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Curriculum Subcommittee - Literacy

The curriculum subcommittee met on February 5th to discuss the implementation of Enhanced Core Reading Instruction (ECRI) and discuss future subcommittee meetings. The team presenting included Superintendent Edouard-Vincent, Associate Superintendent Diane Caldwell, Director of Humanities Dr. Nicole Chiesa, Dr. Bernadette Ricciardelli, Columbus teacher Kristen Howell, and Special Education Coordinator Kathleen Ciampoli.

Before we dive into ECRI, a little bit of context may be helpful. During the discussion, the team noted that at the elementary level, curriculum changes have to be carefully sequenced. Our elementary teachers teach all subjects. Currently, the elementary teachers are in the first full year of implementation of our FOSS science curriculum, and there are plans on the horizon to implement a new Mathematics program as well. While we may ultimately want to pursue a full program review of our current Journeys English Language Arts program, we wouldn’t plan to implement a new ELA curriculum until the 2022/2023 academic year.

The district has been actively working to address the new guidance provided by DESE, and they outlined plans to hold a half day of professional development on ECRI in March. You may recall that on October 19th, 2018, Governor Baker signed into law a bill to direct DESE to issue guidelines to assist school districts in developing screening procedures for dyslexia. Medford is piloting several assessments in collaboration with DESE that are valid and reliable, scientifically based, brief, administered three times a year, and had the inclusion of Code and Meaning based and/or Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) assessments.

Back to ECRI. ECRI will help us move beyond screening in the short term. It will bolster our current curriculum and provide additional support to our teachers and students. Our team plans to install this additional support through professional development in March and next year.

We also spoke about topics for future subcommittee meetings around cataloging our various curricula to provide the School Committee meaningful planning data. Purchasing a new curriculum is expensive, and the path to implementation requires careful planning.

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