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Curriculum proposals scheduled for U-46 vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education is set to vote on a pair of curriculum proposals at its upcoming July 20 meeting. The items were presented at the Monday, June 15 meeting which was held electronically due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
  Included is a resource proposal for dual language social studies electives at the high school level. Proposed is Spanish resources for World History and Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology.
  “We’re seeking to add Spanish language options for those courses, and these resources would provide those Spanish language resources,” said Jacob VandeMoortel, coordinator of K-12 social studies and world languages. Both course curriculums were approved, in English, previously.
  The proposal stated dual language students need more Spanish language electives to meet the dual language requirements. Six social studies courses were offered last year in Spanish, and these two courses received the enrollment to justify adding the Spanish courses according to VandeMoortel.
  For adoption, the district is seeking text and online resources for both courses including Editorial Medica Panamerica’s 2015 edition of “Fundamentos de Psicología Para Ciencias Sociales y de la Salud” for AP Psychology and National Geographic’s 2016 edition of “Great Civilizations: Ancient Through Early Modern Times” for World History for the 2020-2021 school year.
  The total projected cost is $64,026.
  Olivia Howell, the student advisor to the board, asked if the AP exam is given in Spanish to which VandeMoortel said it was not.
  “The AP test is still an English only test,” VandeMoortel said and added “there was some accommodation made to preparing in English where we would typically really stick to Spanish” when concerning Spanish language AP courses last year.
  Howell asked if the College Board, which oversees AP curriculum, is considering making Spanish tests. VandeMoortel said: “They are aware that that is something we think would be excellent.”
  VandeMoortel said the district will seek to expand Spanish language elective options in future years when asked by Sue Kerr, the board’s president.
  Also proposed is adding supplemental Spanish literacy resources for English Language Learners (ELL).
  Annette Acevedo, ELL director, said the ¡Arriba la Lectura! Being sought is an update to “our current resource to support literacy in the dual language program” which is Senderos which is being phased out. The total projected cost is $1.6 million.
  The proposal is to implement the new resources in fourth and sixth grade in the 2020-2021 school year, kindergarten along with third and fifth grade in 2021-2022 and first and second grade in 2022-2023.




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