Dr. Debra Kirkhus
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction 

Mrs. Mary Bonanno
Secretary  bonannom@pcsdny.org
(845) 855-2150  

Welcome to the Office of Instruction


The office of Curriculum and Instruction collaborates with school district administrators, teachers and all instructional staff to assure every student has  a course of study that that will support him or her in attaining the outcomes identified by the community through our Board of Education.  These outcomes are broad and expect that students will not only attain competency in core subjects and be critical thinkers, but that they will construct knowledge, think creatively and be able to successfully meet the challenges and opportunities of an economically competitive, technologically advanced, culturally diverse, and knowledge-based twenty-first century.

Collaborative teams of teachers, typically facilitated by curriculum leaders,  design units aligned with the New York State Learning Standards, or other appropriate standards,  District Outcomes, and the International Standards for Technology Education.  Their collective work supports our District  Goal of the development of a local, innovative curriculum.  While curriculum development is an ongoing process, we have launched a  public portal that shares unit overviews for many courses.  The unit overviews provide information about the line of inquiry being explored through the instruction, the major assessment, and the relationship between the unit of instruction and the District Outcomes.  

Curriculum Leaders provide updates on our progress to the Board of Education. You can find some recent curriculum presentations linked to the right.

Our curriculum benefits from the participation of many individuals and organizations who serve as partners with our teachers and leaders. Pawling’s is a broad vision of a well-educated child, and part of the work of strengthening the curriculum process will benefit from broad participation on the part of school and community.  Please join us in these efforts.

Public Curriculum Site

Many of our courses have unit overviews that may be viewed by the public.  Visit the public curriculum site to learn more about what students are learning, exploring, and creating. The ones here have been at least 75% mapped. Teachers and curriculum leaders use this site to develop and share curriculum. Unit overviews provide information on the content of the unit, the major questions students will pursue in their inquiry, a description of the major assessment in the unit, and how the unit relates to District outcomes. These unit overviews, and related curriculum maps, are in a continual state of change, revision, and improvement. 

As you view the maps, you will notice that they are arrayed on a calendar. While the rough length of each unit is fairly accurate, when the unit is taught in the year can vary. Typically a unit is included in the curriculum map after it has been designed and piloted.

PCSD Curriculum Development Process Curriculum Development


Curriculum is developed by teachers under the direction of the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and curriculum leaders, appointed by the Board of Education annually.  Teachers are licensed professionals  whose education and licensure qualifies them to apply the New York State Learning Standards and other expectations of the New York State Department of Education, including the Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education Framework as well as other NYSED initiatives, such as the Seal of Civic Engagement as well as expectations of NYSED assessments. 

 Curriculum Approval

Curriculum Approval is a multi-year process.  PCSD has only one curriculum that has met the rigorous standards for BOE approval to date, ELA 9-11.

Curriculum Transparency

Each curriculum leader or combination of leaders makes a presentation to the Board of Education each year detailing the progress that area is making toward having a curriculum ready for BOE approval.  Without changes in Standards, curriculum approval takes multiple years.  When standards and assessments change, it can take even longer.  In the meantime, curriculum in use is often publicly available on the district’s curriculum page.  Curriculum Presentations are available to the public via the Board of Education page.

Student Voice

Students participate in our curriculum camp as co-designers.  Teachers explain the Learning Standards and work with students to develop lessons that are engaging while meeting those standards.  Students also are co-designers of many learning experiences in keeping with the important role of student voice in a culturally responsive and sustaining curriculum.

Additional Expertise

Our teachers benefit from training provided by organizations and individuals with expertise in the learning standards, assessment, and instructional design provided by the District and through our various local BOCES.  Individuals with expertise in curriculum development and design who are interested in sharing their expertise are always welcome to speak with and send resumes to the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.

Concerns about Curriculum and Materials Selection

Any classroom concern should be discussed with the teacher.  If not resolved, we will involve the principal and the Assistant Superintendent as appropriate.  PCSD regulation 1420R provides a procedure for concerns about curricula or materials not resolved in a regular process.