With the school year beginning, the board of education’s curriculum committee recently took a look at changes made during the summer months—and most involved beefing up the curriculum itself.
According to board member Jeffrey Brookner at the Aug. 28 board of education meeting, the summer curriculum work focused on adding more to the offerings.
“A fair summary is that the administration has heard comments from teachers over the years that there wasn’t enough meat in the documents, no sample lessons,” he said. “So an effort was made to beef it up.”
The lengths of the curriculum documents, Brookner said, have doubled or tripled because of these additions.
But now, Brookner said, the curriculum includes examples of teaching methods and, in some cases, full lessons.
“I think this is a big improvement in providing for teachers, and helping with complaints,” he said. “With two teachers teaching the same thing, we often have a radical difference in what students are learning.”
“These changes will help keep that to a minimum,” he added.
Also in terms of curriculum, Brookner said, there have been some appeals from placement in programs such as AI at .
“The number of appeals we are receiving across the board has plummeted, and the best guess for the reason is because we have become more liberal with who we have let in to honors classes,” he said. “We are much more transparent about the criteria for making decisions.”
“Class size has been dropping, but the number of honors kids has increased substantially,” he added. “Perhaps as a result of that, we are getting a lot fewer parents complaining about placement of the children.”