Local Parent Raises Concerns Over Curriculum

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Sci ConcernsSAINT JOHNSBURY- A concerned parent of children attending the Saint Johnsbury voiced concerns over the school not having a science curriculum. Pat Ely of Saint Johnsbury found out from a teacher that there was no official science curriculum for the school.

When he heard this he was shocked and upset as a parent and science teacher elsewhere and knew he had to find out if this was true. This started a over two month journey to getting to the bottom of it and finding out the truth. What he found was upsetting and lead him to address the board.

He found that there was indeed no science curriculum and not only that, but, the curriculum hadn't been evaluated since at least 2012. The policy is a evaluation of curriculum is mandatory at least ever one to two years. The board wasn't aware of this, but immediately began discussion to look into this more during the summer months before next school year. Ely said" That makes me real nervous for my children and all the children of Saint Johnsbury."

 

      The board responded to his concerns, "They may not  have a curriculum for science, but they follow the SGS standard, so I know there is a basis to decide what kind of things to include in their units of study and what they do with lesson planning." Board chair Chris Wenger said. Another Board member, Deane Rankins said" We had bigger holes made by bigger icebergs to deal with first, we got those patched."

      The board was prepared to admit this is a serious problem and they are fully committed to have more conversations in the future. This ties in directly to their continuous plans to improve the function of the board of years of issues. One of the issues being the confidence in former superintendent Ranny Bledsoe, who was fired early 2018. It was also discovered that she was responsible for maintaining the curriculum before a director was hired after her departure. It was also revealed that steps are being taken by this new curriculum director to fix what was broken and the current focus is on Literacy and Math.

     In the end Ely said he is appreciative the board is trying to move in the right direction and took the time to hear his voice.