The Olentangy Local School District Board of Education has approved a plan that will give the schools’ secondary social studies curriculum an overhaul. The resource adoption was broken down for the BOE at last week’s meeting by Vince DeTillio, a former social studies teacher and the district’s current supervisor of secondary curriculum.
The resource adoption plan will cover the five middle schools and four high schools in the district, and it will cost nearly $780,000.
“We are focused on providing our students with quality resources that meet their needs and align with the standards,” DeTillio said.
A need in the social studies department was identified last spring. Before any resource adoption was made, teachers were surveyed in the fall to identify the current materials they are using, to what extent they are using them, and what needs there may be. The curriculum department then matches those needs with their research on the different products available and presents those options to the teachers.
According to DeTillio, teachers “expressed interest in a resource that is aligned with their standards and presents information in ways that are relevant to students. They also indicated they wanted to have access to digital content tools that could be utilized by students.”
As the learning tools continue to evolve in this digital age, DeTillio said the curriculum department is committed to providing students and teachers access to quality digital resources.
“Digital content and tools allow teachers to more easily customize instruction to the needs of the learner,” he said.
Most of the material being purchased has free digital subscriptions for each student, along with the print material, included in the quotes.
Feedback from the teachers is part of an extensive research process that also includes consulting with other districts about the resources they use and how they like them. Another important factor for the department is to verify there are no racial or cultural biases in the material.
During the 2016-17 school year, the curriculum department adopted new science resources for select high school courses. DeTillio said the social studies resources had not been reviewed or updated in over 10 years.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.