WARWICK — Just as students ended their school year, some 160 Warwick Valley teachers began a learning experience of their own. A three-day “Summer Curriculum Academy” for faculty members was held June 26-28 at the Warwick Valley Middle School. This academy gave teachers a chance to create curriculum maps and develop performance tasks.The new program format included a keynote presentation and choices of several “mini lesson” workshops each day. Topics included: How to Design Effective Rubrics, How to Develop Essential Questions, How to Empower Peer Tutors in Your Classroom, How to Implement Student Scheduling, How to Create Performance Tasks, Utilizing How-To Sheets in the Classroom, and Facilitating Collaborative/Small Group Discussions. All sessions supported differentiation, and exposed teachers to the latest in educational research. Each day, teachers also attended mini-lessons to learn how to infuse technology into their instruction. Related presentations included the use of Nearpod, G-Classroom, Smart Notebook and other Google Tools.“We are very fortunate to work with high-quality teachers committed to enhancing curriculum and instruction," James Yap, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said in the district's press release detailing the program. "Aside from the quality of the classroom teacher, perhaps the most important factor in student achievement in school is the quality of the curriculum. I look forward to sharing more information about the curriculum maps with families in the future.” Faculty response to the new format for this professional development program was positive.Kindergarten teacher Nancy Nachtigal noted: “The district office values teachers and providing us with quality professional development," noted Rick Ronzoni, a middle school science teacher, agreed: “The Summer Curriculum Academy allows faculty to concentrate on curriculum and resources to implement during a time frame where we’re not focused on student behaviors, grades, administrative work, etc.” This workshop was developed out of the strategic planning done over the last year, which the district has coined #TheirFuture.