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RISD board to reconsider adopting new curriculum

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The school board of the Roswell Independent School District will once again consider adopting its first new elementary English language arts textbook program in a decade at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the board room of the Administrative and Educational Services Complex, 300 N. Kentucky Ave. Masks and social distancing are encouraged. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting must sign up to do so prior to the meeting. Each speaker will be limited to two minutes.

In July, the board voted 3-2 against adopting curriculum from Core Knowledge Language Arts, or CKLA, from publisher Amplify.

A committee of almost 60 RISD administrators and elementary teachers reviewed five curriculum programs starting in April, narrowing down their top choices to CKLA and Into Reading, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Of the two, 57% of the committee voted to recommend CKLA.

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The three board members who voted against adopting the program — James Edwards, Hilda Sanchez and Milburn Dolan — cited concerns about adopting a new curriculum when the New Mexico Department of Public Education had yet to release its list of recommended programs.

Districts can use state funds specifically allocated for instructional materials if they purchase programs that are recommended by the PED.

In the July discussion, Board President Hope Morales estimated the cost of the CKLA program at $1.5 million. Chad Cole, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, told the board the district had unspent monies from the Instructional Materials Fund that could be used to purchase the program.

The PED has since released its list of recommended programs, and CKLA received a score of 90% or greater at all grade levels. Into Reading also received high scores and was also recommended.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board will consider approving the recommendation for an architect for the Nancy Lopez Elementary School construction, a donation for orchestra instruments, a request from the Charlie’s Angels Dance Team to go to a national competition in Florida in March, audiology services for the district, and extra duty pay.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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