Instructional Process & Delivery


It's All About Kids.

To promote academic excellence by ensuring students are clearly informed of learning expectations and standards of performance, authentically engaged in the learning process, and provided feedback that moves learning forward.

The instructional core is most effective when there is an interdependent relationship between teachers’ knowledge and skill, students’ engagement in their own learning, and academically challenging content. The Instructional Process is a cyclical process, following a P-D-S-A format.

Strengthening the Instructional Process

To strengthen our FCPS Instructional Process, our district has been working closely with The New Teacher Project, to help us strengthen teaching and learning practices across our district that will in turn, have a positive influence on student outcomes.
As part of our Instructional Delivery System, our district has adopted 4 TNTP Commitments as outlined in The Opportunity Myth:
  • Grade Appropriate Assignments
  • Strong Instruction
  • Deep Engagement
  • High Expectations


08.12—Instructional Organization; 08.212—Lesson Plans;

08.221—Grading; 08.222—Assessment

Standard Operating Procedures

Standard Operating Proceedures

To promote academic excellence by ensuring all students have equitable access to districtwide courses and curriculum, our district has developed the following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that aligned with international, national, state or district standards.

Learning Culture

& Environment

Guiding Question

Is the learning environment conducive to safe, supportive, and culturally responsive interactions?



What do we intend students to learn?

  • How will we determine which standards should be taught in the unit?
  • How will students demonstrate mastery?
  • What assessment will be used to determine student mastery?

Through professional learning communities, teachers will engage in standards deconstruction to identify:

  • Nouns/Concepts in the standard that represent what a student needs to know.
  • Verbs/Skills in the standard that identify what students need to do to demonstrate mastery of the concepts.

Learning progressions frame the planning needed for students to consistently learn. They articulate a pathway to proficiency by planning for instruction.

Learning progessions:

  • Unlock underlying prior knowledge.
  • Logically sequence concepts and skills within the standard.
  • Scaffold and build learners’ thinking as they progress toward proficiency and mastery of the standard.

Learning intentions describe what we want students to learn. They represent the “destination” of where we are going, either through one particular lesson or the learning progressions of several lessons.

Learning intentions are:

  • Aligned to the current grade-level standards.
  • Based on learning progressions.
  • Broad statements of intended learning without being task specific.
  • Written with key terms and academic vocabulary.
  • Worded in student-friendly language beginning with “I am learning...” or “We are learning...”
  • Available and/or visible throughout a lesson.
  • Clearly communicated at the onset of the instructional sequence and revisited throughout instruction. Teachers can withhold their learning intentions until after an exploration or discovery has occurred.

Success criteria are the specifics of how students will achieve the learning intentions. Success criteria provide a means for students and the teacher to gauge progress toward learning.

Success criteria are:

  • Aligned with learning intentions.
  • Written with an intentional focus on language (reading, writing, listening, speaking).
  • Worded in student-friendly language beginning with “I know I am successful when...” or “I can...”
  • Available and/or visible throughout a lesson.
  • Focused on learning (not on assignment, activity, or behavior).
  • Supported, where appropriate, by exemplars, rubrics, or work samples. Co-constructed with students after inquiry as appropriate.
  • Used as the basis for individual student monitoring of their learning, teacher feedback, and peer feedback.

Introducing the Assignment Review Protocol

Our FCPS Instructional Process helps move learning forward, through a cyclical process. All students need regular opportunities to think critically and engage deeply with worthwhile content. FCPS has adopted TNTP’s assignment and student work review tools to help teachers, leaders, and others understand if an assignment is giving students the opportunity to meaningfully engage in worthwhile grade-level content.

Using the TNTP protocols, teachers will review the quality of the assignment during the PLANNING Phase of the Instructional Process and then analyze students’ performance on that assignment as part of the STUDY phase.


How do we engage students in learning?

  • Students engage in authentic learning that is aligned to grade-level standards as well as FCPS curriculum maps and pacing guides.
  • Teachers intentionally plan learning experiences for students that provide equal opportunity and access.

Learning experiences:

  • Align to the grade-level standards, learning intentions and success criteria.
  • Establish high expectations.
  • Include focused, accurate and rigorous content.
  • Have an intentional structure with a logical learning progression (beginning, middle, end).
  • Incorporate high-yield and culturally responsive strategies.
  • Build and activate background knowledge.
  • Scaffold to support student success.
  • Promote questions that engage student thinking and utilize cognitively challenging activities.
  • Provide practical experiences connecting to the real world.
  • Include opportunities for students to collaborate.
  • Provide differentiated learning opportunities for all students based on their needs.
  • Include the use of digital learning tools to create, communicate, collaborate and think critically.
  • Incorporate formative and/or summative assessments with multiple chances to achieve mastery of standards.

Observing Quality

All students need regular opportunities to think critically and engage deeply with worthwhile content. TNTP subject-specific classroom observation protocols can help teachers assess the quality of instruction within and across classrooms, and whether students are in fact getting those opportunities.

These protocols can help teachers think about everything from classroom culture to content to instructional delivery, with a focus on what students are doing and learning. They can also help observers prioritize their feedback and coaching support for teachers, as well as guide the goal-setting process.


How will we know when students have learned?

Teachers engage in a balanced system for assessing students and then analyzing the data to inform instruction.

Formative assessment:

  • Occurs regularly during the learning activity.
  • Provides evidence of student learning of grade-level standards.
  • Provides opportunities for accurate, specific, and timely feedback reflecting progress towards mastery of standard(s).
  • Does not receive a grade, but helps teachers and students monitor their progression of learning.

Data analysis includes systems that are in place to ensure that student data is collected, analyzed, and used to drive classroom instruction.

Data helps teachers:

  • Determine students’ needs such as movement through tiers of intervention, groupings, and scheduling.
  • Monitor students’ progress on standards to know when they have achieved mastery.
  • Students to know where they are in their own progression of learning and determine next steps.


Guiding Question

  • How will we enrich learning for students who have already mastered the intended learning? (Enrich)
  • Teachers will:

    • Design and deliver extended learning activities (individualized, small group, whole class).
    • Assess for deeper understanding of the content.
    • Regularly provide accurate, timely, and specific feedback.
    • Celebrate student success.

    Students will:

    • Use their formative assessment data to identify areas for expanded learning.
    • Engage in extended learning to access deeper or broader understanding of the content of their choice.
    • Revise work based on rubrics, exemplars, and feedback, including peer and teacher conferences.

    Guiding Question

  • How will we respond to students who aren’t learning? (Reteach)
  • Teachers will:

    • Use formative assessment data to identify students’ preconceptions, misconceptions, or skill deficits.
    • Design and deliver instruction to reteach concepts with new learning methods (or classroom structures) (individualized, small group, whole class).
    • Provide accurate, timely, and specific feedback.
    • Give students multiple opportunities to improve work based on feedback.
    • Reassess for mastery.
    • Celebrate student success and repeat cycle where assessment data indicates need.

    Students will:

    • Use their formative assessment data to address their misconceptions or skill deficits.
    • Engage in additional learning activities.
    • Revise work based on rubrics, exemplars, and feedback, including peer and teacher conferences.

    Guiding Question

    How will we determine student mastery? Did students master the intended learning? (Summative Assessment OF Learning)

    Summative assessment:

    • Occurs after the learning.
    • Provides evidence of student learning of grade-level standards.
    • Provides opportunities for accurate, specific, and timely feedback reflecting progress towards mastery of standard(s).
    • Allows students to demonstrate mastery of learning.
    • Could be represented as a grade to show degree of mastery.