• chccs strategic plan 2018-2021

  • Welcome to the Instructional Services Division (ISD) of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. ISD oversees all aspects of teaching and learning PreK-12.

    Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools strives to create experiences that empower, inspire and engage all learners in every classroom, every day. As students become problem solvers and problem seekers, they collaborate with teachers, peers and community members to achieve common goals. Students co-design their learning experiences, embedding their unique interests and passions within a standards-based curriculum. Access to digital devices integrates technology in order to increase critical thinking, enhance communication skills, and create personalized pathways of learning for every student.

  • chccs strategic plan logo






    The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Instructional Framework is a blueprint to establish consistent best practices across the district. The framework is comprised of three key domains: Learning Space, Instruction, and Classroom Culture.


    engage chccs

    Instruction is comprised of the culturally relevant proven practices that we use every day, in every classroom to engage students with rigorous and responsive lessons. Students collaborate with their peers, compare and connect new information, graphically represent ideas, and effectively use technology to deepen their understanding. Highly effective instruction maximizes learning for every student. 

  • Learning Space

    CHCCS Inspire


    This is the physical and digital environment we create to inspire our students from the moment they enter the classroom. The walls, boards, or digital classroom spaces are a canvas to extend learning with posted objectives, visual supports, and student work that represents diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. The furniture lends itself to flexible configurations, and physical or digital materials are organized to facilitate student access. The classroom environment creates a sense of belonging and purpose for every student. 

  • Classroom Culture

    chccs empower


    Culture is the environment we establish to empower students to own and celebrate their learning. With a focus on equity and excellence, we set high expectations and provide support to ensure every student meets them. Cultivating a growth mindset recognizes and reinforces effort and actions, and encourages students to take risks and learn from their mistakes to promote continuous improvement. 

Instructional Services Division

  • Jessica O'Donovan

    Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services

    Elaine Watson-Grant

    Executive Director of Elementary Schools and Special Programs

    Quincy Williams

    Executive Director of Secondary Schools and Special Programs


    Helen Atkins, Coordinator of ESL & Dual Language

    Debra Atwater, Director of Digital Learning & Library Services

    Kathi Brewuer, Director of Career & Technical Education

    Francisco Chavarria, Director of K - 12 Math and Science

    Camille House, Coordinator of Gifted Education

    Roslyn Moffit, Director of Title I/Family & Community Engagement

    Kerry Moore, Director of Pre-K/Head Start

    Christy Stanley, Director of 6-12 Humanities

    Brenda Whiteman, Coordinator of Arts

    Thea Wilson, Coordinator of Preschool Disabilities/Early Intervention


    empower inspire engage


  • The district’s curriculum is designed by classroom teachers, coaches, administrators, and curriculum coordinators. The curriculum is a local decision, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. However, the curriculum must be aligned to the state standards

    Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools staff are currently writing curriculum units, using a research-based curriculum design known as Understanding by Design (UbD). For more information on your child’s specific curriculum and grade/course learning goals, please visit with your child’s teacher.

UbD Process

  • Teachers use the “Backward Design” method to align units of study with the standards. This three stage process supports teaching for understanding. Teachers are able to support the needs of all students if they begin with ‘the end in mind’ (see Stage One below). Once teachers have determined the outcome, there are multiple instructional strategies or assessments that could support the learning goal for each unit. A unit could last from 2 days to 3 weeks. Frequent assessment for understanding should take place throughout a unit. Assessment could come in the form of a project, class conversation, quick write, quiz, game, performance, or demonstration.
    A key concept in the UbD framework is alignment (i.e., all three stages must clearly align not only to standards, but also to one another). In other words, the Stage 1 content and understanding must be what is assessed in Stage 2 and taught in Stage 3.
    The stages of the design process are as follows.

    Stage One 

    Identify the Desired Results

    Key Questions: What should students know, understand, and be able to do? What is the ultimate transfer we seek as a result of this unit? What enduring understandings are desired? 

    Stage Two 

    Determine Assessment Evidence
    Key Questions: How will we know if students have achieved the desired results? What will we accept as evidence of student understanding and their ability to use (transfer) their learning in new situations? How will we evaluate student performance in fair and consistent ways?

    Stage Three

    Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction
    Key Questions: How will we support learners as they come to understand important ideas and processes? How will we prepare them to autonomously transfer their learning? What enabling knowledge and skills will students need to perform effectively and achieve desired results? What activities, sequence, and resources are best suited to accomplish our goals? 

Understanding by Design (UbD)

  • Understanding by Design is a process that CHCCS teachers use to design curriculum.
    Teachers and administrators discuss the ways that they use UbD at CHCCS.