A director of curriculum is an essential member of a school administrative team. Sometimes this position is decentralized and added on to the responsibilities of an existing principal or assistant principal. Sometimes, particularly in larger suburban or urban school districts, the position stands alone. There are three areas of supervision that the position normally encompasses: these are curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The main focus of the curriculum director is to coordinate the scope and sequence of the curriculum offerings in a school district, the selection of instructional materials, textbooks, and supplementary materials, the quality of instruction, and the determination of the assessments to be used in measuring student academic progress.
It is very important for the director to work closely with committees and individual teachers in either developing local learning standards or in adapting state or federal learning standards for local use.
The curriculum director is usually responsible for professional staff development. This means that often they plan, schedule, and present training to teachers and specialists aligned with district plans, goals, and objectives. The director may be involved in selecting and implementing technology and/or technological advancements to be implemented in the teaching process so that students become proficient using cutting edge technologies for critical thinking and problem solving.
Most successful curriculum directors are research-based and data-driven in their work. This means that they synthesize research with respect to best practices and gather data on student academic performance. This research and data is then used to assess how the district as a whole and how individual schools and even specific classes, students, and teachers are performing. The curriculum director works closely with the school principal and teachers within a school to determine the academic performance level of the students and to make and implement plans for improving that performance.
The position of curriculum director is normally a year round position. The summer months are often spent researching new programs and developing plans to improve educational programs for the coming school year. Teacher training often occurs in summer months. Strategic plans are developed for improvements in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
In many states an educator will obtain a Masters Degree in Curriculum and/or Instruction with specific areas of focus in order to become a Curriculum Director. In most districts teaching certification and experience as a classroom teacher is required to be qualified for this position.
Many experienced educators enjoy the challenges and rewards of being a curriculum director.