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GLPS Families,

In keeping with our theme of highlighting areas identified in this fall’s survey, I thought this would be a great time to highlight curriculum, instruction, and essential learnings. Here at Grand Ledge Public Schools, we have focused a great deal of time, effort, and energy on clearly defining what we want our students to learn by grade level and by course, and then putting in the work to ensure that they learn it. 

To fully cover these important pieces, I am going to break the descriptions and resources into two messages; one here today, and then one next week. For today, I want to call your attention to our Academic Services webpage, and the essential learnings and curriculum guides it contains. 

Here at Grand Ledge Public Schools, we define essential learnings as the key pieces of learning, or standards, that we expect all students to learn by grade level and subject area. These essential learnings were established through collaboration between teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators, and represent thoughtful and purposeful analysis of the most important things kids need to learn. We continually review them to ensure that they are meeting our students’ needs, and they are presented to the board periodically for approval. To view the essential learnings, by subject and grade level for grades BK-8, please click here. We are still working on developing these at the high school level, where there are many more courses, but we will provide updates when they are available. However, the courses offered at the high school, and at Beagle, can be found in the curriculum guides on the page as well, outlining all of the opportunities that we have for students.

Once those essential learnings are established, it is important for us to have a process and procedure by which we choose the materials teachers use to help kids learn. That process can be found here, or under the Instructional Tool Adoption Procedures tab on the Academic Services page. It is important that we rely on the expertise of our staff to choose the best materials for our kids, and it is also important that we have consistency so students across our district have similar experiences and opportunities, regardless of the building in which they are learning or the teacher with whom they are learning.

Next week, I will share information about our academic services and instructional frameworks so you understand how we think about teaching and learning, as well as how we ensure that all teachers have a common language and understanding around this important work. In the meantime, if  you have questions or concerns around these topics or any others, feel free to reach out to me, or Dr. Gabriel, our Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services. I appreciate the opportunity that I have to engage with our outstanding staff to continue to improve in these areas, and I am very thankful that we get to work with you and your kids every day. 

Have a wonderful weekend.  As always, I am #proudtobeacomet!

Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools

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