We recently asked several schools who have been using Curriculum Trak for awhile to provide us with feedback and insights based on their experiences. Their responses did not disappoint! They provided a treasure-trove of experience which we quickly realized should be curated and shared with other schools who might be at a different stage in the process. We refer to these schools as “Trailblazers” because they are making the path clearer for others to follow. We are still adding to this collection, but you can find their advice through the Support Manual under “Trailblazers” or look for the “Curriculum Trak Trailblazer Directory” at to the top of the Curriculum Trak Blog. Over the next several weeks we are going to share some of the common themes and helpful threads we gleaned from their responses. But, we wanted to begin at the end…

We had one big question we wanted our Trailblazing schools to answer after they had incorporated Curriculum Trak into the fabric of their school culture for several years. The Question: What were some of the unexpected results or pleasant surprises your school received as a result of mapping your curriculum. Basically, we wanted to know if their efforts were worth it.

Each pointed to a specific outcome they didn’t necessarily expect, or an aspect of their planning and instruction they hadn’t considered being able to improve. Ultimately, it seems each would say Curriculum Trak helps make the mapping process worth it. That should be encouraging news from a trailblazer!

Our Trailblazers provided the following specific insights (click on the any link to see their full response to our questionnaire):

Clarksville Christian School – Clarksville, TN

“The ability to link Bible standards have been very helpful.”

Cornerstone Christian Academy – Philadelphia, PA

“As we continue to revise content areas and continue using the Lesson Planner feature, teachers are able to double check their own pacing and keep track of various resources (web links, handouts, etc).  Administrators will now be able to track where our state benchmarks are being addressed.”

Dalat International School – Penang, Malaysia

“One of our favorite features in Curriculum Trak is sharing maps with other schools. Sometimes we need an idea to get started on mapping a new course and other times we just want new ideas for a particular unit. Either way, the sharing of resources in invaluable.”

District V Christian Schools (Pella Christian Grade School)  – Pella, IA

“CurriculumTrak was a game changer for PCGS.  The ability for our school to create a map template and the intuitive nature of CurriculumTrak was welcomed by all of our staff and allowed our team to create living maps that are kept up to date.”

Faith Academy Manila – Makati City, Philippines

“Having a written curriculum helps us with the problem of teachers bringing in a “suitcase curriculum” (i.e., their tried and true favorite things to cover…)”

Fredericksburg Christian School – Fredericksburg, VA

“Curriculum Trak has allowed our school to cement our view that our curriculum is not our textbooks. For many years, our school has emphasized this to teachers and families, but the use of Curriculum Trak makes it very evident. The school standards are taught, regardless of the next lesson in the textbook.”

Immanuel Lutheran School – Wisconsin Rapids, WI

“We are realizing that it isn’t so much about teaching the content as it is about teaching skills of critical thinking and problem solving.”

Isaac Newton Christian Academy – Cedar Rapids, IA

“It revealed a lot of information.  Much of that information was good–we had great teachers who were excellent at their craft.  Others needed some encouragement to follow the school’s expectations. That has been successful.”

Okinawa Christian School International – Okinawa, Japan

“All the faculty are also involved in book discussions during divisional meeting times of How to Differentiate Instruction in the Academically Diverse Classroom. Now that most of the unit maps are complete, and teachers have a working understanding of standards, big ideas, and backward design, it is possible to begin working on this important area.”

Providence School – Jacksonville, FL

“We are taking teachers from being textbook-driven to standards-driven.”

Redlands Christian School – Redlands, California

“Curriculum Trak has become central to our academic program.  It is integrated into the daily fabric of the school through the linkage with FACTS SIS and the lesson planning feature in Curriculum Trak.”

San Jose Christian School – Campbell, CA

“Having the maps has helped for curriculum review so that we can see what is taught across the school.”

West Valley Christian School – Goodyear, AZ

“The accreditation team that visited recently was impressed with the dissemination of ESOs within our school.  They saw and heard ESOs in several lessons while they were on campus! Curriculum Trak is an integral piece of verifying that our school is targeting ESOs throughout the grade levels.”