SPENCER, MA – Several votes were conducted at the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District (SEBRSD) School Committee meeting on June 21st, including accepting elementary and secondary programs of curricula.

In the June School Committee meeting, Director of Academic Affairs Matthew Bolduc proposed adoption of new preschool, math, science and English language arts programs. When asked about the curricula programs that cover grades Preschool through high school, Mr. Bolduc explained that they are standards-based, problem-based learning programs that allow students to think more critically - more deeply -about the problems and solutions in math, science, and English language arts. 

Mr. Bolduc began his presentation to the committee by speaking to preschool curricula programming and services, where he outlined the 3-Cheers for Pre-K curriculum and the fact that it offered: a complete daily classroom curriculum; including Social emotional learning (SEL) components that align well to the Aligns well with the LEAP Pre-K instructional model which has been an ongoing area of professional development with the University of Denver since the summer of 2021 and continues the LEAP professional development work for Year-two (SY22-23) and will enter a monitoring / feedback phase  with Ted Bovey and Phil Strain of the University of Denver.

In science, Mr. Bolduc spoke to the curricula programming needs by articulating that the curriculum review work led the review team to a program called STEMscopes.  STEMscopes will be offered in the fall for Grades K-5 science classes; and include all the necessary materials and supplies for one year with the goal in the first year.  In year -two, the goal shifts to online access and consumables.  After grade 5, the plan is to move students in Grades K-5 to OpenSciEd when that curriculum is completed.

OpenSciEd is currently available for Grades 6-8 science classrooms and will include equipment, supplies & materials.  Grade 8 may not move to OpenSciEd completely til SY23-24 to ensure no gaps in learning due to the new standards alignment required and STEM class standards integration.  As a result, middle school science / engineering staff are concluding this organization work during the summer of 2022.  Professional development will take place in OpenSciEd through the first year. 

New, up-to-date high school science curricula materials are being sought by the high school review team.  The current Biology texts are slated to be replaced by newly-aligned Biology curricula materials.  These materials will tighten the Instruction-Assessment-Student Feedback cycle; and allow for better multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) and differentiation of instruction (DI).

In mathematics, three programs were review for Grades K- Algebra I.  The three programs that were considered for in-depth reviews included but were not limited to: HMH Into Math; Savvas Envisions; and Curriculum Associates i-Ready Classroom Mathematics.  As a result of the curriculum review process undertaken by administrators and faculty members, i-Ready Classroom Mathematics was selected for a K-8 full implementation pilot in the 2022-2023 school year. 

Each curricula program was evaluated by the math review team / committee and looked carefully at Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Curate panel findings to ensure that the curricula programs were researched-based, vetted and deemed to be high quality curriculum materials in the eyes of the Commonwealth and our local educators.  The i-Ready program was selected for full implementation as a pilot in the 2022-2023 School year by 12 of 13 district math review committee members (92%) and was seen as a high-quality curricula program that met the diverse needs of our student body.  iReady will provide high quality professional development as well as access to online learning modules and consumable workbooks.

In English Language Arts, the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District looks to continuously improve their work in partnership with DESE.  According to Mr. Bolduc, the district-led GLEAM Team will complete Secondary Literacy Action Plan in late June 2022 so that they may Identify curricula programs for pilot in early 2022-2023 school year.  The district will pilot newly updated curriculum programs through Semester 1 of the 2022-2023 school year and adopt a preferred curricula program for English Language alert (grades 6-12) in the second semester. 

In his presentation the School Committee Mr. Bolduc spoke about the curriculum review process and thanked the administration and faculty teams for their due diligence and dedication to the work, which covers more than two full years of curricula review in some cases.  As well, Mr. Bolduc made clear in his presentation to the committee that the district was utilizing federal ESSER III funds to pay for the curricula programs in preschool, math, science and ELA – so that the diverse learning needs of all students are able to identified and met in the year ahead and beyond.