Somerset parents again wanted to give input on new K-5 reading curriculum after board tables teachers' first pick

Posted 8/1/22

WESTOVER — Somerset County Public Schools is holding another community meeting on selecting an elementary reading curriculum after the Board of Education last month tabled the recommended …

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Somerset parents again wanted to give input on new K-5 reading curriculum after board tables teachers' first pick

Posted

WESTOVER — Somerset County Public Schools is holding another community meeting on selecting an elementary reading curriculum after the Board of Education last month tabled the recommended program.

The session will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at the Board of Education meeting room, and parents and guardians of elementary school children are especially welcome as the last public meeting on July 11 drew primarily community interest.

The agenda will explain the selection process, the programs reviewed, teacher input and the recommended curriculum by Amplify called “CKLA” (Core Knowledge Language Arts).

The runner-up was “Into Reading” by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, but it was a distant second among teachers.

Two others, “Wonders 2023” by McGraw Hill and “myView” by Savvas were in the top four, but Lilly Welch, supervisor of reading/ELA told the board they were eliminated. Reviews of the various choices considered can be found at Edreports.org.

At the first stakeholders meeting, “No one talked about phonemic awareness, nobody talked about the foundational skills, it was about the content of the books,” said Superintendent Dr. John Gaddis, with one calling it “a Marxist curriculum.”

“It’s so much more than the (book) selections, it’s the skill development,” he said.

Board member Caleb Shores who attended the parent session said it was “very informative” and hopes they can come to a consensus on the curriculum. He encouraged parents to be pro-active so they can be knowledgeable about it.

Board member Bill McInturff said tabling the policy was not a reflection on Ms. Welch or the hard work of the teachers' committee, but also urged parents “help us make some of these decisions.”

The subscription to the former curriculum from McGraw Hill expired June 30. It was in two parts for grades K-2 and 3-5 and the goal is to have a single program covering grades K-5. Anyone with questions may contact Ms. Welch at 410-968-1616 or lwelch@somerset.k12.md.us.