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Missoula County Public Schools May Move to Countywide English Curriculum

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At a school board meeting at 6:00 p.m. tonight, May 8, Missoula County Public Schools English Language Arts Task Force will present proposed curriculum changes for the county. The most notable proposal is to get all K-12 classrooms county-wide teaching the same curriculum. MCPS Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. Elise Guest explains the proposal for middle school and high school.

“For example, one of the recommendations is Engage New York and Engage New York is set up within a module structure, which is very similar to what we do now with thematic units,” Guest said. “Within that time period, there is flexibility on perhaps the pace or how fast or slow to teach it, but we do so within that given window of time.”

Guest says having the same curriculum at different schools will be valuable in helping students gain traction when they merge at the high school level. For elementary school, Guest says they are proposing a curriculum called “ReadyGEN” and a new structure to teach it called “Daily Five.”

“Whole groups, small groups and independent time for students to develop their reading skills,” Guest said. “The third part is we are recommending a diagnostic assessment tool to really help us hone in on where reading skill is needed in each individual child and to be able to really individualize the teaching instruction.”

Guest says the new diagnostic assessment tool will replace other diagnostic tools in the classroom and actually cut back on the amount of classroom time spent on testing. Tonight’s meeting is just informational, the new proposals will be voted on in June.

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