NASD to rewrite curriculum for all grades

Published 12:07am Friday, February 15, 2013

NATCHEZ — Teachers, curriculum specialists and other Natchez-Adams School District staff won’t get much of a summer break this year as 130 of them will begin working to rewrite the district’s curriculum for all grades.

Superintendent Frederick Hill presented the NASD Board of Trustees Thursday evening with a proposed curriculum-writing project that would help teachers connect educational theory and research to their classroom practices, while also working to improve student achievement.

The project, Hill said, was created after receiving the results of a district-wide curriculum audit and also to align the district with Common Core State Standards.

Through the Common Core State Standards, English-language arts and mathematics curriculum will be changed in Mississippi and 47 other states with the goal of setting clear educational standards that states can share and adopt.

The deadline for Mississippi to transition all grades into the state standards is the 2014-2015 school year.

But Hill said he doesn’t want NASD waiting until then to be fully implemented into the program.

“My goal is to get the entire district to go full common core in the fall of this year,” Hill said. “That gives us one solid year to work on the things that we need to work on before next year.

“We can’t wait.”

Currently, kindergartens through third-grade students in the district are already learning on the common core standards in ELA and math, Hill said.

Board member Thelma Newsome commended Hill for the project proposal and also the effort to get a head start on the state-wide implementation.

“There’s no use in us waiting until it’s right upon us and then we’re hollering, ‘Oh we’re not ready,’” Newsome said. “These are things we have needed for a long time, and I’m personally glad to see us moving forward with this.”

The project will target 32 content areas that will be dissected and rewritten by teams of curriculum writers, team leaders and editors.

The total staffing for the project consists of the following positions:

80 curriculum writers

20 team leaders

30 editors

All of those 130 positions will be assigned to employees already within the district who Hill said have a better feel for what can work within the district then someone coming from outside.

“We could go out there and purchase new curriculum, but it won’t be unique to the Natchez-Adams School District,” Hill said. “And when district employees take on a project like this, they become even more knowledgeable in the material that they will be teaching to students.”

The curriculum-writing project will begin on June 10 and last until July 10.

In other news from the meeting:

The board approved to change language within a district policy for student dress code after students were allegedly finding loopholes in the code.

The previous mandatory student uniform dress code stated that “no starter, athletic, or professional team logo jacket other than NASD issued athletic jacket or sweater (no pullover hoodies)” could be worn on campus during school hours.

Hill told board members, who were confused about changing the policy to read from “no pullover hoodies” to “no hoodies,” that students were arguing that jackets with a zipper — even though they had a hood — were not pullovers.

“They were saying if I have one with a zipper on it, it’s not a pullover,” Hill said. “Now it just says no hoodies.”

Board members chuckled at the proposal with board president Wayne Barnett and Newsome saying they remember being young and attempting to find loopholes in any rule possible.

“Children are smart, and if they can find a way to get around it they will,” Newsome said laughing.

The new dress code went into effect immediately after the vote.

  • Anonymous

    130 very tired teachers next year trying to teach the new curriculum after working through most of their summer break. Probable outcome that the local curriculum will not match the following year state mandated rules, thus out of step and then go through 2 separate changes in 2 years time. Confusing to the students and frustrating to the teachers. Amend the dress code to enforce belts, belt lines and shirttails and then they will start looking like they are there to learn.

  • Anonymous

    All they mean when they say “amend the curriculum” is “we got to make it easier for the chillun to do de math”. All they are doing is making Public Schools more of a waste of money. Why don’t they just admit Public Schools are nothing but a day care center and start charging the parent day care rates?

  • Anonymous

    MR. stalgsto ARE YOU SAYING THAT ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF THE KIDS THERE ARE BLACK ? OR, ARE YOU APPETIZING FOR THE PRIVATE SCHOOLS ? YOU CAN CHANGE THE COVER OF A BOOK, BUT WHEN YOU OPEN IT, IT STILL READ THE SAME. DO YOU READ ME, “SUCKER” ?

  • activeparent

    CURSIVE WRITING NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED AS WELL. ITS SAD TO SEE HIGH SCHOOLERS THAT CANT SIGN THEIR NAMES. BUT YOU ARE BEING PETTY ABOUT HOODIES…SMDH

  • Anonymous

    Which Super Bowl “appetizement” was your favorite?

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    The man is telling the facts and not the untruths that offends people as yourself but he is correct for every since Phillip West did what he did to the public schools the academics went down so the students could pass here in Adams county!! My two kids that were going to South Natchez at that time the academics were one of the highest in the state(middle of the 80′s and late 80′s and the two of them are professional career people today!! I wonder is the Ms. legislature going to give moneys for public school students to use to go to private schools for I have reservations about this!!??

  • Anonymous

    You are a prime example of our public education system….sad

  • Anonymous

    Have you seen the price of day care nowadays? Pretty pricey!

  • Anonymous

    New Math: common core standards = lowest common denominator.

  • Anonymous

    I never did understand that. Both public high schools back then excelled in sports. The South Natchez kids got a good education. One of my sons went there for awhile and is a doctor now. Bucket and the other #^%&^%*^$#&* turned this into what we have now, a disgustingly sorry excuse for a school system. With the cro magnons we have on the school board it will continue to devolve into a foul pit of stupidity. %$&$ *&^^%&%$ ^$&%&^ @$#^%$

  • Anonymous

    Lower case would be helpful also. Punctuation such as “it’s” and “can’t” should also be included in English 101. Take the hoodie off so you can see the blackboard, or promethean boards nowadays. Too much text talk does that to one, whatever SMDH means. Is it sho me da hoodie?

  • activeparent

    How long did it take you to come up with something funny about what SMDH mean? I’m still shaking my dam head! :-) Jokes on you!