Del Mar school district to adopt new English Language Arts materials

The Del Mar Union School District is in the process of bringing in new materials for its English Language Arts curriculum — the district is looking to adopt McGraw Hill Wonders for kindergarten through sixth grade and Study Sync for sixth grade, a more digital program.

The current program was adopted in 2003 and there is a need for new materials to better align with the Common Core State Standards, according to Vivian Firestone from the district’s instructional services department.

At the board’s Jan. 25 meeting, held in the board’s new meeting room at the district office, Firestone reported that the instructional services department team has been reviewing materials since January 2016 and honed in on five publishers they believed would be the best match. The team was looking for materials that offered quality and variation, as well as a high level of rigor that met the expectations of the standards.

Twenty-seven teachers across the district were selected to pilot the materials and an additional 53 teachers were provided the materials to allow them to collaborate with their grade-level teams. The district received feedback from the teachers in November with 100 percent consensus on McGraw Hill.

As the primarily digital program of Study Sync is more complex, the teachers have requested more time to fully vet all of the components so the pilot has been extended to April.

Firestone said they expect to bring both recommendations to the board for approval by the end of the school year, so materials can be ordered and training conducted for implementation in fall 2017.

Board member Kristin Gibson requested that the materials be made available for parents and Superintendent Holly McClurg said a review of the materials can be arranged at the district office.