Board approves curriculum plan

After a year in development, the Rainy River District School Board gave the nod Tuesday night to a curriculum plan being implemented this school year–giving a better picture as to what the board will be doing in different areas of the curriculum in the next few years.
“The curriculum plan is really a road map, a calendar, and a recipe box all in one,” Superintendent of Education Terry Ellwood said at Tuesday night’s board meeting here.
“The real impact of having this for a board is to have one place to decide, ‘Where do we go from here?’” he added.
Some highlights of the comprehensive plan include:
•Language as an important focal point. Staff will be provided with support in developing the skills required so their students can “learn to read” in the early years and “read to learn” in the later years.
The board has maintained literacy co-ordinator Maureen Ricard to provide staff support.
•Math and science also will stay in focus, with the help of the board’s math/science co-ordinator Walter Rogoza.
•Social studies/history and geography will aided by a part-time co-ordinator Tom Fry.
•Health and physical education will continue to be supported by part-time co-ordinator Tom Fry, and teachers will be assisted in the use of the new Ontario Physical Health Education Association (OPHEA) document released this year.
•The board has moved to begin a grade four French-as-a-Second Language program. French teachers will be recommending the purchase of resource materials, which will be consistent board-wide.
•Music and the visual arts will continue to be supported at a school level, and celebration of the arts will be promoted for the spring, 2004 and 2005.
•Staff development will continue in the area of technology so teachers are able to integrate technical skills into all areas of the curriculum.
The plan was devised by a committee of 13 teachers, consultants, principals, and other administration.
And while it required many meetings to finalize for this year, the plan is only a beginning of sorts, as it will be reviewed, and likely revised, on an annual basis, noted Ellwood.