Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation


Stone Memorial High School

Tennessee School Improvement
Planning Process (TSIPP)
For Accreditation Through SACS/CASI

3.1 Curricular Practices

TEMPLATE 3.1.a:  Curricular Practices

Template 3.1.a: Curricular Practices
 (Rubric Indicators 3.1 and 3.2)

Current Curricular Practices

School uses TN Dept. Of Education state-approved standards and provides training to      staff in the use of the standards.

School has established school wide student achievement benchmarks.

Curriculum is prioritized and mapped.

Support System is in place for enhancing the quality of curriculum and instruction.

Monitoring is in place for enhancing the quality of curriculum and instruction.

Evidence of Practice (State in definitive/tangible terms)

Science department head attended new science ’08 conference.
All teachers met in ’07 to learn criteria of PLAN test with guidance counselors and administrators.
Five faculty are members of the County Standard Awareness Team.
On Mondays, teachers submit lesson plans to the office, complete with state standards and post on individual websites for students, parents, and community to observe.

School supports AYP goals established by national guidelines. Grade level placement is assigned based on the number of credits that a student has earned. School counselors and advisors review transcripts. Students may choose dual pathway, university, or technical pathway. Students not on track for graduation have a conference with the counselor and plans for credit recovery are arranged so they can be on track to graduate.

Evidence of     Practice
~Student Handbook
~Counselor Catalog
~Guidance made worksheets for course selections-~Registration packets
~Individual programs for SPED selection.

When departments meet, they discuss integrating the standards into their curriculum. Before each state mandated test was instituted, the SMHS teachers mapped the curriculum to ensure that teachers integrate the Tennessee standards into their subject matter. Teachers have copies of their respective state standards guides, and they correlate their lesson plans with the state standards. Weekly, teachers must post their lesson plans on the school’s web site and turn them into the principal for review.

Title II provides money for professional development of teachers and administrators in their subject areas. Teachers and administrators utilize these allocated funds by attending mini-seminar programs. Materials from the programs are shared with other staff members and implemented into student instruction.

~NSF confers grants to the science department. ~First National Bank of Tennessee, Flowers Bakery, and TAP Publishing provide funds to teachers to enhance the learning environments in their classrooms. ~SMHS has an active PTSO. They sponsored an academic banquet, as well as, a fundraiser for the library. ~Dollar General store awarded the SMHS Library a literacy grant, which was  used by the Librarian to purchase books for the library. ~Several class, club and sports sponsors have received Volunteer Electric VECustomer Shares grants. ~The Hope Scholarship provides tuition for juniors and seniors taking dual credit classes.
~Each year veteran teachers are assigned as mentors to new teachers at SMHS. ~During staff development, time is set-aside for subject groups to meet to discuss curriculum and other issues pertinent to the subject matter.
~The administration performs teacher evaluations as needed and give back useful feedback to teachers for professional growth and development. Principals also do walkthroughs to ensure teachers are on task. ~Teachers receive the Tennessean Newspapers in Education grant.
~The library/media center provides media aids to enhance teaching and learning experiences at SMHS.

~The administration performs teacher evaluations as needed and give helpful feedback. They also do walk-through evaluations to ensure teachers are on task.
~The Advisory Committee meets regularly to discuss aligning the standards to the curriculum and discuss any issues pertinent to the subject material. ~Department heads encourage teachers to attend professional development opportunities.

Is the current practice research-based?






Is it a principle & practice of high-performing schools?






Has the current practice been effective or ineffective?






What data source(s) do you have that support your answer? (identify all applicable sources)

TCAP scores, End of Course, Gateway scores, PLAN scores, & ACT scores

Tennessee Department of Education Annual Report Card

Meeting Dates for staff development-Inservice/  Administrative days

Grant forms from the NSF and the bank: school-mentoring program.

Evaluations: meeting dates and minutes.

Evidence of effectiveness or ineffectiveness (State in terms of quantifiable improvement)

All scores went up except history.

District-wide graduation rate is 80.6.                 SMHS’s graduation rate was 85.6.

State-mandated test scores rose countywide.

Formal/  informal teacher evaluations: teachers address areas of need listed on their teacher appraisal record.

Establishment of 9th grade Academy that addresses students interests as well as needs.

Evidence of equitable school support for this practice

Lesson plans indicate teachers closely align classroom teaching with performance standards with EOC and Gateway response items.

Knowledge of specific expectations for students enables teachers to more effectively plan and deliver critical information.

Curriculum mapping was done countywide. This plan supports curriculum mapping at the school level for the Stone Memorial High School students.

All teachers are formally evaluated on a rotating schedule.

The establishment of structured reading will remain with specific teachers throughout their high school educational career.

Next Step (changes or continuations)

Continue using alignments and evaluate state assessment results

~Continue using AYP goals as minimum expectation level of student performance in order to meet AYP. ~Put in place a Student/ Teacher Advisement Program.

Create departmental teams to re-visit the curriculum in order to  horizontally and vertically map the curriculum in Language Arts and Math for grades 5-12.

Professional development is offered in various areas including vocabulary, science, and writing throughout the year. Awards are publicized in local newspapers and other forms of media.  Dave Kirk Automotive rewards students through an automobile give-away drawing.

Continue established reading groups that provide continuity, mentoring, and structure for students.


TEMPLATE 3.1.b: Curriculum Gap Analysis

Setting priorities is one way to narrow a school’s improvement focus.  As we know, we have more needs than we
have resources.  Priority needs can be identified through a Gap Analysis.  The process will identify the discrepancy,
or the gap, between the current state – “What Is” –which is identified in your practices – and the desired future
state – “What Ought To Be” – which is found in the rubric.  Completing Template 3.1.b (the gap analysis)
should help school team members discover “What Ought To Be.” 

Completion of the gap analysis should enable the School Leadership Team to answer the equity and adequacy
questions relative to curricular practices, also to be recorded in Template 3.1.b.

Template 3.1.b: Curriculum Gap Analysis

Curriculum Gap Analysis - Narrative Response Required

“What is” The Current Use of:  TIME, MONEY, PERSONNEL And OTHER RESOURCES 
(How are we currently allocating our time, money, personnel and other resources and building capacity around understanding and implementing high quality curricular practices?)

  • TIME


  • During staff development meetings, teachers meet as subject groups to discuss

    implementation of the curriculum standards in their lesson plans.  

  • Teachers are given 90 minutes of daily planning time.  


  • Teachers are allotted $100 in BEP funding, yearly.  The remaining BEP money is allotted to the individual schools for supplies such as copy machines and paper.  Many

      teachers, such as math and science teachers, charge fees for classroom supplies.

  • The Media Center receives $9000 per year to purchase books and supplies.
  • The Cumberland County School system has two curriculum directors (P-8, 9-12),

    who provide professional development for teachers.  The administration
    provides professional development, as well, for teachers.  Federal money is also used                   
    through the district’s Federal Programs office to provide professional development.

  •   SMHS houses a 9th grade Academy, and has an assistant principal designated for the Academy.


  • The two BOE curriculum directors and school administrators provide school-wide

         curriculum and professional support.

  • Department chairs seek advice and counsel from members of each department, and

   guidance counselors ensure course descriptions and pre-requisites requirements are up-


  •  Teachers use class sets of reading books to supplement the curriculum.  
  •  SMHS has two computer labs (one in the library and one mobile) for student and teacher use.
  •  CTE has one mobile lab.
  •  Teachers can use a variety of media materials, such as LCD Projectors, ELMOs, overhead projectors, graphing calculators, and media recording devices, to align with the curriculum.
  •  Teachers use interactive websites for students to review for EOC and Gateway

           tests.  Other websites also supplement the curriculum.

“What Ought to Be” – How Should we be Using Our:  TIME, MONEY, PERSONNEL And OTHER RESOURCES
(How should we be allocating our time, money, personnel and other resources and building capacity around understanding and implementing high quality curricular practices?)

  • TIME


  • Teachers need more time for collaboration between subject areas. Time also needs to

      be built into the master schedule for total school collaboration.  Teachers need time for
           collaboration between teachers in the feeder elementary schools and the 9th Grade
     Academy teachers.  

  •   More opportunities for teachers to attend staff development that addresses the

     use of technology equipment and electronic resources in the classroom should be offered.  


  • Staff development is needed that focuses on technology and its use in the

   classroom, or a Technology Coordinator should be hired for SMHS to assist with software
   and its implementation within the curriculum.   

  • A technology budget is needed that provides more technical support for individual

         schools.  This new budget should also cover regular updates to hardware and software that
   support the curriculum.  

  • Funding is needed for a literacy coach and a math coach.  
  • Extra funding is needed for instructional materials and an increase in the media allotment.


  • A full-time, on-site technology technician is needed to address various technological

   issues as they arise and to instruct staff on software applications to enhance student

  • More access to the ESL coach is needed, as well as, instruction for teachers. 
  • An on-site curriculum leader is needed to coordinate with teachers at scheduled times

   and school system Curriculum Coordinators need to be accessible at the school to address
   educational topics.

  • A literacy coach is needed.
  • A math coach is needed.
  • A graduation coach is needed.


  • All teachers need technology training to support the curriculum.  
  • SMHS needs more technology equipment in the classrooms, such as LCD projectors,

   classroom computers for student use, SmartBoards, and additional mobile computer carts.


Equity and Adequacy:

Are we providing equity and adequacy to all of our teachers?
No.  The CTE teachers and Exceptional Education (SPED), teachers receive more funding than regular education teachers.  


Are we targeting funds and resources effectively to meet the needs of all of our teachers in being effective with all their students?
Some funds are being targeted in needed areas, for example, professional development opportunities.  However, regular education teachers often spend their personal money to purchase classroom supplies due to lack of funding.  

Based on the data, are we accurately meeting the needs of all students in our school?
No.  Targeted subgroups indicate significant curricular deficiencies appear in the areas of ACT English, Reading and Math, which are each less than .5 below the state average.  The Value Added Gateway/End of Course Exams were 5 or more points below the Predicted Score in English II and US History.    




TEMPLATE 3.1.c:  Curricular Summary Questions

The following summary questions are related to curriculum.  They are designed as a culminating activity for your
 self-analysis, focus questions discussions, and findings, regarding this area. 

Template 3.1.c: Curricular Summary Questions
 (Rubric Indicator 3.2)

Curriculum Summary Questions- Narrative Response Required

What are our major strengths and how do we know?
Our major strength is the school’s use of the Tennessee State Department of Education approved standards and training provided to staff in the use of these standards.  School-wide student achievement benchmarks have been established.  While AYP goals, established by national guidelines, are supported.  Teachers have used departmental meetings to prioritize and map the curriculum to ensure the integration of the standards into their subject area(s).  Teachers are also required to maintain their individual Moodle websites, which includes their lesson plans.  Monitoring is also in place to enhance the quality of the curriculum and instruction.  The principal and assistant principals perform both formal and informal teacher evaluations and give helpful feedback. Furthermore, lesson plans are checked each week.









Curriculum Summary Questions- Narrative Response Required

What are our major challenges and how do we know. (These should be stated as curricular practice challenges identified in the templates above, that could be a cause of the prioritized needs identified in component 1.)
Teachers need more time for collaboration among subject areas.  Time needs to be built into the master schedule for collaboration.  Teachers need time for collaboration between teachers from the feeder elementary schools and the 9th grade academy.  More opportunities are needed for teachers to attend staff development that addresses the use of technology in the classroom. A full-time technology coordinator is needed for the SMHS to assist with software applications within the curriculum.  Data has been obtained through surveys and discussions and is used by administrators during staff meetings.






Curriculum Summary Questions- Narrative Response Required

How will we address our challenges?
The administration currently provides teachers in 9th grade academy shared planning times which enables them to collaborate with their peers concerning time on task, creation of pacing guides, upgrades to curriculum mapping, the use of common assessments, and student performance evaluations.  In the future, the administration will work toward providing these same opportunities for other departments, as well.  The administration should address the needs of all teachers concerning the use of technology within the classroom.  Furthermore, a day of staff development is needed for ongoing training on computer software applications as they could be implemented into the curriculum.