Back in 1964 when Bob Dylan recorded that song, todays educators were probably still in school themselves. Certainly no one from ’64 could have dreamed what would be happening in the classroom today.
Zoom forward to last Monday night at the school board meeting. Superintendent Alison Hughes remarked, “There are a lot of changes to academics and to how we do things in the classroom.” Hughes was introducing staff member Karen Squires, who is working with teachers to keep things up to date.
Squired reported on how local schools are implementing ever more strict requirements coming down from the state education department. “We are doing academic updates,” she stated “from the end of last year our staff began publicizing the focus on ELA (English Language Arts) and Math. We are making sure that our teaching is rooted in the curriculum and making sure that students are getting what they need by the end of the school year.”
“The curriculum for Red River schools is aligned in Math from Kindergarten through twelfth grade,” Squired said, “We are using the Tier 1 curriculum that the state has asked us to use. Now we are working with our teachers to make sure we are teaching everything in the curriculum.”
Squires said the state is in the process of formalizing final guidelines on social studies. Therefore, Squires said, “We will purchase new textbooks that fit those guidelines when they are available. There is no need in purchasing books now that may be outdated when the new guidelines are formalized.”
The same applies to the teaching of science. Squires noted that several Red River teachers are involved at the state level with developing the new science curriculum. Squires said when that is completed, we (Red River) will adopt it for our students.
Squires concluded her report to the board with the note that Red River now is working with several teacher mentors “to help them be better equipped to coach teachers in the classroom. Mentors are teaching the teachers and then following up to make sure they are teaching the lessons as they are supposed to do.”
Back to Bod Dylan…he sang in ’64 “If your time to you is worth saving…then you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone! The times they are a changing.” Last Monday night Superintendent Hughes followed Squires’ report with the statement, “We are asking and expecting more from everyone. We have to do better. And we are doing better.”