Danedri Thompson
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USD 231 officials are increasing the rigor in the district’s school curriculum as they transition to the new Kansas Core Curriculum Standards.
State board of education members approved new standards in 2010 with a plan to fully implement the standards next year.
Christy Ziegler, executive director of educational services, showed school board members a copy of a kindergartner’s report card from the late 1970s or early 1980s. On the vintage card, the student was graded primarily on personal and social skills. A kindergartner’s report card from 2001 showed more emphasis on reading and math and less on things like work habits.
Ziegler said the new standards will delve even deeper into educational concepts.
For example, under the new standards, fourth graders will begin learning more complicated geometry concepts that they’ll be tested on in eighth grade.
In the past, writing was considered a separate curriculum area.
“Now it’s embedded,” Ziegler explained to board members during a Sept. 24 board meeting.
The new standards will have a college and career focus that requires students to have an increased level of performance and perseverance in problem solving.
A committee that includes teachers and administrators has been working for more than a year to find ways to transition the new curriculum standards into the classroom.
Kindergartners through second graders are already following the new guidelines. Math is being phased in for older students.
Third graders through seniors in high school are still learning under the old guidelines, in part, because they’ll continue to be tested under the retired curriculum through the end of this year.
Kansas applied for and received a waiver from No Child Left Behind this year, and by next year, Ziegler said the entire school district will be using See NEW, page 8
From NEW, page 1
a new curriculum.
“We feel really good about how well English Language Arts is already woven into our existing curriculum,” Ziegler told board members.
The school board will be asked to formally adopt the new standards sometime this winter.
In other business, board members:
Recognized Outstanding Students of Character for the first quarter. They include: Kylie Moorehouse, fourth grader at Edgerton Elementary; Jeremy Brown, fourth grader at Gardner Elementary; Lindsay Cochran, third grader at Madison Elementary; Mitch Mauk, second grader at Moonlight Elementary; Jillian Velasquez, third grader at Sunflower Elementary; Nora Martinez, eighth grader at Pioneer Ridge Middle School; Matt Sampson, eighth grader at Wheatridge Middle School; and Rachel Donovan, a senior at Gardner Edgerton High School.
Approved a trip to Boston over Spring Break for students in the GEHS vocal music program.
Met in executive session for 45 minutes under the attorney-client privilege of the Kansas Open Meetings Act.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Oct. 22 in the district board office.