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Three Myths About Custom Curriculum Design and Creation



District leaders and teachers have long known the value of introducing engaging, culturally relevant content into their classrooms to supplement traditional textbooks. Almost by definition, Publish­ers' "off the shelf' textbooks cannot meet the diverse needs, goals, and demographics of each of its district custom­ers. I know this pain point firsthand hav­ing developed curriculum products at 3 of the country's largest K-12 Publishers over the past 20 years.

According to a recent Rand Study, to com­pensate for this deficiency well-meaning teachers spend up to 7 hours a week, after the school day, searching for gap-filling content. Alarmingly, the top 3 sources cited were Google, Pinterest, and Teachers Pay Teachers. Not that high quality con­tent can never be found in these places, but the hit or miss nature of such unvet­ted materials causes concern with many of the Curriculum Leaders I have spoken with over the years. Custom curriculum creation is an effective solution to fill the content gap, but there are three common myths about it that should be dispelled.



Minimizing costs and maximizing available re­sources is important for schools even in the best of times. 

At XanEdu Custom Publishing, we work very closely with the district curriculum team, and build out lessons, and curate local history content, that meets the district leader's vision. It is a very close collaborative ef­fort, whether the new content supple­ments existing core curriculum, or is a book created for a new ethnic studies course. Although we deliver the final product in print workbook and eReader formats, we offer very competitive curriculum development pricing because we don't incur the "bells and whistles" platform cost that most publishers need pass along to support their core programs. 

An even less expensive option is ac­cess to our new Do-It-Yourself custom curriculum platform. Les­sonLift has a high-quality content li­brary of over 3,000 primary and secondary sources, which allows the ed­ucator to drag and drop, upload some of their own content, and in­stantly create workbooks and ebooks, utilizing the built-in eReader tool.

One of our early users of the plat­form was Laura Wynn, Program Spe­cialist for Secondary Social Sciences at St Johns County School District (FL). Recounting her experience trying to build a book in time for Back to School 2022, Laura reflected, "In 2 weeks I was able to drag and drop hundreds of primary source docu­ments from LessonLift's African American History, Women's History, and US History Collections, to create our district's new Exploring African American History high school electives book. It was great to see how quickly I could build a book utilizing the platform's content and tools."


While custom content offers numerous bene­fits to students, teach­ers, and administrators, the creation process can seem highly complex.

Most teachers and district administrators don't have experience in copyright law or preparing materials for printing, which can make custom con­tent creation seem impossibly difficult. However, XanEdu's team of experts works hand-in-hand with districts and states across the country to help them navigate the creation process and sim­plify complex tasks like securing ap­proval to use a copyrighted resource. XanEdu also handles the design and formatting of the curriculum files, as well as the printing and shipping of the sub­sequent books.


Finding local historical assets, aligning to state standards, negotiating rights and permissions for desired content, and writing grade level, ap­propriate content is as­sumed to take way too long to meet critical back to school deadlines.

XanEdu's team of experts have years of curriculum development expertise. We assign a Project Manager and provide our district customers with a detailed timeline of the project, as well as a Mile­stone Check-in process to ensure all deadlines are met and the project is delivered to meet back to school deadlines.


Many districts are challenged by finding an affordable, timely, and effec­tive solution to the widespread Curriculum Gap problem. The common misconceptions were actually well founded for many years until Custom Curriculum Publishers, like XanEdu, started building solutions to meet their customer's needs. We are pleased to collaborate with districts to meet their goals and visions by of­fering a broad selection of content creation and book production ser­vices.