An Introduction to Curriculum Trak
You have questions, we have answers.
Why do we need to map our curriculum if we already have textbook maps?
Textbooks publishers try to provide a comprehensive resource in order to gain a competitive advantage. So, by design, textbooks include massive amounts of material and options. It would likely be impossible to teach a text cover to cover, nor is it desirable. By aligning to standards and benchmarks, a framework for what content experts generally agree should be taught at a given grade, the educator is guided toward the best use of the textbook. A textbook should be regarded as a resource and the professional teacher will select from it what is most helpful to reach the academic standards. What the teacher selects then needs to be mapped out so it is visibly articulated and communicated.
How long will it take to map our curriculum?
This is perhaps the most frequently asked FAQ and one to which there is not a specific answer. Determining factors at a particular school may include, but are not limited to: 1) the amount of previously mapped material completed that will go into a new system, what format it is in for transferability, and how current the material is, 2) the amount of time designated for teachers to collaboratively map during the course of a year, 3) the skills and knowledge of mapping of the curriculum director and the teacher, and 4) the sense of urgency and motivation surrounding the process. In general, a typical map can take as much as six to eight hours to complete and refine. The CT Certification program is geared to helping school leaders break this process into smaller, more meaningful chunks over time.
How long does it take to set up our program and have it ready to be used by our teachers?
In our experience, schools that need to start quickly have been able to be up and running in 36-48 hours. Teachers and courses need to set up, curricular templates and standards selected, and plans for teacher training in place. We do two 90 minute consultations with schools to ensure everything is ready for schools to start mapping effectively. Due to an integration feature, schools that are using Renweb/FACTS will have a faster initial setup process, and our publisher import options also help expedite the process.
How long does it take to open my account?
Once you request Curriculum Trak and return the signature page, we’ll have your account available within 24 hours. We encourage you to build in a few days beyond that to configure your account, with the support of the Curriculum Trak team, before inviting your mapping editors into the process.
If we start midyear, do you prorate the annual fee?
We have schools starting every week of the year. Each school’s renewal comes on their individual anniversaries. If you need an alternate billing time to accommodate your budget, Sheryl will be happy to work that out with you.
How will I train my teachers?
We provide a concise Teacher Training Checklist that details the steps and includes video clips. Teachers can be ready to use the product within 30 minutes. It’s that easy to use! This Checklist can also be used in future years with teachers new to the program, eliminating additional training costs. Additionally, each year your school will be able to certify one or more of your curriculum leaders (dependent on your subscription level) via a multi-day online certification course. This will help your school to continue to use the program effectively.
What if I need help?
Unlimited, free support for program administrators is part of the annual subscription. We provide an extensive library of short video tutorials for many common questions as well as a support center for submitting questions. Schools tell us they appreciate our excellent customer service!
Does the optional Lesson Planning tool need to be added right away?
Absolutely not. Lesson Planner can be added at any time. However if you align your standards in the unit plan and wish for teachers to keep them aligned to the point of implementation, we recommend that the Lesson Planner be added as soon as possible since it pulls standards/benchmarks and resources into the lesson plan area. Basic course outlines, defining unit titles and standards alignment, are recommended before lesson plans can be created.
What if we do not align to our state’s standards/benchmarks?
Curriculum Trak support will work with your curriculum leadership to identify and load the best standards/benchmarks for your school’s mapping purposes. From there, you own the database! Curriculum Trak allows you to update, revise, or swap standards as needed to best support your mapping efforts.
How Many Account Admins Can We Have?
A Curriculum Trak account administrator’s role is best understood as the keeper of the curriculum. While there are minor database management responsibilities, the Curriculum Trak administrator at your school has full access to make any change to any aspect of your curriculum. So, while we do not put a specific limit on your account administrators, we do encourage you to reserve these rights for those who are best equipped to manage all aspects of your curricular data.