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Local schools ready for new K-12 English standards
Public invited to public hearings
new slt ELA courtesy
John Popp, assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum, addresses Great Bend USD 428s English Language Arts, math and tech coaches as part of an ongoing instructional coaches academy at the District Education Center. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The Kansas State Department of Education is proposing revisions to the current College and Career Ready Standards in English Language Arts. Area residents are invited to learn more and offer feedback at a public meeting next month in Great Bend.
The revisions are part of the legislated review process that must take place every seven years. The current English Language Arts standards were approved by the Kansas State Board of Education in December 2010.
Great Bend USD 428 recently adopted a new ELA curriculum for grades K-6. Assistant Superintendent John Popp said the curriculum committee took the proposed changes into account during the adoption process.
“We have had people involved in looking at the new standards from the beginning,” Popp said. “These standards will be different, but not drastically different from our current standards.”
The Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education heard the proposal for the next K-6 ELA curriculum in February, and adopted it in March. The ELA committee spent two years doing research and recommended “The Wonders” curriculum from McGraw-Hill for use at all five elementary schools.
The cost was $275,653 for the seven-year curriculum adoption.
“There is a complete, robust curriculum and we think it’s worth the cost,” Popp told the school board.

Public meetings
Public meetings have been scheduled throughout the state to highlight the changes being proposed by the Kansas Standards Review Committee, which is comprised of educators, legislators, higher education and other Kansas constituents. The local meeting will be from 6-7:30 p.m. on May 22 at the District Education Center, 201 S. Patton Road.
“Anyone who is interested can attend,” Popp said. “We will try to have some of our instructional coaches and reading teachers present.”

What KSDE is proposing:
Some of the proposed changes include:
• Clear grade-level progressions for each standard.
• Inclusion of Early Learning Standards in progressions document.
• Added clarity regarding what each standard could look like at each grade level.
• Language standards included in progression format to help with integration.
• User-friendly format.
• Interactive links to aid usage.

The proposed standards affect the curricula of elementary, middle and high schools in both public and private accredited schools.

Feedback welcome
Beginning Tuesday, April 11, a complete draft of the ELA Standards will be available online at: . Those interested in providing feedback can do so at that time, using the same website.
After the public meetings, the English Language Arts Standards Review Committee will review all comments and may modify the standards based on the feedback obtained. The standards will then be presented to the State Board of Education for their review. Adoption of revised English Language Arts standards by the State Board of Education is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2017.