Schools Prepare for Curriculum Overhaul
What one school official calls an “ambitious alignment” will soon affect the county and state’s educational standards, assessments and accountability methods in an effort to meet the future expectations of student achievement.
Kathy Kennedy, the Moore County associate superintendent of instructional design and innovation, presented the basics of the new statewide initiative to the county Board of Education at its monthly meeting Monday.
Called NC Ready, the program will replace the ABCs testing program that has been in place since the 1990s. For more about NC Ready, click here.
“According to the state superintendent, NC Ready is the remodeling of education in North Carolina,” Kennedy said. “The emphasis will be on complexity, not difficulty, and will encourage the students’ capacity for complex thought. We want them to be thinkers, which will help ensure that the students are college and career ready.”
Kennedy said all teachers, administrators and parents “owe every child an education that properly prepares him or her for their next big steps after graduation (to) college, career and adulthood. Beginning in July with our year-round schools, we will see many changes in the content we teach, the expectations we hold for students and the way we measure success.”
Dr. Drew Maerz, director of educational data, assessment and research for the Moore County Schools, was a co-presenter along with Kennedy and Dr. Brian Phillips, assistant superintendent for elementary education.
“One attractive feature of the new program is that it gives the teachers more time to focus on how to teach, and allows them to tailor learning to the students’ needs,” Maerz said. “We want to make sure every student has the opportunity to learn and grow while preparing both career and college bound students to enter the workforce, and this phenomenal program does just that.”
Kennedy said that NC Ready will focus on four “pillars to education:” “Great Teachers and Leaders,” “Quality Standards and Assess-ments,” The New Accountability Model,” and “Data Systems to Improve Instruction.”
Kennedy said that parents will particularly want to know about the standards and assessments portion. They will involve a national program known as Common Core and the statewide Essential Standards program.
“The national Common Core program will focus on English/language arts and math K-12 while the statewide Essential Standards focuses on social studies, art, band, health and physical education and others,” she said. “This marks the first time in at least 30 years that all curriculum standards are being replaced in each subject and each grade at the same time. These new standards will ensure that our students are learning and mastering what they must know in order to succeed in college, in careers, and in life.”
School spokesman Tim Lussier said the program is attractive because it creates “consistency” between other states and school districts.
“Say a child transfers to a Moore County school from another area of Moore County or from another state,” Lussier said. “Under NC Ready, every student is assured of encountering the same set of skills no matter where he or she goes. We want all parents to know that this program marks a new and different way of looking at things in regard to their children’s education.”
“The new standards will foster a more consistent, equitable learning experience for students across socioeconomic levels, among races and ethnicities and regardless of geography,” she said. “North Carolina students, especially from military families, will be equipped to walk into a classroom anywhere in the country and be on track.
“It is a really exciting time to be a student, and a really exciting time to be an educator. There are many opportunities for both under this new program.”
In other business Monday night, board members welcomed new Deputy School Superintendent Marc Bergin to the system. Currently the director of elementary education for Chesterfield County, Va., Bergin will begin work on July 1.
“I am excited that Mr. Bergin is joining our team,” said School Superintendent Aaron Spence. “He has big shoes to fill, but he has been a highly successful principal and central office leader. He believes as I do that every child deserves our very best every day, and I am confident our community will appreciate his positive but demanding leadership as much as I do.”
Bergin said he was excited to be coming to Moore County. The two have known each for about 10 years and worked together in Virginia.
Also recognized were the new North Moore High School Principal Jonathan Jessup and Dante Poole, who will become an assistant principal at Union Pines High School. Poole was formerly a principal intern at Robbins Elementary School.
The board also unanimously approved a $170,000 remodeling project for the Union Pines High School cafeteria.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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