Last spring we adopted new instructional materials for instruction of English language arts standards in grades K-8. It is now time to also review how we are addressing these content learning standards in grades 9-12. With this focus in mind, the high school department is participating in a series of collaborative meetings this spring. Currently we are reviewing student learning expectations for English Language Arts (ELA) and assessing how well our current materials support student achievement of those standards. At this time we believe we the resources on hand are adequate at addressing most of the English content students need to learn, but we are also finding some holes in lessons that must be addressed in order to ensure students learn what they need to be successful. In light of this we are reviewing two options, adoption of a new curricular resource, or collaboration among the team to develop lessons that will address the gaps we have found in the existing resources.
To make a well informed decision the team has decided to review sample curricular materials. If the team determines there are quality resources worth examining more closely we’ll formally review the options. This would mean we would include a parent on the committee and follow board policy.
Another significant outcome of our conversation is the realization we need to provide some facilitated conversation between the English department and the science and social studies departments at the high school. The standards for student learning english language arts were intentionally designed to be addressed both in the english classrooms and across other content areas. This is to ensure that students can independently build knowledge in these disciplines through reading and writing. Because, these learning targets are now shared it would benefit all involved to collaborate on how they are teaching them.