Gazette News Report
XENIA — While Xenia Community School District administrators have been focusing on the high school/middle school building project, curriculum has not been neglected.
According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Operations Christy Fielding and Director of Instructional Services Sabrina Woodruff, the district spent last school year making sure the curriculum was aligned to state standards. Pacing guides and curriculum maps were created to ensure students had exposure to content and were given the opportunity to achieve high levels of performance. Gaps in district resources were identified and administrators are currently purchasing or will purchase instructional resources to address the needs.
“This year, we will be focusing on implementing the new curriculum adoptions and prioritizing on closing the achievement gaps for targeted students,” Fielding said.
That’s not all, however.
For the first time in 12 years, XCS is on a textbook/curriculum adoption replacement schedule, according to Woodruff. A textbook costs between $100 and $200 meaning on average, a classroom set of textbooks costs $4,500. In the past year, the district has audited curriculum needs to ensure textbooks and technology components are aligned with content standards and new curriculum. Once curriculum is adopted, staff will be properly trained on new books and related curriculum resources.
Math adoption was this school year’s primary focus in grades 6-12. XHS is implementing a new curriculum, and Warner Middle School is receiving additional training on its current math program. In grades K-5, English language arts has been a main focus, Woodruff said. Curriculum resources and professional development continue to be provided to improve literacy framework. Additionally, the district was able to supplement high school social studies and science in grades 3-5. English as a second language curriculum was also purchased to support the district’s ESL programming.
The district also added more than 3,300 Chromebooks and 300 laptops in the last two years, Fielding said. That’s roughly two students for each device. Each kindergarten student has their own to use in the classroom.
“Technology is becoming an integrated part of instruction and assessment,” Fielding said.
XCS also added digital literacy and music in grades K-5 and brought Project Lead the Way options to the middle and high school during the past two years. Instructional supplies for a multitude of middle school exploratories have been purchased and are being used and software and hardware for intervention and enrichment has been added or continues to be funded, Fielding said. Resources and curriculum have also been purchased for new high school course offerings.
The Virtual Academy adopted Odysseyware programming, as the district continues to grow credit recovery options.
Also, physical education returned to the elementary schools as were two guidance counselors for grades K-5.
“The curriculum department has been busy,” Fielding said.
“We’re even adding a robotics/coding element to the Digital Literacy course,” Fielding said.
Career technology resources are also being provided including a Business and Technology Pathway at the High School along with a career awareness course at Warner Middle School to support students as they explore job opportunities for their future.
Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.