During their October meeting, the USD 234 school board members received a report on the plan to create a district-wide curriculum, a project which began with the start of the new school year.
Curriculum director Nicki Traul said it has been more than a decade since the district made an effort to create a curriculum for each of the Fort Scott schools, adding that those plans often fell short of their goal.
“There has been several times in the past that we’ve got started on processes,” Traul said. “I don’t know if we ever hit the ending in the last ten years or so.”
But Traul said they recognize the magnitude of the project and are considering it to be a five-year plan, not one that could be utilized immediately. To achieve that goal, she said they will make sure teachers also understand that goal and are not discouraged by yet another attempt.
In just recent weeks, Traul and Superintendent Bob Beckham met to set goals for the curriculum as well as walk through the schools to witness different teaching methods to be encouraged in the curriculum.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about that,” Beckham said of the walk-through and plan for school curriculum, which will include a committee, coaches and continued Literacy First training.
Traul said their curriculum will have horizontal goals in each classroom, making sure each grade finishes the school year at the same level, as well as vertical goals so each grade learns what is needed for the curriculum of the next grade.
“We want to make sure that each kid in every grade level is getting the material that they’re supposed to be taught,” Traul said.
Such a curriculum would provide that continuity among the schools as well as accountability between classes as they are held to specific standards.
Beckham also gave an update on the construction included in the $40.8 million school bond issue, saying the contractors have sought input from teachers and found ways to get projects done while remaining within the limits of the budget.
Beckham said the contractors will begin accepting bids for interior and exterior projects with those bids due in mid-November. Work will begin shortly after that decision is made
Beckham added the priority will be the high school, since some of those students have been displaced, but said they hope several areas of work can be done simultaneously by those awarded the bids for the projects.
“We’re all getting antsy,” Beckham said. “They hope to see dirt being moved the first of December.”