Updates from the Parent Curriculum Council

On February 6, the Medina City School’s Parent Curriculum Council met for the very first time. This new partnership between the Department of Educational Services and parents was initiated to keep families informed of what is going on with curricular issues in our schools. Each building sent representatives to hear about the new Common Core standards adopted by Ohio, PARCC testing and the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

The State of Ohio, along with 45 other states, has adopted the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math for grades K-12. These standards were designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills that they need to succeed in college and the work place. They provide educators, parents and students with clear, rigorous goals that are based on evidence and research. These standards will be assessed by a national consortium called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). Starting in the year 2014-2015, our students will be completing on-line tests in grades 3-12 in both Language Arts and Math. The Common Core standards do not extend to Social Studies or Science, so the state of Ohio has provided districts with standards and assessments in these areas.

Another state initiative that has been implemented is the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. This Guarantee mandates that beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, every student that does not meet the cut score for the Ohio Third Grade Reading Achievement Assessment must be retained. By September 30 of each year, each student designated “not on-track” by the district must send a letter home to inform parents and the district must initiate a Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan. The purpose of this Plan is to outline the interventions that the student will receive and how those interventions will be monitored to ensure student success.

To prepare our students for these changes, the Medina City Schools has adopted the Envision Math program for grades K-5. This program emphasizes problem solving, while building students’ mathematical foundation in computational skills. This program has been reviewed by the US Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse and has been found to be highly successful in increasing student achievement in mathematics. The district is now looking at the English Language Arts standards and researching our current programs to ensure that our materials align so that our students can be successful.

If you have any questions about these initiatives or any other part of the elementary curriculum, please contact the Coordinator of Primary Education, Tina Cassidy at 330-636-3077 or email at cassidyk@mcsoh.org A copy of the Council’s presentation is also available for your review on the district website under the Educational Services tab.

PowerPoint from First Meeting