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Patent: A New Way to Run a School
Patent: A New Way to Run a School | hou_txbz,Elizabeth A. Clark, Linda Helbach, Darla Pollard, Katy, John Mathis, Bayou Vista, David Lambson, Tom Black,Sugar Land,Stephen Adams, patent, 8172578, systems, Program Products, Methods,Organizing, Managing Curriculum Information,Katy ISD,

Seven Texans recently received U.S. Patent 8,172,578 for “Systems, Program Products, and Methods of Organizing and Managing Curriculum Information," which was assigned to the Katy Independent School District.

Texas Business Patent of the Day:  Seven Texans have devised a new way of running and teaching school.

Elizabeth A. Clark, Linda Helbach and Darla Pollard, all of Katy, John Mathis of Bayou Vista, David Lambson and Tom Black, both of Sugar Land, and Stephen Adams of Houston recently received U.S. Patent 8,172,578 for “Systems, Program Products, and Methods of Organizing and Managing Curriculum Information.

The seven applied for the patent more than seven years ago on March 9, 2005.

The patent assignee is Katy Independent School District of Katy, Texas.

Their invention relates generally to curriculum organization and, more particularly, to systems, program products, and methods of organizing and managing curriculum information for teachers within an educational institution, according to the patent document.

In educational institutions it is often necessary to organize and manage curriculum information for each instructional course.

For example, an educational institution may utilize a calendar schedule of curriculum objectives and lesson-plans for any particular instructional course. The curriculum objectives and lesson-plans enable teachers to prepare a methodology for teaching a particular instructional course at a particular date and time on the calendar schedule. 

Prior versions of organization and management systems utilized rudimentary procedures comprising boxes of stored notebooks or file cabinets containing books and papers. Such organization and management systems covered a lot of physical space on the premises of the educational institution and became disorganized unless substantial efforts were undertaken to continually re-organize the notebooks or files into a library of curriculum objectives and lesson-plans.

 Moreover, because it may take an overabundance of time for an administrator or teacher to search through the notebooks and files, such an organization and management system has proved to be quite inefficient. The time and effort necessary to search through the materials thus impeded on the time and effort the administrator or teacher could apply toward performing other more important duties. 

An alternative system is desired for preserving physical space in the educational facility, as well as providing a more efficient and effective ways of organizing, managing, and distributing calendar schedules of lesson-plans and lesson objectives to administrators and teachers at the educational institution. 

As a result, the seven Houston-area inventors provided enhanced systems, program products, and methods of curriculum planning to allow a teacher or supervisor to organize and manage lesson-plans in a computer readable format. Embodiments of the present invention also advantageously provide an instructional term curriculum schedule to establish multiple teachers teaching multiple courses for a future instructional term. Their invention also provides lesson-plans assigned to instructional courses on the future schedule for easy access by teachers and administrators.

A teacher share-network which enables teachers to share and easily access through a computer system lesson-plans from other teachers in the share-network. Teachers also have the ability to easily access through a computer system lesson-plans from previous years. Embodiments of the present invention also advantageously provide a lesson-plan indicator to easily notify to a teacher or administrator whether a completed lesson-plan has been assigned to an instructional course. 

More specifically, embodiments of the present invention advantageously provide a system to enhance organization and management of lesson-plans, including instructional course instructions responsive to user input commands to associate one of a plurality of instructional courses with one of a plurality of teachers, calendar instructions responsive to user input commands to create a calendar schedule and assign the instructional course to a date and time on the calendar schedule for display on the calendar schedule, lesson-plan assignment instructions responsive to the calendar schedule and user input commands to assign one of a plurality of lesson-plans to the instructional course at the date and time on the calendar schedule, and lesson-plan indicator instructions responsive to the calendar schedule and lesson-plan data to indicate on the calendar schedule whether the instructional course for the date and time on the calendar schedule has been assigned a completed lesson-plan. 

The invention also provides a method to enhance organization and management of lesson-plans. For example, embodiments of the method include associating one of a plurality of instructional courses with one of a plurality of teachers, assigning one of a plurality of lesson-plans to the instructional course at the date and time on the calendar schedule, and indicating on the calendar schedule whether the instructional course for the date and time on the calendar schedule has been assigned a completed lesson-plan.