Upshur County’s Rigorous Curriculum – English Language Arts


BUCKHANNON — Several schools participating in Upshur County for English Language Arts (ELA) grades K-12 came together in the Birch Room at the Stonewall Resort on February 2 and 3 in hopes of getting on the same page.

Teachers reviewed and looked over all their state standards to prioritize and build units of study during this work session. All subjects are currently participating in these rigorous curriculum sessions in hopes to be on the “same page.” In other words, when a student switches from one teacher to another, or moves up a grade, the curriculum guidelines and the way the student is taught will be similar if not the same. This will prevent students from being confused or lost during the transition. Teachers will continue to meet twice a month until June to gain a better understanding and collaborate. Math teachers will come together on February 22 and 23 to obtain the same goal.

Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Improvement Specialist Michael Lane expressed, “We’ve gone through the process of prioritizing standards and pulling out the main standards that need improved to help students.” Focusing on achievement is the most important and main goal for Mr. Lane. “Over the last two days, we have spent time building assessments and aligning rubrics. We want to ensure what we’re teaching is directly tied to what’s being assessed in hopes to improve testing scores,” he added.

Union Elementary School Fourth Grade Teacher Lauren Cain talked about breaking down the standards. Understanding them and reading through the lines of standards will help implement it for the future of her classes and really prioritize it for her students. “Because of COVID-19, I have not yet had a “normal” teaching year. I’m a newer teacher and haven’t been teaching as long as some other teachers at Union. Most of our classes have been virtual, but with Schoology as our main platform, it really helps with all our online assessments.”

Buckhannon-Upshur High School Junior English Teacher Mindy Dawson noted that the most important thing about being in attendance during the meeting is getting on the same page. “The main goal is to align our curriculum so that it is more streamlined for each teacher – universal standards,” Dawson said. COVID-19 caused teachers and students over the past couple of years to be isolated. Now the teachers have the opportunity to be in the same room in order to collaborate and work toward the same goal. “We just want to help better our students for their future and now we have the chance to do just that,” Dawson added.

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