Advertisement

BOE committee reviews curriculum and achievemand achievement

November 12, 2007|By BERNADETTE WAGNER

Editor's note: Once a month, Washington County Board of Education members and school staff use this space to write about school system issues. This month's column is written by School Board member Bernadette Wagner.




The Washington County Board of Education has five board member standing committees: Policy, Finance, Facilities, Curriculum and Instruction, and Human Resources. Each committee is comprised of three board members and one staff liaison. All committee meetings are scheduled in advance and open to the public. Over the next few months, the Board of Education will use this column space to update the public on issues being discussed within the committee structure.

As stated in board policy, "The Curriculum and Instruction Committee (C&I Committee) shall review proposals concerning student courses and instructional issues; monitor academic progress against established goals; ensure the board's familiarity with educational programs; and prepare and file with the elected board an academic progress report."

Advertisement

Accordingly, the C&I Committee has recently reviewed and recommended approval of textbooks for three new courses at Clear Spring High School's Environmental and Agricultural Academy. Also, the committee has spent a great deal of time discussing and reviewing numerous data-reporting tools. The committee is working with staff to develop a data template to enable the board to make better use of the myriad of data gathered through Performance Matters, the WCPS data tracking system.

The template will enable the board to effectively monitor performance, glean academic trends, better communicate with the public, and improve the board's ability to make data-driven decisions on budgetary and programmatic matters.

For two years, the C&I committee has been reviewing and revising regulations pertaining to honor rolls and graduation honors. In an effort to encourage students to pursue rigorous course work and to recognize them at graduation, three levels of distinction were developed: highest honors, high honors and honors.

In the first revision, to receive highest honors, students were required to earn a minimum 4.0 GPA, earn at least 12 credits in courses taken in high school identified as honors and/or AP and earn four credits in each core area. As a result of feedback from administrators, teachers, parents and students, this policy is again being considered for further revision. The committee does not want to limit students' pursuit of interest in the arts or other areas. Therefore, the suggested revision will require students to earn 14 credits in courses identified as honors, AP and/or IB, and to complete University of Maryland requirements, but no longer requires four credits in each of the core areas.

At the last committee meeting, the committee decided to forward the proposed changes to the Policy Committee for further review and to schedule a town meeting to share information with citizens and to seek input from them. The articles reviewed by the task force are available through the Public Information Office.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|