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Public Encouraged To Participate In Iowa Core Curriculum Meeting

By Staff | Jan 8, 2010

Emmetsburg Community School District is seeking public input at a community meeting to discuss the Iowa Core Curriculum.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. in the library at Emmetsburg High School, 205 King Street. Those who attend are asked to use events entrance #4.

Parents, students and community members are encouraged to learn more about the Iowa Core Curriculum. They are invited to offer input to this community/school partnership.

High expectations are the key ingredient to improving student success. The Iowa Core Curriculum (Senate File 2216) was passed in May of 2008 and sets the bar for students as well as all educators. It challenges teachers to create robust and relevant learning opportunities for students.

In the ever-changing world in which we live, students need to be prepared to meet the challenges of the future. The Iowa Core Curriculum assists by focusing on those important concepts that will help to shape today’s students into adults with the skills necessary to be successful. School districts that implement the Core Curriculum completely will increase the likelihood that all students become life-long learners, productive adults, and engaged citizens.

How does the Iowa Core Curriculum impact the major subjects taught in school?

• Math-Shifts from memorizing and practicing facts and procedures to understanding and applying concepts, practices, and facts.

• Literacy-Shifts from a primary focus on reading and writing in English/Language Arts classes to the pulling together and applying of all five literacy skills – reading, writing, speaking, viewing, and listening.

• Science-Shifts from lecture, an over-emphasis on textbook readings and “cookbook” labs to learning through actively investigating, designing experiments, questioning, exploring, and defending conclusions.

• Social Studies-Shifts from lecture and reciting of specific pieces of information to gaining knowledge and skills associated with the economic, political, civic, and social forces that are relevant to the world in which students live.

• 21st Century Skills-Shifts from a traditional system that may not include the incorporation of these skills into curriculum for all, to one that requires that all students leave school prepared to succeed in the 21st century. Essential concepts and skill sets include employability skills, financial literacy, health literacy, and technology literacy.

“As parents and community members, it’s important to be informed regarding this major initiative. Community support and understanding will be needed while educators take time to learn more about the Iowa Core Curriculum and adjust their practices,” said Jay Jurrens, 5-12 Principal/Technology Coordinator, Emmetsburg Community Schools. “In addition, parents play a key role in reinforcing learning at home and setting high expectations for their children as they move through the educational system. Educators alone cannot ensure that Iowa students have the skills necessary to be successful in life.”

A web site is available online at http://www.corecurriculum.iowa.gov, which outlines the curriculum skills to be developed at each grade level. The Emmetsburg Community School web site (www.emmetsburg.k12.ia.us) has a link to information on the Iowa Core Curriculum.