June 14, 2024

WCA teachers favor Wonders Curriculum despite funding dilemma

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Jake Sias
Grant County Herald

At a recent meeting of the West Central Area School District board, Natalie Prasch, the Elementary Principal, presented insights into the curriculum selection process for the upcoming academic year. The faculty had the choice between two prominent curricula, the Wonders curriculum by McGraw Hill and the curriculum provided by Benchmark. Prasch informed the board that teachers had been given a grading rubric and questionnaire to aid their decision-making process.

According to Prasch, teachers overwhelmingly favored the Wonders curriculum by McGraw Hill. They expressed satisfaction with its lesson flow, level of rigor suitable for students, and especially praised its strong emphasis on writing skills. Additionally, teachers lauded the layout of the student text and the comprehensive resources accompanying it. They found the technology components of both curricula to be comparable, but leaned towards Wonders due to its more extensive teacher resources.

However, a hurdle emerged regarding the chosen curriculum. The Wonders Curriculum is not currently among the recommended curricula approved by the state. This exclusion means that the state will not reimburse the purchase cost of non-recommended curricula, a fact acknowledged on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website.

“A district or charter school is not required to use an approved curriculum, unless the curriculum was or will be purchased with READ Act funds that require a curriculum to be selected from a list of approved curricula,” the Department of Education’s website states. It further notes that districts using a curriculum not on the approved list may continue to do so, but will not be reimbursed unless it receives approval through the reconsideration process.

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