APRIL 2020 DISTRICT DISPATCH
Please note that as a result of the school closure to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we will NOT be having prekindergarten round-up and kindergarten round-up on Friday, April 3, 2020. Round-up activities may or may not be held at a later date. We will keep you posted. Nonetheless, the elementary office is presently in the process of identifying prekindergarten and kindergarten students for the 2020-21 school year. If you know that your child or grandchild will be five-years-old on or before September 15, 2020, please call the elementary office to inquire about registering for kindergarten. Our kindergarten program is an all-day program that lasts for the entire school year. If you know that your child or grandchild will be four-years-old on or before September 15, 2020, please call the elementary office and register for prekindergarten. Unlike kindergarten, prekindergarten is voluntary and not required. Our prekindergarten is a half-day program which lasts the entire school year.
The school curriculum is a framework for what students should know, understand, and be able to do. In most schools, including Underwood, some parts of the curriculum are compulsory and others are optional. When it comes to curriculum development, Dr. Ken Robinson notes in his book, Creative Schools, that the proper starting point is to ask what students should know and be able to do as a result of their education. Rather than identifying specific subjects, Dr. Robinson identifies eight competencies which he believes should run throughout the curriculum. Interestingly, all eight competencies begin with the letter “C” and are as follows: (1) Curiosity…the ability to ask questions and explore how the world works; (2) Creativity…the ability to generate new ideas and apply them in practice; (3) Criticism…the ability to analyze information and ideas to form reasoned arguments and judgments; (4) Communication…the ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and confidently in a range of media and forms; (5) Collaboration…the ability to work constructively with others; (6) Compassion…the ability to empathize with others and to act accordingly; (7) Composure…the ability to connect with inner feelings and develop a sense of personal harmony and balance; and (8) Citizenship…the ability to engage constructively with society and to participate in the processes that sustain it. From a common sense standpoint, these eight competencies received approving nods from a group of superintendents I met with recently. We agreed that the eight “C’s” merit discussion as our school districts look ahead to future curriculum work.
Don’t forget that classes for students are presently scheduled to resume on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.