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Defining the Relationship:

The Happy Union Between Curriculum, Content, and Instruction

During the session, panelists will discuss:

  • What sparked the need to find new solutions to strengthen classroom instruction
  • Their process for evaluating solutions that fit their instructional priorities and/or changing standards
  • How they blue-printed a solution that empowered both district administrators and teachers Their implementations strategies to ensure a successful rollout to teachers 

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About the panelists:


Walt Peters

Director of Custom Content Solutions, Newsela 

Walt partners with districts across the country to conceptualize and build custom solutions aligned to districts’ unique curricular and instructional priorities. To date, Walt and his team have architected custom content solutions for districts in over 22 states across core and supplemental content areas. With eight years of experience in education, Walt started his career as an elementary classroom teacher in D.C. Public Schools and continued on to teach in Brooklyn, NY with the Uncommon Schools Charter Network. He holds a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University, where he graduated as the valedictorian of his graduate program. 


Deborah Lee

Director of Curriculum, Elmhurst CUSD 205

When it came time for their next six-year middle school social studies adoption, Elmhurst district administrators knew that they wanted to move away from textbooks. They wanted to provide materials that their teachers loved to use, that are regularly refreshed and engaging for students, and that fit into their instructional frameworks. Over the course of six weeks, Newsela worked collaboratively with four teacher teams across the district to design and curate the district’s U.S. History and Ancient Civilizations inquiry-based curriculum for grades 6-8.


Dr. KK Bradshaw & Paula Harris

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction; Secondary Curriculum Coordinator, Conway Public Schools

Conway Public Schools had just created new pacing guides and needed a way to bring them to life for teachers and students alike when they turned to Newsela. At the time, the district wanted to shift ELA instruction to be more skills-based rather than theme-based. The district partnered with Newsela to develop an ELA Custom Collection for grades 6-12, curating content around priority ELA skills and embedding Notice & Note Sign Posts, morphology, and grammar into daily instruction.


Kirstin Sobotka

Middle School Literacy Academic Specialist, Cabell County Schools

When West Virginia passed legislation requiring Career Literacy, Cabell County educators were challenged to bring the state’s guidelines to life in their classroom instruction. Cabell County had designed an innovative Career Literacy framework for its middle schools for several years, but was looking for content and resources to integrate Career Literacy routinely into ELA instruction. Cabell partnered with Newsela to design a Custom Collection that provides content aligned to their career clusters, creating more opportunities for crossover with ELA instruction.


Ashley Goldstein

6-12 Humanities Curriculum Supervisor, Stoughton Public Schools

When Massachusetts revised its History and Social Sciences Curriculum Framework in 2018, Stoughton Public Schools knew that they had to make changes to their curriculum quickly. The curriculum team at Stoughton wanted their social studies teachers to embed priority ELA skills into classroom instruction and align their content to the 2030 UN Sustainability Goals to bring relevance to their curriculum. Over the course of a series of consultative design sessions, Stoughton’s Elementary and Secondary Curriculum Directors partnered with Newsela to develop custom content aligned to their state standards and unique curriculum requirements for grades 5-12.