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District Adds Sample Lessons to Curriculum

The curriculum now includes examples of teaching methods.

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.”

Metoo September 07, 2012 at 11:15 AM
How exciting it's going to be, the future is almost here... Learning will be fun again...
Jeffrey Brookner September 07, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Geesh, what a tough crowd! It would be misguided to provide detailed, lesson-by-lesson guides for teachers to follow mindlessly. But when teachers complain that they aren't getting enough guidance and support from Wade, I don't see anything wrong with providing them with more guidance and support. As before, teaches will be given considerable leeway to develop their own daily lesson plans, consistent with their own style and drawing upon their own education and experiences. Please note that these comments are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board or any of its other members. Jeffrey Brookner Member, BRRSD
Metoo September 07, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Really. Ya mean teachers go to the highest levels of the administration at Wade, and ask for help, by-passing their colleagues and supervisors. Hmm, how many teachers complained about the lack of guidance and support coming from Wade to warrant this attention?
Jeffrey Brookner September 08, 2012 at 03:46 PM
We took a district-wide survey, giving teachers the opportunity to bring their complaints "to the highest levels". This was one of the most common complaints teachers had. And by the way, it is worth mentioning that the curriculum revisions are made by committees consisting of one supervisor and anywhere from two to ten teachers. They are not imposed from on high. Instead, they represent a formal, structured opportunity for our teachers to benefit from the collective experience of our staff, including supervisors and teachers. Once again, these comments are my own, not the board's, blah blah blah. -- Jeffrey
Metoo September 08, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Okay, that does clear it up a bit. Thank you.

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