I am asking for your vote for School Committee on or before Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Considering the challenges over the last several years, the children within our community need our attention more than ever. Social media, screen time, and fear has been their classroom for far too long. It is time we renew our focus on the basics, the power of literacy and basic everyday math skills and set aside much of the political noise our children have been forced to hear.
Parents and families are questioning where and what will our children be taught in school; will it be age appropriate and respect family values? We can all agree that lessons on kindness, compassion, acceptance, and respect should start at home, with teachers reinforcing those lessons. Teachers and administrators must respect a family’s choice on what social issues should or should not be discussed in a classroom.
In July 2019, Rhode Island passed the Right to Read act, and beginning with the 2020-21 school year, elementary school teachers (we)re required to train in the Proficiency or Awareness in the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy.
On July 2, 2022, RI legislatures changed the requirements. Reading specialists and teachers with a master’s degree will not have to undergo training. Training must take place within the school day or professional development days. The training deadline has been moved from 2023-2024 school year to 2025-2026.
Where is the outrage?
After speaking with RIDE on Monday, Oct. 24 concerning the new proposal for high school graduation requirements, I needed answers concerning the Right to Read Act. I sent an email that evening to ask how far along we were with the training. I received a reply that we have teachers that have completed training, others who have begun their training, and they continue to schedule training for the remaining teachers, and was happy to see that an email was sent to our elementary school parents on Friday, Oct. 28 informing them about the Right to Read Act.
When a new curriculum comes from the state, I will always ask the question why the change? Who is mandating these changes? How is it funded? How is it benefiting our students and their families? And I will insist that our families are made aware of these changes. Having worked in the classroom I know that teachers cannot do it alone and if a parent does not know the curriculum how can they help their child at home? Parents and families have a right to know and critique the curriculum of their children.
Candidate for the North Smithfield School Committee