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District U-46 approves curriculum proposals


By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved four curriculum proposals at its meeting on Monday, June 17.
  Included was a curriculum framework and resources for levels one through four world language courses in French, German and Spanish to be offered at all five high schools. The plan is to implement levels one and two in the 2019-2020 school year and all four levels by 2020-2021, and the projected cost is $628,862 for resources and $5,900 for professional development.
  Originally, the proposal would have eliminated honors level courses in world language but board member John Devereux expressed concern that this could lead to fewer students taking world language courses when it was presented on June 3.
  Jacob VandeMoortel, coordinator of world languages, said that since the June 3 meeting the district has decided to designate levels three and four courses as honors “which carries the weighting for GPI and class rank consideration.”
  “We went back and looked at past practice as well as talked with our curriculum writing team about the viability of perhaps adding the honors designation,” VandeMoortel said noting upper level courses have generally received the honors designation.
  “We asked the team, because we believe this curriculum’s indeed more rigorous than the old one, is that something that we all can be behind and is that appropriate,” VandeMoortel said. “And overwhelmingly we agreed, and so we would like to add the designation to the new classes world language 3 and 4, the upper two levels, to be designated honors.”
  VandeMoortel said the courses will teach three language modes: interpretive, interpersonal and presentation.
  The text for French is “D’Accord” ($150,288), German is “Prima Plus” and “Neue Blickwinkel” ($50,773) and Spanish is “Entre Culturas” and “Tejudos” ($427,801).
  The three remaining curriculum items approved were resource proposals for Advance Placement (AP) Spanish, dual language social studies courses and English as a Second Language (ESL) resources.
  The AP Spanish resources have an estimated cost of $93,816 for the Temas and Supersite resource which includes six-year licenses for online resources.
  The dual language resources include Spanish language textbooks for current civics, AP U.S. government and politics and macroeconomics courses as U-46 expands dual language to the high school level. The expected cost is $105,972 with most of the resources coming from McGraw Hill.
  The ESL proposal includes My Perspectives textbooks ($194,147) and Life by National Geographic Learning Cengage texts ($77,188).

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