FWCS continues work to adjust its curriculum

Part of that solution means moving teachers and some support staff around.

Posted: Mar 26, 2018 10:56 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2018 9:16 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne Community Schools is adjusting its curriculum to help align students to succeed with new graduation requirements.

Part of that solution means moving teachers and some support staff around.

Part of the solution is extending Math Classes for middle school students and reassigning some interventionists out of schools that don't require one.

Every student currently in seventh grade will have more rigorous requirements to graduate high school.

"We have added teachers specifically so what we currently have does not go away," said Fort Wayne Community Schools superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson.

Part of the plan includes reassigning some interventionists, staff members who give students a little extra help in Math or English.

FWCS said this could mean bringing students up to grade level or pushing them a little harder.

However, many parents aren't sure this will actually help students succeed.

"My concern is interventionists are removed from non-Title I schools, but there still is a need or something of that nature," said Noah Smith, parent.

Right now, schools in high poverty areas receiving federal funds is considered a Title I school, and are required to have interventionists to help students in schools and other areas.

However, FWCS has used the general fund to pay for some of those positions in other schools.

The district is planning on removing those extra positions and giving those students more support in the classroom.

However, Robinson said no one is loosing their jobs.

That's because they are adding teachers so students can meet graduation requirements.

The biggest area of hiring is middle school math.

"We know we didn't have teachers to teach that. So the additional resources is that wherever kids are this year, the intent is push more rigor, which you can't do with your current teacher allocations," said Robbinson.

Next year's 7th and 8th grade students will be in their Math classes longer so they can comprehend the harder math. In fact, math periods are doubling.

"I'm concerned about it because we all have 12- to 14-year-old kids who can't sit still sometimes for that long. We have a hard time doing that," said Jennifer Matthais, parent to a Blackhawk Middle School student.

She doesn't feel the longer math classes will work.

The district did have longer classes in high school ... but recently went back to a seven period day.

"I'm asking why do we think this model of extended time is going to work now if it didn't work then," said Matthais.

Robinson said 7th graders will likely take pre-algebra while 8th graders are being taught Algebra 1.

"We are bringing the kids who need to have motivation up and the ones at the top we are pushing them higher," said Robinson.

Robinson and the Board is encouraging everyone who has an issue with some of the state requirements to let the state board of education know.

There is a state board of education meeting Wednesday, April 4.

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