplary as set forth in section five, article two-e of this chapter, the curriculum team may not exercise the options provided in subsections (d) and (i) of this article until the school has regained one or more of these credentials.
(f) Nothing in this section exempts a school from assessments required by statute or state board policy including, but not limited to, the state summative assessment known as the WESTEST2 or any successor tests, the Alternative Performance Task Assessment, the Online Writing Assessment, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
(g) The school curriculum team may apply for a waiver for instructional resources approved and adopted pursuant to article two-a of this chapter if, in the judgment of the team, the instructional resources necessary for the implementation of the instructional strategies and programs best suited to teach the school's curriculum are not available through the normal adoption process.
(h) The school curriculum team may apply for a grant from the state board to develop and/or implement remedial and accelerated programs to meet the needs of the students at the individual school.
(i) Process for teacher collaboration. --
(1) Notwithstanding the application and approval process established by article five-c of this chapter, at a school that has achieved adequate yearly progress or has achieved a school accreditation status of distinction or exemplary in accordance with section five, article two-e of this chapter, the faculty senate, with approval of the principal, may establish a process for teacher collaboration to improve instruction and learning.
(A) The collaborative process may be established in addition to, or as an alternative to, the school curriculum team provided for in subsection (a) of this section.
(B) The mission of the collaboration process is to review student academic performance based on multiple measures, to identify strategies to improve student performance and make recommendations for improvement to be implemented subject to approval of the principal.
(C) The teacher collaborative includes members the faculty senate determines are necessary to address the needed improvements in the academic performance of students at the school. If applicable, the collaborative may consist of multiple subject area subcommittees which may meet independently.
(2) If a collaborative process is established as an alternative to the school curriculum team, the teacher collaborative has all the powers and duties assigned to school curriculum teams.
(A) The collaborative process also may incorporate the functions of the Strategic Planning Committee, the Technology Team, and/or the School Support Team.
(B) When the functions of any or all of these committees are incorporated into the collaborative process, the school is not required to establish a separate committee for any one whose functions have been assumed by the collaborative.