Instruction

  • NMCUSD Instruction and Services

    At this time, it is important to anchor all our actions to our core value of equity throughout our education community. There can never be true equity until there is  engagement with representatives from all stakeholder groups. This is particularly important for our students and their families during these disruptive and significant changes and when vulnerable at-promise learning populations are affected. Meaningful engagement starts with understanding and being informed by listening to the concerns, challenges, and needs.  Whether that group consists of students, teachers, staff, parents, bargaining units, faith-based groups, businesses, or any other community partners.

    Our preparations for the future must continue to consider the impact of the pandemic, in which a substantial number of students will return to school with not only learning loss, but also emotional consequences of isolation and a lack of predictability. 

    Despite our best efforts, we have seen the impact of the pandemic in education nationally and locally which will result in privileging better-off children. Students from households with greater levels of connectivity, higher levels of parental education, greater availability of parental time for engagement, and in-home availability of books and materials have much better ability to access and benefit from distance learning. To reach children without such support, NMCUSD must emphasize a simplified curriculum based on the NMCUSD Essential Standards.  These standards have been identified by our educators as being those standards where learning loss will be most consequential for learning progression in the coming school year. In addition, focused strategies that ensure continuity in early grade literacy and numeracy during the COVID crisis are urgently needed. 

     

    There is a need for assessments that not only inform differentiated instruction, but also help mitigate the kind of confirmation bias that often leads to lowering expectations for what historically disadvantaged students can achieve. The system must work quickly to establish highly reliable formative and summative assessments tied to proficiency scales that can be implemented under various circumstances. Teachers would then possess interim, actionable data on not only skills but also conceptual and specific knowledge tied to mastery levels.

    Family-based literacy interventions studies show that even in the poorest households and households with limited literacy, parental and sibling engagement and support can add significantly to learning outcomes using very simple methods. Those methods can take the form of creating dedicated time for children to learn, teaching parents to engage children in talk and answering questions, or creating simple counting and language activities as part of daily household routines.  

    NMCUSD must prioritize efforts to address social and emotional learning and mental and behavioral health needs. Equally important is ensuring staff feel their physical and mental health needs are supported. Districts should ensure all policies and solutions are culturally sensitive and ensure equity and access for all youth.  By implementing a more gradual reintroduction of academic rigor compared with previous years, the focus is  on social and emotional well-being, self-efficacy and adaptive skills.  Staff should use this time to teach protocols and supportive approaches when managing physical distancing requirements when possible.

NMCUSD Instruction and Services (Click on the document below)

  • Instruction and Services