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Fox Chapel

Letter to the editor: Stop the rush to change curriculum at Dorseyville Middle School

| Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 2:42 p.m.
Dorseyville Middle School
Submitted
Dorseyville Middle School

Curriculum changes questioned

Proposed changes to the Dorseyville Middle School curriculum may deny our children of a well-rounded education and are founded on a questionable assertion that they are struggling in math and science. The proposal doubles the time spent in literacy, math and science/computer science daily and reduces the opportunities for students to study music, art, foreign languages, family and consumer Sciences, and industrial arts.

These changes reflect an emphasis on the subjects assessed by standardized testing, at the expense of a well-rounded curriculum. The changes also suggest a divergence from a middle school philosophy, whichallows students the opportunity to study a breadth of subjects to find their interests, engage their creativity and develop their problem-solving skills.

Requests for data illustrating why these changes are needed have been met with the suggestion that parents should just accept the Fox Chapel Area School District administration's insufficiently articulated reasons for the change.

Also concerning is the limited amount of involvement of the Fox Chapel Education Association, parents, and student stakeholders when designing this curriculum and the aggressive proposed timeline of implementation. The administration's minimally revised schedule issued March 2 indicates that further review is needed. Making iterative changes by piecemeal is not in the best interest of our students.

We ask the community to implore school board members to consider that the sweeping changes for the 2018-19 school year have not had sufficient reflection or study. These changes should be delayed until such a process has taken place, including full collaboration with the community on its vision of a well-rounded education that will serve all students' needs.

Beth Ruff

Aspinwall

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