Pasco school officials are picking the materials children will use when they study science, art and six other subjects.
Committees are beginning to review the materials students use in the areas of social studies, science, visual arts, technology, world languages leadership, music and physical fitness, said Suzanne Hall, the district’s director of innovation.
One of the items Pasco educators requested,, during a strike that delayed the beginning of the 2015 school year, was new textbooks and classroom material. As part of the new teacher’s contract, the district was required to recommend new math and language arts materials by spring 2016.
Science and arts recommendations are due to the board by spring 2017.
The district is starting it’s second round of finding new curricula after selecting the Journeys/Senderos and Collections series for language arts, and the Math Expressions series for elementary students and the Agile Mind series for middle and high school students in April.
“Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date, research-based and appropriate materials for our students,” Hall said.
The first phase is scheduled to finish Nov. 15 and involves each of the committees identifying what students need to study in the new material to meet state and national education standards.
Each committee expects to have up to three courses available to review after Jan. 15.
“The goal here is to create opportunities for as many teachers as possible to review the materials and provide input,” Hall said.
A final recommendation will be made to a central committee handling all of the instructional materials for the district by March 15.
When the final decisions are made, the district will provide instruction to teachers and other staff members during the late spring and early summer.
Board member Amy Phillips asked how the teachers and administrators are handling the transition to new materials in math and language arts, along with searching for new courses.
“I’m just looking at everything that has to be done and it just seems huge,” she said.
Hall said instructional coaches at the schools are assisting teachers with the transition. The district also has regular meetings involving principals and teachers on special assignment.
“We also talk about what’s going well. What we can do better and how can we get immediate issues addressed,” she said.