Madison School Board offers feedback on K-5 literacy plan

Scott Girard:

Staff began working on the new curriculum adoption last year, following a 2018 needs assessment that showed a “need for materials K-5 that have a structured phonics component, are standards aligned and are more culturally and linguistically responsive, historically accurate and inclusive,” according to Monday’s presentation.

The steps since have included forming focus groups made up of staff and families, a pilot in five kindergarten classrooms and regular Review Committee meetings.

Staff plan to soon begin a request for proposals process and implement sample lessons in selected grades later this year. In December 2020 or January 2021, they expect to make a recommendation to the School Board and have a board vote, with implementation that fall following staff training.

Kvistad told the board staff had learned from the last materials adoption a decade ago, noting that “materials are different now,” as is support for teachers.

“We found ourselves moving too fast, I think, around implementation that we couldn’t learn from what we did and adjust moving on,” she said.

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

In addition, Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools.