Purposeful Planning™


Building and delivering well-designed, content rich instructional materials goes hand-in-hand with enabling rigorous and engaging learning to thrive. The Purposeful Planning™ workshop equips leadership teams to be the drivers of change in their own schools.


Who should attend:

The Purposeful Planning™ workshop is designed for leadership teams who are responsible for curriculum planning and lesson delivery in public charter schools, traditional public schools, and private schools that serve a high-poverty student population. United Schools Network serves students in grades K-8, but high school leadership teams are encouraged to participate as well.


The workshop is not limited to people with formal leadership roles; teachers who play a critical role in any of the following should attend:

  • the design of content-rich curricula;

  • the design and delivery of rigorous lessons.


Key Idea

Well-designed, content-rich instructional materials can have as positive an impact on student learning as can high-quality teachers.⁵


Through an intensive study of the curriculum development process at the United Schools Network (USN), participants learn how to design academic courses utilizing the backwards planning model. At USN, curriculum is intentionally planned, meticulously crafted, and aligned with important assessments in order to put students squarely on a college-preparatory track. You will leave the Purposeful Planning™ workshop with the knowledge and tools necessary to design your own curriculum materials.


  • Study the art and science of curriculum design.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Practice creating key curriculum documents using backwards planning methodology.

You will receive:

  • USN’s Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Manual which outlines the design process;
  • Curriculum templates for each step in the design process;
  • The presentation slides and leader materials for the Purposeful Planning workshop;
  • The Purposeful Planning workbook that accompanies the workshop.

5: M. M. Chingos and G. J. Whitehurst, “Choosing Blindly: Instructional Materials, Teacher Effectiveness, and the Common Core,” Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, April 2012, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2012/4/10%.