As many students and parents know, this school year Sampson County Schools implemented a new curriculum based on Common Core standards.
When students returned to school this past fall, education officials organized brief presentations during orientation to introduce students and parents to Common Core, recalls Tommy Macon, director of Secondary Education for Sampson County Schools.
Now that the school year is two-thirds of the way through and everyone has had the opportunity to experience the new curriculum, education officials feel it is time to hold another round of presentations so students, parents — and the community — can learn more about Common Core and better understand its purpose, says Macon.
The 2012 — 2013 school year has been one of transition, according to Macon. “We’ve all been learning this year.”
The upcoming meetings will allow Sampson County Schools’ leaders to share what they have learned thus far as they and the schools have adjusted to the Common Core Standards. “We see some gaps in understanding and we want to bridge those gaps,” explains Macon. “We [the school system and the parents] are partners in this and we need to all speak the same language.”
Common Core meetings will be held in each of the four districts and all will take place at each district’s high school in the auditoriums, the director pointed out.
The first meeting will be in the Midway District on Tuesday, March 5. The remaing districts’ meetings are as follows: Lakewood District’s meeting will be Thursday, March 7; Union District’s meeting will be Thursday, March 14; Hobbton District’s meeting will be Thursday, March 21.
Parents with children in the Early College High School should attend the meeting at their base school, Macon pointed out
Sampson County Schools superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker will open each of the meetings which will start at 6:30 p.m.; they are expected to last about an hour.
During the first 30 minutes, the directors of each level of education — elementary, middle, and secondary education — will give their presentations.
“We’re going to talk about what students need to know and do as far as the new curriculum goes and how parents can assist,” says Macon.
The remaining time will be open for a question and answer session.
“We’re opening this up to everyone,” says Macon. “Parents, students, and also community stakeholders are invited if they want to learn more about Common Core.”
If you cannot attend your district’s meeting, Macon shares that the school system will make other opportunities available. “We will videotape the presentations so that you can watch them if you can’t make it to the meeting or if you just want to review it later.”
“We’re also planning to take the questions and answers and create something like a ‘Frequenty Asked Questions’ sheet,” Macon adds.
Additionally, each person that attends a meeting will receive a bookmark created by Sampson County Schools listing the top facts about Common Core that parents should know. These facts include that over 45 states and territories have adopted Common Core and that Common Core only applies to two subjects, Math and English/Language Arts.
“It requires that we all change the way we think,” says Macon of Common Core, “because it’s not business as usual anymore. It’s not about knowing the facts; you’re not just given the answers. You have to be able to problem solve and do some interpretation. Using informational texts and primary sources is a big part of it as is intergrated or blended math. It’s very rigorous.”
“All of it is for the purpose of preparing students for the future, college and career ready students,” notes Macon.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at email@example.com.