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Public invited to review new instructional materials for SVVSD

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By Ben Wiebesiek

LONGMONT — Two committees tasked with updating curriculum at area schools are asking for community feedback on adoption of instructional materials for language arts and mathematics.

St. Vrain Valley Schools’ Secondary Language Arts Pilot Committee invites the public to review and provide feedback on 6th instructional materials selected for the current pilot.

The review will take place Jan. 30, Feb. 3, 5 and 10, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. each day in the lobby of the Learning Services Center, 401 S. Pratt Parkway, Longmont. Feedback forms will be available.

Also, St. Vrain Valley School’s Middle School Mathematics Adoption Committee invites the public to review and provide feedback regarding the selection of a pilot textbook for the 2014-2015 school year. The committee has narrowed down the choices to three textbook series and would like the community to help make the decision on which textbook to pilot.

The mathematics review will take place Feb. 4, 6, and 12 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. each day, also at the Learning Services Center. Feedback forms will be available for the candidate textbooks.

Kahle Charles, executive director of curriculum for SVVSD, said the district was due for new instructional materials, especially for secondary language arts studies.

“Generally we try to adopt new materials every seven years. Due to financial constraints over the years, we haven’t necessarily been able to hold to that cycle,” Charles said. “And for our secondary language arts, and I’m talking about middle school through high school, it’s been eleven years since our last secondary language arts adoption.”

Significant changes have come about since that time in state standards, and the district believed it was time to have instructional materials that reflected the new rigor of the Colorado requirements.

“Thanks to the public’s support with the mill levy override, this has allowed us to this upgrade,” Charles said.

In the area of mathematics, the district had a series of materials that were outdated, Charles said, also because of significant changes of standards at each grade level.

“Our current textbooks do not address many of the topics,” Charles said. “Our textbooks don’t necessarily reflect those changes with our academic standards.”

The new rigorous standards from the state have led to a content level shift in the classroom.

“This means that certain content that traditionally has been at one grade level, has shifted to others,” Charles said. “Thus the books didn’t necessarily reflect those changes.”

Charles said the district is excited for both adoptions, which includes new technological applications with course materials are presented.

“And the really good thing about this as well, is that with the digital versions of materials, they’re updated constantly,” Charles said. “Almost on a monthly basis, these materials are updated.”

 

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.