New school year brings new mandated curriculumAug 19th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: Top Story
As the summer comes to a close, a new school school year is just beginning, and with it, the full transition to the new Common Core standards.
This year, all of the Parish’s schools, as well as schools across the state, will be making a transition to the Common Core system. These Common Core goals are a set of national curriculum standards adopted by 45 states.
“These standards will put literacy at the forefront of instruction,” said Angelle Lailhengue, Lacoste Elementary’s Instructional Coach. “Whether we are teaching math, art, science or music— no matter what the subject—literacy will be our focus. Students will be asked to work on higher levels, and teachers are being asked to step up the rigor of their instruction.”
These Core standards will allow students in the state of Louisiana to compete academically with students in other states, voiced Lailhengue.
“The thought process behind this,” said Assistant Superintendent, Beverly Lawrason, “is that it will help to both set and equalize standards across the state, and almost the nation. These standards determine the way that teachers design their curriculum to benefit their students. We had a curriculum design team that helped create specific courses for specific grade levels.”
The Parish’s schools have been slowly transitioning into this set of standards for the past two years, and improvements in test scores are being seen.
“We are one of the highest ranked school districts,” said Lawrason.
Lacoste Elementary Principal, Stacie Alfonso, is also excited about these new standards, as well as the start of Lacoste’s second school year. The school was first opened in August of 2012, while still under construction.
“Last year much of the school was still under construction, but this year we’re ready,” said Alfonso. “All of the teachers are working hard to get their courses ready, and we’re excited to get things started this year. The kids are even excited about using the new playground and library that weren’t completed last year.”
Lacoste plans on having nearly 900 students this year, and will also be implementing the “Music and the Brain” curriculum, which is part of a grant program that funds the purchasing of musical instruments, music books, etc. This music program aims to teach kids different musical concepts, as well as actually show them how to read music and play instruments. Depending on which grade they are in, students will either be learning keyboard, recorder or violin skills.
“I’m glad we’re able to utilize this program,” said Peggy Wegener, Lacoste’s music teacher. “It’s amazing what music can do for students— it really has the ability to help them in so many aspects of life.”
“I think we’re on the right course to having a very successful school year,” said Alfonso.