HUDSON -- The School Board approved the first reading of a new student nondiscrimination policy and rule at its meeting Monday, Feb. 10.
Chief human resources officer Andrea Voelker said this is one district policy that had not been updated in a very long time.
“These new policies are much more appropriate in 2020 and I also think that they provide a road map for students in this particular area,” she said.
The policy states the district will not “unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sex (including gender identity, gender expression and nonconformity to gender role stereotypes), sexual orientation, race, color, national origin (including English proficiency, surname, or language-minority status), ancestry, religion, creed, age, pregnancy, marital or parental status, homelessness status, any physical, mental, emotional or learning disability, or any other legally-protected status or classification” in any of its activities, programs or admissions.
The rule sets out a complaint procedure for the policy.
One goal of the revisions is to increase transparency, Voelker said. The next steps are to look at the harassment and bullying policy, Voelker said, to deal with what she called the big three.
The district continued its review of curriculum, with the board hearing on the middle school English language arts curriculum. It is in the reflection stage of the multi-year process.
Instructional coach MaryBeth Elliott said the curriculum focuses on high volume of reading and writing, a variety of genres and writing types, offering choice and modeling and conferring by teachers. The middle school has two periods of language arts. Both cover reading, summarizing and inference.
Student notebooks used in the curriculum provide low pressure, ungraded writing opportunities. Two or three of those pieces will be turned in for a grade, Elliott said.
‘It’s amazing to see the growth from beginning to end of the year,” she said.
Teachers confer with students, checking in to see where they’re at and what their own self-assessment is.
Classes also have book clubs. The kids are offered a choice of books to read and set their group norms for the club meetings.
The district focused on increasing literacy across the curriculum, Elliott said. Raider literacy assessments are done five times a year in five core classes -- not just language arts but also science and social studies.
The assessments show proficiency level. The goal is to have everyone proficient by the end of the year. The students are given their assessment information to reflect and see what to work on, Elliott said.
Director of Teaching and Learning Sandi Kovatch said the subject has changed, providing more student choice.
“The best way we know to improve reading and writing is to read and write,” she said, “and so to have student interest in books that they read independently is important as well as the practicing of writing, that not everything they do is graded.”