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Curriculum compacting is a procedure used to streamline the grade level curriculum. There are three basic phases to the compacting process:

  • Defining the goals and objectives of the regular curriculum,
  • Determining which students have already achieved these goals, and
  • Offering new and stimulating work for those students.

These components can be broken down into eight steps:
1. Selecting the learning objectives for a given subject
2. Finding or creating appropriate methods for pretesting these objectives
3. Identifying students who should take the pretests
4. Pretesting students—before beginning instruction—on one or more of the objectives
5. Streamlining practice, drill or instructional time for students who have learned the objectives
6. Providing instructional options for students who have not yet attained all the pretested objectives, but generally learn faster than their classmates
7. Organizing and recommending enrichment or acceleration options for eligible students
8. Keeping records of the process and instructional options available to students whose curriculum has been compacted


For support on how to implement an SEM school or information on professional development on the SEM, please visit our Schoolwide Enrichment Model Outreach page .