Lake Oswego School Board welcomes new language curriculum into classrooms
On Monday, April 25, the Lake Oswego School Board approved a curriculum that will make its way into classrooms next fall.
Since 2019, the Lake Oswego School District has embarked on a process to take a critical look at its language arts curriculum and revamp it to match the current needs of students.
During the March 29 school board meeting, the district invited community members to take a look at some of the proposed curriculum that was available on the school's website and provide feedback on it with the idea that it could make its way into classrooms next fall.
During the April 25 board meeting, LaKeyshua Washington, executive director of curriculum and instruction, said that more than 400 people visited the online site to review the proposal and two parents provided feedback. She said that all of those who engaged with the curriculum showed support and confidence in the lesson plans.
The proposed curriculum will introduce lesson plans and learning tools that better align with the school district's strategic plan to be inclusive and equitable and prioritize a student's growth, according to Washington.
One of the main recommendations for a revamped curriculum is a literature selection that is culturally relevant to children while building knowledge and critical-thinking skills beyond the book's text using what is known as the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt approach.
This curriculum is designed to inspire K-12 literacy lesson plans that amplify children's love for reading and communication skills.
Some of the proposed literature in the middle school curriculum tackles topics such as immigration, poverty, race and gender identity.
For high schoolers, classrooms would adopt a curriculum that follows what is referred to as the McGraw Hill approach because of its rigor and relevance to teenagers.
With the proposed curriculum, high schoolers may read books on immigration and identity or classics like "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison.
The curriculum also will have an online component where students can return to the lessons after learning them in a physical classroom.
"For the record, this curriculum is the foundation to who we are as a district and where we want to go," said board Chair Kirsten Aird.
She added that the curriculum is "imperfect" but adheres to Oregon's current teaching standards.
The school board will next convene at 6 p.m. Monday, May 9.
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