Action to determine which social studies textbooks would be used in Roswell Independent School District schools starting this fall was postponed because only four of the five members of the Roswell Independent School District were present at Tuesday’s meeting.
Board President Hope Morales explained that with the possibility of the results being tied for both the elementary and secondary school choices, it would be better to wait until Board member James Edwards could participate in next month’s regular meeting.
At one point, Morales asked that everyone “keep it respectful.”
Materials reviewed are from IMPACT Social Studies, McGraw-Hill Education and myWorld Interactive, Savvas Learning Company, which used to be known as Pearson K-12 Learning.
Three residents, as well as several instructors who helped evaluate materials, spoke to the board about the elementary school texts. As a group, they leaned further toward the Saavas products.
Margaret Rodriguez said she found the Saavas selection “very refreshing” and conducive to helping children “love America.”
McGraw-Hill’s material is more compatible with a “Socratic form of teaching,” she also noted.
This style is meant to foster dialogue between teachers and students, with the teacher asking their students many open-ended questions and, in turn, allowing them to ask their teacher questions, according to the Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University.
“There’s nothing in this book (Saavas) you’d have parents upset about,” said Anna Tew, another resident.
She also gave kudos and as an example pointed to a book section that explained why some Native Americans preferred the term “indigenous” while others used “tribe.”
Tew said she didn’t see a Spanish-language version of the McGraw-Hill book, but one of the teachers later said that version of the text does indeed exist.
The group of residents expressed more enthusiasm overall about the Saavas material. Residents who reviewed the books were partial to Saavas as well.
The instructors preferred the McGraw-Hill products for elementary students, however.
Opinions, especially those expressed by instructors, weren’t always cut-and-dry. A couple of them explained to board members how they used sections from both texts at various times as well as additional resources to instruct their students.
One of them explained how one of the texts has more detail about some local industries, specifically oil and cattle, than another. So while the instructor used that book when they were teaching about that specific topic, they jumped to the other book when it was time to move to the next topic, for example.
Another instructor said they thought the mix of visual materials was wider-ranging in the McGraw-Hill book than in Saavas. Board member Jack Cheney said that he disagreed with that assertion.
“I see real-world pictures in both. I see cartoons in both,” Cheney said.
He also said that one of the books seemed to have more of an identifiable political slant than the other. Board member Ryan French also said he noticed that.
Board member Hilda Sanchez said she trusted the teachers’ recommendation and would support it.
A student will perform better academically when they can “bring their full self to the table,” Sanchez said.
It was noted during the meeting that residents weren’t asked to consider such factors as ease of use and how well the texts each integrate with other educational resources, which is something teachers would seek when choosing instructional materials.
Board members opted to not start discussing the texts for older students after the lengthy discussion and apparent stalemate between board members about the texts for younger grades.
Early College High School students in Hangar 84 Robotics began participating in robotic competitions about five years ago. But a visit by group members — and their robot — is still a memorable experience at board meetings.
Also highly attention-getting: when Leprino Foods presented the group with a big check for $10,000. The board will recognize the company for its donation when they meet in June.
Two other donations to Hangar 84 were recognized Tuesday by the board. Each was for $1,000 and earmarked for the group's competition-related costs. One donation came from the Fraternal Order of Eagles #3187 and the other was from Featherstone Development Corp.
Surveillance video policy
Board members approved changes to the video surveillance policy. The original version allowed for the erasure of most videos after two weeks under many circumstances. Which employees have access to the recordings is further clarified in the updated version, such as only school administrators and designated school officials or staff members, for example.
There was no board vote or announcement about the legal dispute over a Goddard High School senior who had expected to be valedictorian, but likely won’t be because of a change in how credit for certain course offerings counts.
New meeting day
The board voted to switch its current regular meeting day from the second Tuesday to the second Monday of each month. Morales said there would be a “period of education” about the change before it happens.
Best trending stories from the week.
Success! An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup.
Error! There was an error processing your request.
You may occasionally receive promotions exclusive discounted subscription offers from the Roswell Daily Record. Feel free to cancel any time via the unsubscribe link in the newsletter you received. You can also control your newsletter options via your user dashboard by signing in.