Hopkinton Public Schools Philosophy of Learning
We believe that the goal of learning is understanding. All students must have equal access to a clearly articulated curriculum while engaging in inquiry, exploration, discovery, application, and reflection. Effective learning activities that lead to deep understanding begin with clear goals, and are designed to capitalize on strengths while addressing the needs of individual students. Learning begins as the acquisition of knowledge and skills; deep understanding requires a safe and vibrant learning community that allows risk-taking and fosters continual dialogue. The measure of learning and the evidence of understanding is the student’s ability to apply what is learned in school to authentic purposes and real life situations.
Development of Curriculum
In Hopkinton, units of study are created using the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework, which was originally developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. The MA curriculum frameworks serve as our guiding documents, and teachers use the UbD model to create three stages of curriculum design:
Stage I: Desired Results. In this stage, teachers determine the big ideas and enduring understandings that comprise each unit of study
Stage II: Evidence. In this stage, teachers create assessments and tasks that allow students to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of the standards
Stage III: Learning Plan. In this stage, teachers develop learning activities that are designed to further students’ understanding of key concepts.
Academic Vision of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE):
Hopkinton’s vision of curriculum development is closely aligned with that of DESE, which expects that “every student in Massachusetts has access to a safe and supportive school environment that cultivates academic curiosity and confidence. Students have equitable access to an excellent education. Students read meaningful texts across content areas, work on complex real-world problems, participate in the arts, and share their ideas through speaking and writing using evidence, all in an effort to understand the world, their personal identities and their roles in the world.
Instruction is most powerful when educators have strong content knowledge and access to high-quality instructional materials and professional learning that promote inclusive practice accessible to all students, including English learners and students with disabilities; support authentic, engaging, and interdisciplinary student learning experiences; and invest families and students in their learning.
To support standards-based learning, we believe that every student should engage:
with grade-appropriate text every day
with meaningful real-world problems every day
in scientific conversations using data every week
… in a school environment that supports social-emotional learning, health, and safety.”
Current State Curriculum Frameworks
Current Massachusetts Frameworks - Link to all current Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Ms. Parson holds a CAGS in Educational Leadership from Bridgewater State University, as well as a Masters in Education in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Literacy, from Lesley University. Her undergraduate degree was in Elementary Education, awarded from the University of Rhode Island.
She served as the Principal (2011-2018) of the Lincoln St. Elementary School in Northboro, and serves on the School Committee of the Milford Public Schools (2014-present). She has previously served as the Principal (2004-2011) of the Center School in Hopkinton. She was also the Assistant Principal (2001-2004) for the Israel Loring School in Sudbury, and began her career in education as a Grade 4, 5 and 6 Classroom Teacher for the Natick (MA) and Atlanta (GA) Public School Districts.