In August of 2012, Avon Public Schools, located in Avon, Connecticut, began the process of updating their district curricula to utilize the Understanding by Design® framework. As the curriculum evolved for the disciplines under review, storing and accessing all of the documentation (templates, grade level scopes and sequences, assessments, lesson plans and supporting materials) was causing a logistical nightmare for the district. Documentation was being stored on individual computers, shared drives, network drives, flash drives, and Google Drive making it not only difficult to find current documentation, but also impossible to provide access to the individuals who needed it.
“because [Unit Planner] is so easy to use, it maximizes our ability to focus on creating strong units of study for students.”
Avon Public Schools quickly realized that they needed to find a web-based curriculum management system and design tool where teachers could access their units from anywhere, follow the Understanding by Design framework, easily navigate the system, and receive strong technical support. In January of 2014, Avon Public Schools discovered Unit Planner, a unit-design tool based on the UbD framework.
Implementing Unit Planner was easy and training staff members was quick and stress-free. Teachers found Unit Planner intuitive due to its user-friendly interface and its guided UbD 2.0 template, leading to high teacher and administrator engagement. Teachers and administrators can now create, edit, and share units in real time, and have full visibility of the district’s curriculum. Donna Nestler-Rusack, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at Avon Public Schools, explained that “because [Unit Planner] is so easy to use, it maximizes our ability to focus on creating strong units of study for students.”
Unit Planner has transformed the way Avon Public Schools utilizes the Understanding by Design framework, and allows them to focus on designing units, rather than managing and locating them, leading to a higher quality curriculum. Avon Public Schools is currently managing a catalog of just over 700 high-quality units in Unit Planner.
We are very pleased to support Avon Public Schools, its drive for high quality curriculum and an excellent education for the students it serves. We look forward to their continued accomplishments!