Community District Education Council 22 (CEC 22) held a virtual meeting on Tuesday evening, April 4th, via Zoom, which was punctuated by President Oluwaseun Salako’s very moving tribute to the victims murdered at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. His thoughtful words were apolitical, focused solely upon the unfathomable loss of six precious lives and the terrible grief being felt by the victims’ loved ones – a pain he said they would have to carry with them for the rest of their lives. Salako spoke of a big sister who would have to grow up without her little sister and best friend and the 14 grandchildren who had lost their beloved grandpa and would miss him dearly. He asked those in attendance to pray for those families, that their suffering might be alleviated, and took a moment of silence before delving into what was a very informative meeting.
Shortly after, District 22 Superintendent Julia Bove discussed a curriculum change coming to public schools citywide in September. She explained, that in an effort to create a more consistent learning experience, Schools Chancellor David Banks has issued a mandate requiring superintendents to choose from one of three pre-selected English Language Arts (ELA) curricula to be used in all of their District’s elementary schools: “Wit & Wisdom” from Great Minds, “Into Reading” from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt or “Expeditionary Learning” from EL Education. Bove said that after conducting an extensive amount of research, she and her literacy team had chosen the “Into Reading” program for their K-5 students and the sister program, “Into Literacy,” for students Grade 6-8.
When asked why she felt the “Into Reading” curriculum was superior to the others, Bove explained that the program offered more culturally responsive materials to meet the social-emotional needs of students and more flexibility for teachers to select books and differentiate instruction for English Language Learners and others. She said that the new curriculum places a strong emphasis on vocabulary and knowledge-building and assured the group that professional development efforts (training for school staff) were already underway and would be in full swing by June. She also told the group that there would be support available for families prior to the transition in the form of town halls and virtual information sessions.
The next meeting of CEC 22 will be held on Tuesday, May 2nd at 6:30 p.m.